Ilia Calderon Becomes First Afro-Latina To Command A Major News Desk In The U.S.

Ilia Calderón has accomplished a major feat. The Colombian journalist became the first Afro-Latina to anchor a news desk at a major national network in the United States. Calderón replaces veteran journalist Maria Elena Salinas on Noticiero Univision, The Root reports.

The 45-year-old broadcast journalist made headlines this year when she interviewed a prominent member of the Ku Klux Klan, and was called a n****r on national television – he even threatened to burn her.

READ: KKK Member Calls Univision Anchor The N-Word On Camera

Calderón managed to handle herself with poise, and completed the daunting interview. Calderón notes this opportunity will help open the doors for others. In her new role, she will sit alongside Jorge Ramos.

“It’s a great responsibility knowing that I’m opening doors for other generations, not only for journalists, but for other girls and women who want to succeed at what they do,” Calderón told People Chica of her new position. “My commitment is not only to the Afro-Hispanic community, but to the Hispanic community in general.”

READ: Afro-Latino: 6 Women Open Up About Being Black And Latina

The Emmy Award-winning reporter credits her mother, and her humble upbringing in El Chocó, Colombia for her perseverance and success.

“She was very proud that all the values she taught me are now bearing fruit, not only in me but in my sisters as well,” she said of her mother, adding that her new role is “a triumph for the entire family.”