January 2015

In this edition of NHMC at Work

  • Apply Today! Opportunity for Latino Content Creators
  • Buy Tickets Now for 18th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala
  • NHMC Testifies Before Congress to Protect Open Internet
  • Media/Telecommunications Policy Update
  • New Film Tells Moving Story of Young Undocumented American Latinos Driven to Succeed Against All Odds
  • ‘A Most Violent Year’ Sets the Standard for Latino Inclusion in Hollywood Films
News Briefs
  • Jane the VirginThe CW’s “Jane The Virgin” shed light on immigration issues in its Martin Luther King, Jr. Day episode. Viewers learned that Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) grandmother (Ivonne Coll) faces deportation. The comedy-drama’s showrunner Jennie Urman told BuzzFeed that “The hope is by personalizing this issue, and playing it out through beloved characters, we can make the political, personal… and hopefully raise consciousness, and compassion.”
  • NPR’s Latino USA aired a series of segments focusing on Afro-Latino identity and issues.
  • This year’s Oscars will be the “whitest since 1998.” In an op-ed on Fox News Latino, NHMC’s President and CEO called attention to the lack of diversity in Oscar nominations as a reflection of the entire entertainment industry’s failure to diversify its workforce. In the piece, he urges the entire industry to make Latino inclusion an immediate business imperative. A Latina.com story highlights 12 celebrities for increased diversity in Hollywood.
  • Good News: director Alejandro González Iñárritu received three Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and for Best Director on the critically acclaimed Birdman starring Michael Keaton.
Disney Princess
  •  Disney announced its first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor, whose animated series will premiere in 2016. NHMC TV Writers Program alumna Silvia Cardenas Olivas is the show’s story editor.
  • East West Players (EWP), the nation’s largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is calling on the American Theatre to increase diversity.”The 51% Preparedness Plan for the American Theatre,” is a vision statement aimed at ensuring theaters are adequately prepared for diversity and inclusion in 2042, the year people of color are projected to reach 51% of the United States population. NHMC proudly supports EWP’s call to action.
  • Changing AmericaOn MSNBC’s new online show “Changing America,” host Maria Teresa Kumar talks to actors George Lopez and Carlos PenaVega about their new film “Spare Parts,” and the importance of Latino representation in Hollywood and beyond.
  • Gina RodriguezCongratulations to Gina Rodriguez on her Golden Globe win for Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for her role on the CW’s Jane the Virgin! Gina’s acceptance speech triggered a social media frenzy earlier this month: “Thank you God for making me an artist. Thank you to my mom and my dad for telling me to dream big and to never stop dreaming. To my siblings, to my sisters Evelise and Rebecca for being the biggest role models in my life. This award is so much more than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes. My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today’s going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad, today’s going to be a great day. I can and I did.”

