RAQUEL CORONELL URIBE

President
The Harvard Crimson


Heritage: Colombian

By: Frank Morris Lopez

Awards & Recognitions:

  • First Latinx editor of The Harvard Crimson

 

Her parents faced death threats and fled their home country when she was just 6 years old. A decade later, she was diagnosed with leukemia. But nothing could stop Raquel Coronell Uribe from becoming the first Latinx president in the nearly 150-year-old history of The Harvard Crimson, the nation’s oldest, continuously published daily university publication.

“When I got the call that I got the position, I was shell-shocked. I didn’t believe it,” said Coronell Uribe, who began her historic term in January.

She said she knew ahead of time, had she landed the role, that she would be the first Latina in that position — and it’s a point she made sure to bring up when applying for the seat. “I think representation is really important. Black people and Latinos, especially in the leadership level in journalism, are really underrepresented,” she said.

 

As president, Coronell Uribe oversees all aspects of the newspaper’s operations, which are editorially and financially independent from the university. She manages nearly 300 staffers, and well as The Crimson’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts with a combined 130,000 followers. 

Coronell Uribe says The Crimson has come a long way in recent years to make sure underreported voices are shared, and that she’s most proud of “the stories that make a difference.” One such example is that of Rodrigo Ventocilla Ventosilla, a trans Harvard student who died while in police custody in Indonesia while on a honeymoon with his spouse. It was the first story The Crimson had ever translated into Spanish.

Coronell Uribe comes from a family of journalists. Her father was a reporter in Colombia, where his investigative reporting resulted in death threats, prompting the family to leave the country. He then went on to become president of Univision News, a position he held until last year. Her mother was a TV news anchor back home, and is still someone she leans on for news judgment and advice when covering stories at The Crimson, Coronell Uribe said.

 

In high school, Coronell Uribe received some of the scariest news imaginable: She had leukemia. After a three year battle, she beat the disease. “Going through that really gives you perspective that things could be so much worse,” she said.

But things are looking up for Coronell Uribe. She is slated to graduate from Harvard University next May. Her ultimate dream job is to one day be an international correspondent.

“Keep fighting the good fight and telling those stories,” she advises other Latino journalists. “Just you being in that newsroom lends to a different perspective that isn’t really common in the industry. And advocate for yourself. Giving myself that chance is really the only reason it’s worked out.”