Maria ‘Chica’ Lopez Becomes the First Latina LBTQ+ Creator To Join Fortnite Icon Series
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Maria ‘Chica’ Lopez on a computer chair

By Yamily Habib, Be Latina

When we say Latinas are breaking through in every industry, we mean every industry. Just look at the outstanding achievement of Twitch streamer Maria “Chica” Lopez, who has joined the icon series of Epic Games‘ popular game, Fortnite.

As announced by the company, Chica’s icon set is now available in the item store and includes five different costume styles.

The icon set is one of 17 rarity types in Fortnite: Battle Royale. This rarity focuses on notable celebrities, artists, and influencers. The most notable inclusions are emotes (Twitch-specific emoticons that viewers and streamers use to express many feelings in chat) with copyrighted songs and other cosmetics based on streamers and artists.

Chica thus joins professional athletes such as LeBron James and Neymar Jr, pop star Ariana Grande, fellow streamer Kathleen “Loserfruit” Belsten, and others in the Icon Series, which immortalizes celebrities and high-profile content creators with skins and other cosmetics in Fortnite.

Maria “Chica” Lopez is an American Twitch streamer and professional eSports player known for her talent in multi-person shooter games like Fortnite.

Chica started gaming full-time during college and has since garnered over 2 million followers on Twitch, making her one of the most successful streamers on the platform. Maria has also become known for being one of the only prominent streamers to broadcast games in two different languages.

Chica has been a professional eSports player for several years. She first signed with TSM as their first player. Then she signed with DooM Clan and later joined Luminosity Gaming as a content creator and streamer.

Now, the young Latina breaks the glass ceiling and becomes the much-needed representation in the gaming world.

“I take a lot of pride in being not only a content creator but also in my identity as a Puerto Rican woman in the LGBTQIA+ community,” Chica said. “I wanted my Set in Fortnite to be true to who I am. I’ve been able to build such an awesome community within the Fortnite family, and I can’t wait to share my Set with everyone. I’m thrilled to be the first Latina to join the Icon Series.”

Click here to read the full article on Be Latina.

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.

Camila Cabello stars in Victoria’s Secret’s first bilingual campaign: ‘I am honored’
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Camila Cabello wearing a white dress on the red carpet

By Kerry Justich, Yahoo! Life

Camila Cabello is the latest to team up with Victoria’s Secret.

The 25-year-old Cuban-American singer took to Instagram on Tuesday to share footage from her latest partnership with the brand for the Bombshell fragrance. Not only is she starring in an English version of the commercial, but also one in Spanish.

“I am honored to be the newest addition to the @victoriassecret Bombshell family 💖 and to be part of the brand’s first ever bilingual campaign!” she wrote. “Bombshell is about embracing who and what you are, and celebrating that every day.”

In the commercial, Cabello goes on to describe what the word bombshell means to her, explaining that it’s all about “owning your desires, your pleasures and enjoying everything life has to offer. Those things that make you feel great and make you feel joyful. Being who you are in every way.”

She later posted other photos from the campaign, sharing how empowered she felt to be a part of it. She even showed appreciation for not having her freckles airbrushed out of the final pictures.

“i loved this shoot !” she captioned one of three posts. “It’s rare that my lil sun freckles get to have their moment.”

Friends and fans of the singer took to the comment section to praise Cabello’s beauty.

“Linda,” singer Anitta wrote, while others called Cabello “gorgeous” and wrote “You ARE a bombshell.”

Supporters also shared that they were “proud” of Cabello for representing Latin women and Spanish speaking people in the brand’s first bilingual campaign. Some even expressed that they’d be willing to support Victoria’s Secret with Cabello’s stamp of approval.

“Influence,” one wrote. Another said, “I’m gonna try this brand cuz I trust you.”

While Victoria’s Secret has had a notable history of exclusionary practices and representation with its models, the brand has recently pivoted to become more inclusive. And although Cabello isn’t partnered on a lingerie campaign, it seems that the body positive singer is the latest to help with that mission.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

Bad Bunny Unveiled as New Marvel Hero ‘El Muerto’ for Sony Pictures
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bad bunny

By Matt Donnelly, Variety

Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, better known by his stage name Bad Bunny, has been cast as the newest Marvel hero in Sony Pictures’ portfolio of the super characters — and will lead the standalone comic book film “El Muerto.”

“El Muerto” is set to hit theaters on Jan. 12, 2024.

