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May 1, 2024

Episode 007:

Planting the Seeds for Transformation to Eradicate Systems of Oppression with Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda, owner of Hathaway Miranda LLC.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda, M.A. is an award-winning bilingual and bicultural Latina. She has over 25 years of experience as an educator and researcher. Heather is the founder and owner of Hathaway Miranda LLC, where she offers speaking, consulting, racial healing circles, and coaching services dedicated to eradicating oppression in all its forms. She is a survivor on many levels, a compassionate mother who loves to travel, create, and read. She is also a proud military spouse and daughter, granddaughter, and great granddaughter of veterans.

So excited for you to meet this week’s guest,Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda, whose life experiences have undeniably crafted a beautiful path of transformation for many as well as herself. “A raisin in milk” is how she describes her childhood which has given her the gift to be a bridge for others and create racial healing for individuals as well as organizations. She’s a brave, badass, bold survivor who knows how to make change one connection at a time. A Part Two Episode is absolutely necessary to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of her life. Disfrutar!


About My Guest

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda, M.A. is an award-winning bilingual and bicultural Latina. She has over 25 years of experience as an educator and researcher. Heather is the founder and owner of Hathaway Miranda LLC, where she offers speaking, consulting, racial healing circles, and coaching services dedicated to eradicating oppression in all its forms. She is a survivor on many levels, a compassionate mother who loves to travel, create, and read. She is also a proud military spouse and daughter, granddaughter, and great granddaughter of veterans.


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HSSF 007 – Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda

Lesley Whitehead: [00:00:00] Hi, beautiful. This is your host, Lesley Whitehead, and I am so excited to share this bold, brave, badass, creative woman with you. I hope our conversation inspires you not to let anything get in the way of your passion projects. I promise you, we need whatever is on your heart to create for this world. 

Hi, beautiful woman. I am here with my latest guest, Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda. Did I do well with that? 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Miranda. Spanish one.

Lesley Whitehead: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here. I want to tell you a little bit about her before we get started. She is an award winning bilingual, [00:01:00] bicultural Latina and invited international speaker, consultant, and coach with more than 25 years of experience. She offers speaking, consulting, racial healing circles, and coaching as the Fierce Founder and owner of Hathaway Miranda LLC. She has dedicated her life to eradicating isms. We’re going to talk about that for sure. Um, she also is a raising and compassionate 10 year old voracious reader and rock collector with whom she loves to travel, create, read, and laugh. She is also a proud military spouse and we’re going to hear more about that. Her life’s mission is to plant seeds for positive transformative change. That is a mouthful. Heather, thank you so much for being here.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Thank you. Muchas gracias. [00:02:00] We’re going to do our vows. Thank you so much for the invitation. I’m thrilled to spend some time

Lesley Whitehead: That’s fantastic, but I have lots of questions, but before we get started, I want you to tell us a little bit in a broad sense about what you do, and then we’ll get into the nitty gritty details of everything.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Wonderful. So I think my entire life I have served as a bridge between folks and I’ve just come from two backgrounds, but in situations To help folks see two sides that they might be, uh, opposing or also like how to have more care about things that are difficult. And there’s been lots of trials and tribulations that I have faced being marginalized or oppressed, uh, my identity, which I hope will unfold.

So it’s all led after, uh, three decades of Being an educator, a researcher, administrator, or doing [00:03:00] services, working in non for profits to formalize the work of speaking and consulting around intersectionality and, relating to my identity. To help others in organizational spaces and government spaces and communities and schools and one on one with people who may be a face trauma of different types, but bringing in a lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice, uh, trying to help with permission, bring things to the light of those who are sometimes are rendered voiceless as I have many times been.

So that’s kind of the, the big picture is really trying to make the world a better place one by one, leaving heart prints, um, as in, you know, footprints only and arcs and, I know that my work won’t be done in a lifetime, but I hope, uh, one by one, the work that I do or [00:04:00] organizationally, it’s a heart and soul shift if we really want to see the world to be

Lesley Whitehead: Right. So what types of organizations do you work with?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: a wide variety. So, currently I, serve, for example, with a performing arts center, non for profit out of New York City R.Evolucion Latina. their motto is “dare to go beyond” and they are impacting adults and children and communities with the arts. And it’s founded and centered by voices that were Latina, Latino, uh, current artists and teachers, choreographers, directors, and just kind of giving them, you know, uh, support and advice around strategic, uh, planning and operations to keep that legacy going.

I also have recently worked with the Travis Manion Foundation, providing staff trainings around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. For their staff, and they’re a veteran serving organization. You’ll hear the phrase VSO, [00:05:00] the acronym VSO. So A VSO, uh, like them have taken me in by recommendation, interviewed, and have been able to provide some supportive work with their endeavors.

And they’re a national organization and, uh, that’s part of my role, uh, as a military spouse and, and grateful to have been recognized by, uh, them. I also, in the past year, in the past couple of years, have worked with the American Medical Association providing racial healing circles. These, uh, kind of diversity dialogue circles, spaces where folks of different backgrounds within a company or organization helping them go through the experience of two hours of kind, it ends up being community building and team building and grappling with what are our experiences when we talk about diversity and our own identities. I, um, have also worked with a lot of public libraries the last couple of years.

I was, uh, a keynote speaker a year ago at the Illinois Library Association, [00:06:00] and that introduced me to a number of libraries around the state of Illinois. So I’ve been honored to work with DeKalb Public Library, Prospect Heights Public Library, Carroll Stream, a couple of libraries that have said, hey, come in, can you do a workshop and, or have these conversations?

So I’ll do Some of those, uh, workshops as well. and I’ve done some coaching one on one folks who are at a leadership level, uh, leaders of color to, um, kind of support them because there’s this, uh, we call it racial battle fatigue, a tiredness that can come from kind of doing something for the cause for the good of society or for marginalized populations.

And so trying. You, do some guidance around self care and collective care and not, uh, exhausting yourself or tiring yourself out or even getting sick in, in your pursuit as a, as a leader, as a woman or a person of color and, um, I’ll pause right there. But there’s a number of, [00:07:00] you know, I’ve done curriculum because of Spanish helping folks.

Oh, here’s my other fun favorite. I still love being an educator. So I teach part time for, the National Autonomous University of Mexico as a Chicago

Lesley Whitehead: Oh, that’s

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: So, there’s a winter session and a summer session. And I’m just blessed to be able to meet these students who come from, uh, generally Mexico City. They are university students or ready professionals. They want advanced English, but I get to infuse Chicago history and U. S. history with a racial and, and diversity lens in telling maybe the not so beautiful part of our history, but it’s,

Lesley Whitehead: Right.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: And, uh, get the students to have some really deep conversations to see a little bit of what, uh, the U.S. and Chicago is like. So that’s one moment where I get to be, uh, an educator

Lesley Whitehead: That’s fantastic. I love that. Okay. I have a question about when you’re working with somebody one on one, what are some [00:08:00] things that you do to help them with this, overstimulation, this being tired, trying to explain everything or,  be in their space, what do you do for them? How do you help them with that?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: I’ve had the pleasure to work with, uh, some folks of color in, in those situations. And for me, I think having been a Latina raised in a predominantly white, um, community and going through public schools all the way through my university education, I wasn’t always exposed to what, the truth and history was of my ancestors or people or communities like, uh, my community.

