Presidential Lecture Series

Nairoby Otero

Recognition Year: 
2014-15

Broadway actress, writer, producer, promoting solidarity among women

"Solidarity in the Face of Divisive Sexist Attitudes"

September 30, 2014

5:30 p.m. Public Reception
E156 Student Union

7 p.m. Lecture
Apollo Room, Student Union

Co-sponsored with Office of Latino Affairs

Nairoby Otero is an actress, writer, producer, speaker, and proud first-generation Cuban-American. She has been called “...an absolute delight…” by critics. Her work has been praised in various publications, including the New York Daily News.

The company she founded, YOLO! Productions, aims to enhance women’s visibility in theater. Otero will perform as Roberta in John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea this fall. She recently starred in The Coven as Mandy while balancing her company and a successful speaking career.

Otero’s speaking career began after she campaigned nationwide for Hillary Clinton, then John McCain in 2008. She witnessed firsthand the poor way both Clinton and Sarah Palin were treated by the media. This motivated her to speak out against sexism and hatred that discourage young women from achieving success.

While on the campaign trail, she thought of her girlfriends, her sister, her abuela, and her mother, who escaped from Cuba during the 1971 “Freedom Flights.” Otero grew up in a family where the women were both respected and in charge. Speaking on sisterhood is her way of making sure people, especially young women, know that respect for women isn’t a fantasy; it can be a vital reality.

Otero is the youngest board member of The New Agenda, a national organization that strives to improve the lives of women and girls by bringing about systemic change in the media, at the workplace, at school, and at home. Its work has been featured on Politico, CNBC, CNN, and NPR. Otero gained attention through The New Agenda’s blog, eliciting hundreds of emails and sharing on social media for her writing. 

Otero moved to New York City after high school to pursue a career in acting. She attended the prestigious Marymount Manhattan College, earning a degree in theatre performance.

The New Orleans native is well known for her solo show, 'Til Sunday, written and performed by Otero and directed by Michelle Tattenbaum. Otero has performed in ensemble theater and film from regional to off-Broadway’s own Cherry Lane Theatre.