2019 Great Immigrants Recipient

Ilia Calderón
Cohost, "Noticiero Univision" and "Aquí y Ahora," Univision
Born in:

Ilia Calderón was born in the coastal region of Choco, Colombia, to an Afro-Colombian family. After studying at the Pontifical Bolivarian University, she began her journalism career in 1994 as a local anchor in Colombia’s second largest city, Medellín, and later became the first Afro-Latina to host a national news program in Colombia. Calderón moved to Florida in 2001 when she was hired by the U.S.-based Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo to coanchor its weekend show. Six years later she transferred to competitor Univision, and in 2017 Calderón became the first Afro-Latina to anchor a major news desk in the United States when she joined veteran reporter Jorge Ramos as cohost of Noticiero Univision, the network’s flagship program. Calderón also cohosts Univision’s primetime news magazine, Aquí y Ahora. Calderón drew headlines in 2017 when she interviewed Christopher Barker, the self-styled imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan on the hate group’s own property. During the interview, Calderón steadfastly pressed Barker about his positions even in the face of racial slurs and threats to “burn” her. She won one of her two Emmys for that interview. As Calderón told Forbes, “As a journalist working for Univision, we have bigger responsibilities now in this country when racism and discrimination are coming to the surface. My role today as a black Hispanic immigrant will be to scrutinize who’s in power and to be more vigilant of civil and human rights for all our viewers.”