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.

Kim Kardashian’s Skims casts singer Rosalía in new summer campaign – shop here
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Singer-songwriter Rosalía has been cast in Skims' first bilingual campaign. COURTESY PHOTO

By Melisha Kaur, Mirror

Spanish singer Rosalía has just been unveiled as the face of the latest campaign for SKIMS.

The billion-dollar brand, founded by Kim Kardashian, recently revealed its first ever bilingual campaign where content will be distributed in both Spanish and English.

The new campaign sees Rosalía donning pieces from the best-selling SKIMS cotton range, including the £36 Plunge Bralette, in a 15-second clip.

In a press release, brand owner Kim Kardashian said: “Rosalía’s willingness to push the boundaries and experiment with her music and personal style has been a huge inspiration for me. This campaign is all about the energy and confidence that she brings to the world.

“I’m especially excited that she’s wearing pieces from our best-selling Cotton Collection – they’re classic, cool and breathable everyday essentials that everyone feels good in.”

Rosalía added: “I love SKIMS. They are so comfy and make me feel very sexy at the same time. I’m so excited that I finally got the chance to collaborate, especially in their Cotton Collection which is my fave.”

This is the first ever fashion campaign for Rosalía, who released her third studio album Motomami back in March.

The new launch was shared by Kim Kardashian on social media, sending fans into a frenzy.

The series of stunning photos sees Rosalía wearing a black plunge bralette (£36) and matching cotton rib boxers (£32).

She’s also seen wearing a white cotton jersey T-shirt, £48, and a matching rib thong that costs £20.

The Grammy-winning singer also shared the launch to her 20.3 million Instagram followers.

“Damnnnnnn,” Kardashian commented, adding a trio of fire emojis.

The campaign comes after SKIMS dropped its new ‘Boyfriend’ collection, which saw the comeback of the brand’s signature unisex styles.

Click here to read the full article on Mirror.

Jose Galindez Aims to Help Hispanic Entrepreneurs Reach Financial Freedom
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CEO and motivational speaker Jose Galindez

By Digital Journal

CEO and motivational speaker Jose Galindez wants to form a community of like-minded Hispanic entrepreneurs and show them the path to success. In recent years, Hispanic-owned businesses have shown great promise when it comes to economic strides.

According to the Small Business Administration, there are an estimated 4.65 million Latino-owned businesses in the United States, making them the fastest-growing group of small businesses in the country, with a 34 percent increase in the last decade.

The SBA also cited the State of Latino Entrepreneurship 2020 report from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative. It revealed that Latinos are starting businesses at a quicker pace than the national average across almost all industries. Hispanic-owned employer enterprises also generated almost $500 billion in annual revenue and employed 3.4 million people before the epidemic.

They can reach greater heights by following Galindez’s program for financial freedom.

“Learn all my secrets and knowledge within the field of investments and financial management. Together, we will dominate each assault. With our strategies, we will go after the victory,” stated the motivational speaker.

José Galindez is the CEO of Galindez Capital Group, a company that offers education in various financial markets. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing, a master’s degree in administration and a minor in military sciences. He is an inveterate dreamer, and he is passionate about investments, personal motivation and creativity. At an early age, he showed an interest in business and started as soon as he had the opportunity.

His steps in the financial markets begin in 2012 when he made his first investment in the stock market, and in 2017 he started investing in the cryptocurrency market. This latest venture pays dividends in 2021 when he finally becomes a seven-figure investor at the age of 29.

After 13 years, Galindez has developed various businesses with different models and resorts to sharing his knowledge on social media to benefit his audience. He has a YouTube channel where he shares knowledge on finance and all his business ventures ranging from restaurants to real estate.

He encourages Hispanic business owners to join his VIP Mentoring Group, where they can have access to the group’s Discord and establish relationships with other entrepreneurs. They will also have one live session per week, which is meant to cover any topic that interests them, including personal finance, real estate, credit cards, real estate investing, real estate sales, startup businesses, social media/YouTube growth, or whatever comes to mind. Finally, they have access to all recordings of previous sessions.

