Friday, September 30, 2011

More Hispanics listing themselves as white

Shocking? Well not really. When it comes to asking yourself whether you're black or white, most people are obviously going to say white. Skin color, ethnicity, race, background, etc. They all could be the same but they could also be different. A recent Associated Press article said, "In a twist to notions of race identity, new 2010 census figures show an unexpected reason behind a renewed growth in the U.S. white population: more Hispanics listing themselves as white in the once-a-decade government count."

America sure did a number on humans when it decided to make the notion of identity into something important. Why do we label ourselves? Because it will give someone power. If there are 100 Latinos, 5 "whites" and 2 "blacks" then most likely a Latino will be the leader. Calling yourself white, Latino, black, etc. doesn't mean a damn thing anywhere else except in America. Take a trip to China, Colombia or just about any other country and you'll just be an American scumbag. Okay...maybe I took it too far.

The article continued with, "The share of Hispanics identifying themselves as white increased over the past decade from 48 percent to 53 percent, while the proportion of those who marked "some other race" dropped from 42 percent to 37 percent. Many Hispanics previously preferred to check the "some other race" category to express their nationalities — such as Mexican or Cuban." This leads to Latin American countries all identifying as something different. Colombians may mark white, Puerto Ricans may mark black. I just don't understand the big issue. I wish people would stop judging everyone based on what they look like; and it's not only skin color, but it's also how you dress. ::le sigh::

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Go Red Por Tu Corazón

During Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazón movement and its national sponsor, Macy’s, are launching the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund nationally. The scholarship directly addresses important gaps in treatment that can lead to heart health disparities among Hispanic women. Cue huge corporation reaching out to the Latino community. Unlike other businesses, this is actually a good opportunity.

The scholarship program places medical and nursing school within the reach of deserving racial and ethnic female candidates and increases cultural competence in the healthcare workforce. This year, the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund will award 16 scholarships of $2,500 each ($40,000 total) to qualifying applicants. Opportunity alert! Well I already said it but hey $2,500 for one person is a lot money...especially in medical or nursing school. It can most likely purchase one or two books -_-.

Anyways, for more information and to request an application, visit for entry is November 30, 2011.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear SEPTA passengers

“Por lo pronto nuestra página se traduce al español y queremos implementar más medidas para dar información en tiempo real." These are the words from SEPTA. According to an Al Dia article, Philadelphia's own transportation system wants more Latinos. What does that even mean? I'm not the biggest SEPTA fan nor do I even like taking their buses, but for them to say that to a Spanish-language newspaper is like, "um cool." Suggestion alert: Create love letters on the east side of MFL like the Mural Arts did a year ago. Maybe?

I'm sure the 47, 57 and MFL are all already filled with Latinos. However, when it comes to taking these to Center City, why would they? Should SEPTA work with Center City businesses to provide services? I usually only take the MFL and an occasional trip on the regional rails when I want to go visit the parents. What SEPTA needs to concentrate first is getting rid of the token system. It's outdated and nobody likes it. Sure I'm bashing this system a little too much but when most of the cashiers tend to be nasty, it does not give a good vibe. Let me use my credit card to purchase a pass and this post might change.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh Christopher Columbus statue

Um, "...Columbus is commonly viewed now as the harbinger of genocide rather than the discoverer of the New World." And yes this is a quote from a recent Fox News Latino article about a Christopher Columbus statue set to make it's debut in Puerto Rico...soon. Although I've heard of this rumor a few months ago, it looks like it's about to come to life. Now I have no problem with art but this just doesn't seem like the right place to have his statue.

Sure the U.S. celebrates Columbus Day, but most people associate Columbus with slave trading. And somehow I can't seem to fathom how any Puerto Rican would want his statue in any of their cities. Although  yes it could quite possible bring tourism, but just the idea behind this statue is ugly. Then there's air traffic control; if every city in Puerto Rico has a problem with traffic, then I suggest not putting it up. The statue has traveled all over the U.S. since the '90s and somehow just has not found a home. Poor Russian artist. Yeah, that's the other thing...a Russian built this thing. Awkward party of two. 

Would you want this statue in your city?

Post La Feria de la

Oh yes hard work indeed pays off. This past weekend the three-month long planning for La Feria de la Familia took place at the PA National Guard Armory. It was very interested to see an event of this stature (that I planned) come to life. With the help of all my colleagues near and far, it was very much a success. As always, things happen, but we just keep moving forward and do the best we can to fix the situation.

