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February 24th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

One step closer to her Olympic dream

Editor's note: In America will continue to follow Marlen Esparza’s journey to the Olympic games of London 2012. Esparza was the focus of the CNN documentary, "Latino In America: In Her Corner," which aired in September.  The next Latino in America documentary focuses on Latino voters and airs in October 2012. 

Follow @cnnlia for more updates on Marlen and Latino in America stories.

By Elizabeth M. Nunez, CNN

(CNN) - Marlen Esparza punched her name into history books with a decisive victory at the U.S. Olympic team trials for women’s boxing on Saturday night. The win makes her part of the first female squad hoping to represent the U.S. in boxing at the Olympic Games. Female boxing is making its debut at the Olympics this year.

Gallery: Marlen Esparza at the Olympic team trials

“I’m really happy to get my foot in the door to the Olympics… I feel good that there were no bumps in the road,” 22 year-old Esparza told CNN in a phone interview.

Mexican-American Esparza from Houston defeated Tyriesha Douglas from Baltimore in the final round of the tournament with a score of 32 to 17. In amateur boxing women use protective headgear and score points by delivering clean hits to the face or chest.

“I think it’s huge for everybody and for all Hispanics in general because we love boxing. I’m glad I am the Hispanic name in the team and I’d rather it be that way. I’m honored” she said.

Marlen Esparza’s quest to become part of the U.S. Olympic team was the focus of CNN’s documentary, Latino in America: In her Corner. “I think people will start noticing [the sport] more. Hispanics just love boxing already,” she added.

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Filed under: Documentaries • Latino in America • Women
December 5th, 2011
04:14 PM ET

Poll: Was it Cain the candidate or Cain's accusers that cut his campaign short?

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain announced this weekend that he suspended his campaign. Support had waned in recent weeks after allegations of sexual harassment and a woman claimed they had a 13-year affair. He didn't officially drop out of the race, but said he suspended the campaign after assessing the impact the sex allegations had on his family and supporters.

He said again Saturday that the allegations are false and that media spin was to blame. Some argue he was undone by the sexual harassment and affair allegations, by ill-explained positions and foreign policy fumbles or by amateur political moves. Some say he didn't capture the collective black Republican support that could've helped him.

"I am not going to be silenced and I will not go away," Cain said, as he announced a new website, TheCainSolutions.com.

What do you think?

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Filed under: Politics • Polls • What we think
 Catching up with boxer Marlen Esparza
November 28th, 2011
05:25 PM ET

Boxer Marlen Esparza's fight for Olympic glory

The 2012 Olympic games in London are still months away but boxer Marlen Esparza is fighting to increase her chances at making the U.S. national team.

Esparza, who was featured in CNN’s documentary “Latino in America: In Her Corner,” won a silver medal at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries held in Surgut, Russia, this weekend.

It wasn't what she was hoping for. “I really thought I had won,” she told her coach, Rudy Silva, over the phone. The judges favored local champion, Svetlana Gnevanova, by 10 points to eight.

The tournament hosted boxers from 15 countries, which gave Esparza the chance to fight some of the women she could face at next year’s world championships or the 2012 Olympics.

Before any of that happens though, Esparza will have to make the national team and defeat her opponents at the U.S. Olympic trials in February.

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Filed under: Documentaries • Latino in America • Who we are • Women
Poll: Should using a discrimantory slur be cause to lose a job?
Director Brett Ratner won't be hosting the Oscars -- he resigned due to backlash after he used a gay slur.
November 9th, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Poll: Should using a discrimantory slur be cause to lose a job?

Movie director Brett Ratner got people angry last weekend when he made an anti-gay remark during a Q&A session after a screening of his latest feature, “Tower Heist.” The comment spawned calls for him to be fired from his job producing the Oscars and it spread like wildfire throughout the blogosphere.

He quickly apologized but critics didn’t let go, and the comment cost him the most coveted producing job on TV.

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Filed under: Black in America • Polls
October 26th, 2011
02:42 PM ET

Poll: Will your Halloween costume stereotype someone else?

Halloween is coming and students at Ohio University are speaking up against costumes that stereotype different races and ethnicities. The campaign, launched by the university’s Students Teaching Against Racism in Society, shows several young men and women holding posters of people in costumes - an Arab suicide bomber, a Latino with an oversized sombrero and stuffed donkey, a Japanese geisha.

The posters' headline: "We're a culture, not a costume."

"The best way to get rid of stereotypes and racism is to have a discussion and raise awareness, which is what we want to do with this campaign," Sarah Williams, president of the student organization told CNN.

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Polls • Race