Introduced by Sony Motion Pictures Group president Sanford Panitch at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of movie theater owners in Las Vegas, Ocasio will be the first ever Latino actor to headline a live-action Marvel movie.

“To bring El Muerto to life is just incredible .. so exciting,” the chart-topping rapper told the crowd, adding that he grew up a fan of wrestling.

Known as Juan-Carlos Estrada Sanchez in the comics, El Muerto is a wrestler whose powers are handed down by ancestry in the form of a mask (which, according to Marvel’s official site, gives him superhuman strength). In past comic narratives, El Muerto has gotten in the ring with Spider-Man himself. On stage at CinemaCon, Sony brass suggested Ocasio will portray an antihero on the verge of inheriting his father’s power.

Sony’s adaptive Marvel rights have yielded three Spider-Man iterations over 20 years, with the current Tom Holland-led series most recently enjoying a massive hit in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Additional franchises include Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams’ “Venom,” Jared Leto’s “Morbius” and the Oscar-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” A sequel to the latter was just pushed from a December 2022 release to June 2023.

Upcoming Sony Marvel projects include: the anticipated “Madame Web,” a female-led adventure starring Dakota Johnson, which is due in theaters on July 7, 2023; and the imminent “Kraven the Hunter,” led by “Nocturnal Animals” star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, which hits theaters on January 13, 2023.

Click here to read the full article on Variety.

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.

Deaf Latina Actress Stephanie Nogueras Is Pushing For More Inclusivity
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Stephanie Nogueras

BCristina Escobar, Popsugar

“Don’t forget about people with disabilities when you’re talking about diversity and inclusion,” actress and activist Stephanie Nogueras says in an interview with POPSUGAR. As a deaf woman of Puerto Rican descent making it in the entertainment industry, she knows something about what it takes to build real representation. Nogueras explains that while she has been made to feel invisible at times and has been judged and discriminated against because she’s deaf, she also has hope and believes people are becoming “more open-minded and open-hearted,” especially in recognizing and valuing deaf talent. Just look at this year’s Academy Awards. It may have been overshadowed by “the slap,” but the best picture Oscar went to “CODA,” a film that tells the story of a child of deaf adults who must balance her own dreams against threats to her family.

There’s also evidence of change in Nogueras’s career. Acting since 2013, it’s been a “fast journey,” but also one full of challenges. She’s appeared on the critically acclaimed “The Good Fight” and as a deaf mermaid in “Grimm” (an experience she describes as “cool, random . . . and artistic.”). Now she’s featured in Peacock’s latest half-hour comedy, “Killing It.”

The show stars Craig Robinson as Craig, a down-on-his-luck dad who’s trying to figure out how to make it in business and life despite his lack of resources. Nogueras plays his ex-wife, Camille, who gives Craig both tough love and encouragement as they coparent their teenage daughter, Vanessa (played by Jet Miller). And both Camille’s Latinidad and her deafness are completely normalized. They are unremarked upon and integrated as part of the texture of the characters’ lives.

The show opens with Craig giving a monologue about how he got rich despite the obstacles. The show then jumps back, promising to tell the story of Craig’s rise. As the show goes on, his eventual success just seems farther away as he embarks on a snake-killing contest and loses his car and apartment in short order. For her part, Nogueras relates to the show’s themes, remembering growing up in a family that stressed over money to the point where it affected their relationships with each other.

But she’s proud the show doesn’t pretend that financial success is the most important thing. “Some people feel like to be successful and happy, you need to have money, but that’s not always the answer.” For her, the American dream “really boils down to family [and] having a stable mental health situation, and that’s not always dependent on money.”

While the plot of “Killing It” is certainly driven by Craig’s money-making adventures, the show is not a celebration of winner-take-all capitalism: it’s more a look at how unfair our system really is. Craig has a safety net thanks to Camille’s support, but his snake-hunting partner Claudia O’Doherty’s Jillian does not. An orphan, she’s alone and homeless (she sleeps in her car), looking for love and security wherever she can find it. In “Killing It,” Craig and Jillian are the heroes while the rich folks — whether Tim Heidecker as a Trump-esque businessman or “The Good Place”‘s D’Arcy Carden as a bored, clueless rich woman — are played for laughs.

