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7 questions with Nely Galan and the Adelante Movement

Griselda Nevárez

VOXXI

Jul 9, 2012

At the National Council of La Raza’s annual conference Sunday in Las Vegas, Nely Galán launched The Adelante Movement, a grassroots movement that intends to empower Latinas socially, economically and politically in the United States.

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Nely Galán, founder of The Adelante Movement, at the NCLR conference in Las Vegas (Photo/Griselda Nevarez)

Galán, who is best known for creating and producing the FOX reality series “The Swan,” sat down with VOXXI Sunday to unveil her plans for the The Adelante Movement. The Cuba native, who’s also a former president of entertainment for Telemundo and who appeared as a contestant on NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump in 2008, also spoke to VOXXI about the importance of empowering Latinas.

VOXXI: What is The Adelante Movement?

Galán: The Adelante Movement is to unite women really and empower them economically. We are the emerging economic market in this country. I don’t think Latinas know that and the world is our oyster. Companies want to give us franchises, the government wants to give us contracts, there’s startup money for our businesses and the only reason we’re not doing it is (because) we don’t have the information. The Adelante Movement is really to be set up online to aggregate all the information from all the non-profits – from the government, from everything – and then go on tour and tell woman ‘look, on a silver platter, this is for you. Take it.’

VOXXI: What do you hope to accomplish?

Galán: I want to see Latinas take advantage of their power, their purchasing power, their voting power in this country and get economic opportunities so that we all have a great life and we have a great life for our families.

VOXXI: What motivated you to launch this movement?

Galán: I went on a sabbatical and I went back to school for three years and I got a master’s and I’m finishing my doctorate in clinical psychology. I also got on Coca Cola’s advisory board and it was very clear to me that the information that was coming out about Latinas — out of the government, out of the media, out of the medical establishment — was kind of negative. Yet, sitting on Coca Cola’s advisory board, I kept hearing ‘no, Latinas are the emerging market, Latinas vote, Latinas spend all the money, Latinas are influential, Latinas are the most important group and segment in the United States.’ And I thought, how come Latinas don’t know this?

VOXXI: Talk about the importance of empowering Latinas.

Galán: For me, it’s my mission to empower Latinas. I feel like if I’ve come from nothing and I’m an immigrant and somehow I’ve figured it out and to be fair – I’ve worked for five billionaires, I’ve had all the opportunities to go to events like this – I need to give back and it’s my turn to pass that on Latinas. I’m older, I have a child, and I feel like it’s my turn to do something for my community, and I hope I set an example for other people.

VOXXI: During the NCLR Brunch on Sunday, you said that instead of buying shoes, women should be building buildings. What did you mean by that?

Galán: At the NCLR Brunch I said that women should not buy shoes, but they should buy buildings and I mean that because I did it myself. When I was very young and I started to make money I sacrificed and at one point I didn’t buy clothes for five years. I had like a uniform – four outfits that I would wear over and over again. I bought a couple of little buildings in foreclosure for $5,000 each. Those buildings became valuable and now those buildings pay me rent. I don’t have to work. I work because I want to and I’m still young, so I know every Latina can do that. It’s not just through real estate. In today’s age with the internet, you can start an eBay store, sell your mother’s junk in the garage. There’s so many ways for us to make money, and I always say to women be on two parallel tracks. Sometimes you’re in a job you love but it doesn’t make money. You have to make money and you have to invest the money and you have to have money for when you are a viejita so you don’t have to work like a dog and you can decide what you want to do. That’s what I want for Latinas.

VOXXI: You also mentioned at the NCLR Brunch that there’s no prince charming. Talk about that.

Galán: Yes, I do say there’s no prince charming, and I mean it really for men and for woman. I think sometimes we watch too many novelas, and it’s not just Latinas that do this by the way. We think some guy is going to save us or some boss is going to figure out that we’re great and give us a raise. In life you find out all we’ve got is each other and we have to be our own prince charming. When I get an accomplishment, I buy myself a piece of jewelry and every time I see that piece of jewelry I go ‘I did that.’ I reward myself, so I don’t put those expectations on other people so they don’t disappoint me. I know I can do it myself.

VOXXI: What are some of the issues that are more important to you for these upcoming elections.

Galán: The elections in the United States are very important to me because I think they should be important to all of us. We come from countries where we’re a little jaded about politics, and we think everything is corrupt. Did we really think this country was going to elect a black president? We are very important and our vote is very important. We can make or break an election. We can vote in Latino candidates like Dr. Richard Carmona in Arizona, in a state that needs a Latino. We have to vote them in. It doesn’t matter if we don’t like each other. You know what, do you like everyone in your family? I don’t think so. But do you let other people trash them? It’s okay if we don’t like each other but we cannot trash each other. Good, bad or indifferent, if Latinos go up, we go up with them, and that should be our mantra. We have to learn from African Americans, we have to learn from Jews, we have to help each other. It’s okay if we fight amongst ourselves privately but not publicly.

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