Some of my memorable moments included the Art of Stepping's flash mob, the Tus Ojos band and of course meeting Carmen Dominicci and Gabriel Valenzuela. It amazes me how humble and caring Telemundo talent really are. They love the people and enjoy signing autographs and taking photos with them. I hope next year we can improve on what we learned this year. Of course I'll have to keep the bright red shirts lol. It seemed as though everyone wanted one, including my mom -_-.

So what happens now? I get feedback, write my recap and upload every single video and photos we took. I can tell you our photographer took over 500 photos; all very good shots though. Watching the mini-studio videos however are hilarious. Seeing adults and children report the news and weather is just too cute...and I never use the word cute. For more photos and video visit :).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Miller Coors Líder of the Year

So I love it when a friend gets recognized or wins an award...especially when they are Latino. It's not every day when a Latino gets awarded by a huge corporation. That's why I'm happy to find out that fellow LATISM colleague, Elianne, Ramos has been nominated to receive the 2011 Miller Coors Lider of the Year. It's been a while since I've seen Coors in the Latino community (in Philly) so it's interesting to see where they have gone. 

Each year, Miller-Coors selects nominees from across the country for their achievements as national and local leaders within the Hispanic community. I have been was chosen because of my involvement in the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) organization as well as for my leadership in motivating and connecting people across generations, ethnicies and issues to work together for the greater good of the Latino community.

Elianne's competition is rough but I know she'll pull it off. From what I gather, she's the only Latina who is heavily involved in social media and still committed to helping the Latino community. Yes this means I endorse her work. Although I don't have $1k to donate, I'm happy to let you know about how to vote for Elianne. 

To vote for Elianne

  • Go to - You can vote every day until October 31, 2011.
  • Enter your birthday [21 and over only!]
  • On the navigation bar, click on: Líderes
  • Click on 2011
  • Click on my picture to view my profile. Note: You don’t have to leave a comment, but they are more than welcome!
  • Click on the yellow button that says: Vote for the Miller Coors 2011 Líder of the Year

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Treaty of San Lorenzo

Okay when I first read that I wasn't really sure what that meant. It just sounded important; and I'm sorry but I'm not a big fan of remembering laws nor dates in history. Yes I know that's probably horrible but that's why  I have something called the internet. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, world renowned historian Thomas Chávez will be speaking about Spain and American independence. The Director Emeritus of National Hispanic Culture Center in Albuquerque and Santa Fe’s Palace of the Governors, Dr. Chávez holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.

Spain's contribution to American independence involved more financial and military assistance than is commonly understood, as Dr. Chávez has documented in his years of research. His lecture will take place Saturday, October 1 at 2 p.m. in Congress Hall, where the important Treaty of San Lorenzo was ratified in 1796. And there you have it.

And the (ad)color award goes to...

The ADCOLOR Awards recently took place on Saturday, September 16 and is a non-profit initiative launched by the ADCOLOR Industry Coalition – a collective formed in 2005 that serves to promote increased diversity in the advertising, marketing and media industries. They also aim to inspire current and future communications professionals of color by celebrating the accomplishments of diverse role models and industry leaders.

And this comes at a perfect time since I just left an event at Comcast which spoke about Hispanic professionals in not just the media world, but in all professions. The panelists which included reps from Comcast, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Telemundo Philadelphia spoke about their efforts in supporting our (Latino) community.

Anyways, at the ADCOLOR Awards, George Lopez won the "All Star" award. Surprising he gave a very good speech with almost no comedy at all. Although I don't believe in the word "color" when referring to Latinos, Blacks, Asians, etc., it was good to hear him be a person and not causing laughs. Here his speech:

Monday, September 19, 2011

How to 2011?

It's almost the end of 2011 and if you haven't figured out what Twitter is or how it can be used to benefit your company...well then maybe you should just not even try. Sure there are people out there that call themselves experts but with an evolving trend, how exactly are you a specialist? I also don't really know how some businesses can come up with guides to Twitter when changes.

I recently came across a website called Twiends. I already don't like the name but I have to give them credit for trying to cater to new Twitter users. Their main focus is to teach you how to gain more followers. While I agree getting followers gives you credibility at some point, but if you don't know how to talk with your followers, then what's the point. I do like their visual guides though. So let me stop bashing, this is clearly for new social media users. Once you've "mastered" Twitter for about a year, you can start thinking outside the box and finding new ways to engage.

Sincerely, @navaja1cortes ;)

Photo of the day: Work work y el trabajo

So today I left work at 7:30 p.m. That pretty much sums up what my work week will be like until este sabado. Gearing up for La Feria de la Familia has me printing, emailing, confirming like all crazy.

