First Lady Michelle Obama will have a live chat with six Latinas on issues affecting Hispanics and their families. (Photo/Getty Images )

First Lady Michelle Obama to chat live with Latina moms

First Lady Michelle Obama will sit down with a group of well-known Latinas who are juggling work and family, whether it be in the world of  politics, business, photography, food – even homeschooling.

The live chat, moderated by contributing political editor and CNN analyst Maria Cardona, “will essentially be about what keeps Latina mothers up at night,” says Cardona.  Among the topics to be discussed are health care, education, and the economy.

The participants are Monica Olivera, founder and owner of Latin Baby and, renowned photographer Shirley Miranda-Rodriguez,  ModernMami blogger and Ella Media Melanie Edwards, and Anna Yvette Marquez-Shrapnack, blogger, author and food enthusiast.   All the women are contributing editors to Mamiverse, and they live in different parts of the country.

Also joining the panel is Katherine Archuleta, the Obama campaign’s national political director and the campaign’s top-ranking Latina.   Archuleta spoke in a recent campaign ad of her deeply personal support for the administration’s health care legislation.  She says in the ad her daughter would not have been able to obtain insurance (she successfully battled cancer) were it not for the new legislation forbidding  insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

Cardona says Latina women identify with Michelle Obama.   “In focus groups, Latina moms have expressed some disappointment in some areas of  the administration’s immigration policy or the economy,” says Cardona. “Yet Latinas repeatedly say, ‘The first lady is like us, she has our back,”  Cardona says.

Hispanic mothers are a growing demographic for companies as well as policy makers. “Like everyone in America, Latina moms just want to be heard and understood,” says Cardona. Rene Alegria, who is the founder and CEO of, said Hispanics find themselves at a pivotal cultural crossroad, and “we are just starting to understand the effect we will have in shaping America’s future.”

One of the Latina moms, Marquez-Shrapnack, says she has many issues she would like to discuss with the First Lady, but her biggest passion is “making food healthier to improve the health of our children,” she says.
“As a cookbook author and as a mother, I am saddened by the high statistics of obesity in Latino children, and I want to get rid of the stereotype that Mexican food has to be unhealthy,” Marquez-Shrapnack says.  She admires Michelle Obama’s successful “Let’s Move!” campaign and her efforts to improve Americans’ eating habits.

The half-hour live chat will take place in Miami.  It will be streamed and available on at 12:45pET tomorrow, and will subsequently be available on the website.

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