With his program, Galindez urges entrepreneurs to take control and master every step. He will be with them as they develop tools and strategies that solidify their executions.

Click here to read the full article on Digital Journal.

This Small, Woman-Owned Business Shares The Magic Of Mexican Coffee
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Lupita Sanchez, owner of Café Metzli, talks about all the love, labor and heritage that goes into the harvesting and processing of these special Mexican coffee beans.

By Tessa Flores, HuffPost

For Lupita Sanchez, creator and owner of Café Metzli, a single cup of coffee has the ability to sustain cultures, generational traditions and entire communities.

Her company’s coffee beans are a direct result of the small-scale coffee ecosystems that happened to be thriving in her very own backyard.

“It’s not really known that there’s Mexican specialty coffee,” Sanchez told HuffPost. “Everyone knows about coffee from Colombia or Ethiopia, and even growing up in Mexico we always just had Starbucks or instant coffee.”

After moving to Los Angeles in 2019 to be with her husband, Sanchez found a similar lack about awareness for Mexican coffee among the local artisan coffee shops and grocery stores she frequented.

Her subsequent quest to carve out a space in the market for quality Mexican coffee, while also connecting with her heritage, started in 2021 and led her into the mountainous highlands of the Chiapas region of Mexico. The small town of Bella Vista, which is close to the Guatemalan border and home to several ancient sites of the Mayas, is self-run by small-scale coffee producers, many of which are made up of entire families and individuals native to the land.

“I started doing my research and began connecting with different coffee producers from different parts of Mexico,” Sanchez said. “I traveled back to where they grow the coffee so I can start from the beginning and really get to know what the whole process of making coffee beans was like. That’s when I just fell in love with it.”

She chose Bella Vista partly because of delicious flavors that the climate, mineral-rich soil and altitude brought out in the beans. Café Metzli’s signature Bella Vista Women’s Group blend comes in three different roasts and highlight a variety of flavors, including baked apple, vanilla, dark chocolate and black cherry.

But she was also drawn to the collective of 168 women coffee producers who lived there.

“My country can have a very ‘machismo’ mentality, and just seeing these women working on their own, building their own companies, collaborating as a group and keeping their families together is amazing,” Sanchez said. “I feel so proud that I can help women achieve their goals, just how I’m achieving my own goals.”

“[Many of these groups] have amazing coffee programs that teach the youth how to plant the coffee they produce, how to do latte art and coffee cupping so that they can find love in their culture and their land and what they have there,” she said. “They don’t have to immigrate somewhere else and leave their families behind.”

Click here to read the full article on HuffPost.

The Weather Channel En Español Makes Its Debut
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L to R: Abel Hernández, Milmar Ramírez, Henry Golac, Jessica Fernández and Lorena Lim and Albert ... [+] THE WEATHER CHANNEL

By Veronica Villafañe, Forbes

After a two-year pandemic delay and months of planning, the Weather Channel en Español launches today at 7 am ET. The first 24/7 U.S. Spanish-language free streaming weather news network makes its debut on the 40th anniversary of the launch of The Weather Channel television network, both part of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group broadcast portfolio.

Featuring regional, local newscasts and content focused on the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America, the Weather Channel en Español will be available across over-the-top streaming platforms, mobile devices and via The Weather Channel app.

“The Hispanic marketplace is indexing extremely well with streaming services and is severely underserved,” says Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group. “Our launch of The Weather Channel en Español is historic, and is a recognition of the continued and significant growth of the U.S. Hispanic population and the constant need to keep the entire public informed and safe as multibillion dollar weather disasters are on the rise – especially in communities where Spanish is spoken as both the primary and secondary language in millions of households throughout America.”

The Weather Channel en Español has its own production team and on-air talent, but will also tap the resources of TWC, including its immersive mixed reality (IMR) technology. It will also collaborate with other Allen Media Group platforms such as Pattrn, TWC’s climate, environment and sustainability network.

Click here to read the full article on Forbes.