At first, I was worried that Nogueras’s Camille was also more of a caricature than a character, specifically the nagging wife who stands in the way of the more dynamic man protagonist. Even when they’re right (think Skylar in “Breaking Bad”), these women get the short end of the stick. But while Camille does remind Craig that as a father, he has certain responsibilities, she is not a roadblock.

Click here to read the full article on Popsugar.

Ironheart is Reportedly Looking to Cast a ‘Black, Latina or Afro-Latina’ Trans Woman
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Ironheart, starring Dominique Thorne, is reportedly looking for a "Black, Latina or Afro-Latina transgender character.". Image shows DOminique on the left and the artist illustration for the comic book cover on the left

By Rebecca Kaplan, Movie Web

Marvel Studios is reportedly looking to cast a smart, confident transgender female character in the Disney+ series Ironheart. According to POC Culture, Marvel sent out a casting call for the upcoming series for a “Black, Latina or Afro-Latina transgender” actress between 18 and 22 years old. If the studio follows through with casting a trans actor, the Ironheart actress would be the fourth trans actor to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and third trans woman. Ironheart stars Dominique Thorne (Judas and the Black Messiah) as Riri Williams, as well as Anthony Ramos and Lyric Ross in yet-to-be-announced roles. In the comics, the character is a super genius by five years old and enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by 15 years old. After her best friend and father are killed in a drive-by shooting, Riri wants to protect her hometown and the ones she loves, so she reverse engineers Tony Stark’s Iron Man design to create her own suit of armor—the most advanced of its kind since Stark’s Iron Man designs themselves!

“One of the characters that will be introduced in the upcoming Ironheart Disney+ series is going to be a Black, Latina or Afro-Latina transgender character,” said POC Culture’s Ron Seoul-Oh. The publication’s report continued on, adding, “the character is portrayed as she/her, [who] is around 18-22 years old.”

The casting call for the character also describes her as “smart” and “confident,” “with a mystical bent and unique sense of humor,” adding that she is “unapologetically nerdy about things that excite her…even if they might be terrifying to others.” Although this casting description doesn’t point to any specific character from Marvel Comics, fans are excited about the prospect of a POC trans woman joining the cast of Ironheart.

There are also rumors the show is looking to cast an older non-binary actor for a major role and Marvel and Disney are considering making Riri bisexual.

This Would Not Be the First Trans Character in the MCU

After The Walt Disney Company and CEO Bob Chapek’s failure to oppose Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the company needs to earn back goodwill and trust with its LGBTQIA+ audiences. Even if it seems like shouldn’t be remarkable to see a trans actor on-screen, it still is. Not backing out on its recent promise to have more diversity and inclusion in its content—for example, by casting a Black, Latina or Afro-Latina transgender character in Ironheart—is a first step toward Disney showing it’s a true ally to the queer community.

Although it’s worth celebrating more trans representation on-screen in Ironheart, casting a trans female character in the Disney+ series wouldn’t be a first for Marvel, especially now the Netflix shows seem to be back into the canon with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) appearing in the MCU. For example, trans actress Aneesh Sheth (The Walking Dead) played Gillian, a trans woman and Jessica Jones’ (Krysten Ritter) assistant in Jessica Jones Season 3. Notably, Gillian’s trans identity isn’t a plot point.

“There’s no narrative around her identity, which I think is wonderful because trans people exist in the world, and it’s not always about their [trans] narrative,” Sheth told iNews.

Click here to read the full article on Movie Web.

International Latin Superstar, Maluma, Launches His First Clothing Line for Men and Women Exclusively for Macy’s
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Explore the Royalty by Maluma collection at Macy's; Acid Wash Notch Collar Printed Denim Jacket and Acid Wash Denim Pants, $99.50- $139.00 (Photo: Business Wire)

By Business Wire

Breaking barriers through music, acting and style, Colombian powerhouse Maluma is launching his first fashion collection for men and women exclusively with Macy’s. Royalty by Maluma, designed in partnership with Reunited Clothing, is an exploration of the musician’s lifelong admiration for the artistry, and magic of high fashion plus furthers his mission to bring indelible style to his community through accessible collections. Featuring must-have statement sets, the collection embraces inclusivity and a fluid design concept that allows shoppers to mix and match between the women’s and men’s collections; step into Maluma’s self-expressing world. Available in sizes XS to XXL with prices ranging from $39.50-$179.00, shop Royalty by Maluma now on macys.com, Macy’s mobile app and at select Macy’s nationwide.

