MLB starts diversity fellowships for women, people of color


Major League Baseball is starting a diversity fellowship program and will place about 20 selected candidates with teams and three with the sport’s central office.

Applications, limited to people of color and women, can be submitted from Friday through Nov. 17 and the individuals selected will be announced in April. People eligible include those who have earned a bachelor’s, master’s or related advanced degree within the last two years. The club program involves an 18-month commitment and the central office fellowships run for three years, including two in baseball operations and one in the league economics department.

“We knew we have to be a lot more deliberate on how we design a program,” said Renee Tirado, MLB’s vice president of talent acquisition, diversity & inclusion. “Diversity inclusion is an agenda for many organizations, so our competition is stiff.”

Among professional positions in MLB’s central office, 12.1 percent of employees were African-American, 10.2 percent Latino, 4.3 percent Asian and 29.3 percent women, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida said in April. Among team professional administration, 21.9 percent were people of color and 28.1 percent women, the report said.

“The fellowship program is a coordinated approach by MLB to recruit diverse graduating students at universities throughout the United States by offering them the opportunity to compete for a prestigious fellowship in the front office of an MLB club,” MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said. “The goal is to attract individuals who would not otherwise consider an MLB career without the structure and benefits offered by the fellowship program.”

Continue onto ABC News to read the complete article.

Rudy Galindo, figure skating’s Latino, LGBT pioneer


Rudy Galindo’s life story of joy, heartbreak and triumph over adversity is legendary in the skating world, and he’s seen as a Latino and LGBT pioneer.

Throughout his childhood and adolescence, figure skating was a way for Rudy Galindo to escape his hardscrabble upbringing and dysfunctional home life. As a young man, he medaled in national and world championships, becoming America’s most decorated Latino figure skater and a pioneer for LGBT athletes. Now with the eyes of the world on the skating events at the Pyeongchang Olympics, Galindo is still making his mark on the sport he loves, coaching and nurturing a new generation of hopeful skating champions.

At 7:30 in the morning at the cavernous Solar4America Ice at San Jose complex, Galindo, 48, has already been on the ice for several hours. Swathed in a heavy parka and a thick scarf, he watches one of his students practice her moves.

“We have to work on your axel, those are big points,” he calls out. “Good! Now do one more!” As a dozen skaters practice their routines, the frosty air is filled with the sound of blades skimming over the ice.

Galindo raises his voice so his young charge can hear him. “Hey, why are you looking down at the ice? Don’t look down, there’s nothing down there for you!”

His student skates over for a swig of water. “Very nice, high five! Now go back and do the footwork at the end.” Galindo eyes the skater’s ponytail with a sly smile. “Hey, why are you wearing a scrunchie?! That’s very ‘80s!”

While coaching is the latest chapter in Galindo’s life, over the years he has experienced spectacular professional highs and devastating personal lows. His life story of joy, heartbreak, and triumph over adversity is legendary in the skating world.

Of Mexican-American descent, Galindo was born in the working-class neighborhood of East San Jose. His childhood was far from idyllic. His family lived in a trailer, his truck driver father was on the road for long stretches and his mother suffered from bouts of mental illness. Galindo found his escape on the ice, where his older sister was taking skating lessons at a local rink. Before long, Rudy was taking lessons too, and participating in local competitions.

His aptitude for skating came at great cost. “My dad gave everything, his whole paycheck, so my sister and I could have skating lessons and stay off the streets,” Galindo said. “He worked hard, and we never could afford to move into a house because all of his earnings went for our lessons.”

Before long, Galindo was paired up with another promising young skater from the Bay Area, Kristi Yamaguchi. “I was 11, and he was 13. He was very energetic, even at that young age,” Yamaguchi told NBC Latino. “Once we started skating together, things took off, and he was so creative. We would choreograph our own programs, and he was always full of ideas.”

Galindo even lived with Yamaguchi’s family for several years so that they could focus on their training; a typical day found them training for 6 to 8 hours, and doing their homework in the backseat of Kristi’s mother’s car as she drove them to practice sessions. “Rudy was like my brother,” Yamaguchi recalled.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

‘One Day at a Time’s’ Justina Machado reflects on the evolution of the all-American family

one day at a time cast

“I hope that non-Latino families watching our Latino family on television can see that we are more alike than we are different,” says Machado

Netflix’s hit comedy series “One Day At A Time,” now in its second season, is taking some of our most polarizing and hot-button topics — racism, immigration, LGBT issues, PTSD and even how we care for our veterans — and making viewers not only think but laugh along the way.

