Selena Gomez: Innovating Social Media

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By Mackenna Cummings

Actress and singer Selena Gomez got her start at the age of nine on Barney and Friends and quickly rose as a Disney Channel star with the television show Wizards of Waverly Place, where she played a Latina-Italian middle daughter on the longest-running Disney channel show. But the young performer has moved far beyond her early days as a teen celebrity, and she’s using her rising status to bring awareness to issues she is passionate about.

Today, Gomez’s songs have reached millions in records sales, she has been nominated for several VMA awards, and she is the highest paid influencer on Instagram, a social media platform where her life, interests, and projects are shared with her astounding 124 million followers.

In September, TIME Magazine recognized Gomez for being the first person to reach 100 million followers on Instagram in its project TIME Firsts, which highlights women making a difference in the world. The singer is grateful for the platform and how it has allowed her to connect even more with her fans, but she also tries to connect with them strategically. She admits that she is thankful she never grew up with this type of social media, because feeling good about yourself is hard enough as a young adult without being so aware of what everyone around you is accomplishing. This is why Gomez attempts to share her mistakes and vulnerability on her account along with her accomplishments. “I hope that they know that strength doesn’t mean that you have to put on a facade. Strength is being vulnerable,” she said in the feature.

And she has made quite an impact through her social media and her efforts to be open and honest. At 25 years old, Gomez has one of the largest voices and has chosen to use it across underrepresented issues, such as awareness for autoimmune diseases and mental health, equality for the LGBT community, her Hispanic heritage, and empowering students to make a difference. She uses her social media platforms, particularly Instagram, to share about these passions and how people can make a difference every day.

She posts regularly from all aspects of her life to connect with fans and make a positive difference in the world, though she admits it’s not always easy to hope change can come. But her honesty and willingness to share so much is exactly why TIME Magazine has named her the “tastemaker,” emphasizing its belief that she is capable of bringing change through her social media.

Selena Gomez – Headshot;
Photo Credit: Nicholas Christopher

The “Bad Liar” singer has opened up more about her own Lupus diagnosis and how that has affected her life and career over the years. While her diagnosis was nearly five years ago, upon canceling the end of her Revival tour last year, Gomez revealed more about her battle with Lupus while simultaneously showing her fans that it was more than OK to put yourself and your mental health above other obligations. She shared the difficult truths about the depression and social anxiety that often accompanies Lupus in an interview with Vogue, stating that checking into a treatment facility was the best thing she had ever done. Her reason behind sharing is not only for awareness and to raise money for research (her only birthday wish this past year) but to help remove the stigmas surrounding seeking help and getting therapy for important issues, particularly among women.

“We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back; the girl who’s down,” she says. “We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.” While she was devastated to let down fans by canceling a portion of her tour, she is continuing to show her fans how to accept and seek out help when you need it.

The Revival tour also became a vehicle for Gomez to address other issues and passions, including her beliefs on the need for equality for the LGBT community and her identity as a Latina. In 2016, while many other performers were protesting the implementation of the HB2 law in North Carolina (a discriminatory law that targets the LGBT community particularly in regards to gender neutral restrooms) by canceling any concerts in the area, Gomez chose to keep her tour location in the state. She had her proceeds from the show go to an LGBT organization in protest against the law and was sure to include gender-neutral bathrooms at the venue, because making sure everyone felt welcome at her show was important.

WE Day California 2017 – WE Carpet –Photo Credit: Tommaso Boddi_Getty for WE Day

Continuing this support, Gomez recently wrote an open love letter to the LGBT community stating her love and calling for more inclusivity and acceptance. Having grown up with a mother who was supportive of all love and people, she admits that she was lucky to have such a positive and early relationship with the LGBT community and hopes that this letter can help others love and support the community as well.

Gomez announced the Revival tour to her Instagram followers with a photo of herself wearing the sugar-skull style makeup associated with El Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican celebration of the dead. Her merchandise on the tour represented more of her Latin roots with a bomber jacket also in the style of El Dia de los Muertos and a shirt with the same font and coloring as the well-known Selena Quintanilla fan shirt. The singer had already addressed the fact that the two share a name earlier that year in a radio interview with Doug Lazy.