And my family from Mexico has been in Chicago for a hundred years, but it wasn’t always to me that way, but working with leaders that might be leaders of color one is, is kind of finding out maybe a grounding of their understanding of history and culture and their ancestors, because it’s a beautiful place of strength that I have found is [00:09:00] getting that awareness. Then drawing strength from, I mean, you know, Frida Kahlo has been embraced by non Mexican and non, you know, Latino, uh, and Latinos around the world, but being able to find little parts of maybe somebody’s history or community that is, uh, and allow somebody to find pride in that. I also find out if they’re a reader, are they a video watcher, are they a podcaster, and giving recommendations for different ways that we can find that inspiration.

Also getting away from what, what sometimes gets labeled as, as, as the white predominant culture of self care. Like you think a day at the spa or an hour of massage and that’s it. But that, that’s not it. A lot of communities of color and even leaders then it was a balanced way and it’s collective care.

So what are the ways that we can be in community? you know for you and I here today if we were meeting at my house It would be let’s spend 30 minutes on a meal before we start this interview or an [00:10:00] hour or two hour like time and finding those ways that it’s okay to take parts that maybe you remember as As a young person that were a part of your family or community or neighbors and bringing them into your leadership and finding healthy ways, but meditation, mindfulness is across so many cultures.

There’s different ways that cultures of all backgrounds have, uh, used a way of solace or reflection, if it’s with nature, if it’s, you know, bathing or something, then I think that that’s a really key part too to help people, uh, do that. And, given awareness that I lost my mother to cancer and that I cared for her for seven years.

And one thing for sure with, with anybody, doesn’t matter what race or gender identity you have. But folks who get too obsessed with giving to the work don’t really always understand that a month after you’re out of that job with less [00:11:00] than a month, it’s going to be posted. You are not that one position.

You, the company, the organization needs to go on. So it is not the Lesley Whitehead job. you might be working in that position. So when I work with, um, coaching folks is going, you know, what, what do you really want and are, are you getting that? Do you, you know, people reframing how much we’re giving to something, to, uh, an organization that really will find you, they might value who you are right then.

But they will have to move on without you. So are you giving to yourself? Are you giving to the people who love you? my dad was, uh, uh, was white Anglo. Um, both of my parents are gone, but he would say, you know, try to, even if you’re not making the big bucks, he goes, find a job that you’re going to feel, um, some balance and enjoyment because that carries with you back to your home environment, who that might be.

And if you’re a single person, don’t want [00:12:00] kids, don’t have a partner, don’t want a partner, that’s fine. But it’s in your peace and your balance and your happiness. Cause we literally just have today. And so when I work with folks, one on one, those are some of the things is, Finding out, you know, is it spirituality?

Is it a goal or purpose? You keep saying, you keep saying, Oh, I’ll do that in a couple of years or I’ll pursue that. Why are we waiting? Why are we delaying pursuing some things that really bring us joy.

Lesley Whitehead: Right. Now, you just brought up your mom, and I wanted to ask, how did being a caregiver to your mom during her battle with cancer influence your approach to life and work, especially in terms of resilience and compassion?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Just to sit a moment and, and, and just embrace that spirit of, maybe a loved one that has gone on. I believe very deeply that our ancestors are still, uh, around, you know, I think they send a signal. So, those caregiving [00:13:00] years taught me so much. So first of all, I have to say, I’m not the first entrepreneur in the family.

For a while, I was like going to all these workshops and thinking I was, but I’m like, Oh, Wait up, hold on, hold on a minute. My mother became a, you know, a hairstylist and even just to cut our hair. She was a seamstress. She would make our clothes and I think she was maybe bartering and selling with friends.

She was a Mary Kay consultant. So things that I’m like, hello, you were not first, your mother was doing this. Right. Um, so I have to give all respect and honor to that. but those years, taught me resiliency and the balance one, the confidentiality with being her caregiver when her asking me and confidence, like I trust you and the importance of that.

And please don’t share my story without my permission. And I’m a professional storyteller and what I do on a stage or in a workshop. And knowing that we have to have that permission because that is people’s [00:14:00] lives. That’s their story. That’s their trust And I then that vulnerability that I will model and I will do those years taught me that how to have these deep conversations and deep listening I was just totally primed the two storyteller and kind of comedian at home parents I had My dad was gone for over 20 years when my mom got ill.

She was a widow a long time. So working so closely with her and being relentless in my research and investigation in, finding answers in the healthcare system. Well, that taught me like my note taking. So what I do as a consultant, what I continue to do as a research, when I approach a project as a writer, um, and storyteller is, The note taking and my mom was a secretary her whole life and, uh, those caregiving years taught me to, you know, remember what I saw her doing in her professional life, transferring that in my caregiving years with her, she and I sharing notes and collaborating [00:15:00] on her care, but getting permission saying, mom, is it okay if I do this?

And when we work with marginalized folks, we work with folks who have been traumatized or oppressed or, or done wrong or, or for me as a survivor of domestic violence, you don’t want to just take the mic because you just assume you need to, you want to ask those folks and, and try to still get them, um, you know, in the room, in the space, to tell, but if they’re too tired and recognizing for myself as a caregiver, Those caregiver years is rest.

And I have a book club. We’re about to cover Rest Is Resistance. Amazing book and it is like my mom, you know, close your eyes. I’m resting, resting my eyes and remembering like. She did that before she got sick and that is okay. And we need to do those things and normalize it. So the caregiving years I had a young child, a baby,and an infant and I’m a survivor.

[00:16:00] I’m dealing with things in the courts and orders of protection. And I’m looking after my mom going to doctor’s appointments. But we never lost humor. We would be cracking up in a consult room. Nurses would want to come by and find out. And we’re talking to oncologists and those caregiving gears in my mom’s way of, of like handling going, Hey, we’re given today.

How much joy can I still bring in? Pause and close your eyes. If we have to, we’d get to the car in the parking lot and just both kind of babies asleep. Okay. Let’s just both take a minute because I knew I had to drive in Chicago traffic, for example. So those little things going, Wait, really? We’re taking a nap in this parking lot?

Yes. We’re going to take 15 minutes to close our eyes. We’re both tired. We’re going to rest. Right? So those are some little things that have fed into that. If I overschedule myself. In a day that I feel exhausted, then I look at that respectfully, write to somebody and say, can we reschedule this a day or two?

Cause I need to listen to my body. And that’s the thing. I think cancer [00:17:00] is connected to stress and these things that so many times we as women, as, nurturers and caregivers, we take on the weight of the world and, and our families, we need to listen to our bodies more in those years of, of, uh, supporting her.

Last thing, the importance of, having a plan and that loving care, the importance of paperwork and, your note taking, but what is your, you know, your business legacy? Do you have the right paperwork? What is your home legacy and your family legacy? you know, have a clear mind plan, talk to the right people and, and be as organized as you

Lesley Whitehead: I love that. I love that. Now how do you infuse your bilingual and bicultural background into your consulting work, particularly in advocating for diversity, inclusion, and racial healing? Okay.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Yes. Yes. Oh, so beautiful. So, All Latinas and Latinos or Hispanics were not born speaking Spanish and I’m one of [00:18:00] them. and there’s an assumption that we all, we all do and, and, and it’s funny, you know, being asked, you speak Mexican and that’s not quite the language. And we all love Taco Tuesday, but we don’t always want to hear the language.

