Latinitas is Celebrating 15 Years With a Quinceañera Gala

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Latinitas to Celebrate 15 Years of Tech and Media Education and Girl Empowerment at Quinceañera Gala

AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 22, 2017) – This year, Austin-based Latinitas – the only bilingual and bicultural magazine and digital media and technology nonprofit organization of its kind – will be celebrating its 15th anniversary as many Hispanic girls do – by having a Quinceanera!

Taking place on June 10, 2017, Latinitas’ Quinceañera Gala Presented by Dell EMC will be a modern, chic twist on the Latin American tradition, featuring a choreographed dance, fine photography with a transformation theme for sale, a live and silent auction, tequila tastings and signature cocktails, and cuisine from Mexico’s interior. The Peligrosa-All Star DJs will be performing that night, as well as Stephanie Bergara – lead singer of Selena-cover band Bidi Bidi Banda – and Mayor Steve Adler will be stopping by to say a few words. Colorful cocktail attire and quinceañera dresses are encouraged!

Latinitas will be honoring our “Campeones” – people who have “championed” Latinitas’ mission since its origin through their work and dedication. These honorees include: Producer/Vice President at Troublemaker Studios Elizabeth Avellan; former Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez; Senior Vice President of Univision LA – ATX Luis Patino and his wife Alina; media scholar Dr. Federico Subervi-Velez; and Dell Marketing Director, North America Commercial, Ana Villegas. Quince_Splash_995x600_revised

Latinitas’ signature photography sale at the event welcomes contributions from world-class photographers such as Dulce Pinzon, whose work was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Danielle Villasana, whose long-term project, “A Light Inside” on the life-threatening challenges trans women face throughout Latin America will be featured at the World Press Photo Festival this year.

“We couldn’t have picked a better theme than a quinceañera to celebrate the impact of Latinitas over the past 15 years. Girls transform in Latinitas, they find their voice and a transcendent support system,” said Laura Donnelly, co-founder and CEO. “As an organization, we have reached an exciting precipice of growth that includes stretching our program reach to new spaces – we are that girl who has grown up and is now ready to conquer new frontiers!”

Originated by the Aztecs, the quinceañera was a rite of passage for girls into warrior-hood that has evolved through the century to denote a girl’s transformation into womanhood. At 15 years old, her maturity and growth is acknowledged by her family and other loved ones through a variety of rituals. Although the tradition is not new, quinceañeras are still wildly popular among young girls of Latin American heritage and the parties have become more extravagant over time.

Latinitas’ magazine, still the only publication made for and by young Latinas, was founded in a class at the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 by then-students Alicia Rascon and Laura Donnelly, fed up with the lack and misrepresentation of Latinas in media and technology. The two also developed dozens of no- or low-cost after-school clubs, weekend workshops, camps, and conferences at 112 schools, libraries, public housing sites, and community centers, as well as dozens more in Central and West Texas. Latinitas has provided over 25,000 girls ages nine through 18 with esteem-building lessons in media, technology, and cultural literacy. Latinitas is one of a handful of organizations delivering tech education in a bilingual and bicultural format nationally and the only nonprofit in Austin doing so for 15 years.

Tickets to the Quinceañera Gala are available for purchase at www.LatinitasGala.com. Proceeds will benefit Latinitas’ ongoing programs.  

Contact: Vicky Garza / 512-900-0304 / vicky@latinitasmagazine.org

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ABOUT LATINITAS

Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually – 2,000 in Central and 1,500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the only magazine of its kind, Latinitasmagazine.org (25,000 monthly viewers), and its own social media network, MyLatinitas.com (1,400 registered girls).

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Latinitas Announces New El Paso Executive Director Isis Portillo

Latinitas logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Latinitas Hires New Executive Director for El Paso Chapter

Native Daughter Isis Portillo will oversee El Paso operations following founder’s departure

Austin/El Paso, Texas (May 1, 2017) – Latinitas, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering young Latinas using media and technology, announced today that Isis Portillo has joined the team as the new executive director in its El Paso office. Portillo will be bringing to the table 19 years of broadcasting experience as well as a background in marketing and advertising.

