Latino leader strives to instill ‘pride and community’ as book series spotlights American heroes

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

America is made of stars – “and we Hispanics are one of them,” Claudia Romo Edelman said in a recent phone interview with Fox News Digital.

A humanitarian leader from Hispanic heritage who lived and worked for 25 years in Europe before moving to the United States eight years ago with his children, Romo Edelman is on a determined mission to set the record straight on Latin Americans – and highlight their contributions to the United States

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, and now based in New York, Romo Edelman founded the We Are All Human (WAAH) foundation. The group aims to “reveal, uplift and celebrate the best in humanity,” according to the organization’s website.

HISPANIC LEADER CELEBRATES AMERICA’S HEROES IN NEW BOOK SERIES FOR YOUNG READERS

“We Are All Human celebrates our differences. It is because of them, not despite them, that we are strong.”

Under the Hispanic Star banner, Romo Edelman is also launching a new series of books for young readers during this month of September 2022. To coincide with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month on September 15 (which runs through October 15), the book series will highlight the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Americans.

“What’s good for Hispanics is good for America,” she told Fox News Digital.

Claudia Romo Edelman is the creative force behind Hispanic Star, which launches a new series of biographical children’s books this month.
(Claudia Romo Edelman)

She also strives to engage the consumer market and everyday people across the country to create “a sense of unity and pride as a community,” she said.

“Think about it, there are Latinos in Miami, Latinos in Minnesota — everywhere — who can support each other, mentor each other, buy from each other, and help pursue their own upward mobility,” a- she declared.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Romo Edelman and his groups organized 30 Hispanic Centers across the country that brought in food donations from multiple businesses — as many as 25 participated. The groups then donated this food to people in the community who needed a helping hand during a difficult time.

“It gives us hope that we can really — with a little understanding of the contributions of Latinos in this country, people who give to America — see a growth and a flourishing of this whole community.”

“It was a win-win for everyone,” she said.

SINGER KELLY LANG ON HER 17-YEAR BATTLE AGAINST BREAST CANCER: ‘I PROMISED TO GOD I WILL BE A BRIGHT LIGHT TO OTHERS’

“These donations were donated by Procter & Gamble, by PepsiCo, by Goya Foods,” she said, “and were collected in different centers across the country and delivered to 1.5 million Latinos over a period of six months”.

She said more than 10,000 volunteers helped in this person-to-person effort.

Claudia Edelman spoke to Fox News Digital about her new Hispanic Star book series for young readers, which aims to highlight the notable contributions of Latino and Hispanic individuals to American society.

Claudia Edelman spoke to Fox News Digital about her new Hispanic Star book series for young readers, which aims to highlight the notable contributions of Latino and Hispanic individuals to American society.
(Claudia Romo Edelman)

“It gives us hope that we can really — with a little understanding of the contributions of Latinos in this country, people who give to America — see a growth and a flourishing of this whole community across America. “

In addition to his humanitarian and marketing work, Romo Edelman today focuses on the Hispanic Star book series.

Published by Roaring Brook Press as part of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, the series provides a window into the life stories of a range of Americans who have made contributions to our nation in many areas, including philanthropy, sports, the arts and more.

Claudia Romo Edelman, center, with her colleagues points to the Hispanic star cry by the Nasdaq in Lower Manhattan.

Claudia Romo Edelman, center, with her colleagues points to the Hispanic star cry by the Nasdaq in Lower Manhattan.
(Claudia Romo Edelman)

One of the first books is about the outstanding baseball player Roberto Clemente, born in Puerto Rico. He wasn’t just a star baseball player. The youngest of seven children, he gave back to others as an adult in ways that many did not realize or appreciate during his lifetime.

Clemente played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he also helped others in need. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his untimely death.

On December 31, 1972, Clemente perished along with four others when the plane he had chartered to bring relief to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua crashed shortly after taking off from Puerto Rico. He was only 38 years old.

Claudia Romo Edelman speaks during a presentation.  Roberto Clemente and Celia Cruz are two of the Hispanic Americans featured in a new series of biographical children's books available in English and Spanish.

Claudia Romo Edelman speaks during a presentation. Roberto Clemente and Celia Cruz are two of the Hispanic Americans featured in a new series of biographical children’s books available in English and Spanish.
(Claudia Romo Edelman)

He had just gotten his 3,000th hit before that. “He could run like a deer and throw beautifully, but he died trying to help others,” noted Romo Edelman’s husband, Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest communications company.

Outstanding singer and performer Celia Cruz, born in Havana, Cuba, is also featured prominently in the book series. Known as the “Queen of Salsa”, Cruz has entertained millions.

SELENA, CELIA CRUZ, OTHER LATIN MUSIC LEGENDS HONORED WITH US POSTAGE STAMP AND SMITHSONIAN GUITARS

She was “pretty amazing,” Romo Edelman said.

After arriving in the United States in November 1961, Cruz became one of the few women to make a name for herself in the world of salsa music. Author Maya Angelou, in a preface to Cruz’s 2004 autobiography, called Cruz one of those “artists who belong to everyone, everywhere, all the time”.

The first two Hispanic Star books for young readers are illustrated.  One is a profile of outstanding baseball player and humanitarian Roberto Clemente, while the second is a biography of "Salsa Queen," singer Celia Cruz.  A total of six books will be released this year, with more coming out in 2023.

The first two Hispanic Star books for young readers are illustrated. One is a profile of standout baseball player and humanitarian Roberto Clemente, while the second is a biography of the “Queen of Salsa”, singer Celia Cruz. A total of six books will be released this year, with more coming out in 2023.
(Claudia Romo Edelman/Roaring Brook Press)

Cruz has recorded over 80 albums and songs, won 23 gold records and won five Grammy Awards. She also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and received the US National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton.

Romo Edelman’s mid-level Hispanic Star book series kicks off with “Hispanic Star: Celia Cruz”, co-written with William Alexander and illustrated by Alexandra Beguez (released September 6, 2022), and “Hispanic Star: Roberto Clemente”, co-written with Sara Echenique, illustrated by Manuel Gutierrez (also released September 6, 2022).

“Every Latino child [will] have access to their heroes.”

Both books are published in English and Spanish.

Romo Edelman said, “I want the Hispanic Star series to be a source of inspiration and pride for the next generation – and for Hispanics to be recognized for their incredible contributions to this country,” she added.

Six initial books make up the series.

“By the end of next year, there will be a box set – a collection of books to give as gifts to children, schools, libraries – ideally allowing every Latino child to have access to their heroes”, said Romo Edelman.

Everyone can learn more about his organization and the new series of books on hispanicstar.org.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

As the nation soon pauses to remember all those who lost on 9/11, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York – for the first time in 21 years – will pay tribute, on September 8, 2022, to those who died. Hispanics who perished in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

“Nine percent of the people who died in the Towers were Latinos,” noted Richard Edelman, including bankers, chefs, and laborers of all kinds.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

“And then in the aftermath, they were among those who helped. They worked as first responders” — and handled so many other things with so many fellow Americans, he said.

Robert M. Larson