America Ferrera Announces New Docuseries to Celebrate Activists Making a Difference

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There is simply no stopping America Ferrera. The famed actress and activist is teaming up with Hearst Magazines Digital Media for a multiplatform content partnership that will work with Ferrera’s new organization, Harness.

Speaking from the Skylight Modern in New York City during Hearst Magazines Digital Media’s second annual Newfront conference, Ferrera took to the stage to detail the partnership. The collaboration will include an original docuseries that will “encourage activism and celebrate a new class of role models who are changing their communities and our country,” according to a press release.

Harness was co-founded by Ferrera, her husband Ryan Piers Williams, and Wilmer Valderrama to inspire communities to action and empower change. According to Ferrera, it was about convening people with frontline activists to hear authentic stories about what was happening in their communities.

The organization started in a living room with 75 people and expanded from there, teaming up with Black Lives Matter, GLSEN, Carecen, and Cair among other organizations. Harness’ goal is to push social conversations out into the digital world with diverse digital content and help people find ways to take action.

Launched in February at an event in Los Angeles, Harness has been active on social media, spreading the word about diverse marches and social movements happening around the country.

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HGTV Star Izzy Battres’ Journey from Day Laborer to Entrepreneur

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Izzy Battres poses with HGTV stars

Israel “Izzy” Battres owns multi-million-dollar construction company Battres Construction in the heart of Orange County, California. But it did not come easily for him—he learned how to work hard at a young age, and it paid off.

Eight years ago, his reputation and impeccable work ethic opened doors for him to star on the HGTV reality show Flip or Flop. He has worked alongside Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead for eight seasons and is ramping up for more. Battres is set to appear on the network’s new show, Christina on the Coast, premiering this month.

HISPANIC Network Magazine caught up with Izzy to talk about his journey from day laborer to HGTV star, as well as his secret to success.

HISPANIC Network Magazine (HNM): You run a very successful construction company. Where did you get your work ethic?

Izzy Battres (IB): As children, we were taught to be contributors to our household. My dad would take us to work and assign us two small tasks. When I was 9, I was a paper boy for the Orange County Register. I would wake up Sunday mornings at 4 am to deliver to my customers. I was even entrusted to pick up monthly subscription fees—it taught me sales and what I know now is accounts payable. I realized quickly that I was only getting a portion of the fees so it gave me the idea to make my own money, I started a second job that was more of a side hustle.

HNM: At the age of 9, you were working two jobs! Tell us more about that.

IB: My grandmother used to pick lemons from her tree and have me sell them for 25 cents; she would then give me a small cut. After I was done working for her, I would go pick my own lemons off the same tree. But instead of selling them for a quarter, I decided to make lemonade and sell it for 50 cents a cup. I would sell it to people playing soccer at the park by my house.

HNM: So, you were an entrepreneur from a very young age. Let’s fast-forward to the start of your business. How did it come to be?

IB: I have two brothers, and we all followed my dad into the construction trades. If my current boss had no work for me, I would stand in front of Home Depot looking for day labor. We never had a problem with working hard, but sometimes there wasn’t enough work to go around. I decided to start a business so I would be more in control of the workflow. Instead of working on someone else’s construction site, I decided to bid for my own jobs.

HNM: Ten years later, you are now on television and own three companies. How would you say you became so successful?

IB: I believe we as Latinos have a natural instinct to survive. It develops at a very young age when we begin to understand that nothing will be handed to us. I learned very young that whatever I earned was to be used to help my family and community. Today, I employ 43 local families—I have a responsibility to make a difference for others.

HNM: Can you expand on what you call an “instinct to survive?”

IB: Latinos are very hard workers; they are innovative and passionate about what they do and have a stellar work ethic. But even then, they have to stay on the cutting edge. Eight out of ten workers are going to stay average, but I look for the 20 percent who are fighting to survive and have the “eye of the tiger,” as I call it. I employ anybody who has that motivation. Whether they are purple or polka dot, race does not matter to me, but that survival instinct does.

HNM: How does your ability to speak English and Spanish help you as a business owner?

IB: In my geographical area, 80 percent of the construction workforce is Spanish speaking. It can be a barrier, so I try and help them by speaking Spanish on the job sites. I will also make it a point to speak Spanish to my work crew when we are filming the TV show. I always want to put out a positive image and help keep Latinos on the map.

HNM: What advice would you give a young Latino entrepreneur who is starting his own business?

IB: I would tell them to never let the environment dictate your success. People will read into your mentality about life, and that creates a culture in your business. So, you need to stay away from toxic people and conduct business with gentleness and humility. Don’t be arrogant or prideful, because people will read into that.