El Paso Executive Director Isis Portillo

El Paso Executive Director Isis Portillo

A Del Valle High School “Conquistador” and University of Texas at El Paso graduate, Portillo comes to Latinitas after spending the last three years working in IP marketing and consulting for Jack Key Auto Group/HoyFox Automotive. Prior to that, she worked for multimedia conglomerates such as Entravision Communications, Univision Communications and NBC News. As the new executive director at Latinitas El Paso, Portillo will lead new charges in program growth, relationship building and strategies focused on the success of El Paso youth.

“It means giving as many young Latinitas an opportunity to aim higher,” Portillo said about what it means to her to join the Latinitas team. “It’s opening the door for them so that they can do it better. Someone is willing to stand with you so you can get there.” Read more about Portillo on our Medium blog: http://bit.ly/2pqSYZk.

Portillo will be replacing Alicia Rascon as the head of the El Paso chapter of Latinitas. Rascon co-founded Latinitas magazine and outreach programming 15 years ago in at a class at the University of Texas at Austin.  She brought Latinitas programs to El Paso in 2008, providing services to thousands of girls in the city’s school districts, public housing and cultural centers.  Rascon left the organization in January and to join the student engagement and leadership center at the University of Texas at El Paso.

ABOUT LATINITAS

Latinitas is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually – 2,000 in Central and 1,500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the first and still only magazine of its kind, Latinitasmagazine.org (25,000 monthly viewers), and its own social media network, MyLatinitas.com (1,400 registered girls).

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Latinitas Aims to #AmpCamp, Invites Donors to Breakfast Fundraiser

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Vicky Garza / 512-796-2777
vicky@latinitasmagazine.org

 

Latinitas’ #AmpCamp Campaign Aims to Raise $10,000 During Amplify Austin Day 2017

Funds raised will be used to provide financial assistance at Latinitas’ summer camps

AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 1, 2017) – Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization, is looking to #AmpCamp by meeting its goal of raising $10,000 in donations during Amplify Austin, our city’s annual community-wide day of online giving happening on March 2-3, 2017. With 100 summer camp spots available, Latinitas will use the funds raised to assist families in need of financial assistance in paying for the Latinitas’ summer camp fees.

Each of the four weeks of Latinitas Summer Camp is dedicated to a different theme – cinema, fashion, technology, and health – and requires the girls to produce projects that include elements such as audio, video, game design, app design, and coding. The girls also get introduced to companies and mentors in Austin’s technology and creative industries, such as Dell, Facebook, Troublemaker Studios, Blackbaud, and General Motors IT Innovation Center, through field trips.

We invite the community to join us for our Amplify Austin FUNdraiser on Friday, March 3rd from 8:30am to 11:00am at East 6th St. Long-standing east Austin restaurant Tamale House East has graciously offered to provide a FREE cup of coffee or a 2-ingredient breakfast taco to anyone who donates $25 or more to our #AmpCamp campaign. We will have staff on hand to help people set up their online giving and provide information about our upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Amplify Austin Day is an annual event that allows community members and supporters to donate to a variety of non-profit organizations in Central Texas. Organizations are given 24 hours, starting March 2 at 6 pm, to raise funds for different causes and meet their individual donation goals.

The link to donate to Latinitas’ Amplify Austin campaign is www.amplifyatx.org/latinitas.

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ABOUT LATINITAS

Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually – 2,000 in Central and 1,500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the first and still only magazine of its kind, Latinitasmagazine.org (25,000 monthly viewers), and its own social media network, MyLatinitas.com (1,400 registered girls).

 

Latinitas Announces Design Chica Poster Contest

Latinitas LOGO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CALL FOR ENTRIES

Latinitas is Requesting Submissions for the Design Chica Poster Redesign Competition

AUSTIN, TX — February 7, 2017 — So you think you can design? Austin-based nonprofit Latinitas is looking for talented graphic designers to redesign the poster for its upcoming Design Chica Conference. Through this competition, the nonprofit is looking to highlight and challenge the diverse talent in the Central Texas area.