But I started studying Spanish in high school and I fell in love with, uh, the language. And went to college and got a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. I have ended up using Spanish in probably 98 percent of my professional, uh, experiences, whether that be over 50 percent actually in the, In the duties or facilitating the work I was doing, but that other percent is that it’s building rapport.

If there’s somebody in the community, somebody in the audience, somebody that’s their language, they feel more comfortable than that. That gives me a ground to meet them where they’re at, especially when I’m talking about heavy emotional stuff or, [00:19:00] big, you know, world world changing, you know, let’s make the world more inclusive.

And sometimes people want to go to a native language, but it’s allowed me to do talks. I’ve been invited to universities in Mexico to give talks. So I was a young person studying a semester abroad, and now I’ve been able to go back to that university and be an invited professional. And that’s just like, wow, you know, I can, I can go to the grave. Uh, To know that my Spanish got that good. I taught Spanish, but you know, and I love this. There was a bumper sticker I got at a language conference when I was teaching high school Spanish. Monolingualism can be cured. Like we all can learn another language

Lesley Whitehead: so intimidating, though. I’m not gonna lie. It really is.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: it is. But then do we keep telling ourselves that story? What is the story we’re telling ourselves? And so, now, I have all kinds of tips for the audience, you know, what, what, what are ways that we can incorporate, you know, language or exposing ourselves to? to [00:20:00] uh, other languages.

But what I have to say is this. When you have another language and what I realize is it opened me up to all of Latin America. I’ve traveled to over half of Latin America and all those stories and lives and folks that I got to meet cultures I got exposed to that I got to hear in that language.

Then the work that I do, my travels help me illuminate more. It gives me more examples to let people know this is a global communicating world. If we really understand, yes, there’s lots of tools now. but being able to draw on the language. But it’s not just language. You have to understand the cultural practices.

Sometimes you have to be able to open yourself to questioning. What does that mean? And some words don’t have translations. You find out with Spanish being bilingual, actually some words are indigenous words. Words that, you know, we, we think, Oh, it’s Spanish. No, avocado is, aguacate in Spanish is a native [00:21:00] word.

It comes from the Aztecs. It’s náhuatl. Who loves avocado on toast? Well, you’re eating indigenous, indigenous food. Tomatoes. Can you imagine? Tomate. That is from Mesoamerica.

Lesley Whitehead: Oh,

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: That is an indigenous word. A hammock. Who loves their hammock in their backyard? That comes from the Taino Indians. These are indigenous, native languages.

So all those things allow me to, you know, try to connect some pieces of what are, what, what, what I’m able to do. And say, here’s an example. This story was not told, this history was not told by quote unquote the victor. You know, this is what we need to know and give honor and risk. cultures that, um, and, and languages that things may come from.

And there’s, there’s this beautiful phrase in Spanish that says, Oh, and means I hope, or like I’m hopeful. And you learn all this grammar behind how to use that phrase. But it comes supposedly from Arabic, from the 800 years of, of, of Muslim rule from the Moroccans that entered [00:22:00] Spain. And we’re not taught these things.

I wasn’t even taught that in Spanish class. You’re just taught a phrase, not taught that there’s these cultural and historical origins. How language, uh, influences. So it very much illuminates, it helps open up, you know, conversations, really rich things that we can talk about. It spears into food, it spears into holiday, to music, into things.

Because I did, I committed a lot of time and I continue to dedicate, it’s been over four decades of continually going at this language you know, Spanish and I, and I got French, I, you know, did a little Portuguese, a little Italian, uh, because of the romance languages. But, um, I hope it makes me a better person, more open as a consultant, as a professional and I’ve been able to stand in front of audiences and give an hour presentation about what domestic violence is in Spanish and, and help women, uh, who are, uh, Monolingual Spanish speaking [00:23:00] in a situation to to be able to label their world that they didn’t know how to label or, um, didn’t know a story like mine and being able to do that in a language that they could receive and feel safe to come up to me.

That’s everything, you know, again, put it on my, my, my, my headstone that, you know, I, I’m like, okay, I did it. I helped somebody in, in their language. And that was my, I just was super curious about the language and I’m glad I reclaimed it. The colonizer’s language was lost in my family. My grandmother was beaten.

I mean, she died at 99 She moved to the States and she was three back and forth till she was six went to Catholic schools And she told me stories the nuns Would beat her because she was speaking Spanish as a little girl and she was told go home and tell your your parents and your Grandparents to speak English you teach them and so when a language and this is that’s an Italian story.

That’s an Irish story That’s so many immigrants in the world story and still today’s stories, you [00:24:00] know, Indian boarding schools, this beating language and culture out of people, obviously it’s, it’s not, you know, that’s not humane and we shouldn’t have done that. So we’re still healing. That’s where it connects to the racial healing is that sometimes the shame that people who had another language from their family, and I help to normalize that and go, Hey, You know, let’s talk about that pain.

I’m carrying the pain that my grandmother had. I got so good at Spanish, Lesley, I shamed my grandmother. She stopped writing to me and stopped talking to me. Once my Spanish got so professional, probably four years, she’s like, it’s too good now. She said, my Spanish is country Spanish. She refused to talk to me.

Lesley Whitehead: Oh, no. 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: But then it’s like, that informs me going into spaces when people are nervous learning English, if it is, you know, our immigrant population or whatnot going, how do we receive this? What are the stereotypes we have about people with accents who have been, you know, in this country or moved [00:25:00] to this country, um, or when we’re abroad?

So as a military family, sometimes you’re abroad or, or, or things like that. So just thinking about, you know, language and compassion and, and what are our assumptions? So great question. Thanks for

Lesley Whitehead: I, um, I feel like people who speak more than like one language are geniuses, frankly, because as I mentioned, I’m intimidated by it, but it is one of my goals is to speak Spanish. So, um, you are motivating me even more to get going and I’m sure that you will give me lots of tips as to what to do next with that.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: absolutely. I would say I do, yeah, I do some tutoring, private

Lesley Whitehead: Oh, there you go.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: that, or we can get a conversational space going on. I’d be happy to do that 

Lesley Whitehead: be wonderful. Thank you. But I want to ask, and this is along the lines of what we were just talking about. 

How do you incorporate the themes of racial healing and empowerment into your retreat offerings, especially for women of color? 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: this is an area of growth in my, in [00:26:00] my business that I want to host independently. I have hosted retreats, working as a facilitator for some organizations. super excited. I have one, uh, coming up next week for an organization centering around like, uh, Connecting, team building and how to do that.

But in that I understand and the diverse society that we are is that there’s diversity in there. And what are the aspects of racial healing that I need to consider? Especially. To support, uh, clients and, and, and individuals that maybe don’t know, you know, and it’s so fun to go into an organization like, here’s some long timers, here’s some new people and everybody, and then everybody has their story.

And how do you help do that? Well, racial healing is about the human connection. It’s based in deep listening. It’s based in understanding that you can listen to somebody else. And, and we say you empty your heart, you kind of pour out but my job is creating that safe space. So [00:27:00] my dream though, is to start, uh, uh, hosting retreats, destination or local area for, for diverse women, women of all backgrounds, maybe do some, you know, special, uh, communities.

These are moms. These are, you know, you don’t have to be a mom or. Uh, here’s all Latinas. I’ve done racial healing circles, uh, virtually for, since the pandemic and hosted like all Latina space. But here’s, you know, mixed women’s space, but retreats. It’s such a fun thing that I remember over my lifetime going to a retreat and feeling.