The show’s lovable family is unapologetically Hispanic, specifically Cuban American, and yet the more we come to know them, the more we all see ourselves in this typical ‘American’ family. And that’s the point.

“I hope that non-Latino families watching our Latino family on television can see that we are more alike than we are different,” said the show’s lead actress, Justina Machado, who spoke to NBC News about the show’s recently released second season. “We love the same, maybe a little louder,” she said laughing. “We feel the same, we cry the same, we’re a lot more similar than we are different.”

The show is a remake of Norman Lear’s hit show, “One Day At A Time,” which ran from 1975 to 1984. The groundbreaking comedy featured a divorcée and her teen daughters, as well as the building’s lovable super or handyman.

The show’s modern ‘reboot’ has legendary actress Rita Moreno playing a feisty widowed grandmother, Lydia Rivera, and her daughter Penelope Alvarez, a veteran of Afghanistan struggling with PTSD and combat-related injuries and a marriage that unraveled mainly due to her husband’s PTSD and related issues. She is grappling with work and parenthood as she raises two teenagers: Elena, played by Colombian-American actress Isabella Gomez and Alex, played by Marcel Ruiz, who is the grandson of famed Puerto Rican actor and artist Silverio Pérez.

The show has been praised for its details that so accurately portray its Cuban-American household, touches that will draw chuckles from those who grew up with them: the ever present cafetera (coffee pot) and the specific way the grandmother beats the sugar and coffee to make the morning drink, the ropa vieja (shredded beef) that Abuela takes to a sports outing in a tub of margarine.

These kinds of touches were important to the show’s co-creator and showrunner, Gloria Calderón Kellett, who was tapped by Lear when they decided to make the remake with a Hispanic American family.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

Rapper French Montana Launches Campaign To Help Dreamers Go To College

rapper french montana

The 33-year-old star joined forces with MTV and Get Schooled, a nonprofit focused on improving high school graduation rates and boosting college attendance, to launch “We Are The Dream.” The campaign seeks to help young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, go to college.

Rolling Stone broke the news of the initiative on Thursday. 

“I am one of tens of thousands of first and second generation immigrants that are having a significant positive impact on the United States,” the Moroccan-American rapper said in a press release. “I am excited to lead others in this fight to ensure Dreamers connect with support they need to get to college and make their American Dream come true.”

The campaign will leverage social media and its digital hub to help undocumented students find resources and support. The website will include personal stories, information on scholarships, and the names of sanctuary colleges. Dreamers can text “we are the dream” to 33-55-77 with questions that trained counselors will answer and keep confidential.

Montana will lead the social media campaign, asking people to post selfies with the hashtag #WeAreTheDream to share stories, spread awareness and express solidarity with Dreamers. Get Schooled will hold a Twitter chat on Feb. 21 with experts, and will award grants (up to $1,000) to schools, colleges, and community-based organizationslooking to support undocumented students’ access to higher education.

Continue onto the HuffingtonPost to read the complete article.

The 2018 iHeartRadio Nominees Have Been Announced!


The 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards is set to air live on Sunday, March 11th at the Forum in Los Angeles, California. For the fifth straight year, the ceremony will celebrate the most talked about artists and songs heard throughout the last year across radio stations and the iHeartRadio app. Throughout the year, these artists have released hits that have impacted radio stations across the nation.

For the first time, iHeartRadio will be including fans in this year’s show. Fans will be able to vote for “Best Fan Army”, “Best Cover Song”,  “Best Solo Breakout”, and even “Best Musician Pet”.  Voting for these categories are now open at the iHeartRadio awards page. Don’t forget to vote! In the mean time, check out these Latino Superstars making their mark nationally and internationally!

1. Bruno Mars

While Bruno Mars maybe known for Uptwon Funk and 24K Magic,  the pop star first started his career at the age of three, as a young Elvis impersonator. Moving to Los Angeles from his native Hawaii, Mars began his professional career where he made a splash with his hit, Nothin’ On You. Continuing on the success from his debut song, Mars has continuously made hits, which has earned him Male Artist of the Year nominee.

