Latinx—What Does it Really Mean?
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Latinx is a gender neutral term often used in lieu of Latino or Latina that refers to individuals with cultural ties to Latin America and individuals with Latin American descent. The -x replaces the standard o/a ending of Latino and is intended to be more gender inclusive.

The term originally appeared online in queer forums, but has slowly gained recognition in academic spaces and social media platforms. There is a current ongoing debate surrounding the usage of the term, as well as the other proposed attempts at introducing gender neutrality.

Latinx is mainly used in academic spaces and social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter. College students in particular have taken to using the word, especially within Latino student organizations.

At Princeton University, the Princeton University Latinx Perspective Organization was created in 2016 to “unify Princeton’s diverse Latinx community.” Student run organizations that utilize Latinx in their title also exist at other institutions, including Oberlin College and Conservatory, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Iowa State University, highlighting the widespread usage of the term at the undergraduate level.

The term has also gained massive popularity given its usage on social media platforms. Originally used online, Latinx has been increasingly used by multiple blogs that cater to a Latino audience, which has added to its popularity. Prominent Latino run websites like BeVisible Latinx, we are mitú, and Remezcla have utilized the word extensively on their own websites, bringing awareness of the word to a larger audience.

While Latinx has been increasingly used amongst college students and academics, the term itself has not achieved widespread usage at the US national level. Race and ethnicity categories on official United States federal government documents only offer the category of Hispanic or Latino.
No other gender neutral term like Latine or Latin@ are utilized on these forms either.

Although utilization of Latinx is nonexistent on official government documentation, mention of the word has been made in past bills. In a proposed bill to the US Senate, the Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England utilized the word Latinx when advocating for the passing of Senate Bill 147. The mention of the term within official US documentation is a testament to the widening use of the term beyond academic spaces.

Hispanics In Wine Organization Aims To Empower Latinx Wine Communities
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Hispanics in Wine cofounders Lydia Richards and Maria Calvert holding two glasses of wine up to the camera with a sunset over a city behind them.

By Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, Forbes

Social organization Hispanics in Wine was founded with the aim of promoting equality and diversity and helping Latinx professionals advance in the wine industry. Founded in September 2020, it consists of a social media space and website which serve as a digital platform for insight into opportunities and resources for members of the community.

It was established by Lydia Richards and Maria Calvert alongside wine professional Ivonne Nill. The organization’s mission is to give back to Spanish-speaking communities by promoting equality and helping the new generation of Latinx professionals advance in the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine also intends to help wine companies better communicate with their Spanish-speaking consumers.

Cofounders Maria Calvert and Lydia Richards met while working in wine public relations at Colangelo & Partners, a well-known agency with offices in New York and California. Calvert, a native of Quito, Ecuador, is currently working as an independent Public Relations Consultant with a focus on startup and established brands in wine and food, while Richards, who hails from Panama, recently started a job as PR Manager at Taub Family Companies: Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections.

At this time Hispanics in Wine has more than 30 members and is prepared to grow as word spreads within the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine aims to encourage and connect people from diverse backgrounds to pursue their career path in the industry through the organization. It also intends to help wine brands and companies cater to the Latinx population in the U.S., whose buying power is forecasted to top $1.9 trillion by 2023.

As Women’s Month draws to a close, we are concluding our focus on women in the wine industry with this interview of co-founder Maria Calvert.

World Wine Guys: What was the impetus behind starting Hispanics in Wine?

Maria Calvert: In 2018, I transitioned to the wine industry and met Lydia Richards at a public relations agency. As part of our PR jobs, we work closely with all types of professionals in the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries, including sommeliers, retail stores, restaurants, trade, press, wine brands, winemakers, marketing professionals, and many others. Coming new into the wine industry, you see people of color cutting the grapes and working behind the scenes, but we noticed the lack of representation and diversity when attending trade events, press trips, and executive meetings. In addition to the lack of BIPOC, Hispanic, and Latinx professionals in decision-making roles, we noticed the lack of Spanish language resources for our community, brands neglecting Hispanic and Latinx consumers, and the need to amplify the work done by vineyard stewards.

As a result of our professional experience as two Latina immigrants in the wine industry and Covid disproportionately impacting the hospitality industry and minority communities, we decided to launch Hispanics in Wine in September 2020. We chose this month in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Culturally, Hispanics and Latinx work together as a community; it’s part of our pride, family, our roots. Community is so important to us, and this is something that we are trying to replicate with Hispanics in Wine. We created this centralized digital space for individuals to feel welcomed by the industry, to find important English and Spanish resources, to provide a sense of community with other Hispanics & Latinx alcohol and hospitality professionals, and more importantly, to educate the public about our communities and amplify the diverse talent and knowledge we offer and promote more representation in the industry.

WWG: Which areas of the wine community have you drawn members from thus far?

MC: The Hispanics in Wine team are four women with different professional careers, hailing from different countries, and different journeys in the wine industry: Lydia Richards, Ivonne Nill, Emilia Alvarez, and myself. It is important to highlight our team diversity because it allows us to understand the industry’s needs, bridging the gap for opportunities and language, and build a broad Hispanic and Latinx beverage and hospitality community.

As a result of our team’s efforts and continued outreach, we have connected with wine professionals across the United States and worldwide. We have a community that covers the spectrum of wine and hospitality. For example, we have Nial Harris García, Wine Director at the Conrad Hotel in Washington D.C., Hugo Arias, Head Sommelier at The Grill in Washington D.C., Gabriela Fernández, Marketing and Event Coordinator for a California wine producer, Jesica Vargas, Founder and Wine Blogger of AndesUncorked, DeAnna Ornelas, President of non-profit organization AHIVOY, Sam Parra, Owner of PARRA Wines Co., and many others. Our Hispanics in Wine community is growing every day, and we have received tremendous support from many wine professionals in the industry who want to help in any way possible.