So rejuvenated and connected But I was oftentimes the only Latina. And so then there was still my, I was still holding myself back from fully telling my story or being vulnerable, fully being completely authentic. I was enjoying myself and I would, you know, bring my, bring my jokes and compassion and, and listen, listen, listen, support, support, and, [00:28:00] and just do the writing.

But I never wanted to always speak up. But I think that’s my goal is to be able to host some retreats. And so if, you know, there’s folks in, your community want to start doing that. I’m excited to team up with some other women entrepreneurs who, you know, yoga and, you know, mindfulness things that I’m doing, but I’m not the expert.

I do it. I practice some, but I want to team up with folks. To do this and crafting and doing storytelling, doing journaling, doing pairing, how do we build trust within ourselves and with each other and create little communities that, we sometimes as, as women of color think that. white women won’t understand us, but I think that that is, you know, that’s false.

And I’m bicultural. I had a white father and a Mexican mother. So I have like always been living these two worlds, always received as a woman of color. One, and I don’t hide my identity, but [00:29:00] I was Heather Hathaway and people are like, Well, what are you? And I’ve been asked everything under the sun trying to fix, you know, I don’t fit in their phenotype, you know, what do you look like?

You know, wait a minute. Are you Brazilian? Are you Jewish? Are you Italian? Are you this? And looking looking right that happened to my mother and happened to me my lifetime, but I think being able to offer some retreats It will be fun. People have been asking me and so i’m in the plans Maybe some international destinations and across the u. s And then the midwest and and like I said, right right even if it’s just a four hour Day, you know half a day locally Um I am so excited because I’ve had clients who are non for profit organizations who have hired me to do, like I was saying in New York, another organization did a day like summit.

So it was kind of a retreat idea, but with national dance Latino leaders. And I was so grateful to be called in as an outsider, but an insider as a Latina, I’m not a dancer or dance [00:30:00] administrator,

Lesley Whitehead: you love to dance.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: I love to dance. I’ve never, yeah, worked. I’ve never been on a stage of dance. Um, but Ballet Hispánico and being able to bring that in and going here, we’re going to do some activities.

So I draw, I, you know, I bring in the racial healing things that I did that were worked in classrooms. Cause I’ve talked, you know, community college, more university courses for, for high schools, bringing in little, little ways because we don’t all receive and think and operate in the same way in racial healing.

One of my, I forget, I wish I knew who it was, but in a co facilitator, we said, they said, some of us are microwave thinkers and speakers and some of us are crackpot or slow cooker thinkers and speakers. And that’s what I knew. I know that variance, but sometimes the pain is so deep on what’s happened to us.

With racism, with oppression, with marginalization that we have to kind of present different things. And that’s [00:31:00] what I hope to do is healing spaces, spaces where women could come back to me that we can host. We can have some that are continuance, some that are, you know, first time one and done. There’s just something I hope to build that can, uh, you know, serve for those who are looking for that kind of authentic connection and, uh, ready to show up fully themselves.

Lesley Whitehead: that. I love that idea. Okay. I want to ask, what memorable moments from your travels have influenced your perspective and approach to your work, particularly in advocating for social justice and empowerment?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Wow. Oh my gosh. Let me, let me think. Okay. Um, Whoo. Okay. I’m going to give two examples real quick and I don’t know, these are just, these are just fun travel stories and how does this help us frame, What we have as an experience, um, you know, maybe in, in the United States, but for me, so when I went to Mexico to meet my family, they are [00:32:00] farmers.

They live in a small town and my great uncle was, he, he recently passed, but my great uncle and his wife, they had two, two young boys. They’re the ones who. Who took, you know, took me in. So it was my first trip and I wanted to ride a horse with another cousin. And in my very limited Spanish, cause I, it was sketchy to try to speak every day in Spanish.

You can speak an hour in Spanish class, but to go and speak Spanish. So I’m trying to communicate that I want to get on the horse and I’m thinking he’s not understanding me. And so I’m like, Oh man, this is before cell phones. So I’m like using my little hand dictionary, like what am I not saying? And then I let him know I have insurance.

And I let him know I rode a horse before and he’s just like, no, no, no, I owe your grandmother I hear him telling me I promised which is his sister in law, right? I was like what’s going on? So finally at this point I spent twenty dollars to use the only telephone in town, which is in his living room To call my mother long distance, mind you, I’m 23 years old.[00:33:00] 

And I was like, mom, I need you to quickly tell uncle Tio that it’s okay that I ride this horse. I think he doesn’t understand, but he’s going, no, no, no. Grandma, grandma, this. So she and her broke up in Spanish. Cause she was not taught Spanish, but she said, you know, horse. Yes. Tio. Ana. It’s okay. Using my middle name.

And then he finally relented and let me. Well, I later come to find the story is this belief that women don’t ride horses because 10 or 15 years before that, a horse threw a woman. She fell off. She hit her head on a rock and she passed 

away. This is the, the, the legend, right? Or the story. And here I’m this very, very American, you know, I, I can do whatever

Lesley Whitehead: Bold 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: 23. I graduated from college. Like I got this. Right? No, you have to humble yourself and understand the cultural rules and [00:34:00] stories. So I think, you know, knowing that. You walk into a space even as a consultant. I walk in there’s a dynamic of that community that organization are those people that team I I don’t get to just come in and go.

Hi. I’m the expert. I need to build rapport. I need to listen to you. I need to involve you You all are the expert on what you’re doing. I come in as a team member and an additional temporary team member. And so that’s one story from I think, you know thinking about and It just illuminates what are the limitations because that story was Mexico, but that story is, there’s limitations like that for women in our backyard and how do we still keep, you know, breaking through, um, and you know, building our own structures, building our own tables because sorry guys, you’re not always like trying to, you know, let us in.

Well, screw it. We’ll stay standing and we’ll keep, we’ll keep gabbing away and we’ll do what we need to do. 

So the other one that I think is just kind [00:35:00] of, um, interesting was a story in Bolivia. I’m traveling around Bolivia and, um, with a friend and we’re taking a bus between one major city and another major city.

city that you go up over like a mountain ridge. Well, there was, uh, minors were protesting and they’re protesting at the government, but they put a roadblock and it was over 24 hours. We’re stuck at this roadblock and the indigenous, uh, local people in Bolivia are very, you know, highly indigenous, women.

Within hours they are set up with their food cards. They’re like taking advantage of, of making some money and making some food and making business and selling toilet paper. You got to get out there and pee. You know, they wear big skirts and all their peeing on the side of the road. It was phenomenal to see how quickly they organized and we’re there just waiting.

And in the respect [00:36:00] of people have a voice, these folks needed to be listened to. So we’re giving word, the government, the president, they want to talk to the president. The president sends the secretary. No, we want the president. And finally we got released to go through, but I have photos from that moment.

We’re freezing because you’re up behind the mountains that night sleeping. We’re like all in this. bus at night, but you would just step out. Okay. We got a little bit of money, but just thinking like these moments was so impactful because it was dangerous. They’re blowing off dynamite of, of tires. So they had rubber tires from trucks or whatever.

