Gina Esquivel, a native of Costa Rica, made Charlotte her home when the Eastland Mall was in fashion and the Panthers just came to the city, back in 1995. Her life, career, and education make her what some will call the "trifecta effect" for social justice.
She is a ball of creativity and a life-long learner. She is a master facilitator, bound to see the community full of opportunities.
She has 25 years of experience in the social services field, from domestic violence, public health, poverty, housing, historical exhibits and racial inclusion. She has been a host of local tv shows in Spanish and has played critical roles in the community to improve the quality of life of marginalized communities.
She earned a Bachelors Degree from the National University of Costa Rica in Education and Counseling. She received her Master's Degree from Pfeiffer University in Change Management.
She has worked under the best non-profits in town, including Read Charlotte, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Levine Museum of the New South, Catholic Social Services and Metrolina AIDS Project. As a volunteer, she has served in numerous boards to the latest, Women+Girls Research Alliance and Charlotte Lesbian Gay Fund. Currently, serving in the Community Relations Committee of Mecklenburg County.
She is a proud alumnus of the Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) Class VI, Leadership American North Carolina Chapter and most recently the American Leadership Forum (ALF) Class 2017.
Gina Esquivel loves to nurture her creative side through photography and other artsy crafts. She feeds her geeky side by keeping up with the latest in technology and social science. Loves to travel with her wife Kathia and spent time outdoors with their two doggies.
A seasoned public speaker, will bring to the stage her life history, professional perspective and angle on social issues that you will want to hear. Esquivel is a dynamic public speaker will engage your audience through her charisma and sense of humor. Her life's journey has brought her to unveil the depths of many social causes. If you are looking to alter and disrupt familiar perspectives, you want her on the stage.
Wendy Mateo-Pascual | Latinx Leadership
Wendy Pascual is originally from the Dominican Republic and has resided in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2003. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and has post-graduate education in Community Development and Human Rights. She has participated in many projects and processes from the Dominican Republic to Brazil to South Africa, that focus on public policy, human rights, equity and inclusion, and the effects and eradication of poverty and racism around the world.
She began her leadership career serving in the community. When Wendy moved to Charlotte in 2003, she spoke no English but had a great desire to become involved in the city. She began studying English and at the same time started to volunteer with area organizations.
This set a path for her career as a pioneer in the space of health care for underserved groups; she is the Co-founder of Camino Community Center in Charlotte and served as Executive Director for 14 years. Under her leadership, she established the Bethesda Health Center (a health clinic and related programs focused on promoting health and wellness) and “You Are Not Alone (a community mental health treatment and education program for low-income Latino immigrants). She also created the Latino Civic Engagement Project, the first local program designed to create opportunities, empower, and equip immigrant leaders to become civically-engaged community advocates.
Mrs. Pascual has more than 30 years of experience working with community-based organizations, supporting the establishment of Latino leadership in organizations and the community. She is a thought leader, facilitator and master advisor in the development of leadership in organizations.