How to Properly Celebrate Cinco De Mayo
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HOW TO PROPERLY CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO

By V Magazine

Cinco de Mayo – Spanish for “Fifth of May” – is an annual holiday that celebrates Mexican culture and heritage, especially in the United States, where it’s actually more widely commemorated than in Mexico. However, the date isn’t just an excuse to party and drink excessively, neither it marks Mexico’s Independence Day, as many believe.

According to a 2018 survey by NationalToday.com, only 10% of Americans knew the true history behind the festivities, which is perhaps a key factor in the widespread misconceptions and missteps surrounding Cinco de Mayo. For years, the holiday has been capitalized by marketing agencies and companies who have also helped disseminate wrong ideas about the event – but that doesn’t mean you should, too.

Read on for tips on how to respectfully celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

Educate yourself and others

Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when outnumbered and out-armed Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French troops in the city of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City, in 1862. The French force had invaded the country the year before, along with English and Spanish forces, after Mexico declared a temporary pause on the repayment of foreign debts. 

The unlikely victory became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign dominance, and the date is mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla, with parades and theatrical reenactments of the 1862 battle. 

Even though the holiday commemorates a victory, many lives were lost in that battle. That doesn’t mean you can’t necessarily drink, enjoy traditional Mexican music or appreciate the delicious Mexican cuisine but be mindful about the history behind Cinco de Mayo: before joining the celebrations, make an effort to learn more about the date and educate others about it. 

Appreciation, not appropriation

You can celebrate Cinco de Mayo without promoting negative stereotypes, appropriating Mexican culture, or just overall being racist and disrespectful to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Meaning: don’t wear serapes, sombreros, fake mustaches, or any other “Mexican-inspired costume” – no culture is a costume. And unless you actually speak Spanish regularly, it’s probably best not to use the date as an excuse to go around screaming “Arriba!”

(And, of course, please don’t call it “Cinco de Drinko.”)

Support Mexican-owned businesses

Many large restaurant chains offer special Cinco de Mayo deals, but why not take the opportunity to actually support local businesses owned by Mexican and Mexican-American families? Latino business owners were particularly hard hit by the pandemic in the U.S. and were 50% less likely to have access to federal loans in comparison to white-owned businesses. 

Take the moment to order from your favorite Mexican-owned restaurant or do a quick web search to discover authentic Mexican businesses around your area.

Donate

Give back to the community and the people whose culture you want to celebrate. Learn more about and donate or volunteer to organizations working for immigrant rights – you can also promote their work through social media. Look up local groups in your area or donate to national organizations, such as the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, and United We Dream

Click here to read the full article on V Magazine.

6 Latina-Owned Sustainable Skincare Brands to Support This Earth Month
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6 Latina-Owned Sustainable Skincare Brands to Support This Earth Month

By Alejandra Tolley, Veg Out

Are you in search of some new vegan skincare products? Hoping to find brands that not only offer nourishing plant-based ingredients but also take sustainable steps to ensure low-waste and eco-friendly packaging? We’ve got what you need! Here are six Latina-owned sustainable skincare brands to support this Earth Month.

Sanara
Founder Rebekah Jasso Jensen is creating plant-based skin and body care with sacred intention. Filled with ingredients like cupuacu butter, jojoba oil, and bamboo fiber, Jensen’s products celebrate the rich variety of Indigenous botanicals. Sanara, translating to “you will heal,” is felt throughout the brand’s body polishes and hand-poured soaps. These luxurious formulations will leave your skin feeling balanced, moisturized, and rejuvenated.

Brujita Skincare
This vegan-friendly sustainable skincare brand ensures organic and sustainable products are accessible to all communities. Inspired by open markets in Mexico City, founder Leah Guerrero formulates her products with unrefined ingredients. Not only does Brujita offer nontoxic skincare, but they also make it easy for you to find the right product! Take their skin quiz to begin your holistic skincare journey.