WWG: How are you reaching Latinx members of the wine community in order to let them know about Hispanics in Wine?

MC: We are working with our Hispanics in Wine community to help spread the word, share the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series” within their network, and notify other Hispanics and Latinx professionals about this initiative. We started Hispanics in Wine on social media, and we now have a website. We have received inquiries from individuals trying to pursue a career in wine who reached out to us via Instagram, and individuals who found our website via Google GOOG +2.8% search. We have also received inquiries from other Hispanic and Latinx professionals asking how they can help with the initiative and perhaps serve as mentors.

Click here to read the full article on Forbes.

Hispanics In Wine Organization Aims To Empower Latinx Wine Communities
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two women smile at the camera and hold a glass of wine as the sun sets in the background

Social organization Hispanics in Wine was founded with the aim of promoting equality and diversity and helping Latinx professionals advance in the wine industry. Founded in September 2020, it consists of a social media space and website which serve as a digital platform for insight into opportunities and resources for members of the community.

It was established by Lydia Richards and Maria Calvert alongside wine professional Ivonne Nill. The organization’s mission is to give back to Spanish-speaking communities by promoting equality and helping the new generation of Latinx professionals advance in the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine also intends to help wine companies better communicate with their Spanish-speaking consumers.

Photo: Forbes

Cofounders Maria Calvert and Lydia Richards met while working in wine public relations at Colangelo & Partners, a well-known agency with offices in New York and California. Calvert, a native of Quito, Ecuador, is currently working as an independent Public Relations Consultant with a focus on startup and established brands in wine and food, while Richards, who hails from Panama, recently started a job as PR Manager at Taub Family Companies: Palm Bay International and Taub Family Selections.

At this time Hispanics in Wine has more than 30 members and is prepared to grow as word spreads within the wine and hospitality industries. Hispanics in Wine aims to encourage and connect people from diverse backgrounds to pursue their career path in the industry through the organization. It also intends to help wine brands and companies cater to the Latinx population in the U.S., whose buying power is forecasted to top $1.9 trillion by 2023.

As Women’s Month draws to a close, we are concluding our focus on women in the wine industry with this interview of co-founder Maria Calvert.

World Wine Guys: What was the impetus behind starting Hispanics in Wine?

Maria Calvert: In 2018, I transitioned to the wine industry and met Lydia Richards at a public relations agency. As part of our PR jobs, we work closely with all types of professionals in the alcohol beverage and hospitality industries, including sommeliers, retail stores, restaurants, trade, press, wine brands, winemakers, marketing professionals, and many others. Coming new into the wine industry, you see people of color cutting the grapes and working behind the scenes, but we noticed the lack of representation and diversity when attending trade events, press trips, and executive meetings. In addition to the lack of BIPOC, Hispanic, and Latinx professionals in decision-making roles, we noticed the lack of Spanish language resources for our community, brands neglecting Hispanic and Latinx consumers, and the need to amplify the work done by vineyard stewards.

As a result of our professional experience as two Latina immigrants in the wine industry and Covid disproportionately impacting the hospitality industry and minority communities, we decided to launch Hispanics in Wine in September 2020. We chose this month in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Culturally, Hispanics and Latinx work together as a community; it’s part of our pride, family, our roots. Community is so important to us, and this is something that we are trying to replicate with Hispanics in Wine. We created this centralized digital space for individuals to feel welcomed by the industry, to find important English and Spanish resources, to provide a sense of community with other Hispanics & Latinx alcohol and hospitality professionals, and more importantly, to educate the public about our communities and amplify the diverse talent and knowledge we offer and promote more representation in the industry.

WWG: Which areas of the wine community have you drawn members from thus far? 

MC: The Hispanics in Wine team are four women with different professional careers, hailing from different countries, and different journeys in the wine industry: Lydia Richards, Ivonne Nill, Emilia Alvarez, and myself. It is important to highlight our team diversity because it allows us to understand the industry’s needs, bridging the gap for opportunities and language, and build a broad Hispanic and Latinx beverage and hospitality community.

As a result of our team’s efforts and continued outreach, we have connected with wine professionals across the United States and worldwide. We have a community that covers the spectrum of wine and hospitality. For example, we have Nial Harris García, Wine Director at the Conrad Hotel in Washington D.C., Hugo Arias, Head Sommelier at The Grill in Washington D.C., Gabriela Fernández, Marketing and Event Coordinator for a California wine producer, Jesica Vargas, Founder and Wine Blogger of AndesUncorked, DeAnna Ornelas, President of non-profit organization AHIVOY, Sam Parra, Owner of PARRA Wines Co., and many others. Our Hispanics in Wine community is growing every day, and we have received tremendous support from many wine professionals in the industry who want to help in any way possible.

WWG: How are you reaching Latinx members of the wine community in order to let them know about Hispanics in Wine?

MC: We are working with our Hispanics in Wine community to help spread the word, share the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series” within their network, and notify other Hispanics and Latinx professionals about this initiative. We started Hispanics in Wine on social media, and we now have a website. We have received inquiries from individuals trying to pursue a career in wine who reached out to us via Instagram, and individuals who found our website via Google search. We have also received inquiries from other Hispanic and Latinx professionals asking how they can help with the initiative and perhaps serve as mentors.

WWG: Can you tell us about some of the initiatives that Hispanics in Wine has implemented?

MC: We launched the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series,” where the team conducts virtual English and Spanish interviews with talented Hispanic and Latinx professionals in the United States and worldwide, such as sommeliers, wine producers, marketing experts, retailer owners, portfolio specialists, social influencers, and bloggers, to learn about their journey in the wine industry, speak about educational opportunities, and provide essential advice to the next generation as well as changes they want to see in the industry.