“My dad and mom were huge fans. My name was going to be Priscilla, but my cousin actually took the name when she was born six months before me. They actually loved her music, so they just named me after her.” In fact, the two have a lot in common as Gomez is a Mexican-American born and raised in Texas just as Quintanilla was. Gomez has credited Quintanilla as a role model and inspiration, recognizing that her success was key in the success of future Latina stars.

Aside from world tours and number one hit songs, Gomez continues to make headlines for her charitable work and partnerships with programs and fashion lines alike. She continuously donates to research for Lupus and encourages fans to do the same. For last five years, she has participated in WE Day, which encourages students and families to make a positive difference in their community from environmental change to promoting inclusivity in the workplace all by coming together. During the past two WE Day Movements, she has not only participated but also hosted. “It’s not just they want to help a specific community or want to go to a certain place in the world,” Gomez said about the program.

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WE Day California 2017-Photo Credit: Tommaso Boddi_Getty for WE Day

“They are encouraging kids from even in your backyard to be doing something for your community, for your neighborhood, for your family, for your friends. […] And I love that they’re celebrating all these kids and how hard they’re working…It’s beautiful.”

Most recently, Gomez has partnered with Coach as the new face of the lifestyle brand. But she has taken this partnership further by bringing awareness to and participating in Coach’s charity partner, “Step Up.” The charity works to give young women from under-resourced communities confidence and support to graduate from high school and attend colleges successfully.

After meeting with two young girls the program was working with, Gomez said, “Step Up’s mission to empower young women is personally important to me and something even more crucial in underserved communities. Working with the young women I met today was an inspirational experience I will never forget.”

And who better to mentor young women on empowerment than a young Latina who has not only held her own as a top selling artist and the star of her own television series, but also proved her skills on the business side of Hollywood as the executive producer to the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why? The series was so successful that a second season is already cast and in the works.

In addition to her success in Hollywood, Gomez has risen up to be an influence for young Latinas everywhere and anyone struggling with illnesses and mental health. Her positivity and focus on changing the dialogue and stigma surrounding diseases and therapy has made a powerful impact on those with similar experiences. She continues to find unique ways to spread awareness and gain support on important issues, from tour proceeds going to organizations and research to meeting with and celebrating her fans. In fact, scattered throughout her impressive Instagram account, she posts photos of her with fans continuously expressing her gratitude for their love. She is inspiring her 24 million followers to celebrate Latin culture, seek gender and LGBT equality, contribute to community service, strive for success as students, and support medical research all with humility and grace.

U.S. Latinos: The Blind Spot Of America

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Across America, there’s a shift happening in our economic landscape. Like a fast approaching vehicle caught in a blind spot, it is invisible to most.

The entertainment industry has created a narrow and stereotypical narrative of who Latinos are in the U.S. Since perception is reality, our substantial contributions to the American economy have essentially gone unnoticed, barely registering a blip on the radar in mainstream media. Contrary to popular belief, the “hot” investments of 2018 are not just cryptocurrency, high-tech drones, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence — it’s also U.S. Latinos.

The U.S. Latino gross domestic product (GDP) represents $2.13 trillion — larger than the GDPs of Italy, Brazil, India and Canada. If U.S. Latinos were a country, they’d be the seventh largest economy in the world. According to a report by the Latino Donor Collaborative, where I serve on the board, by 2020, the Latino population at large is predicted to represent 24.4% of total U.S. GDP growth, and the U.S. Latino GDP today is growing 70% faster than the country’s non-Latino GDP.

In the last decade, U.S. Latinos launched 86% of all new businesses in the U.S. Because the growth of American businesses and the majority of their customer base will inevitably be Latinos, if you want to future-proof your business, pay attention to the following trends and numbers:

The Latino population is growing in size. In the next five years, it’s predicted that Latino consumers will spend more than millennials and the over-65 baby boomer crowd combined, making Latinos the most desirable demo for the growth of any company.

Latinas are extremely influential in making purchases. U.S. Latinos are one of the single largest drivers of year-to-year sales growth for key CPG companies, retailers and durable goods. And Latinas, in particular, are responsible for influencing and buying the purchases made in Latino homes in categories like healthcare, beauty, apparel, auto and home purchases. In fact, according to a Nielson survey, 86% of Latinas say they’re the primary shopper in their household.

