The Zunilda Fondeur Collection, Founder, Producer, and Host, Realidades Television Program
Biographical Information: Zunilda Fondeur was born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic on October 6, 1950. She graduated from Hostos Community College with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. Fondeur received a bachelor's degree in journalism and communications from the U.S. extension of Spain's Universidad Hispánica de America and was awarded an Honorary Master's degree from the Interamerican University in 2001. Fondeur began her career in journalism in her native Dominican Republic, first as a radio announcer, and quickly thereafter as a television and newspaper reporter. She worked for some of the country's most influential media outlets, including the newspaper La Voz del Pueblo and Radio Antillas. In 1970, she founded the Dominican Association of Radio Announcers. Searching for new professional opportunities, and to expand her knowledge of the industry, she emigrated to the United States in1980 and began working in New York for radio station WBNX, and as a correspondent for El Sol, the Miami paper El País, the Dominican newspaper Listín Diario, and various other newspapers throughout the United States.
She is the founder, producer, and host of Realidades, a cable television news program that enjoyed hundreds of thousands of viewers in the New York metropolitan area. It has been said that anyone who has done anything of importance among Dominicans in New York has been interviewed by Fondeur for Realidades. The program is so influential that anyone from the Dominican Republic seeking to be known among Dominicans in New York has sought to be interviewed by Fondeur. In 1990, she joined the staff of the weekly Listín USA, the New York affiliate of Listín Diario. Highly regarded and respected among her peers, Fondeur was called to leadership in the profession at various stages of her career, in the Dominican Republic and in the United States. In 1989, she became the first president of the Radio Announcers Club of New York. She has served as president of the Association of Journalists. Currently, she is director of the College of Dominican Journalists and of the Association of Reporters Covering the Arts, known by its Spanish acronym ACROBAT. In addition, Fondeur has distinguished herself through public service, contributing her talents and time to various organizations, including the Committee for the Dominican Parade, and the Juan Pablo Duarte Elementary School, both in New York.
Fondeur is the recipient of numerous awards in the United States and in the Dominican Republic. She was named one of the most influential women by the legendary magazine Temas, and was named one of the most distinguished Dominicans by Vista, the magazine of the New York Daily News. In Miami, she was awarded the Independence Award by an organization of Dominicans living abroad; in the Dominican Republic she received two Gold Microphones from the College of Dominican Journalists. Beloved among New York Dominicans, she was honored by Alianza Dominicana with the Minerva Mirabal Award, and received proclamations in her honor from New York City Councilmen Guillermo Linares and Miguel Martinez, as well as New York State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat.
Scope and Contents Note: The Zunilda Fondeur Collection comprises photographs, proclamations, magazines, invitations, flyers, newspapers, certificates of appreciation, calendars, newspaper clippings, as well as approximately 5,000 videotapes, covering a span of more than 16 years, of Realidades, an iconic television program with hundreds of thousands of New York viewers. The videotaped programs consist of Fondeur's interviews of prominent Dominican personalities, political figures, and civic and community leaders, as well as her reporting on cultural events, political campaigns, parades, and other news and public events of interest to the Dominican community. Among those interviewed are prominent Dominican political figures such as Juan Bosch and José Francisco Peña Gómez, Guillermo Linares, Adriano Espaillat, Miguel Martinez, Dominican Hall of Famer Juan Marichal, Sammy Sosa, Reginaldo Atanay, to name a few. Fondeur also interviewed many of today's leaders of the Dominican people during their early years of community activism, including Dominican President Leonel Fernández Reyna, who attended school in New York, and Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, the first Dominican elected to the New York State Assembly and the first Dominican US Congressman.