Staff

Brenda Victoria Castillo | President & CEO

Castillo is an activist, feminist, national strategic leader, and renowned speaker in diversity & inclusion, hate speech, media, civil rights, and social justice. She is an expert in alliance building, authentic storytelling, Latinx entertainment, and women’s issues. Castillo is a big believer that digital rights are a human right, that there is an absolute correlation between hate rhetoric and hate crimes, and that tech companies must be held accountable for the rampant hate speech on their platforms.

Castillo currently serves as the first female President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). NHMC is a civil rights nonprofit organization that educates and increases the visibility of Latinx from their policy work in Washington D.C. to their media advocacy in Hollywood, where they collaborate, create, and connect Latinx talent with the entertainment industry. The Coalition collaborates with other civil rights organizations to eliminate online hate and advocates for online platforms to be accountable for their content. NHMC ensures that Latinx and historically marginalized communities stay connected by working to close the digital divide. The National Hispanic Media Coalition is a founding member of Help Tech Stop Hate, Change the Terms, Stop Hate for Profit, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, and National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.

Castillo is an L.A. Emmy award-winning producer and media production director with decades of C-suite experience in the private and nonprofit sectors and the government for such companies as BP America Inc., American Red Cross, and KTLA 5 Television.

Martin E. Rivera, Esq. | Senior Policy Counsel

Martin E. Rivera is a Boricua from Juncos, Puerto Rico. He currently serves as the Senior Policy Counsel for the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). Being raised in Florida, he is aware of the importance
of civic engagement and unlocking Latinx civic potential to ensure that members of the Latinx community are in leadership positions when vital decisions are taken.

Before joining NHMC, Martin served as the Director of Government Affairs of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA). He led the federal and local legislative priorities and agenda before policymakers, industry representatives, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Before PRFAA, he served as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Darren Soto in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Florida Senate, where he oversaw various issues such as immigration, health care, and the environment.

Throughout his career, Martin has strived to advance policies that protect fundamental rights and provide essential services to communities in need. From helping the Hurricanes Irma and Maria victims to protecting immigrant communities and working to close the digital divide, Martin is dedicated to ensuring that the Latinx community has the resources and opportunities it deserves. Martin is a member of the Florida Bar and earned his Juris Doctor from the Florida Coastal School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida.

Daiquiri Ryan, Esq. | Strategic Legal Advisor & Policy Counsel

Daiquiri Ryan is a Tejana and first-generation lawyer with a passion for social justice and technology. As NHMC’s Strategic Legal Advisor and Policy Counsel, she is a new type of advocate, emphasizing movement-building, storytelling, and strategic policy outcomes. Daiquiri is a subject matter expert in broadband access, net neutrality, platform accountability, and other telecommunications and tech policy issues. Throughout her time with NHMC, Daiquiri has been a featured speaker at conferences and events such as Civil Rights x Tech, LULAC’s State of Latinx Summit, Latinx Tech Summit, and The Lawyer’s Committee’s Online Hate and Privacy Symposium. She is also a distinguished author with publications like Lack Of Internet Access Threatens 2020 Census Success And The Future Latino Voting Power and features in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Gizmodo, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

In addition to her role at NHMC, Daiquiri is the Co-founder at Neta Collab, a digital-first branding and marketing agency dedicated to social justice, the Vice President at the Joey Ryan Foundation, and Chairwoman for the Latinas in Tech DC Metro Chapter. A proud alumna of Arizona State University and The George Washington University School of Law, Daiquiri enjoys lazy Sundays with her partner, José, and her dog Lupita.

Julio Chavez | Policy Fellow

Julio Chavez is a proud first-gen Latino from South Central Los Angeles. He recently served as an intern for the UCLA Labor Center, where he worked as a student researcher, assisting on several community-related projects. Previously, Julio has held positions with various community-oriented non-profits and has worked towards bridging what he has learned in the classroom to his experiences growing up in Los Angeles. He holds two degrees from the University of Los Angeles California in Labor Studies and Chicano Studies with minors in Education Studies and Civic Engagement and Social Change.

