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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

WARRIOR SPOTLIGHT: Astrid Martinez, Emmy Award-Winning Journalist


by Cyrus Webb

If you want to be reminded of what’s possible then look no further than Astrid Martinez. She is someone I have had the pleasure to follow professionally, and there is no doubt she is a force to be reckoned with. In 2019 her hard work in journalism and the community were recognized when she was chosen as one of the 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia. But that only tells part of the story. She is not just a trailblazer in one state or community. She is making a difference around the world just by embracing who she is.
This conversation is sure to inspire not just other Women Warriors but all of us to dream bigger and never let go of our God-given gifts.

Astrid, thank you so much for the time. I want to begin our conversation with the honor. What was it like for you to find out that you were being recognized as one of the 50 most influential Latinos in Georgia?
It sounds cliché, but I was definitely in shock. I was in awe, because I didn't even know that people were talking about me in this way. I move about in the community, I work, I keep my head down, and I made sure that my stories are positive.  When this happened it was a lot of joy. My heart literally felt like it was extending. It comes from the community, so it means a lot to me.

You are an Emmy award-winning journalist. That in itself is an amazing feat, but also the passion. I noticed even when I was prepping for this segment watching some of the clips of your program it's very obvious that you're passionate about what you do, that you love what you do. Did this seem like a natural fit for you when it came to journalism?
I first started in TV. I've always loved media. 10 years ago when I started my career I was told you need to cover hard news. I learned to love regular hard news, and I was happy with that. But once I got to Atlanta and I positioned myself in a place where I could actually do my heart's desire and still do it professionally and ethically, that's when I started to flourish. And that's when I actually started to see myself happy, going to work every day, having more passion than when I first started. So it's worked out where whatever categories they were trying to put me in, I was able to break out of all of that, and finally be in a place where I am passionate about what I do and I can tell good stories. And just because they're entertainment doesn't mean they're fluff.

On social media you have been able to leave some great reflection pieces. On September 6th (2019) on Twitter you wrote this about the honor: ‘My heart is currently fluttering and expanding with love and gratefulness.’ Do you think that gratefulness that you have for what you do is also what has contributed to the longevity of this?
I think it shows when you're authentic, and when you're happy and operate from a place of gratitude the Universe gives back to you so much more. That's my mantra: operating from a place of gratitude, because all the energy that you put out into the world comes back.
I was born in Columbia, South America, and it was a time during a lot of political and social unrest and civil unrest.  The way that I would escape my reality would be to watch movies or listen to music from the US, so images are powerful. When I came to the US some of those images didn't align. They portrayed Latinos or black people in a certain way.  I realized how much power the media has. So even though it's just entertainment, those that are on that side of our industry really can tell a huge story to the rest of the world. We're not curing cancer, but we're telling big stories, and we have to be responsible in the narrative.

We talk a lot about especially what's happening in Atlanta. It has really made itself a force when it comes to entertainment, especially when it comes to television and film. What has it been like for you to kind of be literally in the heart of this as it's happening?
You know how when Tyler Perry first started his movie studios, there's only a few people that can say, you know, I was with him from the beginning. Now anyone who tries to get into work with him, he already has his team established. So that's how I feel when it comes to the entertainment world.  I started my segment when there was no other segment here. We're kind of pioneering this, and I just feel so great to be here from the beginning. We did this, and stars now come here to our segments because they know they have to stop here. So it's just, it's nice to know that we've been here doing this from the beginning, starting and creating something and it'll be wonderful to see, you know, once I'm done doing media, who are the next journalists that are going to take over and what they do with a segment or with the entertainment venues here.

One of the wow moments you’ve enjoyed was being able to interview Nipsey Hussle. What was that like for you to kind of reflect on?
It's crazy, because as soon as you brought up his name I got goose bumps, and I get it every time I mention him. I had heard about Nipsey Hussle about two, three years ago, so I was relatively new to him, but I knew that the work he was doing in the community was impactful and that spoke volumes. So when I went to the Grammy's, and I interviewed him, he had a demeanor about him that he was something special and I felt just so honored that he talked to me. He was so humble. He was just very gracious and polite, and he was with his family. I knew, for me, I was in the presence of greatness.

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