2. Camila Cabello

Cabello first made her debut in the all girl band, Fifth Harmony. Making her own spotlight in the band, she departed in 2016 to start her solo career. The  young star made waves with her Latin influenced Havana, a homage to her birth country, Cuba. Her unique voice and smooth Latin influence has landed her as a Best New Pop Artist Nominee.

3. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee

These Puerto Rican musicians made their mark on American radio stations with their release of Despacito and later the remix with pop superstar, Justin Beiber. Though both Fonsi and Yankee have had successful independent music careers, the collaboration on Despacito has landed them as Latin Song of the Year nominees.

4. J Balvin featuring Willy William

First J Balvin and Willy William released Mi Gente. It went viral and echoed through every radio station’s speaker.  It became a bonafide hit and then, it was remixed with Beyoncé to help with aid relief in Puerto Rico. So, it being Latin Song of the Year, comes as no surprise.

5. Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias has been on the music scene for a while now. He as made hits in America and Latin America. With his hit Bialando, Iglesias brought back Latin flair to American music. Now being nominated with Latin Song of the Year, Iglesias set set to take over both, American and Latin radio stations.

6. Shakira

Her pop hit Whenever made Shakira a superstar. Her collaborations with Latin and American artists solidified her as a versatile musician, and being a guest judge on NBC’s The Voice made Shakira even more adored by American fans. Her nominations as Latin Artist of the Year. Her hips definitely don’t lie.

As Latinx artists continue to make waves in America, iHeartRadio is dedicated to recognizing their contributions to music. The following nominees are artists to watch out for in the coming year:

Best New Latin Artist:
Abraham Mateo
Bad Bunny
Danny Ocean
Karol G

Regional Mexican Song of the Year:
“Adios Amor” – Christian Nodal
“Ella Es Mi Mujer” – Banda Carnaval
“Las Ultras” – Calibre 50
“Regresa Hermosa” – Gerardo Ortiz
“Siempre Te Voy A Querer” – Calibre 50

Regional Mexican Artist of the Year: 
Banda Carnaval
Banda Los Recoditos
Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga
Calibre 50
Gerardo Ortiz

Best New Regional Mexican Artist:
Christian Nodal
Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa de Monterrey
El Fantasma
Ulices Chaidez y Sus Plebes

Check out iHeartRadio for more information on these talented artists!

Oscar-Winning Director of ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Ezra Edelman to Helm Roberto Clemente Biopic

Ezra Edelman

Filmmaker Ezra Edelman is continuing his cinematic trek through the wide world of sports.

Edelman won an Academy Award last year for the documentary O.J.: Made in AmericaVarietyreports he will now direct a feature biopic on Puerto Rican baseball icon Roberto Clemente, who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburg Pirates and was the first Latino to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

On New Year’s Eve 1972, Clemente died in a plane crash while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He was 38.

Edelman will work on the film with first-time screenwriter, poet and sports columnist Rowan Ricardo Phillips, who will adapt the script from author David Maraniss’ book “Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero.” The studio behind the project is Legendary Pictures. It named Giselle Fernandez and Sandra Condito executive producers.

This is will not be Edelman’s first experience on the diamond. He won a Sports Emmy Award in 2007 for his HBO documentary Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush as part of the cable network’s award-winning 30 for 30 series. He also made documentaries on the rivalry between two NBA legends, Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson and Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird (Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals) and on MLB player Curt Flood (The Curious Case of Curt Flood), who famously refused to be traded to another team in 1969 – a decision that he ultimately lost when the case went before the Supreme Court to challenge baseball’s reserve clause.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

With the Hirings of Alex Cora and Dave Martinez, Has MLB Finally Embraced the Latino Manager?

Alex Cora and Dave Martinez

As recently as three weeks ago, there was just one solitary Latino manager in Major League Baseball. Since that time, the league must have started to truly pay attention to under-representation of Latinos in manager roles, because things have changed quickly. Normally, teams keep a low profile during the World Series but this year’s Fall Classic was a little bit different. Both the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals decided to get a head start on what should be another busy offseason for baseball.

They did so by giving two Latinos–both former players and recent assistant coaches–a chance to be managers in the big leagues for the first time. The Red Sox hired Alex Cora–who just won the World Series as the bench coach for the Houston Astros–to be their next manager, while the Nationals lured Dave Martinez away from last year’s world champion Chicago Cubs to run their dugout. They, along with Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria, now bring the number of Latino managers in MLB up to three.