Interested contestants must include all of the information that was on the initial poster, a list that can be found on the DesignChica.com website, as well as a photo and short biography of no more than 200 words that introduces the designer and explains what design means to them. All designs must be submitted as a JPG and AI/PSD/Sketch (source/editable file) to austin@latinitasmagazine.org by February 26, 2017.

Eligible graphic designers must reside in Austin or its surrounding areas, and must be at least 16 years old. Top entries will be featured on the Design Chica website. The winner will be announced by March 1 and will receive spotlight recognition in Latinitas’ online magazine and social media channels, and a prize package still to be determined. The winning poster will appear on all Design Chica marketing materials following the contest with design credit given to the designer.

Latinitas’ Design Chica Conference will take place on April 15, 2017 at ACC Eastview, 3401 Webberville Road. The goal of the conference is to introduce girls of all backgrounds to design thinking and to have them work with user experience design professionals to create their very own website. During lunch, girls will meet with local virtual reality experts while experiencing VR demonstrations.

More information about the contest can be found at www.designchica.com/contest.

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About Latinitas

For 14 years, Latinitas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually. Founded by two journalism students fed up with the lack of representation of Latinas in media and technology industries, Latinitas presents enrichment programs at Texas schools, libraries and community centers that use culture as a thread to teach web and graphic design, blogging, video and audio production, photography and of late: video game and app development and coding.

 

Latinitas 2017 Design Chica Conference

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For almost 15 years, Latinitas has empowered over 25,000 young Latinas and other girls using media and technology through digital media production, game design, coding, and robotics, and we are now dedicating our seasonal Chica Conference to design thinking.

Latinitas’ Design Chica Conference will show girls of all backgrounds how to design a great user experience for technological applications, such as 3D printing. The day will also include some demonstrations of virtual reality. During lunch, girls will meet with women in UX design, graphic design and various roles in the tech sector.

Girls ages 9-18 are invited to attend and will be divided into two age groups during parts of the conference.

Design Chica will take place:

Saturday, April 15, 2017
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Austin Community College Eastview Campus
3401 Webberville Road, Austin, TX
Lunch is included in the $10 admission price

Club Latinitas members can attend for free and scholarships are available. Contact us at austin@latinitasmagazine.org or 512-900-0304 for more information.

Register today at https://designchica.eventbrite.com.

Poster contest and parent workshops to be announced soon.

CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!
Is your company interested in sponsoring the next generation of design thinkers? Contact vicky@latinitasmagazine.org for a sponsorship kit.

 

 

Latinitas Selected as a Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grantee

Latinitas and Mozilla Gigabit logos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Vicky Garza / vicky@latinitasmagazine.org

Latinitas Selected as One of 19 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grantees

The Austin-based nonprofit’s Gigabit Girls project will bring virtual reality to girls in Austin Public Housing

Austin, Texas (January 24, 2017) – Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization focused on equipping Latina youth with multimedia production skills and technology training, has received a 2017 Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grant for its effort to combine gigabit technology and education in public housing.

Latinitas will use the grant towards the Gigabit Girls project, in conjunction with Austin Public Housing. The project includes an introductory course in virtual reality (VR) that will be taught to girls engaged with Latinitas programming and living in public housing in Austin. Additionally, Gigabit Girls will call for the recruitment of VR professionals to support the program and bridge the century-long divide between Austin’s downtown business district and East Austin’s housing projects.

Latinitas is one of six nonprofit organizations and programs from Austin to receive the grant, which was also awarded to Austin Free-Net, Austin Monitor, Changing Expectations, University of Texas UTeach Outreach, and PenPal Schools. The other 13 grantees are located in Kansas City, MO, and Chattanooga, TN.

The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, a collaboration with the National Science Foundation and US Ignite, will grant the selected organizations a total of $241,000 for a 16-week pilot period beginning January 30 so that they may “build, pilot, and scale gigabit-enabled applications and associated curricula that have immediate, measurable effect on classrooms and informal learning organizations.”