Automobile and home purchasing categories are driven by Latinos. Latinos are responsible for a large percentage of sales growth today for automakers, including Toyota, Nissan and Honda. In 2015, U.S. Latinos accounted for 69% of the total net growth in home ownership, and from 2010 to 2030, Latinos are expected to make up more than half (52%) of all new homebuyers.

We’re approaching a Latino-majority workforce. In the next few years, Latinos will make up 40% of the workforce growth in America. By 2060, Latinos are projected to account for almost 30% of the U.S. population, and contrary to popular belief, a supermajority of Latinos are U.S citizens or U.S. born.

Rudy Galindo, figure skating’s Latino, LGBT pioneer

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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.

TFS Scholarships Launches Online Toolkit to Provide College Funding Resources

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SALT LAKE CITY— TFS Scholarships (TFS), the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding, has launched a free online toolkit to provide counselors, families and students with resources to help improve the college scholarship search process. The toolkit, available at tuitionfundingsources.com/resource-toolkit, provides downloadable resources and practical tips on how to find and apply for scholarships.

The launch comes in celebration with Financial Aid Awareness Month when many families are beginning the FAFSA process and researching financial aid options.

“We hope these resources help raise awareness around TFS and the 7 million college scholarships available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “Our goal is to help families discover alternative ways to offset the rising costs of higher education.”

The resource toolkit includes flyers, email templates, newsletter content, digital banners and table toppers which are designed to be shareable content that counselors, students and organizations can use to spread the word about how to find free money for college.

The newly revamped TFS website curates over 7 million scholarship opportunities from across the country – with the majority coming directly from colleges and universities—and matches them to students based on their personal profile, where they want to study, and stage of academic study. By tailoring the search criteria, TFS identifies scholarships that students are uniquely qualified for, thus lowering the application pool and increasing the chances of winning. By creating an online profile, students can find scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. About 5,000 new scholarships are added to the database every month and appear in real time.

Thanks to exclusive financial support from Wells Fargo, the TFS website is completely ad-free, and no selling of data, making it a safe and trusted place to search.

For more information about Tuition Funding Sources visit tuitionfundingsources.com.

 

About TFS Scholarships

TFS Scholarships (TFS) is an independent service that provides free access to scholarship opportunities for aspiring and current undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Founded in 1987, TFS began as a passion project to help students and has grown into the most comprehensive online resource for higher education funding. Today, TFS is a trusted place where students and families enjoy free access to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in college funding. In addition to its vast database that’s refreshed with 5,000 new scholarships every month, TFS also offers information about career planning, financial aid, and federal and private student loan programs as part of its commitment to helping students fund their future. Learn more at tuitionfundingsources.com.

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

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“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.

New Research Reveals Community Involvement is Important to Hispanics’ Overall Well-Being

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass., — A new nationwide survey conducted by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) concludes that Hispanics who are involved in their communities find it personally gratifying and empowering. Interestingly, a majority (78 percent) agree that community involvement is important to their well-being and almost half (42 percent) consider themselves community leaders.

This new body of research — You Get What You Give: The MassMutual 2018 Financial Wellness and Community Involvement Study — examines the intersection of community participation and financial well-being and strongly demonstrates that community involvement strengthens confidence in financial security.

“Our research revealed that community involvement has financial and gratifying benefits,” said David Hufnagel, Latino market director, MassMutual. “Our company commitment is to help our communities secure their future and protect their loved ones.”

The study highlights how Hispanics feel confident about their current financial well-being and have supported other members of their communities during financial stress. In fact, more than half (57 percent) report that they have supported someone in their community in a time of financial stress and 36 percent have been supported by others in their community during a time of need.

Hispanics clearly are involved in a range of community activities. Most are involved in a community with their family (86 percent), friend group (70 percent), school related (66 percent) and children-related activities (62 percent).

Visit massmutual.com for tangible tips for those interested in becoming more involved in their community as well as educational materials and tools to explore ways to build financial security, including an option to connect with a financial advisor.

Methodology

PSB conducted the research online between September 7 through September 28, 2017, using a nationally representative sample of 10,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and above. 1,077 identified themselves as Hispanics.

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit massmutual.com.

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Rapper French Montana Launches Campaign To Help Dreamers Go To College

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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 WeAreTheDream.us 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!

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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
Ozuna

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

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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?

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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

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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.