Author: Mitzi Magos

Eva Longoria’s new television show “Grand Hotel” showcases Latinos in powerful positions

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The cast of Grand Hotel poses in the hotel lobby

The much-anticipated summer television show “Grand Hotel” promises a lot of sexy secrets, unsolved mysteries and dramatic plot twists, all while portraying Latinos in positions of power in front and behind the camera.

“When you do a show like this, you are not only showcasing Latinos in a mainstream way, which is evident and it’s beautiful in itself, but you’re also showing the reality of the times we’re living in right now,” actor Shalim Ortiz, who plays Mateo, the hotel’s manager and one of the drama’s main characters, told NBC News of the ABC drama. “Especially in Miami Beach, Latinos are in positions of power.”

“Grand Hotel” is based on the successful Spanish television show “Gran Hotel” set in the 1900s. But executive producer Eva Longoria’s version centers around the last family-owned hotel in modern-day Miami.

“Eva is one of the advocates of how now you can be the hotel manager, you can be in a position of power, and also just be a character who happens to be Latino, just like you happen to be American,” Ortiz said in regards to Longoria’s push to redefine how Latinos are portrayed on TV.

Longoria also directs episode three and plays the hotel’s former owner, Beatriz Mendoza.

“It’s amazing as a spectator and as a cast member to be a part of a project that includes Latin characters in different job positions,” he added, “it’s not always the stereotypical jobs that we’ve been getting all these years.”

The mystery drama stars Mexican actor Demián Bichir as Santiago Mendoza, the charismatic owner of the Riviera Grand Hotel, and Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sánchez, who plays his glamorous second wife, Gigi. As the couple and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success, outrageous scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets shake up their picture-perfect lives.

“They’re not conventional heroes because everybody has something to hide and everybody has something that has leverage over someone else. That game of power, I think, is one of the delicious parts of the show,” Ortiz said.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Afro-Latina actress Tessa Thompson saves the world in ‘Men in Black: International”

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Tessa Thompson on movie set with Chris Hemsworth

By Arturo Conde

Tessa Thompson considers herself Afro-Latina, a black woman, a person of color, and Latinx. But when fans go to see the sci-fi action blockbuster “Men in Black: International” this weekend, she hopes that they will only see her character, Agent M, on the silver screen.

“I hope we can get to the space in Hollywood where it’s not noteworthy for a woman, and particularly a woman of color, to top line a franchise film,” Thompson, who has Afro-Panamanian and Mexican roots, told NBC News. “I hope we can get to a place where we don’t have to congratulate it, or comment on it because it happens with such frequency. But we are still really far away from there.”

“Men in Black: International” partners Agent M with Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth) in a globetrotting mission that will take viewers on a fun and exciting adventure through Western Europe and Northern Africa to find a murderer, expose a mole, and ultimately save the world.Tessa Thompson headshot

Fans first meet M as the six-year-old Molly who has an unexpected encounter with an alien. This exposes her to a new world that is inhabited by unearthly beings. And after the Men in Black erase her parents’ memory, M dedicates her life to tracking down the organization and pursuing the truth.

“Memory is huge for M,” Thompson said. “She doesn’t want to live a lie, and she feels that because there’s this organization [Men in Black] that can go around wiping out memories, the only way to relive the truth in terms of the universe and its underpinnings is to be a part of this organization.” In playing Agent M, the critically acclaimed actress tapped into her gender and ethnicity as a way to understand what drove and tested her character.

“If you’re a woman, and particularly a woman of color, and you’re trying to get access to any space that has been historically white and male, you have to work harder,” Thompson said. “This was an inspiration for me when I was thinking about M because she’s so ambitious. She wants to be good, but she also knows that she has to be good — especially if she wants to get to where she wants to go.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Food Network Star Aarón Sánchez Dishes on Guacamole

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Chef Sanchez in his chef outfit on the Food Network stage

Aarón Sánchez gives us a taste of authentic Latin flavor like never before with a traditional Guacamole recipe that has a bold kick of flavor!