Nopalera
Nopalera shows us why cactus is one of the most versatile crops around. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, cactus is infused in all of Nopalera’s products to detox and gently exfoliate skin without compromising moisture. Offering solid products, including moisturizers and soaps, this eco-friendly skin and body care line celebrates the richness of Mexican culture through its low-waste packaging and enriching ingredients. Cactus being the star of the show, it’s accompanied by calming, soothing, and detoxing formulas. There’s a product for everyone with this vibrant brand!

Dermlove
Dermlove is revolutionizing the skincare industry. With a focus on clean, safe, and effective ingredients, this innovative brand is also helping our environment with one biodegradable skincare capsule at a time! Efficiency and science-backed formulas are at the core of Dermlove and continue to ensure potent ingredients, including vitamin C and retinoids, and are gentle enough even for the most sensitive skin types.

Bubbly Moon Naturals
Second-generation soap maker and founder Marshella Ramos-Inde infuses her lush products with fair trade essential oils and wildlife botanicals that will leave your skin feeling illuminated. Not only does this entirely handcrafted brand use recyclable and reusable packaging, but you can also customize your own vegan skincare gift box! With Mother’s Day right around the corner, this is the ultimate gift of vegan green beauty.

Click here to read the full article on Veg Out.

Ariana DeBose makes Oscars history
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Ariana DeBose as Anita in 20th Century Studios' "West Side Story".

By Chloe Melas and Lisa Respers France, CNN

Ariana DeBose won best actress in a supporting role for “West Side Story” at the Academy Awards on Sunday and made history as the first openly queer woman of color to win in the category.

This is her first Oscar nomination and win. DeBose has received acclaim for her role as Anita in the musical film. When DeBose took the stage she emotionally said, “Even in this weird world we live in, dreams do come true.” She also thanked her mother, who came as her guest and was in the audience. DeBose spoke movingly about her experience as a queer Afro-Latina woman. “For anyone who has ever questioned their identity, there is indeed a place for us,” she said, quoting her film. DeBose has previously won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild Award for this role.

In 1962, Rita Moreno won the same award for the same role. Moreno starred as Anita in the original “West Side Story” film and made history herself as the first Hispanic actress to win in the best supporting actress category. Moreno played drugstore owner Valentina in the remake. Debose also paid tribute to Moreno in her acceptance speech on Sunday, thanking her for paving the way for other “Anitas” in Hollywood.

“Ariana DeBose is an immensely talented actress and a tremendous advocate for LGBTQ people and people of color,” GLAAD’s President & CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement Sunday. “She not only made history tonight as the first queer woman of color to win an Oscar, but she sent a beautiful and timely message to LGBTQ young people. I hope LGBTQ youth around the world saw her win, heard her speak and recognize that they too should dream big.”

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

How Actress and Model Jillian Mercado Is Breaking Boundaries For Disabled Latinas
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Jillian Mercado wearing a floral dress in front of an orange floral backdrop

By Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Popsugar

Actress and model Jillian Mercado has spent her entire career breaking barriers for the disabled community.

From her role on Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q” to her unprecedented appearance on the runway during New York Fashion Week in 2020, Mercado has been making her presence known in the entertainment world for some time now, representing not just Latinas, but the disability community.

Mercado, who is of Dominican descent and was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a teenager, is a self-made success. She started out as fashion blogger and eventually landed a modeling contract, which has allowed her to become a source of inspiration for disabled Latinas and the disability community as a whole. The 34-year-old is proud of who she is and embraces the unique position she’s in as both a Latina celebrity and a disabled celebrity — and her achievements and commitment to representation are truly something to be celebrated. “It’s not about opening doors for me, it’s about removing them,” Mercado, who has partnerships with Yves Saint Laurent and Tommy Hilfiger, told “V Magazine.” We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the future.

Here are just some of the ways Jillian Mercado has paved the way for better representation for members of the disability community — and how she continues to break boundaries with her history-making career.

In 2014, Nicola Formichetti, the former artistic director of Diesel (who has worked with the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga), selected Mercado to appear in the line’s spring 2014 ad campaign, launching her modeling career.

