Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Local scholarship winner hopes to become role model

Earlier today, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented Geraldo Oyola, 18, of Eastern North Philadelphia, Dr. José E Lebron Scholarship. The Lebron Scholarship Fund is housed within GPHCC’s Professional Mentoring Network (PMN) program and awards the expenditure of a two-year tuition program at the Community College of Philadelphia. This is a tremendous opportunity for any incoming college student. With the education gap at a low (among Latinos) any help to achieve higher education is a plus for me. Oyola has also been heavily involved with Congreso de Latinos Unidos as well. “My community needs a role model [and] I want to be that role model,” he wrote in his submission essay to GPHCC. “This scholarship won’t just help me, but it will open the doors for others to receive my help.” I hope other high school students will look up to Oyola and realize a high education is just another goal in all our lives.

Saint Louis Cathedral full of emotion

Last weekend I visited New Orleans, LA (NoLa) for the first time. I must say it is always a great experience learning about other parts of the country. I also always forget that since the U.S. is so large, certain parts of the country still have French, English and Spanish influences. One of the locations that had a great impact was the Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the U.S. So why was there an impact? I am not religious at all. Well maybe a tad bit.

I did grow up Catholic and went through the communion services but after a while my attendance was minimal. This church in NoLa is not just beautiful in sight, but you can feel a presence; whether good or bad it's up to you. I couldn't help but think about my family and those that have passed away. It was such a strong feeling that I was overcome with emotions and I did get tear-eyed. I left feeling a little more spiritual and yearning for more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Congreso organizing our youth

Earlier today I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to Congreso de Latinos Unidos' work-ready program students. The program gets high school students ready for the working world in a variety of ways. This year the program has two components; the students have to do a community garden as well as a newsletter about the same garden. Students will be interviewing people from the community and professionals in the gardening field.

I usually get a little nervous when giving a speech, especially with teenagers. You know sometimes the attention span of our youth can be a little low. However, when I do give presentations I like it to be informal and a conversation. If I do all the talking, then we won't learn anything. There were about 25 students and although I did see some "why is he talking" faces I was happier to see the one or two students ask questions. And they were really interested! You know as long as those two people got something out of what I talked about, I know I did something right. My basic message: Anything is possible and don't let the 'haters' tell you NO.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lambda Pi Chi invades Philadelphia

Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. ("Lambda Pi Chi”) announced that the location of its 2012 National Convention will be in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from August 3rd through 5th. To be honest this was not only shocking but I was happy to hear of a Latino Greek Lettered Organization (LGLO) choosing Philadelphia as their host city. It's not everyday you hear about an LGLO visiting la ciudad de amor fraternal. This year, Lambda Pi Chi will continue that legacy with its annual College Book Scholarship Program, among other initiatives. The scholarship program, which is part of Lambda Pi Chi’s Proyecto H.A.C.E.R. (Hermanas Advancing Career and Educational Resources), provides financial assistance to outstanding college-bound young women. 

The ironic part about this year's convention? Lambda Pi Chi has chosen my boss, Clara Rivas, as their keynote speaker. "Ms. Rivas’s passion for, and dedication to, the Latino community as well as her professional successes as a Latina in the challenging world of media, is inspiring," says Maria Diaz, National President of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. "We are confident that her experiences will personally resonate with our members and motivate them as they pursue their own professional and philanthropic endeavors.” Clara is the general manager at Telemundo Philadelphia and has spoken at several events in the area as well as won numerous awards. 

 To obtain more information about Lambda Pi Chi’s 2012 National Convention in Philadelphia, please visit: www.lambdapichi.org/Convention2012.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Philadelphia raises the Colombian flag

Photo courtesy Al Dia News
Last Friday, July 20 Colombia celebrated their independence. Countless cities held festivals but in Philadelphia, something new happened. Not only was their a Festival Latinoamericano: Independencia de Colombia, but City Hall raised the Colombian flag for the first time. Thanks to the social activist organization MIRA USA, this first time event took place.

For more photos from the flag raising ceremony visit Al Dia's flickr.com stream: http://www.flickr.com//photos/aldianews/sets/72157630673768084/show/

Meeting Telemundo celebrities

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting José Díaz-Balart at an event I put together. Mr.Díaz-Balart is the national anchor for Noticiero Telemundo and Enfoque, Telemundo's weekend public affairs program. I normally don't get star struck but it is a bit nerve wrecking considering they are the "face" of Telemundo and I'm just a simple marketing and promotions guy. You never know when a talent/celebrity might not be pleased with something. However, for the past year all the Telemundo celebrities I have met are bien simpatico.Considering I'm always at work when I meet them, I have to be on my A game.

Over the course of two years I have met Dra. Ana Maria Polo, Penelope Menchaca, Maria Celeste, Carmen Dominicci, Gabriel Valenzuela and now Jose Diaz-Balart. Of course when I tell my mom she says, "Por favor mandame una foto," which I of course do. Mom is the typical Telemundo viewer. She actually has a whole row of photos displayed at her house include some autographed talent cards. I wonder who I will be able to meet next!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Latino Heritage Fund road trip begins

Take five social media influences, give them a car and some awesome electronics with the one goal to capture Latino heritage and what do you get? You get the American Latino Heritage Fund road trip! Our northeast team already started their journey in Providence, RI. 