Guest judge Aarón Sánchez in the all-new Top 17 Compete episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, June 29

Aarón’s Guacamole

Ingredients

1 serrano chile

1 white onion

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

Juice of 3 limes

4 avocados

Pinch of Mexican oregano

Pinch of sea salt

2-3 Roma tomatoes

1/3 cup Queso Fresco or Queso Cotija

1 radish, sliced

1/3 cup dried chapulines (Mexican grasshoppers), optional

Directions

  1. Create a flavor base blending the serrano chile, cut in chunks and keeping the seeds, with 1/2 of the onion, a generous heap of cilantro and the lime juice.
  2. Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds. Place in a bowl.
  3. Season the avocados with salt and oregano, and then mash them all together. Do not mash too smooth.
  4. Flavor the guacamole with the serrano purée to taste.
  5. Add finely chopped onion and tomatoes to the guacamole and combine. Season to taste with more salt and oregano.
  6. Serve with a pinch of queso fresco or queso cotija and sliced radish.
  7. For authentic Mexican flavor, try adding a spoonful of dried chapulines.
  8. Enjoy with warm tortilla chips and a margarita.

Servings: 4–6 Time: 25 mins.

Pro tip: For best results, use room-temperature avocados.

About the Chef

Aarón Sánchez, chief chef officer of COCINA, is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cookbook author, and philanthropist. He is the chef/owner of Mexican restaurant Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans and a judge on FOX’s hit culinary A dish of Guacamole with a side of tortilla chips-yumcompetition series MASTERCHEF. He also co-starred on Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Junior.

Sánchez launched the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund, an initiative empowering aspiring chefs from the Latin community to follow their dreams and attend culinary school. He is also passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen.

About COCINA

Beyond food, COCINA is a differentiator in the digital media landscape, an agent of flavor serving audiences with a taste for authenticity and a passion for life. From beautiful short-form recipes to cinematic story-driven originals, COCINA delivers Latin America to the world through the universal language of food. Located in Los Angeles, COCINA was co-founded by Aarón Sánchez and CEO Emiliano Saccone.

Rosario Dawson: Called to Action

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Rosario Dawson Summer Issue Cover

By Erica Sabino

Rosario Dawson is more than just another famous face in Hollywood. In addition to her high-profile film career, she’s a philanthropist, activist, and entrepreneur. Not to mention producer, singer and comic book writer!

First and foremost, Dawson is fiercely passionate about her philanthropy and her desire to serve her community. Her early life wasn’t easy. Her family lived in a squatter’s apartment in New York’s East Village, where she grew up seeing poverty, sickness, and suffering all around her. “Growing up here in New York, with a mom who was a teenager when she had me, I had family and friends who were either trans and/or had HIV or AIDS and/or had drug problems or housing issues or issues with access to education,” Dawson said in an interview with the lifestyle website mindbodygreen. “I saw the whole maelstrom of privilege and access.”

Growing up in a liberal-minded family, she was raised to understand the value of social change at a young age. “My mother worked for a women’s shelter when I was young,” she said. “To see strangers helping other strangers, just showing up and giving, was so inspiring to me.” It’s not hard to see how her experiences have inspired her to make a change for others. She serves as a board member of V-day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. She supports charities like the ONE Campaign, Amnesty International, Oxfam, International Rescue, and Lower East Side Girls Club, and the Environmental Media Association, among many others. She is also active in such programs as Conservation International, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy and Save The Children.

In 2013, Dawson partnered with her longtime friend Abrima Erwiah to found Studio 189, a fashion and media brand based in Ghana that produces African and African-inspired clothing and lifestyle content. In an interview with Google, when asked about their decision to launch in Ghana, Dawson and Erwiah had this to say: “We were impressed by the culture of creativity, craft, and innovation and the rich history present in Ghana. We felt it was a wonderful place to develop social infrastructure, to add value to natural resources, to create opportunities for work and support capacity building. At the same time, we wanted to support the growth of a local market of consumers as well and help create a space for more people to enter conversations and be included in the growth of the global fashion industry.” For these two partners, Studio 189 is not just a business, but also a social enterprise. Through their brand, they have been able to make changes in the community through educational workshops, counseling, and employment.

Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana and Rosario Dawson are seen prior to the Latinas Stand Up rally ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY IMAGES
Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana and Rosario Dawson are seen prior to the Latinas Stand Up rally ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY IMAGES

Politically active for much of her life, Dawson says, “The American future is here, and there’s great news: the future votes.” She co-founded the pioneering civic media nonprofit organization, Voto Latino, in an effort to boost Latino participation in the political process. Established in 2004, Voto Latino’s mission is to provide culturally relevant programs that engage, educate, and empower Latinos to be agents of change. It also seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership. Whenever we do voter registration, we ask, ‘Why haven’t you voted before?’ The response is often, ‘No one’s asked us.’ It’s not about telling people what to do—it’s about sharing what they can do.

