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.

At 17, she was her family’s breadwinner on a McDonald’s salary. Now she’s gone into space
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At 17, she was her family's breadwinner on a McDonald's salary. Now she's gone into space

By Jackie Wattles, CNN

A rocket built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin carried its fifth group of passengers to the edge of space, including the first-ever Mexican-born woman to make such a journey.

The 60-foot-tall suborbital rocket took off from Blue Origin’s facilities in West Texas at 9:26am ET, vaulting a group of six people to more than 62 miles above the Earth’s surface — which is widely deemed to make the boundary of outer space — and giving them a few minutes of weightlessness before parachuting to landing.

Most of the passengers paid an undisclosed sum for their seats. But Katya Echazarreta, an engineer and science communicator from Guadalajara, Mexico, was selected by a nonprofit called Space for Humanity to join this mission from a pool of thousands of applicants. The organization’s goal is to send “exceptional leaders” to space and allow them to experience the overview effect, a phenomenon frequently reported by astronauts who say that viewing the Earth from space give them a profound shift in perspective.

Echazarreta told CNN Business that she experienced that overview effect “in my own way.”

“Looking down and seeing how everyone is down there, all of our past, all of our mistakes, all of our obstacles, everything — everything is there,” she said. “And the only thing I could think of when I came back down was that I need people to see this. I need Latinas to see this. And I think that it just completely reinforced my mission to continue getting primarily women and people of color up to space and doing whatever it is they want to do.”

Echazarreta is the first Mexican-born woman to travel to space and the second Mexican after Rodolfo Neri Vela, a scientist who joined one of NASA’s Space Shuttle missions in 1985.

She moved to the United States with her family at the age of seven, and she recalls being overwhelmed in a new place where she didn’t speak the language, and a teacher warned her she might have to be held back.
“It just really fueled me and I think ever since then, ever since the third grade, I kind of just went off and have not stopped,” Echazarreta recalled in an Instagram interview.

When she was 17 and 18, Echazarreta said she was also the main breadwinner for her family on a McDonald’s salary.

“I had sometimes up to four [jobs] at the same time, just to try to get through college because it was really important for me,” she said.
These days, Echazarreta is working on her master’s degree in engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She previously worked at NASA’s famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. She also boasts a following of more than 330,000 users on TikTok, hosts a science-focused YouTube series and is a presenter on the weekend CBS show “Mission Unstoppable.”

Space for Humanity — which was founded in 2017 by Dylan Taylor, a space investor who recently joined a Blue Origin flight himself — chose her for her impressive contributions. “We were looking for some like people who were leaders in their communities, who have a sphere of influence; people who are doing really great work in the world already, and people who are passionate about whatever that is,” Rachel Lyons, the nonprofit’s executive director, told CNN Business.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Juan Toscano-Anderson Becomes First Player of Mexican Descent to Win NBA Title
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Juan Toscano-Anderson Becomes First Player of Mexican Descent to Win NBA Title

By Kiko Martinez, Remezcla

Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson has become the first player of Mexican descent to win an NBA championship.

The 27-year-old Oakland native won the title with his hometown team Thursday night (June 16). The Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals 103-90 to win the series 4-2.

During the trophy presentation ceremony, Juan Toscano-Anderson held the Mexican flag proudly after the coveted Larry O’Brien championship trophy was handed to the team’s owners. This year’s championship marks the fourth one in eight years that the Warriors have won. In those eight years, the Warriors have been to the NBA Finals six times.

Later, Toscano-Anderson can be seen chanting “MVP” from the stage when his teammate Stephen Curry was named Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.

“Everybody on this stage has a part in this – from the front office, coaches, players,” Curry said.

Toscano-Anderson’s road to an NBA Championship was a challenging one. He played four years for Marquette University before going undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. He then started playing professional basketball in Mexico’s Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional. He also played in the Liga Profesional de Baloncesto in Venezuela and for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA’s G League.

In February 2020, Toscano-Anderson was signed by the Warriors for three years. His deal was converted to a full-time contract in May 2021. Earlier this year, he participated in the 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest at the All-Star Game wearing a pair of customized Nike tennis shoes designed to look like the Mexican flag.

Click here to read the full article on Remezcla.

Daniel Suárez grabs historic NASCAR Cup Series win at Sonoma
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Daniel Suarez celebrates his victory in a NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, June 12, 2022, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (P Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

By Greg Beacham, ABC 7

Daniel Suárez became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday, holding off Chris Buescher for a historic victory at Sonoma Raceway.

Suárez, a 30-year-old native of Monterrey, finally won in the 195th career start of a Cup Series career that began in 2017. He also drove his Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet to the third Cup Series victory of the season for this rising 2-year-old team co-owned by former driver Justin Marks and music star Pitbull.

Suárez got past Buescher and took charge early in the final stage on this hilly road course in Northern California wine country, and he persevered through a pit stop and a caution to emerge in front with 23 laps to go. Buescher pushed him aggressively, but Suárez made no significant mistakes while rolling to victory.

“It’s crazy,” Suárez said. “I have so many thoughts in my head right now. It’s been a rough journey in the Cup Series, and these guys believed in me. I have a lot of people to thank in Mexico. My family, they never gave up on me. A lot of people did, but they didn’t. I’m just happy we were able to make it work.”

Suárez’s team partied wildly when it was over, even pulling out a celebratory piñata shaped like a taco. The piñata was requested by Suárez for whenever he got his first win and clinched a spot in the playoffs – and he celebrated by punching a hole through it with his fist.