The five social media influencers include:
  • Lance Rios of Being Latino: Rios (@BeingLatino) and his team from Being Latino will canvas the Northeast from New York City to Washington, D.C.  His adventures will be posted on www.BeingLatino.us.
  • Alex de Carvalho of Social Media Club South Floridade Carvalho (@AlexDC) will tour Texas, New Mexico and parts of Arizona.  He will be blogging at http://www.alexdc.org.
  • Eva Smith of Latina Mom Bloggers/Tech.Food.Life Blog: Smith (@Eva_Smith) and her family will document the Southwest starting in San Diego, California and through Arizona and New Mexico.  Her travels will be documented on www.techfoodlife.com.
  • Cristy Clavijo-Kish of Hispanicize/Los Tweens: Clavijo-Kish (@LatinoMarketing) and her family will explore the Mid-Atlantic Region.   Her road trip will be posted on www.LosTweens.com.
  • Maria de los Angeles of Sex and the Beach: de los Angeles (@ViceQueenMaria) will be joined by north Florida Latina lifestyle blogger Babushka (@bbabushka) who will drive the entire state of Florida from Key West to Tallahassee.  De los Angeles will blog her adventures at http://sexandthebeach.blogspot.com/ while Babushka will document at her website http://bohemianbabushka.blogspot.com/.
To join in on the fun follow the hashtag #LatinoHeritage on Twitter. Maybe they'll stop by your city!

Celebrating the Hispanic Fiesta @ Penn's Landing

Is it me or do Latinos love free things? I know I've written about this topic before but I must say it never fails to amaze me. Whether in a torrential downpour or 100+ humidity weather, we will stand in line for our chance to win a t-shirt or other prize. This past weekend I worked the Telemundo Philadelphia booth at Concilio's 31st Annual Hispanic Fiesta and wow is all I have to say. Unfortunately I was unable to sit down and enjoy most of the performances, but it was great seeing all the people come to our booth and win prizes. The best is seeing children try their hardest and wearing our Olympic medals.

To win the medals attendees had to either play the bean bag toss, toss across or the kick and score. People had more fun with the bean bag toss for some reason. Either way, it was great seeing the reaction of everyone's face. And not to brag but honestly, our line had to be the longest from any booth. Was it the location? Brand? Prizes? The line did not stop from 2 p.m. until we closed. Unfortunately we had to close early because our prizes were all gone.

Nos vemos at the next festival!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Event: Festival Latinoamericano...Colombia!

Free festivals are a clear indication that the summer is here. I received word about a first ever Festival Latinoamericano: Independencia de Colombia in Philadelphia on Saturday, July 21st. The best part, the festival is actually in the neighborhood: La Fonda Colombiana, 108 W. Wyoming Avenue. Although it's a small parking lot, it's still good to see a festival in the neighborhood where people have access. Good food, music and lots of entertainment and giveaways; what more can you ask for?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans...oh my!

When it comes to the Hispanic population in the United States of America, a lot of factors come into play when deciding who has the most...I guess you can say "pull." By pull I mean everything from location, population, income and even education. According to the Pew Research Center, "Among the 50.7 million Hispanics in the United States, nearly two-thirds (65%), or 33 million, self-identify as being of Mexican origin." No other population comes close to this number.

When it comes to characteristics (2012), Ecuadorians have the highest median household income with $50k followed by Colombians with $49k. Dominicans come last with $36k. And as if anyone didn't know, Los Angeles, New York City and Miami are some of the top cities by Hispanic origin group. So what do all these numbers mean? Just that organizations may change their strategy locally and even nationally. "Let's target the Hispanic population in LA," or, "...the Puerto Rican population in Philadelphia," might be some of the comments you will here.

This week's articles of interest

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Global Fusion wants you to lip-sync

For the 6th year, Philly brings the world together again with an electrifying week of non-stop entertainment and the Summer's hottest festival, Global Fusion Festival (GFF)! And in the spirit of re-inventing the wheel, this year's GFF includes the 2012 Lip-Sync Video Contest.  I mean who doesn't want to sing their favorite song: The Boy Is Mine? Don't Let Go? La Quiero A Morir? What is your favorite GFF moment? I sure do have one ;).