Our mission with these interviews is to inspire individuals to enter the industry, thereby increasing the talent we offer as a community. Ultimately, we want to increase pressure on companies to hire Hispanic and Latinx professionals for leadership roles, drawing from our deep well of unique backgrounds, experiences, viewpoints. According to Nielsen data, by 2023, we expect the buying power of the U.S. Latinx population to top $1.9 trillion, which is higher than the gross domestic product of countries like Australia, Spain, and Mexico. Targeting this quickly growing consumer base by aligning with Hispanic and Latinx values has never been more critical.

Through the “Hispanics in Wine Spotlight Series,” we also aim to highlight the diverse backgrounds of the Hispanic and Latinx communities in the United States and worldwide. We hail from vastly different geographies, whether Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Spain, or the United States; we have different traditions, we look different, and in some instances, we claim unique local languages, such as Guaraní in Paraguay, Catalan in Spain, or Quechua in Ecuador.

Additionally, with our public relations expertise, we are also working with the local and national press to include Hispanics and Latinx alcohol beverage and hospitality professionals at the forefront for feature stories and share their knowledge with key external stakeholders. In the near future, we hope to execute a program aimed at providing educational training, scholarships, and professional opportunities for advancing in the industry – both via in-house opportunities and partnerships with external organizations. Lastly, we are also looking to partner with wine companies looking to tap into the Hispanic and Latinx consumer market.

Read the full article at Forbes.

Latinas earn $0.55 for every dollar paid to White men, a pay gap that has barely moved in 30 years
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Hispanic woman working on a tablet in a bright warehouse

By Courtney Connley, CNBC

This year, Latina Equal Pay Day falls on Oct. 29, marking how far into the new year Latinas have to work to earn the same pay white, non-Hispanic men earned the previous year.

When translated into a dollar amount, Latinas today earn, on average, just $0.55 for every dollar earned by White men, leaving them with a pay gap that surpasses that of women in all other racial groups. Over the course of a 40-year career, it’s estimated that Latinas stand to lose $1,163,920 due to the wage gap, according to data from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). Assuming that a Latina and her White male counterpart both start working at age 20, NWLC estimates that due to this wage gap a Latina will have to work until she’s 92 to earn what her While male peer earned by 60.

The ongoing pay disparity that Latinas face is one that has barely budged within the last 30 years, according to NWLC. In 1989, Latinas were paid just $0.52 for every dollar paid to White men. This means, that the Latina pay gap has only narrowed by a penny every decade since.

“I think there’s a lot of performative wokeness happening,” Jasmine Tucker, NWLC’s director of research, tells CNBC Make It about the Latina pay gap and why it’s barely improved over the last 30 years. “I think people are saying they care about this issue, but they’re not actually taking steps to address this issue.”

She says that while more companies are publishing reports to try and prove that they pay people in the same job fairly, it’s important to examine who these companies are hiring and what positions they’re hiring certain people for.

“I feel like there’s a lot of gaming the system in that way,” Tucker adds. ”[Companies] are like, ‘Oh well, we’re paying them the minimum wage. We’re paying them a living wage.’” But, she says, “when you’re doing the bare minimum, and then you’re also faster promoting White men into C-suite positions” then you’re not really making progress.

Today, for every 100 men promoted to manager, just 71 Latinas are promoted at the same rate, according to Lean In and McKinsey & Company’s 2020 “Women in the Workplace” report. The study describes this inequity as “the broken rung,” in which Latinas face barriers around sexism and racism that often block them from being promoted to manager.

Tucker explains that the longstanding pay disparities Latinas face have only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, with nearly three in 10 Latinas working a front-line job today, but still being underpaid for their work.

For example, Latinas make up just 7% of the overall workforce, but they account for 22% of child-care workers. On average, Latinas working full-time, year-round in child care earn just $0.88 for every dollar earned by White men in the same occupation, according to NWLC. Similarly, Latinas working as cashiers and retail salespeople earn just $0.76 for every dollar paid to a White man in the same role, and Latinas working as janitors, maids and housekeepers earn just $0.61 for every dollar paid to a White man in the same role.

“We’re depending on their labor like never before, but we’re not paying them what we owe them,” says Tucker, while adding that many of the jobs Latinas are overrepresented in are also jobs that have experienced major layoffs during the pandemic. In September, nearly one in nine Latinas were unemployed. But Tucker argues that this number is likely higher when you account for the thousands of women who’ve been forced to leave the labor force because of the overwhelming demands to work, teach and parent at the same time.

“I think there’s really a lot of suffering happening here because Latinas were already struggling to make ends meet before this crisis,” Tucker says. She adds that “if they had the [financial] cushion that some of their White male peers had,” then they would be in a much better position to weather the storms of today’s economy.

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

She was American’s first Latina to captain a flight. Now, she’s a pioneer poet, too
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Linda Pauwels sitting in the pilots quarters of a plane

BY WALTER VILLA, MIAMI HERALD

In 2000, Linda Pauwels became a pioneer pilot, the first Latin woman ever to captain an American Airlines flight.

Now she’s a pioneer poet, too.

Last year, she authored “Beyond Haiku: Pilots Write Poetry.” In the 50-page book, she incorporated the contributions of 40 pilots, including her own prose. She also asked the children of pilots — ages 6 to 17 — to contribute illustrations to accompany the poems. She used the work of 18 artists.

Weston’s Liz Booker, the founder of the Aviatrix Book Review website — which details more than 500 books of all genres that feature women in aviation — was impressed with “Beyond Haiku.”

“The book is the first of its kind that I’m aware of,” said Booker, a retired Coast Guard helicopter pilot. “I’ve seen poetry books by a pilot. But I’ve never seen a collection of poems from different pilots, especially with children doing the artwork.”