That’s how they built this big block, but then they would put some to the side and they would blow them off. And. They know dynamite because they were miners. They were working in the mine. So, but still it’s really alarming because I’d never experienced that in the U S this is before the pandemic, this is before some major kind of, you know, riots and things that I, I’ve been exposed to in the United States.

But I, would say those, those are two things from my, you know, my travel is just going, [00:37:00] wow, what is the story? And, how do you bring somebody’s emotions down? They want to be

listened to. Those folks wanted to be listened to. They wanted jobs back. They wanted whatever it was, but they wanted, you know, FaceTime with the right person.

It wasn’t just, Hey, let me just send a memo. No, they wanted face to FaceTime with somebody and they definitely had demands and, and. Sometimes that’s how you change the world or change a policy or change your neighborhood, is rising up, linking arms and doing something. But those are two, two beautiful moments, uh, related to, to 

Lesley Whitehead: I love that. I love that. That’s really powerful. So can you, here’s another one. Can you share a success story or impactful moment where your presentations have made a meaningful difference in the lives of women of color or marginalized communities? 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: There’s this, uh, young lady, She was in the [00:38:00] audience as a mother at this elementary school that  I was able to give a presentation in Spanish about domestic violence. And it was through like the parent group. And it really was a mom’s group. In Chicago on the South side, my colleague and, and, and dear friend Oriana was the lead director of, I think, bilingual services in the school and we linked up to, to offer this and.

I had built, uh, this presentation that I had done a couple months before, a year before at a medical school to talk to medical students about being a better advocate because I failed in the medical space about telling my story and not getting help when I was pregnant. And so I reworked it, put it in Spanish and I tell it to the space.

And these moms would come in an hour, they would have some food for them. I think her child was just in kindergarten. So I just had them [00:39:00] in this half day time and I did the whole presentation. And after a somewhat educational and personal narrative. Explaining, here’s the definition, this is how it happened to me, doing it again, and, and just kind of educating, educating, just sharing, really not getting reactions, because they were doing some craft too, good moms, you know, this is their joint activity, which is good, and I, I do that as a, you know, I have people do things while you’re listening sometimes.

And she came up to me afterwards and I, it was the moment that I realized that by me having the courage and I get stronger every time I tell my truth in that story, she was not married if I remember correctly, but she was battling the situation with her child’s father. And I, you know, I gave her my number and I said, I’ll, you know, share some resources with you.

I think, you know, you would help from this. Fast forward, she got the help because she got the understanding, she got the [00:40:00] courage after having listened to me and, you know, months later and now years later, she has two more children. She’s married to a new partner, somebody she had met after she had some time and support on her own with her child and her parents Her life opened up to, to love and this relationship and she still keeps in touch with me, but I kept this quote from her that, um, that she called me her hero and to know that I can’t, you know, put, put me in the grave.

I’ve done, I’ve done something good for somebody to be able to have the courage to, to say, you know, what happened to me and I hope I continue to because. Speaking like in a medical school or something trying to tell there’s so much failing in our medical system around domestic violence and interpersonal violence and those front liners, they have a responsibility and a duty and ethical responsibility and duty.

And as a parent and myself getting hurt here or there, I’m at urgent care of an ER. [00:41:00] I’m not being asked the screening questions. but that was so amazing to, be that for her and, and we keep in touch. And, um, you know, it’s just so beautiful. She has two more babies, you know, it’s a new husband and her child looks like he’s thriving.

And that’s one of those moments to be like, Oh my goodness, I am making a difference. And I’m so grateful that a higher part of power and my ancestors have given me the strength. Cause I was super shy when I was little. I would not, I hated to get up and do speeches. I would 

Lesley Whitehead: it. 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: I was terrified.

So it was really funny. I became an educator and, and, you know, speak on stages in front of hundreds, you know, of people or thousand maybe even, and I get really teared up

Lesley Whitehead: Of course. 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: I’m so grateful to have literally, you know, play a part in saving, saving two people’s lives and I would, you know, I still, still, you know, always wonder like, [00:42:00] okay, these ex, uh, abusive partners is like a one in a thousand that really change and we see it over and over in the news.

So safety is not just in that moment in the getting out it’s, it’s forever. It’s really

Lesley Whitehead: Who was your hero? Who helped you get out?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Um,

Lesley Whitehead: you have anyone? I don’t.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Who’s my hero? That’s interesting. So, um, I would say who helped me was, um, having the strength of myself and an infant in my arms when I knew that, you know, I was, I was making the plans, you know, for over a year, but I had a miscarriage two years before my son was born.

So, I was very hyper aware of wanting a healthy pregnancy and knowing what I knew about stress and stress on the body and being a geriatric pregnancy. They tell you like, you know, later in life. Um, so really kind of holding on, but then when I was, um, [00:43:00] you know, uh, attacked the very last night, um, you know, with that partner and, uh, worried about the kidnapping that was threatened, how I, I was, uh, not to go into details, but, you know, violated physically and, and, you know, sexual attempt and was, you know, I got to be my hero for my child and this is it.

And having to go to the police, you know, the next day, um, but my mom was supportive, she, she knew, but she, I don’t know if she ever like read or like understood like all the things I’ve been, I did the 40 hour training, um, you know, DV certification and I know intellectually scholarly now. And I know personally what I know, cause I just dove into the research and reading and continue to do that so I can continue to help others.

But my mom, she’s, I just called her that next day. I was able to get my, um, abuser. to, uh, pass out because [00:44:00] he was intoxicated and not harm me and my child anymore that evening. And. He went off to work and I called my mom. I said, I need to bring the baby. I need to go to the police station.

And so in that moment, of course, my mom is a hero. She takes the baby. She knows I go to the police station, you know, always, you know, there’s a complicated relationship for, for some folks in, in my, you know, my greater community with the police. But, uh, oh my gosh, a great police station. You know, the department and an officer are really standing behind survivors and victims in the moment.

I’m so grateful. I’m grateful to that judge who put in an emergency order of protection because, um, you know, of the criminal charges that were submitted. And, um, so several little things, but I think the answer at the end is, I had to be for myself because if we don’t, you know, we don’t do like it’s when you are in, uh, in that situation, you have to rescue yourself.

You get information. That’s what I, that’s what I know is [00:45:00] planting seeds for positive change or transformative change. I plant the seed, you have to grow it, right? It’s, it’s in you and we each have to, you know, make the choice. My dad would always say, you can’t change anyone but yourself. And he became a recovered alcoholic.

He counseled for 15 or 13 years before his death and was sober, you know, over half of my life, which was great. He was happy, you know, drunk. Um, and I didn’t know what alcoholism was, but in the end you can’t change anyone but yourself. And so it’s a great question to say, you know, who is my hero, but looking at.

Looking at my nine month old baby, it was, you know, ripped from my arms and what I went through that horror that night. And saying, no, I I have to keep myself alive. I have to keep him alive. I have to keep him near me. And, um, I gotta get through this. And that’s where the power of the, the, the word, you know, uh, emotions and connecting and how I was able to negotiate what I was [00:46:00] experiencing and reading the energy and how do I get out of the situation.

and, help myself, but I couldn’t have done it without those, folks in the criminal system and the courts and the police station, my mom. and my little guy, he was, he was the influence for me to, do this. Cause who knows? And that’s what we have to stop doing is judging people who stay because you don’t know what it takes to get up.