The photo above represents all my work and the "just in case" something happens, I have the file to prove you right or wrong. Where did I get the binder idea? Of course from my old days at the tourism office. See...we can learn something.

La Feria de la Familia takes place this sabado from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the PA National Guard Armory in the northeast. Yes. I had to plug it in. Take home some free stuff, win prizes, meet Telemundo talent, enjoy the music or just come see me in action. Hast pronto!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Philadelphia's biggest Twittero

A week ago Al Dia found Philadelphia's Latino Twitter user with the most followers. Marisol Maldonado aka @SocialSola has a little above 7000 followers with lots of engagement all around. She RTs, @ replies, hashtags and pretty much has conversations all around. Did I mention her job is teaching companies how to use social media?

According to the Al Dia article, "Hace dos años, mientras celebraba el Día de la Madre, Marisol decidió hacerle caso a las insistentes recomendaciones que amigos y familiares le hacían: 'Deberías abrir una cuenta en Twitter', recuerda." And starting Twitter pretty much is always that simple; someone recommends and there you go. I started almost three years ago and have met some pretty amazing people via the social networking site.

So why do you use Twitter? To just talk trash...promote your chat people...Other? Either way be weary about how you use it. I'm no expert but there are some things you don't do. Like what? Well don't say you're completely drunk or smoking some ______ or even curse for that matter. I see too much crap that makes me think, "Yeah I wouldn't hire you." It's a shame I know but it's also reality.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Concilio's 49th annual awards gala

Along with so many Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, this Saturday Concilio will be hosting their 49th Annual Awards Gala. One of the most anticipated social events of the region, Concilio’s Annual Gala is a gathering of the area’s Latino leaders, government figures, corporate executives, media personalities and leaders of community-based organizations. This is actually my first time attending the event. So what makes this year's gala so special?

The Evening will Feature:
I had the opportunity to meet Daisy earlier in the year and interview her about her views of Philadelphia. She's an awesome person and an inspiration to any Latino. I was so happy to see she is coming back to Philly and especially for the gala. If you watch the video highlighted above, you can easily tell she is no stranger to Philly. I hope to capture a photo with her :). Nonetheless, looking forward to see who else is awarded this year. Hasta pronto!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off this Thursday and as usual, I either hear nothing about anything (in Philadelphia) or I hear too much about random businesses attempting to reach out to the Latino community. Sure it may sound cute you're running a "Hispanic Heritage" campaign during Hispanic Heritage Month, but what about after the fact? I don't want a month nor special attention, but stop ignoring a population that has potential for growth.

Try Googling Hispanic Heritage Month 2011 and what do you get? There's not really much now is there? So far in Philadelphia, everyone is having a festival throughout the next few weekends; which is normal. But where is the support? Why don't I see Puerto Ricans at the Mexican Independence Festival or Mexicans at Feria del Barrio? I'm sure they are there, but you never really see a good mix of people at the festivals. My opinion is my own but sometimes I would like to see a little more support from people.

So how are you celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month? right?! Remember the State of PA's theme one or two years ago? I can't seem to find it but talk about disrespectful. A little help here por favor. Anyways, I hope we can find it in ourselves to go support a festival or two we normally wouldn't go to.

Never forget where we came from

I was so excited to see Colombiana last Friday. Not just because it had the title of a "colombiana," but also because it was a much needed movie. I'm sure there are hundreds of people who were apposed to Zoe Saldana acting as a Colombian but let's move on. The saying, "Never forget where you come from," stuck in my head like white on rice.

Cataleya plays a strong woman who takes revenge on anyone involved in the murder of her parents. And that's typical right? It was bound to happen since at age 9 she was jumping off buildings, stabbing people; but it was still sad seeing her grow up alone. "Never forget where you come from" could mean many things but to me it was about honor, respect and family. Latino culture is clearly about family; that could be our downfall but it could also be used for us. 

Colombiana represents everything we want to be (whether you're a man or woman). We want to be strong, independent and just down right awesome. Although pretty obvious most of her family would be killed due to her way of life, she kept it moving. Unfortunately for her even though she found her revenge, Cataleya is still being pursued by the police. What's her count at 30 and counting? Either way, never forget where YOU come from :-).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Renaming a subway stop

Now in my mind the only way you rename a subway stop is if you pay a whole bunch of money...hence the AT&T subway stop in Philadelphia, PA.Well how about just honoring a stop for a month? A group of New Yorkers (of course) has joined forces to rename the New York's N subway line, the Ñ (en-yeh), for Hispanic Heritage Month. Grupo Ñ, the group of self-proclaimed culture lovers behind the movement, is calling on the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to do something that will truly resonate with a community whose influence on the city is felt daily. 