Pauwels got the idea for the book last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the airline industry, leaving many families hurting. To help, Pauwels is donating all proceeds from the book to the Allied Pilots Association’s Emergency Relief and Scholarship Fund, which works in support of furloughed pilots and their families.

In the first three months since publication, Pauwels has been able to raise $2,200.

But Pauwels, a 57-year-old part-time Miami resident, has only just begun. She has written a second book, “Beyond Haiku: Women Pilots Write Poetry,” which is set to be released this summer.

She is also still an active pilot for American Airlines. In fact, on March 8, to promote International Women’s Day as well as her second poetry book, the plan is that she will captain a flight from Miami to Dallas. The entire crew will be female, including Pauwels’ first officer as well as eight flight attendants.

“The March 8 flight will bring back memories,” Pauwels said. “I was part of American’s second all-female crew in 1989. The first one was in 1987.”

COMING TO MIAMI
Born in Argentina, Pauwels lost her father when she was 6 years old. Within four months, Pauwels’ mother, Mabel, moved the family to Miami, where Linda dreamed of becoming a doctor.

But after Mabel started working at Miami International Airport as a traffic and operations agent for TACA Airlines, Pauwels’ interest in flight grew.

Pauwels, while working a night shift at the front desk of a Miami Beach hotel, was also a full-time, straight-A student at Miami Dade College’s Career Pilot/Flight Engineer program. She graduated from MDC in 1985, and American Airlines hired her in 1988 as a flight engineer on a Boeing 727.

Her interest in writing goes back a long way. In fact, she was the Orange County Register’s first aviation columnist in the mid-2000s.

Pauwels, who speaks Spanish, English and French, has a graduate degree in education. She will soon dive into Mandarin so she can be ready to resume piloting American’s post-COVID-19 flights to China.

Pauwels’ main residence is in the Dallas area, where American is headquartered. She recently got caught up in mid-February’s Texas snowstorm.

A married mother of two adult children, Pauwels and her husband were without power for four days during the storm. Outside their doors were 8 inches of snow. Inside, with the thermometer reading 37 degrees, Pauwels wrote two haikus, including:

Three mourning doves

Sit, puffy chested

Snowy bamboo fence

SOFTER SIDE OF PILOTS
Pauwels admits poetry is not known to be popular among mostly male aviators.

But she also thought writing haikus could help pilots deal with the stress of the job.

“Pilots live in a world of structure — we fly by the rules,” Pauwels said. “This book deconstructs some of that rigidity and allows the people on the other side of the cockpit doors to see that there is a softer side to the men and women who fly.”

As for her book’s artwork, Pauwels said she knew “poems alone wouldn’t cut it, and I wanted to give children an opportunity to create in their own style.”

Callista Chabot, a 17-year-old from New Hampshire, is drawing the cover illustration for Pauwels’ second book. The illustration depicts a butterfly riding on the nose of an airplane.

“I like the contrast between masculinity and femininity,” said Chabot, whose father, Jason, is a captain.

Chabot, who dreams of writing and illustrating her own children’s books one day, said she was thrilled to be selected for a book by women poets.

“I’m a strong feminist,” she said. “To get to work on a project written by women who work in a male-dominated industry is cool.”

Click here to read the full article on the Miami Herald.

Rosalía Just Revealed An Espadrille Air Force 1 On Instagram And I Am Spiraling
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Rosalia wearing a colorful bandana and looking at the camera

By Kelsey Stiegman, Yahoo Life

Yesterday, Rosalía gave fans a sneak peek at what seems to be an upcoming Nike collab starring the internet’s favorite shoe. The singer shared a video showing off the “AFI ESPADRILLE,” a Spanish take on the famed sneaker style.

Rosalía’s shoes combine the classic shape of an Air Force 1, with details taken from Spain’s traditional sandals, including a suede upper, ribbon laces, and a contrast stitch at the sole.

Inside the shoe, reads the phrase: “We just did it, Rosalía.”

As of now, Rosalía hasn’t expanded on her original post. It’s unclear whether these are a one-off design made custom for Rosalía or if these will soon hit Nike stories across the nation. That being said, the singer has been dropping hella hints on her Instagram over the past few months. First, there was this subtle shot of the espadrille sneakers…

A few days later, she posted a selfie, captioned: “Just did it.” In the pic, Rosalía wears nothing but a swoosh-printed sports bra.

Back in January, she even wore a Nike puffer jacket in the “Lo Vas a Olvidar” music video with Billie Eilish. (I’m not even including all the other Nike sneakers she’s worn because we’d be here all day.)

To learn more about Rosalia’s teaser for Nike, click here.

Sofía Vergara Partners with Marc Anthony for the Upcoming Animated Film ‘KOATI’
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Two photo graphs side by side, the photo on the left features sofia vergara looking over her left shoulder while smiling at the camera. The right photo pictures Marc Anthony wearing a suit and sunglasses posing with his left hand in his pocket.

By Shirley Gomez, HOLA!

The upcoming animated film Koati has Hispanic talent all over it! Grammy-winner salsa superstar Marc Anthony and his Magnus Studios team join executive producer and lead actress Sofía Vergara in this feature comedy.

“I am thrilled to join Sofía in a project where for the first time a renowned team of Hispanic producers, music stars, comedians, and actors come together outside of Hollywood to create an animated movie set up in the Latin American rainforests, which I feel is really exciting and long overdue,” the singer said, as reported by Deadline.

“I will leave no stone unturned on the music being authentic and celebrating the amazing story and message of Koati. It’s time to show the world and share what we Latinos have been enjoying for years in a very fun, inspirational film,” Marc Anthony added.