“Voting is the umbrella to everything else that I’m doing,” says Rosario. “Women’s issues, health and disease, poverty, housing—these all fall under that voting power.” In recognition for her efforts, she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2017.

Also a health advocate, Dawson, a self-proclaimed oat enthusiast, recently partnered with Quaker Oats to create a three-part video series that encourages people to incorporate healthier practices into their everyday lives. “I’ve been eating Quaker oatmeal since I was a young child, ever since my aunt taught me how to make it from scratch, so I’m excited to team up with them to help spread the word about the benefits of oats,” Dawson said. “As an advocate for health and wellness, I never want to short-term my health—I think it’s so important to have long-term plans. And what’s great is that you don’t have to start big, because even small steps can make a difference.”

Rosario, Abrimaand guest
Designers Rosario Dawson, Abrima Erwiah and guest attend as STYLE360 THOMAS CONCORDIA/GETTY IMAGES

Dawson’s first step on her journey to fame happened by accident when she was just 15 years old. Sitting on the front porch step of her apartment building, she was spotted by photographers Larry Clark and Harmony Korine. Aspiring screenwriter Korine thought Dawson would be perfect to cast in the 1995 film, Kids, where she played Ruby, a sexually active adolescent. From there, Dawson went on to star in more films, like Rent, He Got Game, Men in Black II, Seven Pounds, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and Sin City, among many others. In the music industry, she had a speaking part in the re-release of Prince’s 1980s hit, “1999,” renamed “1999: The New Master.” She also appeared in the music video for Out of Control by The Chemical Brothers and was featured on the Outkast track, She Lives in My Lap.

Currently, Dawson is set to voice the iconic heroine Diana Prince in the DC animated original film, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, a character she’s voiced since 2015’s Justice League: The Throne of Atlantis. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress has also been cast in Sony Pictures’ next installment of the post-apocalyptic comedy, Zombieland 2. She will be working alongside original cast members including Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin, as well as newcomers Zoey Deutch and Avan Jogia. In addition to these roles, Dawson will both produce and star in the upcoming drama series Briarpatch from Sam Esmail, the creator of Mr. Robot. Based on the Ross Thomas novel, the first season of the series will be produced by Universal Cable Productions and Paramount Television. In this drama, Dawson will be playing a Washington, D.C.-based investigator who returns to her hometown in Texas to help search for her sister’s murderer.

Last year, she announced her guest collaboration on La Borinqueña, an original character and patriotic symbol presented in a classic superhero story created and written by graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. Her powers are drawn from history and mysticism found on the island of Puerto Rico. Dawson and her writing partner David Atchison joined Dawson’s uncle, comic book artist Gustavo Vazquez on the project.

Although she has a full workload, she still finds time to make an impact outside the world of Hollywood. From being a political activist to running a sustainable fashion line, Rosario Dawson is continuously showing her passion and commitment to the causes she advocates for.

Using her platform to make a difference, Dawson’s activism has allowed her to not only witness change but also effect it. “I’m really moved by everything I’ve seen achieved over the years, and there’s so much that’s being worked toward now with many more people,” Dawson says in an interview with InStyle. “I’m inspired to just do whatever I feel called to do and to be of service and to be of use… There are so many different ways that we can serve, and I want to figure out as many ways as I can to fit into this lifetime.”

Backstreet Boys’ Howie Dorough Releases Single Off Upcoming Family Album Based on His Childhood

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Howie Dorough posing for Album Cover No Hablo Espanol

He may have just kick-started the DNA World Tour with the Backstreet Boys, but Howie Dorough is never too busy to release more (yes, more!) music. On Friday, the musician released “No Hablo Español,” a fun new single off of his upcoming family album, titled Which One Am I?

“The song is loosely based upon me being half Puerto Rican, half Hispanic, and my dad being Irish Caucasian,” Dorough, 45, tells PEOPLE exclusively about the single.

Fun fact: Dorough’s 10-year-old son James, and his mother, Paula Flores Dorough, star in the video for “No Hablo Español”

“Kids would see me and talk to me in Spanish, and I would be like, ‘No hablo español.’” And they’d be like, ‘What?’ And it’s almost kind of like that look of, and I hate to say it’s a disgrace, but like, ‘You’re not proud of it? You’re not carrying on tradition.’ And it was never that — I was just a little kid.”

The album, which follows the path of a young Howie D. overcoming his insecurities to discover his true self, has been in the works for the past five years and is something Dorough is “very proud of.”

“It’s definitely not your normal kids record,” he says. “This is more of a twist on a kids record. The goal is to teach people that no matter what they’re going through, they can overcome any obstacle in front of them. I want people who listen to the music not to worry, everything that happens is meant to teach you how to be the person you were meant to be.”