Both men are baseball lifers who came up through the ranks, paid their dues, and earned their way into their new jobs. Cora, 42, was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He’s the younger brother of respected second baseman and coach Joey Cora, and was an infielder in his own right from 1998 to 2011. During his career, he wore the uniforms of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, and the Washington Nationals before retiring with a career slash line of .243/.310/.648 with 35 career home runs, 286 RBI’s, and 47 stolen bases.

He also suited up for Puerto Rico during the 2006 and 2009 editions of the World Baseball Classic, going a combined 3-for-23 at the plate. After retiring from the field, Cora became the general manager of Puerto Rico’s national team, which finished second in both the 2013 and 2017 editions of the WBC. From 2013 to 2016, Cora also worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN and ESPN Deportes, where he impressed millions of viewers on a weekly basis with his insider knowledge of the game. Finally, this past offseason, Cora was hired by the Astros to be their bench coach as they marched to their first World Series title in franchise history.

Before the Astros made history however, Cora made history of his own. After the Boston Red Sox were eliminated from the 2017 playoffs, they parted ways with manager John Farrell–despite the fact that he led the team to the 2013 World Series and three American League East titles. Cora was one of the first candidates to interview for the job and, just before the Astros took the field against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 1, the Red Sox officially made Cora the 47th manager–and the first Latino manager–in Boston history.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

8 Afro Latinos Who Made Important Contributions to US History


Nearly 100 years ago, historian Carter G. Woodson established a week-long commemoration of Black achievements and history.Through that initiative, Woodson lay the groundwork for what would eventually become known as Black History Month. In the United States, the month of February is a celebration of Blackness, paying tribute to those who fought for racial and social equality. The month serves to highlight the existence of the African Diaspora in the United States, and in school, turned our civics and history classes into necessary discussions about their contributions. However, many times this history is incomplete.

While we commonly learn about imperative African-American figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, and many others, we don’t often hear about the importance of Afro-Latinos in the United States. Because Black and Latino are incorrectly seen as mutually exclusive, Afro Latinos find themselves overlooked.

As we acknowledge and honor Black heritage, here are eight Afro Latinos whose important contributions to US history should not go unrecognized during Black History Month or the rest of the year.

1. Miriam Jiménez Román

Miriam Jiménez Román’s influence is expansive, but perhaps nothing is as strongly felt as her book, The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States. Jiménez leads the AfroLatin@Forum, which is dedicated to raising the awareness of Afro Latin@s in the US. She has used her own experiences as a Black Puerto Rican to educate the world on Afro Latinidad and to bridge the gap between the presence of African-Americans and Latinos in the US.

She created spaces and outlets for Black Latinos that previously didn’t exist and addressed issues that often go ignored. Along with her co-editor, Juan Flores, Román conducted informative workshops with middle school students and discovered that many had a hard time understanding Afro Latinidad.

That’s why she knew crafting a book like The AfroLatin@ Reader was essential and something that should have always existed. “I said I wanted a book that addressed some of the concerns I felt when I was young,”  Roman told Los AfroLatinos. “This kind of book should have been around when I was a kid because Blackness was equated with being African-American. This limited view left me concerned about my Blackness because I grew up as a Black Puerto Rican, and I’m very conscious how race and ethnicity have both impacted my life.”

2. Piri Thomas

Down These Mean Streets, a memoir written by author Piri Thomas, is a noteworthy work on Afro Latinidad in the United States. Discussing the racism, identity issues and poverty he experienced during his lifetime growing in Spanish Harlem in NYC, the Cuban-Puerto Rican poet created a piece of literature that shone a light on his own community.

As a darker-skinned Latino, he faced discrimination, both from his family and society as a whole. His father reportedly preferred his lighter-skinned children, according to The New York Times. During his youth he used and sold drugs and ended up in prison after he hurt a police officer. During his seven years imprisoned, he finished high school and turned to writing. The work he created was so trailblazing that his editor told him that with Down These Mean Streets, Piri created a new genre, one where “everybody speaks like themselves.

He also became involved in his community and advocated for at-risk youth. In Carmen Dolores Hernández’s Puerto Rican Voices in English: Interviews with Writers, Piri said that if people wanted to know what he had done after writing his novel, all they had to do was to “ask the communities, the schools, the universities, and colleges.”