The New York-born Puerto Rican will executive produce the soundtrack of the movie alongside songwriter Julio Reyes Copello. Koati will include ten original songs, all from influential Latinx artists.

The film follows the story of three heroes — Nachi, “a free-spirited coati,” Xochi, “a fearless monarch butterfly”; and Pako, “a hyperactive glass frog” — who embark on an adventure to avoid an evil coral snake named Zaina from destroying a hidden rainforest of Latin America, “The Land of Xo.”

⁠According to the official Instagram account of the movie, the feature is “a gift from Latin America to the world.⁠”

Click here to read the full article on HOLA!

Bad Bunny Wins Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album at 2021 Grammy Awards: ‘I’m Very Happy’
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Bad Bunny holding a sunflower in front of the grammy award red carpet entrance wearing a bunny ear beanie on his head after winning best latin pop album

By , Billboard

Bad Bunny walked away with his first-ever Grammy award on Sunday night (March 14).

The Puerto Rican superstar won best Latin pop or urban album for his chart-topping YHLQMDLG, where he was the only urban album in the category against pop gems such as Camilo’s Por Primera Vez, Kany Garcia’s Mesa Para Dos, Ricky Martin’s Pausa, and Debi Nova’s 3:33.

“I’m very happy, very proud,” he said during his acceptance speech. “I want to thank every person in the world that listens to my music, and supports my career and ideas. It’s very special to achieve my dreams by simply doing what I love.”

Bunny nabbed the award just moments after his head-bopping, club-transporting performance of “Dakiti” alongside Jhay Cortez.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Cortez told the Associated Press ahead of his performance. “It’s not the Latin Grammys, it’s the official Grammys, and coming from our little island Puerto Rico and being here on the stage with other superstars is a dream come true.”

Click here to read the full article on Billboard.

Free Zoom alternative: Microsoft Teams lets 300 users video chat for 24 hours
LinkedIn
Laptop webcam screen view multiethnic families contacting distantly by videoconference. Living abroad four diverse friends making video call enjoy communication, virtual interaction modern app concept

This year has been a huge year for Zoom, as families and friends around the world have turned to the video chat service to stay in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft Teams just barreled into the room to make Zoom look a little silly by comparison.

According to The Verge, Microsoft’s primarily business-focused video call app is getting a free tier with a 24-hour time limit on calls just in time for the holidays.

As many as 300 people can jam into one room, with a gallery view that can display up to 49 of them on one screen. (Zoom has a max of 100 participants for Basic and Pro users.) There’s also a feature called Together Mode that will arrange everyone’s video feeds so it looks like they’re sitting together in a theater or coffee shop. If your family is that big, feel free to go nuts with Microsoft Teams — and good luck following the conversation.

Calls can be started and joined from a web browser so you don’t need to download an app. Whoever starts the call will need a Microsoft account, which you should have on hand if you’ve ever used Office or an Xbox but is pretty easy to set up if you haven’t. Crucially, folks who don’t have Microsoft accounts can join calls.

Continue on to Mashable to read the complete article.

Innovators to Watch
LinkedIn
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Miranda Event

By Natalie Rogers 

This inspiring group of innovators is changing the Latinx community’s perspective, featuring plus-size model Ady Del Valle, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, WNBA Diana Taurasi, writer, actor, rapper, and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda and activist Luis Miranda, supreme court judge Sonia Sotomayor, fiction and non-fiction author Carmen Maria Machado.

 
 
 
Luis A. Miranda, Jr., left and Lin-Manuel Miranda at the
IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village.
(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Acura)

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Miranda
Writer, actor, rapper, and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda has grown quite the platform since the success of his Broadway hit musical Hamilton. But even before the hip-hop musical’s success, Miranda has used his growing platform to advocate for causes that are important to him, from issues of racial equality to the need to vote, and has done so with his long-time activist father, Luis Miranda. Luis has been an integral part of Latino rights in the United States, working directly on Senate campaigns, serving as the Director of Hispanic Affairs in New York City, educating Latinx people on voting, and in his latest endeavor, providing direct relief to Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. In honor of Luis’s dedication to activism, Lin and Luis have produced the HBO documentary, Siempre, Luis, which follows Luis Miranda’s life fighting for equality and preservation. The documentary aired on October 6, with the goal of using the Miranda family’s platform to educate more people and to raise awareness of Latinx issues.

Ady Del Valle and the Latinx Creative
The modeling and fashion industries have shaped the world’s perception of beauty for years, but the models displaying these beauty standards are often portraying only one body type, race, and sexuality. However, plus-size Latinx model Ady Del Valle decided it was time to share the voices that often aren’t heard. Through his organization, The Latinx Creative, Del Valle has showcased an array of Hispanic creatives and their work, including other plus-size models. Del Valle, in collaboration with other Latinx plus size models Frankie Tavares, Luis Cruz, Taylee De Castro, Yaznil Baez, and Kengie Smith, has been credited to sparking a “plus-size revolution” serving as a representation of beauty that defies the norm. De Valle further uses his platform for inclusivity to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and defying gender norms.

Ady Del Valle Event Makeup
Ady Del Valle at The Queerties Annual Award. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has been a beacon of change throughout his entire political career. Padilla has been on government committees since he was just 26 years old and served as the first Latino and youngest president of the Los Angeles City Council at age 28. Working in the very community he was brought up in when his parents immigrated to the United States, Padilla has used his role on City Council and as the Chair of the Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications to advocate for the needs of the community. Under Padilla’s leadership, Los Angeles has received improved legislations on public and private educations, stopping crime rates, increasing budget, decreasing obesity and diabetes cases, better utilize technology, and much more. In Padilla’s new position as State Secretary, he has focused much of 2020 on properly handling COVID-19 health procedures and ensuring voting accessibility throughout the state of California.