Mercado told Racked that she’d originally written off the idea of modeling. “I suppressed the feeling because I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously,” she said. “I never thought I’d get picked, but my friends encouraged me to try out, because, hey, you never know — and two weeks later, they got back to me.”

Mercado still works with Formichetti and considers him a good friend. Prior to that first Diesel shoot, Mercado had her own fashion blog and worked as the editorial director of We The Urban magazine, but she was largely behind the scenes. However, she was able to book more modeling gigs almost immediately after the Diesel campaign came out.

Mercado signed with IMG Models not long after the Diesel campaign. She has since appeared in various magazines and been hired for several print campaigns for major retailers, including Target, Nordstrom, and Olay. She’s currently represented by CAA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest talent agencies.

In 2016, Beyoncé hired Jillian to model for her “Formation” merchandise print campaign, marking a special moment for disability representation. Jillian led the highly visible campaign, which appeared on Bey’s official website. “All this press on my announcement on Beys site is truly surreal & amazing,” Mercado tweeted at the time.

Click here to read the full article on Popsugar.

Meet Bella Dose, the Bilingual Latina Girl Group Taking Over TikTok
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Latina girl group bella dose posing for the camera against a tan wall

By , Glamour

Sitting on the floor leaning against the edge of a bed with their eyes fastened shut, the four members of Bella Dose, the world’s first bilingual Latin pop girl group, harmonize to Billie Eilish’s song “Goldwing.” It’s a request by one of their 1.7 million TikTok followers that they happily honor in their ongoing video series, in which they cover commenter-requested songs like the theme song to Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses and Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry.”

Often clad in color-coordinating outfits that would make even the Spice Girls jealous, the group hasn’t even released their debut album yet, but they’re already proving their vocal game to be all but unmatched. Comparisons to the likes of Fifth Harmony and BlackPink have started, though their sound is distinctly their own.

They are: Melany Rivera, 21; Brianna Leah, 18; Jenni Hernandez, 23; and Thais Rodriguez, 22. Formed in 2017, the group is the brainchild of Vicky Curiel, who held auditions across the United States to find talented young women to lead the first ever bilingual Latin pop girl group. As luck had it, Curiel found the girls on her Miami stop and flew them to Los Angeles to teach them guitar, piano, music theory, and even sound engineering so they could manage their own sessions.

With a hands-on approach to their music, the girls hunkered down and began to write their own songs, film videos, and amass millions of followers across social media. Get to know the soon-to-be-international sensations and TikTok masters whose adventures on the app have inspired others to follow their dreams for the latest installment of New Here.

Click here to read the full article on Glamour.

For Many Afro-Latinas, Rosie Perez Is the Hollywood Blueprint
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Rosie Perez young and in a black and white photo with a colorful background

By Janel Martinez, POPSUGAR

When Billy Hoyle — a white basketball player with a sick jump shot in 1992’s “White Men Can’t Jump” — gets hustled by his teammate Sidney Deane, Billy’s girlfriend springs into action. Heading straight to Sidney’s house, Gloria, played by Rosie Perez, makes an agreement with Sidney’s wife, Rhonda. As the two women block the TV to announce the terms of their deal, one of the guys yells for someone to tell them to move.

Sidney responds, “Why don’t you tell them to move? Them Black women over there, you think I’m crazy?”

The Puerto Rican actress, dancer, and choreographer is one of the women referenced in the subtle-yet-affirming scene. While the words are likely to get lost in the film’s overall plot, it was an acknowledgement of Perez’s identity: a light-skinned Black woman. In her 2014 memoir, “Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata And My Crazy Mother and Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair),” Perez shared that the role of Gloria was originally intended for an Italian or Irish American actor.

“It’s an important affirmation because it sends the message that, one: Black people are global; we come in various shades and exist all over the world,” journalist and TV/film critic Kathia Woods tells POPSUGAR of the scene. “Two: Latinos include people of various races and ethnicities, one of which is Black.”

For many Afro-Latinas, Perez’s earliest appearances on the silver screen marked an integral acknowledgment of their existence in the mainstream.

