Staff

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Brenda Victoria Castillo | President & CEO

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

Castillo currently serves as the first female President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). NHMC is a 35 year old civil rights non-profit organization that educates and increases 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. NHMC focuses on all forms of media because media is one of the most influential and powerful institutions that exist, which can have long-lasting effects on the attitudes, values, and beliefs of audience members. The Coalition also 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 in closing 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, as well as government for such companies as: BP America Inc., American Red Cross, and KTLA 5 Television.

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, with an emphasis on 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.

Araceli Velasco | Chief of Staff & Donor Relations

Araceli Velasco is the Executive Assistant and Office Manager at the National Hispanic Media Coalition headquarters. In her role, Araceli not only handles the day-to-day operations of the office, but also participates in the production of the NHMC’s KHBG-LP 101.5 FM Radio station and podcasts, and coordinates the NHMC Writers Programs.

Prior to joining the NHMC family, Araceli worked at Alma Family Services, in the Community Integration Training (CIT) program in East Los Angeles. Araceli helped launch the Supported Employment pilot program for adults with developmental disabilities. Through assessments with clients, and networking with local businesses for potential employment, Araceli sought to bring diversity into the workforce of the community and bring equity and inclusion for people with unique abilities.

Before Alma, Araceli worked at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy – Sandra Cisneros Learning Academy in Echo Park. Here, she provided support and resources to students and their families, as well as health and wellness, and leadership trainings to parents. She also planned and executed special events, managed the campus website and social media, and all aspects of communications. Araceli supported in the outreach for parent engagement and promoted a positive organizational culture for faculty and staff.

Araceli grew up in Koreatown in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico. Very early in her life, Araceli noticed the injustices in our society, especially in education and in the media. She is an advocate for early media literacy and Ethnic Studies in K-12, and for the fair representation of all people in the media. She received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Organizational Communication and Public Relations from California State University, Los Angeles.

Wishing to bring a voice to people of color (especially to women), she started a podcast along with a few colleagues, where they discussed topics of intersectionality, and the lack of representation in the film and television. She now happily continues this journey at NHMC.

Outside of work, Araceli enjoys watching her favorite show, Doctor Who, painting, or running her photo booth and event photography business.

She is obsessed with her pups Flower the Pekingese and Pepper the Terrier.

Felicia Mora | Special Events Manager

Felicia Mora supports the planning and execution of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s events throughout the year and serves as the organization’s community liaison, representing the organization at events and conferences within the Los Angeles area.

Before joining NHMC, Felicia worked at various non-profit educational institutions, advocating for low-income people of color. Most recently, she managed Irvine Valley College’s multicultural event programming within their Equity and Diversity Department. There she organized large events including their Día Del Los Muertos and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Felicia grew up in Whittier, California and is the first in her family to graduate from college. Originally headed toward the fashion industry, she eventually discovered a passion for understanding intersectional multiculturalism.

Felicia graduated from Cal State Fullerton, where she earned her B.A. in American Studies and a Minor in Art. She is a proud Chicana and Filipina-American. When not at NHMC, she enjoys spending time with her two-year-old son or attending local events, supporting artists in the surrounding community.

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 overall community. He helps to coordinate and strategize NHMC’s social media in order to best serve Latinx, and all POC, and promote all the hard work of the team.

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 Castillo’s. Cruz is an advocate for the underdog, fighting for those not often thought of or given 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.