Alex Padilla Suit
Alex Padilla, at Annual California Hall of Fame. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Diana Taurasi
The recipient of countless WNBA awards, four Olympic gold medals, five scoring titles, three FIBA world cups, and numerous offers to play for the All-Star teams, Diana Taurasi is one of the biggest names in basketball in the modern age. Playing for the Phoenix Mercury since 2004, Taurasi has become the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, often making the crucial last-minute plays that give Phoenix its victories. Despite suffering recent injuries, Taurasi has been using this year to better improve her game and the world around her. She worked diligently to honor Kobe Bryant after his passing in early March, is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and is back to playing at peak performance post-injury, giving her great consideration to be the WNBA’s MVP of the Year.

Diana Taurasi WNBA
Diana Taurasi, at Western Conference Finals against the Seattle Storm at Talking Stick Resort Arena. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Sonia Sotomayor
Even before she became the first Latina supreme court judge in 2009, Justice Sonia Sotomayor has always worked hard for her success. Being inspired by her single mother, who always emphasized the importance of receiving an education, Sotomayor attended Princeton University and Yale Law School, earning her J.D. and passing the bar exam by the age of 26. After working as a trial lawyer for a District Attorney and within her own practice, Sotomayor was appointed to the Southern District of New York at age 38, Bush the U.S. Second Circuit Court at age 43, and the Supreme Court at age 55. On the Supreme Court, Sotomayor has played an integral role in advocating for equal opportunity and civil liberties, helping pass the Affordable Health Care Act and the legalization of gay marriage. As of 2020, Sonia Sotomayor has been donating much of her time to advocating for immigrants, racial equality, and protection from COVID-19.

Sotomayor Awards
Sonia Sotomayor at the 29th Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Warner Theatre. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)

Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado is a fiction and non-fiction author who uses a blend of genres to create stories that raise awareness of social issues in a Jordan Peele like fashion. Of the 20 plus stories she has written, Machado has received an especially high amount of success for her books, Her Body and Other Parties, an analogy on the dehumanization of the woman’s body, and In the Dream House, the heavily inspired true story of Machado’s abusive relationship. Her stories have earned her published spots in big-name titles such as The New York Times and The New Yorker, has received tremendous praise and an overwhelming number of awards, nominations, fellowships, grants, and residencies. Machado’s non-fiction works also contribute to enhancing conversation and bringing awareness as she often writes of personal experiences, Latinx culture, and women’s rights.

Carmen Maria Machado Book
Carmen Maria Machado at PEN Presents at Dynasty Typewriter. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for PEN America)
Eva Longoria Baston & America Ferrera Empower Latinas through ‘She Se Puede’
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Eva Longoria and America Ferrera

By Monica Luhar

“Sí se puede” is a powerful phrase that was coined by labor activist Dolores Huerta, who pushed for better working conditions and rights for farmworkers.

(It was also used as an empowering chant by a group of Latina cheerleaders in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Gotta Kick it Up! featuring award-winning actress America Ferrera).

Today, the phrase continues to serve as an empowering message for Latinas in the form of a new nonpartisan digital community platform known as “She Se Puede” (with a particular emphasis on the word, “she”).

She Se Puede—launched by actress-activists Eva Longoria Baston and America Ferrera, and a group of passionate Latina leaders—aims to empower Latinas “to realize and act on their own power.”

The platform gives Latinas an opportunity to celebrate their impact and achievements, connect with community resources, and be inspired by diverse lifestyle content highlighting Latinas.

“America and I worked with Dolores for decades and we just wanted to have her blessings because there’s such history in ‘Sí se puede,'” Eva told GMA.

“It was birthed from me and America and Zoe Saldana, and we were all campaigning in Florida, advocating for yet another candidate on a stage, giving talking points and we were going, ‘Why aren’t we advocating for ourselves? Where’s the community? And not only of Latinos, but specifically of Latinas,'” Eva said.

Too often, Latinas are underrepresented in entertainment, government, and other aspects of society. Their voices are often excluded from the narrative, which is why the idea for “She Se Puede” came into conception to embolden and inspire Latinas to trust in their power.

“Unless and until we believe in our own potential and realize our own power, we will remain underrepresented as a political and cultural force,” said America Ferrera.

The goal for “She Se Puede” is to build a unique digital community and lifestyle platform “for Latinas, by Latinas” by publishing relatable and inspiring, everyday lifestyle content ranging from health, food parenting, beauty, to civic engagement. It’s also an opportunity to help provide Latinas with the tools they need to own their power.

Eva and America have both encouraged Latinas to share their “She Se Puede” moments on social media to engage and inspire a growing and close-knit Latina community where women see themselves reflected through everyday, raw moments.

Eva recently shared a Facebook photo of herself breastfeeding her son while working on set as a director. Eva posted, “This is my She Se Puede moment! This [photograph] was taken when I was directing right after my son was born. Breastfeeding on set, pumping milk on my breaks, and directing a television show was challenging. But I did it! And I knew I could because we (Latinas) can accomplish anything! Follow @she_sepuede and celebrate a moment you’re proud of with #shesepuede for a chance to be featured.”

America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Zoe Saldana and Eva Longoria are seen prior to the Latinas Stand Up rally in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

In September—just a few weeks before the presidential election—She Se Puede posted a call out on Instagram encouraging Latinas interested to join the “She Se Puede Power Squad.” It was part of an effort to encourage Latinas from across the country to step up and transform their lives, communities, and country by acting as community ambassadors.

For Eva, the platform is very much an empowering state of mind for Latinas:

“So when we say empowerment, we mean we want Latinas to feel empowered in everything that they do, from their careers, to their workouts, to what food they eat, and even how they can request their mail-in ballot,” said Eva.