Piri is remembered as an influential voices of the Nuyorican Movement, which captured the experiences of Puerto Ricans in New York through the discrimination and marginalization they faced.

Continue onto Remezcla to read more about these revolutionary Afro- Latinos.

Claudia Sandoval Helps Telemundo Launch MasterChef Latino


Reality competitions have worked well for Telemundo. The network is now hoping it has a new hit with MasterChef Latino. To spice up its chances, it named Claudia Sandoval – the winner of MasterChefSeason 6 – as one of the three judges of the U.S. Spanish-language version of the cooking reality show, bringing with her the optimism of success and a positive attitude.

“One of the biggest lessons I learned while on MasterChef U.S. was that the sky is the limit,” says Sandoval. “The chefs there push you beyond your own boundaries and teach you to harness and use your creative ability to create dishes you wouldn’t have otherwise!”

She hopes to inspire the contestants, attract viewers to the show, no matter the language, and bring awareness to the wealth of Latino cuisine.

“My hope for this season of MasterChef Latino is that we are able to harness the love that goes into Latino cooking and elevate it to the level of MasterChef. Cooking and food are a universal language. Fans of MasterChef can watch this show using closed captioning and can learn about the diversity that is Latino cooking. So I’m excited for people to see Latino food as something more elevated than just tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.”

The San Diego native and single mother can relate to the MasterChef Latino participants, all of whom have personal stories of struggle, loss and survival, looking to fulfill their dreams.

“Being in that competition offered me the opportunity to not only change my life but inspire others to follow their dreams,” she says. “I can’t believe that now two of my dreams have come true! My feet haven’t quite touched the ground since winning! Cloud 12 feels amazing!”

Those two dreams she refers to are buying her own home and publishing a best-selling cookbook with her family’s favorite recipes called “Claudia’s Cocina: A Taste of Mexico.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Guillermo Del Toro Dedicates Oscar Nods To Young Latino Filmmakers


The Mexican director’s film led the list of Oscar nominees announced Tuesday morning, with an impressive 13 nods ― including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Del Toro reacted to the nominations in a press statement, dedicating the recognition to young Latino filmmakers.

“It is a great honor and joy to be here today, with a picture that remains faithful to all my convictions and the images I have loved since infancy,” he said in the statement, which was sent to HuffPost. “I want to thank the Academy and my professional colleagues for their kind disposition towards ‘The Shape of Water.’ I share these nominations with all the young filmmakers in Mexico and Latin America who put their hopes in our craft and the intimate stories of their imagination.”

Del Toro also spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the Oscar nominations. The director remarked on what a landmark moment it was see two fantastical, frightening films ― “The Shape of Water” and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” ― be recognized by the Academy.

“I say this because Jordan Peele and myself, through different alchemies, have taken the genre and each brought a very different, very personal take,” he said. “I have always been interested in the dark poetics of the genre. And Jordan has evidently been incredibly compelled to tell the story from a different point of view and has elevated it to a parable of social power that I think is unrivaled.”

“This is the year in which the genre takes its place on the stage without being backed by a best-selling book or a literary classic,” he added.

If del Toro takes home the Oscar for Best Director in March, he will be the fourth Mexican director to win the category in the last five years. Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro G. Iñárritu won the coveted prize in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Continue onto the Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Gina Rodriguez Calls for More Studios to Cast Latinos ‘in Your Films’: We ‘Hold Studios Up’


Gina Rodriguez continued to speak out about the Time’s Up movement when she walked the red carpet at the 2018 SAG Awards on Sunday.

“For me it means the world because we start to talk about inclusivity,” the Jane the Virgin star, 33, said on The PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly & TNT Official SAG Awards Red Carpet Live Show. “That is the reason why I love to speak about Time’s Up.”

The initiative gained momentum at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month, when stars wore black to raise awareness and help fight sexual harassment, assault and inequality for women in all kinds of workplaces.

Rodriguez went on to express how she feels Latinos remain marginalized in Hollywood and sent a message to studios.

“We are still very sadly underrepresented,” the actress said. “Studios, I love you guys. Latinos hold studios up, so cast us in your films so that we can be a part of the growing demographic!”

And Rodriguez wants all women to be part of the ongoing dialogue about diversity. “It’s necessary for all the women, intersectionality, when speaking about women to be a part of these conversations,” she said. “Women of color are needed to speak up and to be a part of this movement.”

Continue onto PEOPLE to read the complete article.