Monday, July 9, 2012

Event: 2012 Minority Business Leader Awards

On August 9th, the Philadelphia Business Journal will recognize top level Corporate Executives and Advocates of ethnic backgrounds at the annual Minority Business Leaders Awards Program. This is a perfect opportunity to network with the region's top minority executives. Glad to see the Business Journal recognize minority business leaders. I have read lots of articles (and received several e-mails) about how to work with the Hispanic community, this is probably a good place to start. I've also had the pleasure of working with some of the nominees to some capacity.
Some of the people being recognized include:

  • Steven Bradley, Bradley & Bradley Associates & African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ & DE; Veronica Castillo-Perez, Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas; ShinJoo Cho, Philadelphia Department of Commerce; Terrence H. Hicks, Ben Franklin Tech Partners; Sharon Humble, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
  • Jorge Benito, PPI Photographics; Nadeem Bezar, Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Bezar; John W. Chin, Chinatown Community Development Corp.; Will Gonzalez, Ceiba; Tanya Hall, Multicultural Affairs Congress, a division of the PCVB; Luis Mora, Finanta; Mike Munoz, Collection Revenue Bureau, Inc.; James E. Nevels, The Swarthmore Group; among others. 

Yo me llamo seeks your auditions!

Telemundo has taken a different approach for next year's programming. With the success of so many reality and singing competitions,  Telemundo is seeking your talent for "Yo Me Llamo”. A talent competition show that goes beyond the traditional formats by asking contestants not only to show exceptional musical talent, Yo Me Llamo also demonstrates a contestant's ability to convey the personalities, style and even the charisma of their most admired artists. The international success of “Yo Me Llamo” across 47 countries has established the show as one of the most successful international reality shows.

I can imagine this competition being real intense. True fans will know the little facts when impersonating Lady Gaga, Shakira, Marc Anthony or any other singer. In fact, it will be freaky if you get the real Jennifer Lopez standing next to the impersonator. Yo Me Llamo auditions will take place in 5 cities from July 7-23. Auditions's will take place in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and Puerto Rico. Candidates who cannot attend the auditions can complete an online application and submit a 1-3 minute video at www.yomellamocasting.com.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

AfroTaino is a lifestyle

Nothing like a creative website to get your going huh. A few weeks ago AfroTaino Productions rebranded themselves as well as launched a fancy new website. I have had the pleasure to work with both Rahsaan Lucas & Marangeli Mejia Rabell on various projects including the Philly Te Ama video series (below). A group of talented individuals, they probably have their hands tied to every single project in the city. I say, "Wepa," and kudos to continuing the journey.

AfroTaino Productions emerged in 2005 as a result of their partners combined expertise, passion for global arts & culture and commitment to serve as agents of change. AfroTaino brings over 40 years of combined experience in event planning/execution, audience development, promotions/marketing and special events/campaigns in the public and private arena targeting multicultural audiences.

Chuck E. Cheese goes shopping for a new look

He's gone! The Chuck E. Cheese mouse I knew growing up in the 80s (and some 90s) has turned into a 90s punk rock poster child. Although a new logo/brand is always exciting, I would have expected something different. The first thing that comes to mind is, "I wonder if he's playing XBOX Rock Band?" Which would make sense considering all people do these days is connect online and play video games. A Los Angeles Times article stated, "Chuck will be voiced by Jaret Reddick, the front man for Bowling for Soup, a pop-punk band whose hit songs include a ditty called '1985.' Reddick already has some experience doing voice work on Disney’s animated television show 'Phineas and Ferb.'"

The most important thing to worry about when rebranding or switching logos (in this case a character) is the mom factor. I wonder if the millions of moms appreciate the change? I don't mind the change, but I wish they would have given him a 2000 look...the 90s theme doesn't really work for kids these days. I would have laughed if the new mouse had a pizza in one hand and a cell phone in the other. But would that have worked? I want pizza now.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pablo Escobar premiers on Telemundo

What's one of the first things that come to mind when you hear Colombia? Unfortunately it may be Pablo Escobar and the drug cartel. “Pablo Escobar, el Patrón del Mal” (Pablo Escobar, The Drug Lordl), a Spanish-language television production about the life of one of the most-wanted drug lords in history, premieres on Telemundo Monday, July 9 at 10 pm/9c. This series, told from the point of view of victims, will recount Escobar’s humble origins and early delinquent days through his world-wide recognition as one of the most hunted men in cartel history.

Will this hurt Colombia's image? Well for those that don't know anything about the country's history it just might. But for those that know the love and hate history with Escobar, they will appreciate the truth. Escobar was known for killing judges, journalists, magistrates, ministers and presidential candidates,  and also made four presidents’ terms a living nightmare, infiltrated authorities and defied the world. Talk about making an impact not only in their country, but the world. Will you be watching?

NBC launches NBCLatino.com

For the past few months the folks at NBCLatino.com have been cultivated hundreds and thousands of relevant content to the "new-age" Latino. According to an article on thewrap.com, "The site, which will feature English-language news and Latino perspectives and opinion pieces, officially two months after ABC and Univision announced plans to start a new English news channel with an accompanying website. The NBC site began as a Tumblr page in late 2011."

With 10 awesome contributors and one editor, the team has pushed themselves all over the social mediasphere. A clear continuing trend that the media landscape is quickly changing. The addition of English-language outlets focusing on the Latino consumer has increased dramatically within the last two years. Both Fox News and the Huffington Post have their own strategy but NBCLatino has the power of NBC News and Telemundo behind them. Will other media companies change their strategy? But what happens when being Latino is the norm and a new minority is born?