The digital platform was officially created by a team of Latina leaders passionate about mobilizing and creating change in the community: Alex Martínez Kondracke, America Ferrera, Carmen Perez, Christy Haubegger, Elsa Collins, Eva Longoria Bastón, Jess Morales Rocketto, Mónica Ramírez, Olga Segura, and Stephanie Valencia.

Eva Longoria: From Desperate Housewives to Political Activist

Eva has used her influence as a Latina actress, director, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist to make a positive impact in the Latina community.

Known as the character Gabrielle Solis in the comedy-drama series, Desperate Housewives, Eva has often looked to the show’s storytelling and execution in her own journey as a producer. The show first aired its pilot in October 2004, putting her in the spotlight.

“For her, the Desperate Housewives pilot was a masterclass in how to create and launch a TV show, and she says she still uses what she learned from that experience as a producer launching her own shows,” Variety said.

The 2017 Philanthropist of the Year has also used her platform as an actress to shed light on other critical issues ranging from politics to better education and entrepreneurship opportunities for Latinas.

Eva has also been a prominent advocate for disability rights and amplifying the voices of Latinos in politics.

Eva Longorial and America Ferrera at Latinx event
Eva Longoria and America Ferrera attend The Latinx House And Netflix Host Their Joint Kick-off Party At The 2020 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Owen Hoffmann/Getty Images for The Latinx House)

She has been associated with many different charities and foundations over the years, with a focus on advocating for various causes affecting women and children.

In 2006, she co-founded Eva’s Heroes, an organization that aims to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual special needs.

Eva’s Heroes is an organization that is very near and dear to her heart, as she has a sister with special needs. “I am blessed with a sister who has special needs. Now, I want to impact the lives of similar young adults nationwide,” said Eva.

With her entrepreneurial spirit and inspiring advocacy career, Eva has long been fighting for more representation of Latino political leaders, co-founding Latino Victory Fund, a progressive political committee to help grow Latino political power and influence.

Most recently, she headlined and opened up the 2020 Democratic National Convention with an inspiring speech about saving our democracy and making our voices heard:

“So, tonight we stand together, united by the values we cherish: Decency, respect, justice, and the opportunity to rise up. We always hear that line about this being the most important election of our lifetimes, but this year, it really is.”

In her keynote speech, she also acknowledged the lives lost and impacted by COVID-19, compounded by immense job loss and division. “Yet, in the middle of the fear and sorrow and uncertainty, people have come together because they know we are better than this. America is better than this,” she added.

It wasn’t long until Eva received criticism for headlining the convention from Marco Rubio in a tweet that said, “Brilliant move! No one is more in touch with the challenges & obstacles faced by everyday Americans than actors & celebrities.”

Eva hosted the DNC, not just as an actress, but also as a Latina woman with immense influence and advocacy for different important causes affecting women and the Latino community, said Refinery29.

Beyond her trailblazing work and committing to better Latino representation, she is also committed to empowering and supporting the Latino community through education and entrepreneurship opportunities.

In 2013, Eva received her master’s degree in Chicano Studies from California State University, Northridge. She has also worked tirelessly to help advocate for more Latino representation and job opportunities for Latinos in the Hollywood entertainment industry. USC Annenberg reported that between 2007 and 2013, only 3 percent of films featured leads or co-leads with Latino actors. And, of the films that were analyzed, only 4.5 percent of all speaking characters were Latino in the past decade.

Through her work with the Eva Longoria Foundation, Eva has been committed to investing in Latino community leaders and entrepreneurs. She recently joined forces with the Latino Community Foundation to continue supporting Latina entrepreneurs in California during the “Coming of Age” 15th anniversary gala in May 2020.

During the gala, Eva announced a new initiative aimed at investing and supporting Latina entrepreneurs in California. Proceeds from the gala supported Latino organizations that provide vital services to low-income families that are impacted by wage loss as well as California farmworkers and their families.

Eva has long been an outspoken advocate for Latino representation and has empowered Latina youth through various mentorship and STEM programs at the Eva Longoria Foundation.

The foundation’s programs help narrow the opportunity gap that many Latinas face through culturally relevant programs, such as STEM education, mentorship, parent engagement, and entrepreneurship.

The Eva Longoria Foundation says Latinas are a rapidly growing demographic with immense potential, but they “disproportionately lack educational opportunities and face economic challenges.”

The goal of the foundation is to close the education gap and help Latinas build better futures through education and entrepreneurship.

Along with supporting and empowering Latino youth, Eva is passionate about civic engagement, empowering Latino voters, and advocating for more Latino representation in politics.

She co-founded the Latino Victory Project—a progressive political action committee–to elevate the voices of Latinos through politics and increase representation “at every level of government.”

In July, Eva headlined a kickoff event announcing Latino Victory Fund’s launch of the First Latinas program geared toward electing “trailblazing Latinas” to increase Latina representation in government and other aspects of political life.

Eva Longoria, actress, activist, and Co-Founder of Latino Victory, gets ready to remove her “Vote” mask to speak before Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Whether it’s saving our democracy to empowering youth and advocating for women, Eva has become an outspoken and much-needed voice in the Latina community.

America Ferrera: From Ugly Betty to Advocating for the Rights of Women

As an award-winning actress, producer, director, activist, organizer, and the proud daughter of immigrants from Honduras, America Ferrera has paved the way for Latina representation, speaking out about pressing political issues, and encouraging women to be in “decision-making roles” by getting a seat at the table.

In the early 2000s, America appeared as a Latina lead in the cult-favorite ABC comedy series Ugly Betty and the movie Real Women Have Curves, along with countless other groundbreaking lead roles. She has also gone on to star in the NBC show Superstore and has produced and directed several TV shows.