And to be honest wow! What an awesome idea. Not really sure how they got these fliers posted around the subways but I like it and fully support it. Doesn't New York City usually change the skyline colors according to what is being celebrated that month? I say go for it. This probably sounds easier said than done but I believe New York being a high Latino city, go for it. You would be spreading a message across the entire nation...and not just because of the Census numbers. The letter Ñ has so much significance as well. Just look at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists...their symbol is the Ñ. So what say you? Change or no change?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Where were you on 9/11/01

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks arrive, you can't help but remember where you were on that hour of that day. It seems as though anniversaries make you think even more about where you were on such day. So where were you 10 years ago? The folks over at Politic 365 are asking that very question and want you to call, tape, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and everything in between by this Friday.

Me? I was in my senior year in high school in AP English class back in Plainfield High School (NJ). We were busy learning about some author or explaining the reasoning behind some poetry when out of nowhere came an announcement.  I remember feeling completely shocked, sad and just confused. Why would something like this happen and who let it happen? Let conspiracy stories go on but this just doesn't happen...and on 9/11/01 at that. So where were you?

Here are the ways to get in touch with Politic365 and tell your story:

More stars that are apparently Latino sure has a way of finding these new Latinos. Then again I'm glad they produce these stories because it re-defines what exactly it means to be Latino. Some people think you have to speak Spanish, some say it's about the way you move...and some just think it's about dancing. Take Miguel A. Nunez for example...he was our favorite cross-dressing basketball player in Juwanna Mann; got me. Then here's a shocker; one of the Backstreet Boys is indeed Latino. And to top things off and to make me go even crazier, Lost's Desmond Hume is also indeed Latino. To read more about our new favorite (or past favorite) Latinos, click here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Essentials for our community...internet

Internet Essentials provides access to all
low-income families including Hispanics.
Our Philadelphia native friends at Comcast today continued to roll out its “Internet Essentials” program, providing families with children eligible for a free lunch under the National School Lunch Program with low-cost Internet service, affordable computers and digital-literacy training. One of the most important aspects of this effort is not only do they receive $10 access all year long, but there's also a voucher for a $150 computer. It's also important to inform nuestra comunidad about how to use the internet.

The goal of Internet Essentials is to help close the digital divide and to help ensure more Americans benefit from everything the Internet has to offer. The program addresses what research has identified as the three primary barriers to broadband adoption: 1) a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful, 2) the cost of a home computer and 3) the cost of Internet service.
 Although I've seen research which shows Latinos are using internet and social media...the digital divide is much larger. That's why I'm happy to see the Spanish-language website for Internet Essentials. While the road to affordable access has just begun, this is an exciting opportunity and will most certainly open doors to families...especially youth.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Marc Anthony in concert

Ah yes the Marc Anthony concert. Let's get this out of the way...even with no new album, he sure does know how to put on a show. However, as much as a great performer he was at the Great Allentown Fair, it was a little awkward. After he took off his glasses it looked like he was going through a lot; maybe a divorce? #toosoon? Anyways, almost all of the songs he sang were clear statements to a certain Ms. Jennifer Lopez. Usually Marc mentions the town/city he is performing at yet for some odd reason it seemed as though he did not know at all where he was. However, he did have the crowd waving their Puerto Rican flags and screaming for more.

This was the second time I see Marc Anthony perform and in fact the only performer I've seen twice. Last year he was in Atlantic City and had a similar performance. The end of his show is somewhat predictable but it's always nice to see how crazy people get when they think he's leaving. Marc...I wish you nothing but the best in your future. Now go create some music :).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Being Latino & Hispanicize partner to take over the world

Okay so they might not be taking over the world but they sure are doing great things. Being Latino, one of the leading Latino community and social media platforms in the U.S. and publisher of Being Latino Online Magazine is partnering with social media content and blogger marketing platform, Hispanicize. The partnership immediately combines the communities and resources of two of the most influential and innovative Latino social media entities in the nation. Not too shabby huh?

So what's in store? Well the creation of a hashtag #BeLatino which will be heavily promoted across various platforms to facilitate discussion and unify the diverse Latino voices online. I wonder if they'll have heavy influence through the #latism hashtag? Either way, Latinos are all over the social media space. And today I discovered Philadelphia's Latino(a) with the most followers but I can't announce it until tomorrow haha. This partnership is just the beginning of many online partnerships.

Here's a fancy video explaining the partnership. Enjoy!