It’s five to seven attempts on average to leave. So if you know somebody. You know, be patient, be there for them, you don’t label the person as abusive, you let them label them, but you say, Hey, I’m checking in on you, hey, I’m here for you, and you might be that hero phone call. I had some really good friends that, um, you know, were there for me and they knew.

Uh, I was trying to find a way to kick him out and get him out. but ultimately he had to do something criminally that helped me with the police doing their job to, to get him removed.

Lesley Whitehead: That’s an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. I know that wasn’t [00:47:00] easy. very, very brave of you. What I love about your story, though, too, is you have this other beautiful, it’s sort of the mirror image of what you were describing with this woman. Now you are married to this wonderful man. do you want to tell us a little bit about that, about being a part of that life? Because that’s a whole nother world, this experience,

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Yes. Yes. Um, wow. and I knew for, for years was let me work on myself. There was healing years I needed, you know, I’ve been, uh, in graduate school was work working on my, my 4. 0 and being a graduate student was a caregiver actively in those years. it was seven years I looked after my mom and, and then I became the survivor.

I was sole parenting, but I officially sole custody became the single mom. And I said, wow, I, you know, I need to, I need to heal. I need time for me. I need time to pour into my, my school, understand what I’ve [00:48:00] just lived these number of years, support my mom. And so I really was in this. space of happiness that I’m okay.

You know, I’m okay. I,  never agreed with the language of this is my better half. Like I’m incomplete. Like I don’t need another half to me. I’m a whole person. And I really embodied and walked that way. And I think because I was so different in a lot of my spaces, I was like, eh, I’m okay. It’s me.

I’m here. I’ll join you. But then I’ll also join these folks over here. I’ll also join these folks. So I was, you know, very fluid in the spaces. So I had a, I grew to kind of feel that I had enough, um, space. And then I kind of said to God or higher power, you know, you know, if, if somebody comes along, I’m open, but I’m happy with who I am.

I was considering, you know, adopting a child on my own, wanting to become a full time professor. Yeah. And, uh, live as many years with my mom nearby as I could and raise my son. But [00:49:00] then, um, saying that and being open to that contentment and I kinda like had laughed, you know, um, when it happens. So I have some longtime friends from college and a friend who has a birthday.

specifically on Mexican Independence Day. And so, uh, he threw tacos and a boxing party and I was like, sure, you know, Hey, I love tacos. I don’t really love boxing and go. And lo and behold, this mutual friend is where I met who is now my husband. And I wasn’t looking for it. And I think that that’s the beauty is sometimes there’s moments like, Oh gosh, I just can’t meet anybody.

I’m looking for somebody and just, where are they? And I’m hanging out at Home Depot or the hardware stores. And just like, Oh, am I open to this? And, um, cause I want a handyman right now. It was amazing because he too, you know, had had some horror, you know, horrible, uh, experiences in, in [00:50:00] dating and, and, and, uh, relationships and to get to, we weren’t looking for it.

We were literally almost the only two who didn’t know each other at this, at this party, shared friends party. And, uh, we became inseparable that night talking. We even did something. We both. Later, uh, confess we never do. We ended up karaoke ing with a couple of people that I never do that. And, um, after the boxing match and it was the universe, I think, you know, it was nine months.

It was so funny. I was talking with a friend, that’s the length of a pregnancy, right? Nine months after my mom died, I met this man. And so it was like, This kind of gestation of Heather, you are transitioning to being on your own. You’ve served your mother. Wow. You took care of her. You looked after her.

Right. And, and this transition to, okay, it’s you and little man. And then I meet. this, this amazing partner. And that very night he was like [00:51:00] firing out important questions. Like, had I been married in the church? And I’m like, no, uh, okay. He’s like, okay. Um, so you open to that? And I’m like, yeah. And would you ever consider that in Mexico?

And I’m like, yeah. Like, why is it? I’m like, no. And inside. And, um, you know, I remember telling a friend like a week later, I said. Mark my words. If you hear me say I’m going to get married, it’s gonna be this guy. But I know that I’ve told you I don’t need to marry. I’m fine. You know, I’m protecting myself financially, legally.

I’m okay. But the feeling I have about this person is so strong that I can’t believe I’m thinking about this the first week and I of course was more on guard. Being a sole custodial parent of my beautiful son who was five at the time and was very cautious about, you know, introducing him. But there was that personal [00:52:00] friend space and reference because I was getting on dating apps.

I don’t want no pedophiles like, Oh, you know, you have a child. No, no, no, thank you. I’ll be happy by myself with some books and a mountain vacation once a year. Like, Nope. I don’t mean no weirdo. So it was really, really, uh, shocking, but tacos had a role in it. And, but I think it is really settling my heart and knowing I felt peace, I felt as stable as I could for myself.

And I felt as healed as I could be to be open to creating. a new world and a new partnership. And we are both works in progress. You know, we are not by all means perfect, but we will work hard and we do work hard together. And he has over 30 years serving our nation in the army. Um, and it’s, it’s changed my world.

It’s changed my career. I thought I was going to be a professor. I’ve had [00:53:00] to pivot is this word, right? Pivot, pivot, pivot. They really use that with military families and spouses. You got to pivot. You got to pivot. Yeah, like every two to three years you got to pivot. Um, sometimes every, every other weekend you think you have plans and then the military needs that service member.

So it’s, it’s been beautiful. It’s a big adjustment, but, uh, I come from years or generations of service in my family, but nobody was a lifer like he’s been, um, you know, a lifer. So that’s, uh, that’s our 

Lesley Whitehead: I love that story. Thank you for sharing. So, because I want to ask this next question, in what ways do you support military spouses, families, and veterans through your business initiatives, drawing from your own experience as a military spouse?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: So it’s interesting, you know, becoming, becoming a military spouse later in life. I continually try to connect to military groups and military spouse, um, opportunities. [00:54:00] And there are so many wonderful experiences that I have had. But I also sometimes feel like the, the odd girl out, you know, that I’m like, I haven’t been doing this for two decades.

I had my own career. I have my own experiences. My husband was shocked to know I traveled more than him in the world. I’ve been to more countries. I was a selling point for him. He said. Um, so building this identity, embracing this identity and eventually, you know, he’ll be retired and then we will be, you know, a veteran family.

It’s been wonderful to seek out spaces that I can join to try to meet, uh, other military spouses nationwide. I’ve had some incredible, I’m going to name some organizations I’ve participated in. If it’s a little mini workshop or a longer fellowship or, or different spaces. But, uh, there’s one that is nationwide bunker labs.

That I was able to meet other veterans. I was the only [00:55:00] military spouse of entrepreneurs. I have participated another one through the dog tag bakery in Washington DC and Again meeting veterans and kind of, you know, hearing their voices and a few other military spouses 

And the USO is where I started my husband. I said, you, you’re, you’re at fault. You opened it up through the USO. I would start participating in virtual workshops and I continued to go into those spaces. I may not always make a lifelong friend, but it’s nice to be in that space. So what I have now, after I’ve been meeting some of those folks and there’s an organization called Blue Star Families.

That had a D. E. I. Fellowship and I met some incredible women of color that were the fellows there and those shout out to Tanya and Nicole and Kelly and Brittany and these women that were in that first cohort because military spouses, the world doesn’t know this are unemployed at [00:56:00] double the rate of our of our regular population because of the mobility and disruption.