She has also received countless awards and was recognized as the first Latina to win an Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy for her lead role in Ugly Betty.

“I don’t fit in traditional boxes for women on screen. When I became an actress, my mere presence was a revolution because I wasn’t supposed to exist in this industry,” America told net-a-porter in an interview.

America has spoken out about the need for Latinas to see themselves represented on television. In an interview with the New York Times, America talked about the importance of diverse storytelling and representation:

“Our writers aren’t sort of pulling issues from the headlines. They are mostly driven by the characters in the show. And this is where the real necessity for diversity is exemplified. It’s so that the storytelling is rich and compelling and relevant to today because that is what our world actually looks like. That is what our culture should be reflective of—all the different points of view and real-life experiences that one has as an America.”

America is also a storyteller herself: She wrote a New York Times bestselling book, American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, which highlights the experience of growing up between cultures.

Perhaps America’s most notable role off-screen is one as an advocate for women and helping Latinas and women of color recognize their true power and influence.

She has continued to advocate for women across the globe. She recently served as a keynote speaker for the Texas Women’s Foundation virtual luncheon September 29, 2020.

Her keynote address highlighted the importance of creating opportunities for women and empowering them to speak out about their experiences. It was also an opportunity to discuss her book, which features essays of 31 other first-generation American artists and activists who share their personal accounts of assimilating in America and staying connected to their roots.

One of her most impactful and life-changing moments was when she was invited as the opening speaker at the historic inaugural Women’s March in D.C. in 2017, where she used her platform as an actress and women and civil rights advocate to create and inspire change.

America is no stranger to speaking out against injustices. She has also spoken out about various issues concerning immigration, the environment, and healthcare. She talked about the importance of the Women’s March and how that day continued to impact and inspire change:

“None of us knew how historical the march would be. We’ve lost so much ground in this country going backwards, making people’s lives less equal and dignified. I think back to that day: we’re not alone, people will show up,” America told net-a-porter.

America’s experience at the historic Women’s March was something that continued to inspire her advocacy through her nonprofit organization, Harness. She began thinking of innovative ways to mobilize and bring communities together through the power of love, relationship building, and sustaining movements.

In an excerpt from “Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World” as quoted by Time Magazine, America talked about the impact of the Women’s March and the need to continue talking about channeling energy into sustaining the movement: “Our gatherings grew into an organization called Harness. We bring people together in the hope that those wanting to use their voices can do it from a deeper, more rooted place, because they are invested in real, personal relationships. That’s the fuel. The people you meet, the bodies you hug, the stories you hear. We don’t have to worry about people going home and forgetting what they heard and what they need to do. You don’t forget about people you know and love—you carry them in your heart. If we can bring that ethic of community and love into our daily lives, I believe we can sustain the movement.”

In 2016, America addressed the Democratic National Convention and later that year. After the events that transpired after the election, she launched Harness, along with her husband, Ryan Pier Williams, and Wilmer Valderrama.

The organization features a robust community of artists, activists, as well as entertainment leaders to elevate the experiences of marginalized communities. Today, Harness is more critical than ever during a pandemic that has claimed the lives of 200,000 Americans and continued racial injustice.

In an interview with Vogue, America talked about the decisions that others make about the lives of others and the importance of art and spreading political awareness:

“People make decisions every single day that impact my life—the air I breathe, my ability to walk down the street and be safe, how much money I make for the job I do, whether I can choose what happens to my body. And at every important social moment in our history, artists have played a role. It doesn’t have to be about marching. The art itself has a role to play. At the end of the day, it’s about wielding that sword with awareness.”

America also hasn’t shied away from getting political and speaking out about inequalities and injustice to women. She shared her personal experience as a survivor of childhood sexual assault during #MeToo:

“First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9 years old…I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a 9-year-old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man,” America told Variety.

America Ferrera Book
America Ferrera Book

She also went on to show solidarity with leaders and activists during the launch of the Time’s Up Movement, an initiative that aims to address issues related to sexual harassment in the workplace and the need for more advocacy for women. Several Hollywood leaders and celebrities like America and Shonda Rhimes committed to the movement’s mission in solidarity.

According to InStyle, America was one of the “first women in Hollywood who listened when 700,000 blue-collar women wrote an open letter offering support for those who’ve publicly shared their sexual harassment stories.”

In 2019, America helped mobilize and lead a group of actors including Eva, Kerry Washington, and others to meet with immigrant lawyers and migrant families seeking asylum.

America was deeply concerned about the Trump Administration policies and treatment of refugees. She told NBC News that the visit to the shelter in Tijuana was an opportunity to educate others on important issues.

She referenced being a mom and holding her newborn just the previous year, and thinking about the lack of running water or clean food that many refugees who are trying to seek asylum are denied: “How dire would my situation have to be to grab this brand new child and walk for a month, with no access to clean water and food, not knowing what I would meet along the way, to try and seek asylum and safety and refuge because my situation was so bad?” America questioned.

Over the years, America has become an empowering force in the Latina community. She’s been a much-needed voice speaking out about issues that concern women.

The Future of ‘She Se Puede’

Both America and Eva have made an impact speaking out about important issues affecting our communities, while empowering Latinas to tap into their inner strength and power.

The launch of She Se Puede comes at a critical time in the wake of important movements amplifying the impact of women, particularly Latinas.

As prominent Latina women with immense influence, both Eva and America are committed to continuing to uplift the voices of Latina women both online and offline.

She Se Puede continues to be a hopeful and optimistic digital community platform that addresses Latinas’ unique needs and provides ongoing support and resources to empower change.

“She Se Puede is the destination for the modern Latina who wants to level up her life. We celebrate our diverse experiences and dreams, and provide the tools we need to own our power. She Se Puede is a community for Latinas, by Latinas.”

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