It’s no secret to anyone that, despite notable progress, Hollywood still lacks adequate Latino inclusion in its programming and employment.
Imagine being an aspiring Latina/o filmmaker, actor or writer growing up in Inglewood, Washington Heights, Hialeah, or Omaha. The chances of “making it” are slim for anyone, but not everyone has a fair and equal shot at making it. The problem is not just casting directors at television networks or film studios, but also that managers and agents are not tapping into the places where Latino actors and writers thrive; and as a result of limited access, many Latinos and other people of color are excluded.
Studies from the last few years have shown that Latinos lead the way in terms of support for LGBT issues in this country. But all communities have a long way before we can really say that our LGBT family members are fully accepted, respected and included; as evidenced by the fact that 40% of homeless youth are LGBT and of those, 26% are Latino. In other words, homeless youth are disproportionately LGBT, and homeless LGBT youth are disproportionately Latino.
According to a 2011 Forbes article, 70% of employees hate their jobs. “[P]eople want to be inspired,” the article stated. “They want to work toward a higher purpose and feel good about themselves and their leader.” By this shocking statistic, it’s evident that it’s not easy to find a job with a higher purpose in an organization led by an inspirational leader. Happily, at NHMC we have both. This is why on my last day at NHMC after nine years, I feel compelled to put pen to paper, as they say, and share with you a bit of NHMC history.
In an open letter addressed to Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, NHMC President & CEO Alex Nogales denounced a recent segment that called the children of immigrants “children of the corn,” emphasizing that this is only the latest instance in Fox News’ long history of anti-immigrant and anti-Latino hate speech.
Open Letter to Roger Ailes, CEO and Chairman of Fox News Channel
Dear Mr. Ailes:
The Fall 2013 TV season has started, and we’re excited to see the many Latino actors and actresses on-screen in new and returning shows.
Every year, we get more Latinos both in front and back of camera, and though there remains a lot of work to be done, this is something worth recognizing. The following are shows we like from this season (as well as some you may have missed that premiered this summer).
List of NHMC’s Favorites for the Fall 2013 Television Season:
Pedro A. Avila is from East Los Angeles, California. His parents are both Mexican immigrants. His mother is from Merida, Yucatan, and his father from Mexicali. Pedro’s parents migrated to the U.S. for greater opportunity, and to provide their children with a better life. Pedro has always been committed to aiding his community.
This week, September 9-15 is National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week. In observance, NHMC — along with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The New America Foundation, the National Consumer Law Center, the United Church of Christ, Office of Communication, Inc., and the Media Action Grassroots Network — will co-host two events Thursday, September 12 that are open to media and the community, bringing together advocates and policymakers to discuss the importance of the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline Program.
The 2010 census and the last Presidential election made it clear that the U.S. Latino population can no longer be ignored. This is truly an exciting time for Latinos in media and for NHMC’s work to increase Latino employment—on-screen and behind-the-scenes—in the entertainment industry, increase positive portrayals of Latinos in news and entertainment media, and advocate for telecommunications policies that benefit Latinos and other people of color.
For 11 years, NHMC’s Local Impact Awards has been honoring Southern California media professionals and entities, as well as public servants and community leaders, whose achievements, generosity of spirit, and courage under fire have greatly benefited the region’s Latino community.
Yesterday the New York Times published an excellent piece by departing Ford Foundation President, Luis Ubinas, noting the need to prepare our classrooms and our children for 21st century digital learning. Today I am happy to share this piece with NHMC readers:
On June 6, at a middle school in Mooresville, N.C., President Obama set a goal of high-speed Internet in nearly every public school in America in five years. It was a bold and needed pronouncement — except that in 1996 President Clinton said virtually the same thing, calling for libraries and classrooms to be “hooked up to the Information Superhighway by the year 2000.”
Much has been made in the media over the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program, which helps make telephone service more affordable for poor families. Most of the media coverage, however, has been slanted and misleading.
Last month I testified at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on Communications and Technology titled “The Lifeline Fund: Money Well Spent?” My testimony provided a factual account of the history of the Lifeline program and the ways in which it is bettering lives today.
This week NHMC welcomed Randy D. Abreu to Washington, DC as its 2013 summer Google fellow. The Google Policy Fellowship program is a highly selective summer employment program through which Google provides stipends to students to work on Internet and technology issues at non-profit organizations, like NHMC.
Originally from The Bronx, New York, Randy was born to parents from the Dominican Republic. His mother came to the United States with hopes of providing an opportunistic experience to her children in a land where the American Dream reigned true. Randy attended the High School of American Studies in the Bronx, one of New York City’s six specialized high schools.
Eva Longoria seems to be carrying some extra weight on her petite shoulders as the Executive Producer for “Devious Maids.” The Lifetime channel show, scheduled to premiere on June 23, has created some buzz and not necessarily all positive. The cause of the flurry is Hollywood’s eternal obsession with the Latina maid stereotype that Latinos are so tired of seeing on the small and big screens.