I was in denial how much my career has been impacted about the, the disruption that happens, uh, I didn’t think I thought I could, you know, overcome it, but meeting them and being introduced into other veterans serving organizations. As a voice of somebody I’ve taught race and ethnicity and gender and sexuality and class in the classroom for over two decades.

And I’ve done research on national projects, even, you know, some international research that we’re looking at the intersection of identity. So those women, military spouses and veterans that can uplift, and sometimes it’s that introduction. So you’re, it’s this network. It’s beautiful, but that’s how I have been able to connect. I did some workshops for Blue Star Families, doing workshops for the Travis Manion Foundation.

And what I hope to do is to continue to be that [00:57:00] voice because as a Mexican American or Latino military family. Our experience in neighborhoods is not always the same. where we live in a predominantly white community in the Chicagoland area, I worry about my husband’s safety when he’s not in uniform.

He’s a dark, dark brown, dark skinned. Um, and, and being able to kind of show up, show up at conferences or workshops or meeting people, you know, LinkedIn and doing things that it’s a voice that we don’t always hear. Um, not all the officers are folks of color. So my husband is rare in that and being able to introduce people to, um, you know, his experience, um, I’m not promoting or, or denying, you know, I’m like, I’m not trying to say, do this.

I didn’t think I would end up in this space. I have a lot of respect for the service members from my family and those in our community, but there’s the real people stories, um, [00:58:00] whether it is on gender, whether it is on, you know, sexual orientation, whether it is, mixed couples and children, bicultural kids like me.

That are in military families. So I hope I can continue to help organizations that serve veterans work with government agencies that serve veterans and military families and spouses to understand it’s not a blanket term. We’re not all living the same racial, ethnic, or gender experience in the United States.

Because our country is not perfect, but even in military communities, you know, sometimes I don’t feel seen as a Latina woman who’s there. and I hope that I can continue to bring that in or the bilingual, you know, aspect that there are military families that have, uh, a spouse who’s international, born in another country. That’s another voice that our military kind of has some blanket terms or, you know, maybe down the line, you know, do some, you [00:59:00] know, policy advocacy. But I hope that my consulting can continue to, and, inspirational, motivational, I hope to hold retreats for those military spouses, you know, men and women.

That you’re feeling burnt out. Uh, I just hope that we can continue to see more diversity in, um, you know, the guest speakers and things that happen because it’s not a, a, a monolingual or mono, you know, cultural experience. When you say you put on a uniform, that whole family doesn’t have the same experience.

Um, So, and even me, there’s a lot of divorce in military families and service members. And so there’s those of us who are coming in. Hey, I’m the second and final spouse here. I say, Hey, this one’s going to work. We’re going to put everything, all the artillery we need into making this one work. No matter what the trauma, the PTSD, the, you know, deployments from the past.

Like. I have to try to understand that and support that. But are we talking about [01:00:00] those voices? Do we have a narrative to think, Oh, military family, that it’s always been a couple that’s been 20, 30 years together. And, uh, that’s not always the story. So I think normalizing conversations around divorce and, and domestic violence, as a survivor, didn’t happen with a partner in the service.

But there are spouses who, um, now, you know, are afraid to divorce because then where’s the protection from the government. They, the spouses, men or women have lost years of their professional career because of the disruption of service life. And then if a divorce happens, I’m very curious about cracking that open more, you know, uh, uh, survivors of, you know, sexual assault.

Uh, I don’t think we’re, we’re doing enough there. So I have, I have some, you know, goals and, and work, and I just hope to be in those spaces to, to continue to, to raise the question and, and bring the compassion and deep listening that I hope I can, because our, our, our military spaces and veteran [01:01:00] spaces don’t always want to hear that story.

Because again, they say pivot, you’re resilient, pivot, you’re resilient. What? It’s exhausting. You’re tired. You’re, you, you break down sometimes and we need to, and the, and the, and the service member breaks down. But do we, do we want to say that, you know, we’re trying to get around suicide awareness and prevention, normalizing.

Asking for help making it normal to say, you know, counseling is a good thing. It’s courageous. You know, so there’s a lot of branding around mental health and I hope to contribute to that as well.

Lesley Whitehead: I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity for you there. Like, I think you can bring a lot to that. area of focus. Definitely. That’s fantastic. All right. We, I have a couple more questions very quickly. One is, um, will you share some of the recognitions and awards you’ve received throughout your career and how do you feel they have affirmed your dedication to [01:02:00] advocacy and empowerment?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: I, I’ve, I’ve been blessed to receive a, a couple of, let me, my mind goes to, to three, uh, in the last couple of years. I’ll first start with, you know, home, homegrown. Again, I felt like a raisin in milk where I went to, uh, elementary school and junior high and high school. And if I remember correctly, There were about 20 of us who would be labeled Hispanic out of 3, 000 at my high school at the time of graduation, but I am so blessed to have been nominated and, and, and selected as a distinguished alumna of my high school last year.

Lesley Whitehead: Congratulations. That’s

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Thank you. So I haven’t visited, but supposedly my name and face and little bio is on the wall for students at the high school now to see that and I, and I’m going to make full circle. I chose a photo that

Lesley Whitehead: Oh, 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: me. So [01:03:00] my big curly, my big curly hair is that I want the curly haired kids to see because I didn’t get curly hair representation.

Um, and the, you know, Latino students, students of color, the young women, um, you know, those to see themselves. But that was shocking to be able to be validated because grunge work, you know, not for profit for three decades. I wasn’t getting a great salary, teaching, research, education, community work, organizing.

That doesn’t get all the love, but knowing my dedication, um, and that the committee saw fit to acknowledge my career, that was huge. And I, and again, I think I’m the first Latina or, or Hispanic at all to be recognized in that capacity. 

Another one, uh, there’s an organization called HACE Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, and they started a leadership program over, was it 15 years [01:04:00] ago?

And I was in like the second cohort for women. It’s called mujeres, uh, women in Spanish. And it was still, you know, gaining its grounding and stuff, but I was one of those early folks. It was at the time of, of turmoil for, for my life with, uh, my, my being in a, in an abusive relationship. But somehow I went to these like six sessions and just last year they celebrated that 15 years.

So they did a quinceanera, a sweet 15 in the Latino community. And I was selected as the one to represent my cohort. And that was beautiful just to see, be among these people. Polderosas we say, these powerful chingonas, these powerful Latina women, one, I mean, all of them, all of them who have finished this program.

They’ve gone nationwide now with this leadership of cultivating leadership so many times stereotypical in the Latino community where, you know, We’re, you know, [01:05:00] told to be humble and quiet and docile, but it was awesome. That was a beautiful recognition for, uh, again, my career and work. But the last one that comes to mind is my family in Mexico.

I told you the horse story. So this community is a small town in Mexico where my grandfather is from. And he came in the 1920s. He was born in 1907. So my meet on the family still a lot of extended family members, and they founded the community in 1931, the community. So he was born in another town and was brought over there as a young boy.

father did. So this community now has a celebration on the anniversary of the founding of the little farm town. so much for having me. And I was the first, like, they bring, they bring a distinguished, like, awardee, they do a little parade, they have a little princess, they do a big dance, they do a formal, like, [01:06:00] government, here’s the table at the elementary school, because it only has an elementary school, that’s how small it is.