NHMC Media/Telecommunications Policy Shop Update
The NHMC policy team rested up (and ate lots of cookies) over the holidays, and it was a good thing, too, because in January, we hit the ground running. Our new year’s resolution workouts consist of running from one meeting to the next. Net Neutrality and the Open Internet Jessica GonzalezNHMC’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Jessica J. González, was invited to represent the public interest on January 21 before the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. First and foremost, Jessica urged Congress to allow the Federal Communications Commission to carry out its Open Internet rulemaking process rather than move forward with draft legislation that is currently under consideration that would stop this process in its tracks. She testified about the importance of an Open Internet and pointed out that provisions in the draft legislation would strip the FCC of important powers to protect consumers and promote broadband access and adoption for poor and rural communities. NHMC has spent much of the last decade urging the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, which would allow the FCC to prohibit discriminatory practices, among other things. Consumer Protection The FCC invited NHMC and other advocacy organizations to discuss ways the agency’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) can improve consumer protection and empowerment efforts. NHMC commends the FCC’s new, user-friendly, one-stop-shop complaint form, but in the meeting we reminded staff about the importance of releasing consumer alerts and tools in English and Spanish. We are eager to work with CGB on ensuring protections for all consumers, including those in Spanish-dominant households.
  Latinas in Technology Executive Roundtable Optimistic about Diversifying Industry NHMC and dozens of leaders from technology startups, educational organizations, software companies and more convened at Google’s DC headquarters to discuss how to encourage more Latinas to pursue STEM jobs (in science, technology, engineering, and math). The roundtable, hosted by the National Center for Women in Technology, included testimonials from successful Latinas in technology who refused to stand down when everyone urged them to reconsider their career choices.
  Spare Parts Spared No Emotion We viewed a special Washington, DC policy-edition screening of Spare Parts starring George Lopez as the substitute teacher of a rag-tag group of undocumented Latino teens who need something to believe in as much as they need someone to believe in them. Each teen contributed a different intellectual skill to help build an underwater robot for a scholastic competition. In a panel after the screening, Lopez said, “We need more movies like these to change cultural norms.”He said he was drawn to the movie because it portrayed Latinos as intellectual characters rather than just promoting their athletic abilities. NHMC always applauds movies that depict Latinos as dynamic, non-stereotypical characters.
  Meet and Greets on the Hill NHMC attended Rep. Tony Cardenas swearing in at the U.S. House of Representatives where we met and broke bread (traditional Mexican dessert bread) with other policy staffers from organizations across DC. NHMC has also been making the rounds meeting and greeting freshmen representatives and senators and introducing them to NHMC’s policy priorities and positions on Net Neutrality.
  Buy Tickets Now for the 18th Annual NHMC Impact Awards GalaGala Fast approaching is NHMC’s premier event, the 18th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala, being held on Friday, February 20, 2015 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. At the annual gala, NHMC celebrates outstanding contributions to the positive portrayals of Latinos in media. Past honorees include Robert Rodriguez, Diego Luna, Michelle Rodriguez, America Ferrera, James Cameron, George Lopez, Mario Lopez, Rosario Dawson, and Demian Bichir. Discounted tickets are available now by visiting www.nhmc.org/ImpactAwards.
  A Most Violent Year Latino Premiere Club Recommends ‘A Most Violent Year’ The Latino Premiere Club, a new partnership between the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and the LatinHeat Media Institute, overwhelmingly voted to recommend A24’s crime drama film A Most Violent Year following a screening held at ArcLight Cinemas in Pasadena, California on January 30. The film, written and directed by J.C. Chandor, stars Guatemalan-Cuban-American actor Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. Isaac plays the lead character, Abel Morales, a Latino immigrant businessman in New York City whose efforts to expand his company are threatened by attacks and corruption. In a Q&A session following the screening, panelist Moctesuma Esparza, a veteran film producer and CEO of Maya Cinemas, heralded A Most Violent Year as a “potential turning point in how Hollywood represents who we [American Latinos] are.”. Watch A Most Violent Year in theaters now. Spread the word on social media: Facebook: facebook.com/amostviolentyear Twitter: @mostviolentyear Hashtag: #AMVY
  Watch Spare Parts Starring George LopezSpare Parts Spare Parts is an inspirational true story about four undocumented Latino high school students in Phoenix, Arizona who form a robotics club under the leadership of their school’s newest teacher. With no experience, $800, used carparts and a dream, the team excels and ultimately goes up against the country’s reigning robotics champion, MIT, the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. The film stars George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Carlos PenaVega and Marisa Tomei. Watch Spare Parts in theaters now. View the trailer here. Spread the word on social media, using the hashtag #SpareParts. LIKE the film on Facebook Follow @SparePartsMovie on Instagram Follow the cast on Twitter: @georgelopez, @TheCarlosPena, @alexavega, @Curtisjamielee, @marisatomei
  NHMC and BabyFirst Launch Annual Programming Competition BabyFirst BabyFirst, the TV network devoted to delivering high-quality child development programming to tots and their parents, announced has teamed up with NHMC to launch an annual Latino-themed programming competition. Called “Rising Creators Project,” the competition invites emerging talent – writers, musicians, animators and producers – to submit their idea or existing children’s TV series for consideration. An esteemed panel of media executives will select one winner whose show will appear on BabyFirst for two years, reaching 41 million households throughout the U.S.Entries can be submitted now through March 15, 2015 at www.risingcreators.com. A panel of judges will review the submissions and select finalists and, ultimately, a winner. The winning producer will then work with the network’s production team to create their content or fine-tune their existing work before it premieres on BabyFirst. The winner will fully own the rights to the series and will be entitled to 50% of revenues the series directly generates across platforms other than the BabyFirst television network. All submissions must be suitable for children 2-4 years old, and should have an educational basis for early childhood learning. Acceptable content includes music, animation, scripts, show concepts and existing works. The content should embody and embrace Latino culture.Judges will consider educational and entertainment value, ingenuity, age-appropriateness and cultural relevance.
  NHMC Welcomes New Fellow and Intern Jonathan-MulliganNHMC recently welcomed J.J. Mulligan, a third year law student from UC Davis School of Law, as its Spring 2015 Facebook Policy Fellow. The paid fellowship program, housed at NHMC, allows one law student per semester to learn about media and telecommunications policy issues from a civil rights and public interest perspective. Originally from Reno, Nevada ,J. J. was raised in a bi-cultural household, with an American-born father and a mother who is a Chilean exile. As a law student at UC Davis, J. J. has been a board member of the La Raza Law Students Association and the ACLU at King Hall, and also an editor on the Journal of International Law and Policy. To read more about J.J., click here.
Angela PachecoNHMC also recently welcomed Angela Pacheco, a communications major in her final year at Azusa Pacific University, as our Spring 2015 Communications Intern. Angela is originally from San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California and is the proud product of a Puerto Rican-American family.
At her university, Angela has been involved with the Communication Department’s honor society, Lambda Pi Eta, serving as Vice President of the Alpha Nu Chapter. She was also a writer and reporter for the university’s online campus news show, Capture.
To read more about Angela, click here.
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