Dominican Day Parade Ambassador of Community Service
Zenaida Méndez, Director of the MNN el Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center
Born in the Dominican Republic, Zenaida Mendez earned a BA in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an MA in Public Administration from the City University of New York, Graduate School of Public Affairs. Zenaida Mendez holds the esteemed position of Director of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), El Barrio Firehouse Community Media. She has an extensive career in public service and community activism. A social justice activist and an avid voice for tolerance, Mendez has dedicated many years to finding solutions to issues that negatively impact women and people of African descent. She has also been an influential voice on issues such as the role of the media in perpetuating violence against women, fueling negative stereotypes, electoral politics, access to high quality education, affordable child care, reproductive rights, immigration issues, as well as economic, racial and environmental justice.
Zenaida Mendez has served on the boards of West Harlem Environmental Action, Citizen Action of NY, Housing Conservation Coordinators, Committee for Hispanic Families and Children, and the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, among others. In 1991, Mendez founded the Dominican Women’s Caucus in NYC, to ensure the equitable participation of Dominican Women and Latinas in general in NYC civil society. She is also the Immediate Past President of the National Organization for Women – New York State (NOW-NYS), being the first woman of color to serve in this capacity in NYS.