Angelis Pajares | Policy Fellow

Angelis Pajares serves as a policy fellow on the NHMC Policy Team. As a first-generation college student from SW Florida, she is currently finishing up her final year at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in English and political science. Throughout her undergraduate career, Angelis has always had a strong passion for politics. As the daughter of Peruvian and Venezuelan immigrants, she has become more interested in policies that directly affect Latinx communities.

After having the opportunity to intern on Capitol Hill as a legislative intern, Angelis realized that she wanted to work as a closer advocate for the Latinx community that she so powerfully identifies with. During her time at NHMC, her knowledge of the gravity of digital inequity has only grown. She has significantly become invested in the organization’s mission to improve broadband access among Latinx communities. Her work has primarily focused on research surrounding the Emergency Broadband Benefit. Angelis hopes to pursue law school in the future to become more well versed in the legal components of this policy-making and continue to support Latinx communities.

Hannah Mushet-Cardenas | Communications Fellow

Hannah serves as the Communications fellow at NHMC. She has a B.A. in Film and Digital Media with a minor in Education from U.C. Santa Cruz. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Diego.

Hannah’s home and heart are the San Gabriel Valley, CA, where she grew up and came back to teach after completing her Bachelor’s degree. She taught high school CTE video production for four years in the East San Gabriel Valley and loved every minute of it. Hannah is a first-generation college graduate and first-generation Mexican-American. Her passion for film making, film studies, and equitable education has always been at the core of everything she does. She hopes to help create change and is excited to work in media advocacy.

Araceli Velasco | Chief of Staff & Donor Relations

Araceli serves as the Chief of Staff and Donor Relations Manager at the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). She is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, where she majored in Public Relations and Organizational Communications. Her passion for representation in the entertainment industry started in community college, as she pursued her associate’s degree in Film. Realizing that she was not only one of three women, but she was also the only Latina in her cohort, she was determined to work towards equity in fields Latinx, particularly women, are still underrepresented. She strongly believes education is where it all begins and is a believer and advocate for ethnic studies and digital media literacy.

Born and raised in Koreatown, Los Angeles, California, Araceli is the youngest of three daughters to parents who immigrated from Oaxaca, Mexico. She is a proud pet-parent to a Pekingese, a Terrier-Mix rescue, and a goldfish.

Felicia Mora | Special Events Manager

Felicia Mora delegates the planning and logistics of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s events from inception to completion. Over the past few years she has assisted in rebranding and improving the structure and coordination of NHMC’s events. 

Felicia is a fourth-generation Angeleno. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Cal State LA in Chicanx/Latinx Studies. She is a proud Chicanx/Native/Filipinx-American, human-parent, and cat mom. 

 

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Cruz Castillo | External Relations & Digital Media Manager

Cruz Castillo is a part of the team’s external affairs, creating networks and building bridges with organizations, individuals, and the community. He helps coordinate and strategizes NHMC’s social media to serve Latinx and all POC best and promote all the team’s hard work.

Before joining NHMC, Cruz has worked various jobs ranging from NBCUniversal to CTV Canada. He has years of experience in the entertainment industry ranging from production crew to social media.
Cruz grew up in Whittier, California, and is one of many in his family to graduate from a university; the bar is set high with the Castillos. Cruz advocates for the underdog, fighting for those not often thought of or given the opportunity.

Cruz graduated from Cal State Los Angeles, where he earned his B.A. in Interpersonal Communication. He is a proud Indigenous Native living on stolen land. When not at NHMC, he enjoys spending his time reading, being active in the community, and filmmaking.

Georgina Zamora | Executive Assistant

Georgina Zamora is the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. A first-generation Mexican-American, she graduated from the University of California, Irvine, in 2021 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Management. She started as an Events & Communications Fellow here at NHMC and was then promoted to staff upon the end of her fellowship. Georgina grew up in the San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley, CA, where she has always had a passion for film, the environment, sports, and social activism. Upon joining NHMC, she realized she has a new love for digital equity and hopes to return to school one day to continue her education and learn how to combat the injustices that the Latinx community faces on a day-to-day basis.