The Brooklyn-born performer caught the world’s attention in Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do The Right Thing.” During the opening credits, Perez delivers an unforgettable dance sequence: pumping, kicking, hopping and spinning over Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power.” Her fierce expression and electrifying moves made cinematic history; she left a mark that many — especially Afro-Latinas — would never forget.

“It was the first time that I had seen someone that looked like me, people in my family, on screen moving their body in a way that we normally move when we dance, not in a way that we see in the media, on that big of a platform,” says Crystal Shaniece Roman, CEO and founder of The Black Latina Movement. “It was like, she’s one of us and she’s representing us.”

Throughout her now 30-plus year career, Perez has consistently been her authentic self, no matter the audition. In 1993, she appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” donning her soft curls, large hoops, low-cut ‘fits that accentuated her figure and, of course, her one-of-a-kind Nuyorican accent. Though she’s noted that she has enjoyed her interviews with Letterman, some portions are hard to watch as the former TV host teases the Afro-Boricua actress, pinpointing her outfit of choice and mannerisms like her “hard” laugh. Even under the spotlight of a coveted late-night TV appearance, she couldn’t escape being typecast.

Luckily, there was already a space where Perez’s demeanor was more familiar: Black television. She was frequenting the club scene when a talent scout for “Soul Train” invited her to dance on the groundbreaking show at 19. While balancing several jobs and studying biochemistry in Los Angeles, she became “Soul Train”‘s “It girl.” “Rosie came on the show, and she was just so hot and so sexy. That girl could dance. She could move,” said fellow “Soul Train” dancer Crystal McCarey in Nelson George’s book, “The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture and Style.”

Melissa M. Valle, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Sociology and Anthropology and African American and African Studies departments at Rutgers University-Newark, witnessed Perez on-screen in the ’90s. She recognizes how complicated a role the actress straddled in the public eye: the thin line between representation and pigeonholing was everpresent.

“[Rosie] embodies an experience, a human experience, and it’s a cultural experience that does need to be put out there,” says Valle. “But we also know this is where representation becomes a little bit complicated in that they want her to be that [one thing]. That’s what they came for. That’s what they’re entertained by.”

“Soul Train” furthered the star’s professional dance career. Perez choreographed the music videos for Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” and “My Prerogative” and later worked with the likes of Heavy D & The Boyz, Diana Ross, and LL Cool J. After she met Keenen Ivory Wayans at one of Eddie Murphy’s house parties (a story she tells in her book), Perez became the three-time Emmy-nominated choreographer for “In Living Color’s” Fly Girls. As she booked performers, curated the music, and choreographed eight routines per week, Perez discovered and advocated for new talent like Jennifer Lopez and Queen Latifah. The famed sketch-comedy show wasn’t the only venture that would lead to widespread recognition for her; the Dec 1993/Jan 1994 “Vibe” cover girl also earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in 1993’s “Fearless.”

By the 2000s, Perez’s impact would also be felt amongst her people as an activist for Puerto Rican rights; she was arrested in 2000 after protesting against US bomb ranges in Vieques. Her career would continue to blossom as well — she went on to star on Broadway and in a number of movies and TV shows, and cohosted the popular daytime program “The View.” Still today, Afro-Latinas are far from getting their just due. “I’ve seen change, but it’s not what it should be,” Perez said in a 2020 “New York Times” interview on Latinx representation in Hollywood.

Click here to read the full article on POPSUGAR.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. USPAACC’s CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference 2022
    May 25, 2022 - May 27, 2022
  4. From Day One
    June 14, 2022
  5. 2022 Airport Minority Business Development Conference (AMAC) Annual Conference
    June 20, 2022 - June 23, 2022
  6. From Day One
    June 22, 2022
  7. UNIDOS US Annual Conference & Latinx Inclusion Summit
    July 9, 2022 - July 11, 2022
  8. Business Beyond Barriers Conference + Expo
    July 14, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
  9. 2022 LULAC National convention
    July 25, 2022 - July 30, 2022
  10. CHCI’s 2022 Leadership Conference & Gala
    September 13, 2022 - September 15, 2022