Howie Dorough’s Which One Am I?

“I went through a lot of common issues that a lot of kids go through nowadays, including worrying and being shy, feeling small, being in somebody’s shadow, monsters in your head, bad dreams,” he adds. “I was definitely always trying to find my place and where I am and how I fit in with people. I wasn’t your tall jock, I was more of your shorter guys. I was more into music and musicals and dancing. Eventually I did find my place, and I’m very proud that I stuck to my grounds of knowing that I was a true entertainer.”

Now, a father of two (he’s also doting dad to Holden, 6) with wife, Leigh, Dorough said he wanted to create an album that was entertaining for both parents and their kids.

Continue on to Yahoo News to read the complete article.

With Peabody Award, Rita Moreno is first Latina to attain unique ‘PEGOT’ class

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Actress Rita Moreno poses for camera at a Hollywood event

By Nicole Acevedo

Rita Moreno’s alphabet of awards is gaining another letter. The Peabody Awards organization recently announced it will honor the Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer with the career achievement award.

That means Moreno, 87, will become the third person to achieve PEGOT status by winning a Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. Film director Mike Nichols and entertainer Barbra Streisand are the other two PEGOT winners.

“So proud to be the first Latino recipient,” Moreno said on Twitter. She is also the second person to ever receive the Peabody Career Achievement Award. The first recipient was legendary comedian Carol Burnett in 2018.

Moreno, who gained widespread fame in the film “West Side Story,” will be honored at the Peabody Awards annual gala in New York City on May 18.

“Rita Moreno is a unique talent who has not only broken barriers, but whose career continues to thrive six-plus decades after her acting debut,” Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody Awards. “We are delighted to celebrate her many contributions to entertainment and media, as well as her passion for children’s programming and important social issues.”

Most recently, Moreno starred in three seasons of the popular Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, “One Day at a Time” on Netflix, which was nominated for a 2017 Peabody Award, She also signed on to be an executive producer in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story — a film in which she is also co-starring.

Moreno has also received other prestigious awards, such as The Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

‘Dora the Explorer’ is all grown up in a live-action movie

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Dora the Explorer Movie Poster

By Gwen Aviles

Last time viewers left Dora from Nickelodeon’s educational animated television series “Dora the Explorer,” the adorable Latina girl was embarking on adventures with her monkey-friend Boots and her talking purple backpack.

Her biggest enemy was Swiper, a thieving fox who could be stopped only if viewers chanted “Swiper, no swiping!” three times.

In “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” an upcoming live-action movie based on the series, things get a bit more complicated for the adventurer, according to the first film trailer that dropped this weekend.

Dora’s parents, portrayed by Michael Peña and Eva Longoria, think it’s time for Dora (Isabela Moner) to gain some stability in her life and decide to ship her off to live with her cousin Diego (Jeffrey Wahlberg). Meanwhile, they’ll be exploring an ancient city covered in gold, while Dora attempts to adjust to the structured high school life — a difficult task for a girl who grew up in the jungle.

Just as Dora is starting to get used to school, she and her new friends are kidnapped on a class field trip. In this action-movie reminiscent of the “Spy Kids” series, they must escape and track down Dora’s parents. Luckily for them, a family friend, Alejandro Gutierrez (Eugenio Derbez), arrives to lend them a hand.

WATCH THE TRAILER!

Other talent includes Danny Trejo, who voices Boots, and Benicio Del Toro, who voices Swiper.

Continue on to Latino News to read the complete article.

Alfonso Cuarón Made History at the 2019 Oscars

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This year’s Oscars ceremony may not have ended with what would have been an historic win for Roma as Best Picture, but the Alfonso Cuarón film did manage to break a couple of records with its three wins.

Scoring statues for Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director, the black-and-white period film spoken in Spanish and Mixtec was part of a rather multicultural telecast. There were various firsts, with Black Panther’s costume and production designers becoming the first black women to win in their category; female filmmakers dominating the Shorts races; and winners like Rami Makek (Best Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody) speaking powerfully about being the child of immigrants in this country.

Moreover, in between appearances and speeches by Diego Luna, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo de Toro and Javier Bardem, there was plenty of Spanish to be heard throughout the telecast. So much so that by the time Luna joined chef José Andrés on stage to present a clip from Roma, he went off-script in Spanish (“Buenas noches,” he quipped, “Ya se puede hablar Español en los Oscares!”) before being nudged back into their scripted banter.

 

For the complete article, continue on to Remezcla.