You got to go somewhere else for junior high or high school and college. You go, you go away. But I thought my, my family was inviting me to just come to the party. And then it was about a month away. This is like, uh, right before the pandemic. Um, so 2019 and they’re like, so are you coming? And I said, well, I didn’t know.

They invited me as the distinguished guest. And so I have the certificate. Cause I was like, Oh, click. And cause they’re very casual how they were inviting me. They’re like, yeah, we want to recognize you for, and they know that I’ve been a professor. They know I teach at this Mexican university and I was blown away.

So out of, out of, you know, wonderful recognitions, but Again, not having been raised with Spanish, going to meet my family, going back and repeated visits to Mexico, trying to talk to the rabbit and the goat and the horse and the [01:07:00] kids and the elders, perfecting my Spanish. I was blown away that they saw me and my career at a distance.

For me to go down there, They call me a gringa, you know, this is, this is for them. This is what anybody from the States is a gringa. So I’m this white girl from the States, but they know I’m, um, you know, Mexican family. And I was so honored that these young men in charge of the committee and the community.

And then I, Got to give like this, you know, um, speech acceptance speech in Spanish on the spot. Cause I didn’t prepare anything. It was amazing. So that is a very special award recognition from, from afar, a small community to see that. Um, You know, cause they’re watching me on Facebook. They’re not on LinkedIn.

They’re watching me on Facebook. So it matters what we share. What are our wins? How do we, you know, you know, brag [01:08:00] bolder and brag bigger that it’s sharing. It’s sharing joy and accomplishments. So they were seeing all these years and they said, you know what? We want you to be the one that comes from outside because you’re doing us proud over there.

I’m two generations away. My mother was born in the States. You know, my grandfather’s the oldest of eight or oldest of 10 and they wanted me to come back down there. So to be honored where my grandfather is from, it blew my

Lesley Whitehead: That is a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Thank you. 

Lesley Whitehead: One last, well, two last questions. One is, um, what is something that they would be surprised to learn about you?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: They, the big they, you know, you know what they say, you know what they say about Heather Ana Heather Miranda. Well, um, so whoever the big they are, there’s two things that come to mind, but I’ll go, I’ll go with the first one. I [01:09:00] think, I think they, um, will be surprised to know, um, that my husband and I were honored and we got married on Good Morning America on ABC.

Lesley Whitehead: I know, I was hoping you were going to pick that because honestly, that’s a pretty big,

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda:

Lesley Whitehead: that’s a big 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: be surprised to know that, that we were a military couple honored, um, and Given a wedding of a lifetime experience is a TV wedding. Okay. There wasn’t dancing for 10 hours. Like we, we definitely do in our culture, but, um, it was phenomenal. And I’m so grateful, you know, shout out to Aaron and, and.

And, and, oh my gosh, the, all the producers and, and, and, and the hosts you know, my Michael, he was our, our pastor, people like, did he really marry you? And it was, it was amazing. And I never, there’s a long story behind it, but I never would have responded to [01:10:00] the questionnaire that spiraled it if I knew that that was behind it.

I’m not looking for attention for me and my story. I’m not looking for it for my husband and his service. But, it was a link through the USO. So shout out to them and a wonderful woman, Carrie, who, you know, took all the applications in. I just thought I was helping somebody tell my story to other military spouses.

I thought, yes, you know, there’s some of us in this space that we didn’t get to have An experience for, um, what happened to the world with the pandemic. So our, yeah, our wedding had been, uh, shut down two, two, it was going to be two weeks after we all shut down on St. Patrick’s day, um, and it was going to be, uh, two weeks later.

So to, to have fallen into an opportunity, and I guess we passed the interviews and the screening, and I think people would be surprised and you can Google it. It’s out there. It’s really,

Lesley Whitehead: [01:11:00] yeah. I was going to say, is it on YouTube? Can I watch it on YouTube? Okay.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: the ABC, ABC

Lesley Whitehead: I’m going to need to link that in the show notes. We need to see it.

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: It is amazing, but I don’t know why I have to, in fact, I need to ask the producers, I’m still in touch with, uh, one of them, um, and we’ve been trying to get together, but they didn’t put the, the whole, like a whole edited of the episode, they go up to the point, but they didn’t put the first dance. And there’s a very, very special first dance, um, artist.

It was so shocking. Um, but we were serenaded by Neo while we were dancing. But they didn’t put that on their clip. But somebody out there in the internet world did put a clip of us dancing and being sung to by Neo on Navy Pier in Chicago. So I think that’s the biggest shocker for people when they meet

Lesley Whitehead: I love that story. I can’t wait to read your memoir.[01:12:00] 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Oh, I’m working on it.


Lesley Whitehead: I know. And you know what, Heather? Wait, let me ask one other question very quickly because I don’t think I asked this in the beginning. How young are you?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Right. Oh, um, I’m, I’m as young, I’m as young as, as, as, as, as the wind and I’m as, I’m as young as, as the smile wrinkles on my face. I’m as young as these scrutinizing thought wrinkles on my forehead. I am 52 years young.

Lesley Whitehead: Thank you for sharing that. I am so grateful that you were here today and honestly, I could talk to you for hours. Let’s face it. So I would love to have you come back another time and we can dig into lots more. I know there’s so many things we didn’t even touch on that I wanted to touch on, but I just didn’t want to make this a two hour show.

We’re going to just 

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: do part one. 

Lesley Whitehead: So thank you. I am incredibly grateful for [01:13:00] how honest and transparent you were about everything you went through. And we are also grateful for you for being so bold and brave and sharing all the gifts you have and being so multi-passionate and sharing all of that with the world.

And we all look forward to seeing what’s next for you. And I will make sure that we have all the ways to connect with you, um, in the show notes, but will you share at this time how to connect with you the best ways to connect with you?

Heather Ana Hathaway Miranda: Oh, thank you. Um, yes, the easiest, I think check out my website. It’s, you know, uh, www Heather Hathaway Miranda. com. Um, but I’m on, uh, Facebook, Hathaway Miranda. Find my professional page, also Instagram Hathaway Miranda. You’ll find, uh, my Instagram page and LinkedIn of full Heather Hathaway Miranda on LinkedIn.

So. Any of those would [01:14:00] be wonderful to, um, connect and support and let’s change this world one heart, one heart print at a time.

Lesley Whitehead: Thank you, beautiful woman. You’re amazing. So grateful. Have a wonderful day. You too. Besos. Corazón. Oh, look…Hearts.

Lesley Whitehead: Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you found this episode inspiring as well as entertaining. If you want more out of the box wisdom from boots on the ground, creative, brave women like this one, subscribe to Her Story So Far podcast wherever you listen, and please share this link with anyone who needs some inspiration. To receive more wisdom in your inbox, sign up for my weekly letter at lesleywhiteheadphotography.com.

Her Story So Far podcast is produced in [01:15:00] conjunction with mad talented executive producer K.O. Myers at Particulate Media. 

Thank you to all my beautiful bold guests, without them there would be no show.

Until next time, get out there and make yourself visible to the world. We need you and your creation. If no one has told you today, You Are beautiful.

Her Story So Far

Her Story So Far focuses on outside-the-box conversations with badass female creatives. These women are birthing amazing passion projects in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of their lives. Host Lesley Whitehead is an artist, visual storyteller and multi-passionate marketer. She believes age shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dreams or make you invisible to the world. Join us to be inspired by the wit, wisdom and one-of-a-kind experiences of these amazing women.

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