“The meaning of royalty is to treat others with respect, love and understanding. I want everyone to feel like kings and queens when wearing this collection,” said Maluma. “Royalty by Maluma is a unique blend of my Latin culture and my love for fashion, with stylish wear-anywhere looks that are versatile for a night out or every day. In addition, my partnership with Reunited Clothing for Macy’s represents the American Dream. This will be the first of multiple drops in my collection, that I hope will inspire my fans to dream.”

The collection inspires everyone to proudly embrace their unique personal style and present it to the world with unabashed authority. With exceptional fabrics and unique textures, Royalty by Maluma features this season’s on-trend styles including colorful cut-out dresses, bold pops of colors, paisley prints, classic knits and more. Maluma’s personal touches appear throughout the collection including his signature crown finishing and patterns inspired by his hometown of Medellin, Colombia.

“Maluma’s impeccable sense of style and inclusive commitment to celebrating the beauty and sexiness of everyone, whoever they are, made him an ideal partner to collaborate with,” said Durand Guion, vice president, Macy’s Fashion Office.

Singer, songwriter, actor and philanthropist, Maluma is one of today’s top-charting artists to come out of South America. Maluma is one of social media’s most-followed artists and has released six studio albums with his fifth album “Papi Juancho,” being five-time platinum-certified. In November 2021, Maluma starred in his first Disney animated movie, “Encanto,” which is nominated for an Oscar this year and as well as two Golden Globes. Maluma also made his on-screen acting debut this past February, in the film “Marry Me,” alongside Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, which will be accompanied by a soundtrack written by Maluma and Jennifer Lopez. Maluma has a non-profit foundation in Colombia called, “El Arte De Los Sueños,” focusing on helping kids stay out of the streets and dream big with the art/music programs they offer. For more information visit: https://maluma.online/ and follow him on all social media platforms as @maluma.

About Macy’s

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE: M) serves as the style source for generations of customers. With one of the nation’s largest e-commerce platforms powered by macys.com and mobile app, paired with a nationwide network of stores, Macy’s delivers the most convenient and seamless shopping experience, offering great values in apparel, home, beauty, accessories and more. Macy’s gives customers even more ways to shop and own their style through an off-price assortment at Macy’s Backstage and at our highly curated and smaller store format, Market by Macy’s. Each year, Macy’s provides millions with unforgettable experiences through Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® and helps our customers celebrate special moments, big and small. We’re guided by our purpose – to create a brighter future with bold representation that empowers more voice, choice and ownership for our colleagues, customers, and communities.

Click here to read the full article on Business Wire.

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.

Ben Affleck cheers on Jennifer Lopez at 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards
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Jennifer Lopez speaking at a radio interview

By Desiree Murphy, Page Six

Ben Affleck was playing the role of supportive boyfriend Tuesday night.

The actor, 49, was spotted in the audience at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, cheering on girlfriend Jennifer Lopez as she accepted the prestigious Icon Award. The “Tender Bar” star was seated front row with his 10-year-old son, Samuel, and Lopez’s 14-year-old daughter, Emme.

“I appreciate this so much, so very, very much. I wish I could tell you that awards were the most important to me, but that’s not true,” Lopez, 52, said on stage as she accepted her award from host LL Cool J.

“And don’t think that I don’t appreciate the shiny, sparkly things, because I do! I cannot lie, everybody knows that I do. But this isn’t why I do this. It’s not what matters the most to me. I really do it for you guys.”

Lopez added that because of all of her supportive fans, she gets to wake up every day doing what she loves “most in life.”

“That is the most wonderful blessing. That’s a gift that you give me and I just want to say thank you for that,” she gushed. “You guys are the ones who give me the opportunity every day to live a life I couldn’t even imagine would come true when I was a little girl growing up in the Bronx.”

She continued, “You did that for me! You made that dream come true, and I’m shaking! I will always be grateful to each and every one of you for that. And I will never forget it, and I will never, ever take it for granted.”

The “Let’s Get Loud” singer concluded her speech by thanking every person who has ever “believed in” her over the years.

“Thank you for teaching me who I really am. Icon. I can overcome negativity, and so can you, every single moment,” she said. “And let me tell you something else… I’m just getting started.”

Affleck shares son Samuel with ex-wife Jennifer Garner, along with daughters Violet, 16, and Seraphina, 13. Lopez shares 14-year-old twins Emme and Maximilian with ex-husband Marc Anthony.

Click here to read the full article on Page Six.

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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