“They believed in me since Day One,” Suárez said of his team. “(We’ve got) all the people, all the resources to make it happen.”

Suárez then addressed his fans briefly in Spanish, saying: “This is the first one of many.”

Buescher’s second-place finish was also a season best in his RFK Racing Ford. He fell just short of his second career victory.

“Hurts to be that close, but congratulations to Suárez,” Buescher said. “We were trying, trying to get him. Ran out of steam there.”

Suárez, who won the Xfinity Series championship in 2016, is the fifth foreign-born driver to win a Cup Series race. He joins Colombia’s Juan Pablo Montoya, Australia’s Marcos Ambrose, Canada’s Earl Ross and Italian-born American Mario Andretti.

The success of Suárez and Trackhouse Racing could be a welcome boost to a sport eager to expand its cultural footprint. After moving to the U.S. 11 years ago with a desire to race on bigger stages, Suárez is a major success story for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, which aims to bring new perspectives and backgrounds to a largely monocultural organization for much of its history.

Click here to read the full article on ABC 7.

Young L.A. Latina wins prestigious environmental prize
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Nalleli Cobo holds the ouroboros environmental prize

By Edwin Flores, NBC News

At age 9, Nalleli Cobo was experiencing asthma, body spasms, heart palpitations and nosebleeds so severe she needed to sleep in a chair to prevent herself from choking on her own blood.

Across the street from her family’s apartment in University Park in South Central Los Angeles was an oil extraction site owned by Allenco Energy that was spewing fumes into the air and the community around her.

After speaking with neighbors facing similar symptoms, she and her family began to mobilize with their community, suspecting that was making them sick. They created the People Not Pozos (People Not Oil Wells) campaign. At 9 years old, Cobo was designated the campaign’s spokesperson, marking the start of her activism and organizing career.

In March 2020, Cobo, the co-founder of the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition, helped lead the group to permanently shut down the Allenco Energy oil drilling site that she and others in the community said caused serious health issues for them. She also helped convince the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to unanimously vote to ban new oil exploration and phase out existing sites in Los Angeles.

After pressure from the community and scrutiny from elected officials, Allenco Energy agreed to suspend operations in 2013. The site was permanently shut down in 2020, and the company was charged in connection with state and local environmental health and safety regulations. There are ongoing issues around cleaning and plugging up the oil wells.

Cobo co-founded the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition in 2015 to bolster efforts against oil sites and work toward phasing them out across the city.

That year, the youth group sued the city of Los Angeles, alleging violations of the California Environmental Quality Act and environmental racism. The suit was settled after the city implemented new drilling application requirements.

Cobo, now 21, was recognized Wednesday for the environmental justice work that has spanned more than half her life. She received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, which is awarded annually to individuals from six regions: Europe, Asia, Africa, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America.

“I did not want to answer the phone because it was an unknown number,” Cobo, who was getting bubble tea when she received the call about the prize, told NBC News in a Zoom interview Wednesday. “I didn’t even know I was nominated. I started crying.”

During the 1920s, Los Angeles was one of the world’s largest urban oil-exporting regions. More than 20,000 active, idle, or abandoned oil wells still reside in the county, and about one-third of residents live less than a mile from an active oil site.

Studies have shown that living near oil and gas wells increases exposure to air pollution, with nearby communities facing environmental and health risks including preterm birth, asthma and heart disease.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

adidas Brings You Another Pair Of “Bad Bunny Forums At Home”
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newly-surfaced adidas Forum ’84 Low in pink a question arises: which came first – Bad Bunny or the Three Stripes.

By Jovani Hernandez, Sneaker News

Adidas Brings You Another Pair Of “Bad Bunny Forums At Home”

It’s no secret that sneaker brands often rely on a high-profile collaboration in order to introduce or energize a given silhouette. Yet, in the case of the newly-surfaced adidas Forum ’84 Low in pink a question arises: which came first – Bad Bunny or the Three Stripes. Back on April 4th, 2021, the Puerto Rican megastar (who’s fresh off dropping the “Un Verano Sin Ti” album) launched an Easter-friendly take on the adidas Originals classic.

For adidas‘ own offering, the low-top silhouette is covered in bolder shades of pink, with fuzzy suede at the profile 3-Stripes and lower heel complimenting high-quality leather panels throughout the majority of the upper. Lockdown straps at the top of the tongue boast their standard 1984 build, abandoning the trail-inspired buckles used by Bad Bunny. Underfoot, sole units opt for a solid rich rose makeover, delivering a non-experimental look that’s worthy of any comparison to the aforementioned collaboration from Spring 2021. Enjoy product shots of the pair ahead, courtesy of Up There Store, and anticipate an adidas.com launch as summer gets going.

Click here to read the full article on Sneaker News.

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.

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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. UNIDOS US Annual Conference & Latinx Inclusion Summit
    July 9, 2022 - July 11, 2022
  4. Business Beyond Barriers Conference + Expo
    July 14, 2022
  5. 2022 LULAC National convention
    July 25, 2022 - July 30, 2022
  6. ALPFA Conference 2022: Join us to celebrate 50 years!
    August 7, 2022 - August 11, 2022
  7. CHCI’s 2022 Leadership Conference & Gala
    September 13, 2022 - September 15, 2022
  8. The 2022 Global ERG Summit
    September 19, 2022 - September 23, 2022
  9. National College Resources Foundation Upcoming Events–Mark Your Calendar!
    September 24, 2022 - April 1, 2023
  10. ROMBA Conference
    October 6, 2022 - October 8, 2022