Zenaida Mendez Head of community access facility in East Harlem

Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) has appointed Zenaida Mendez as the Director of the MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center. Ms. Mendez previously served as MNN’s External Affairs Director.

Ms. Mendez has an extensive career in public service, media production and community activism. She first became involved in public access television in the early 90’s as an MNN community producer.

In 2006, she became MNN’s External Affairs Director and successfully led the organization’s efforts to renew cable TV agreements. As External Affairs Director she served as the liaison to key MNN constituencies including MNN producers, viewers, community organizations, elected officials, cable company representatives and local, state and federal regulators. Ms. Mendez also spearheaded the production and development of MNN’s weekly Civic Programming Block, Spanish language programming and MNN’s new program for Manhattan voters, “Represent NYC.

From 2012 to 2014 Ms. Mendez was the President of the National Organization for Women, New York State (NOW-NYS), the first woman of color to hold the position. Ms. Mendez has also worked at NOW’s National Office as well as with elected officials including former NYC Mayor David Dinkins and US Representative Charles B. Rangel. She also served with the New York City Human Rights Commission under Commissioner Dennis de Leon.

Ms. Mendez has served on boards of West Harlem Environmental Action, Committee for Hispanic Families and Children and the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence. Throughout her career, Ms. Mendez has advocated extensively on issues affecting women, including equal pay, reproductive rights, access to education, affordable childcare, affordable housing, and economic, racial and environmental justice issues. 

Born in the Dominican Republic, Ms. Mendez Mendez earned a BA in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an MA in Public Administration from the City University of New York, Graduate School of Public Affairs.