Learn more about the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/gigabit/.

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ABOUT LATINITAS

Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually – 2,000 in Central and 1,500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the first and still only magazine of its kind, Latinitasmagazine.org (25,000 monthly viewers), and its own social media network, MyLatinitas.com (1,400 registered girls).

ABOUT THE MOZILLA GIGABIT COMMUNITY FUND

Created in 2011, the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund is a joint initiative between Mozilla, US Ignite and the National Science Foundation. Their mission is to leverage next-generation Internet technology to create a more connected, open, and innovative city. The Gigabit Community Fund couples gigabit connectivity (250x faster than most Internet speeds) with grants supporting projects in the realms of education and workforce development. Mozilla believes the Internet is best as a free, open, and accessible public resource — and gigabit technology can help the Web flourish as just that.

Latinitas Launches “1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth” #GivingTuesday Campaign

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Vicky Garza / vicky@latinitasmagazine.org

Latinitas Launches “1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth” Campaign for #GivingTuesday

Global Day of Giving Takes Place on November 29th

AUSTIN, TX — November 21, 2016 — Austin-based nonprofit Latinitas aims to raise $1,000 in monthly giving by #GivingTuesday through its “1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth” campaign. #GivingTuesday, which takes place on November 29th this year, is a global giving movement that harnesses the power of social media to inspire giving and makes it easy to do so, which is perfect for individuals who want to support and champion the causes the believe in this holiday season but have limited time.

“Our goal is to raise $1,000 in recurring monthly donations which will not only allow us to budget more technology equipment so that the girls in our programs get more hands-on tech experience, but it also helps us maintain our eastside presence in a city with an exploding real estate market,” said Latinitas Co-Founder Laura Donnelly. Donations can be made through our secure Click and Pledge site.

While Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all about shopping for deals, #GivingTuesday is a day for giving back. “There’s a movement in the U.S. that people want to buy less and give more, especially during this time of year. People have the opportunity to impart change through their dollars and that’s what #GivingTuesday is all about,” said Donnelly. During this campaign, Latinitas will provide some reasons people should support Latina youth and will ask its supporters to post their reasons for giving on social media over the next week.

In 2015, nonprofits raised more than $117 million online on #GivingTuesday to help make the world a better place in countless ways.  Much more was generated offline and through donations of time and other resources. People participated in #GivingTuesday activities in 71 countries around the globe last year, and this year, participating countries include Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Slovenia, Tanzania, the UK and more.

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About Latinitas

For 14 years, Latinitas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually. Founded by two journalism students fed up with the lack of representation of Latinas in media and technology industries, Latinitas presents enrichment programs at Texas schools, libraries and community centers that use culture as a thread to teach web and graphic design, blogging, video and audio production, photography and of late: video game and app development and coding.

This #GivingTuesday, There Are 1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth

1000-giving-tuesdayAfter taking part in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, we hope you’ll support Latinitas’ “1,000 Reasons to Help Latina Youth” campaign on #GivingTuesday. Our goal is to raise $1,000 in monthly giving by Tuesday, November 29.

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that harnesses the power of social media to inspire giving and makes it easy to do so, which is perfect for people who want to support and champion the causes the believe in this holiday season but have limited time.

By setting up a recurring monthly donation, you will allow Latinitas some predictability to budget more technology equipment so that the girls in our programs can get more hands-on tech experience and you will also be helping us to maintain our eastside presence in a city with an exploding real estate market.

Helping Latinitas this #GivingTuesday is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Schedule your recurring donation starting at $10/month by Nov. 29th through our secure Click and Pledge site.
  2. Post your reason for donating on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Snapchat channels using the #GivingTuesday hashtag. Be sure to tag Latinitas.
    • Here is a sample tweet to get you started: My reason for donating to @Latinitas during #GivingTuesday is…
    • There are 1,000 reasons to help Latina youth right now. Here are just five, or feel free to share your own:
      • Latinos make up just 1% of U.S. newsrooms.
      • 41% of Hispanic females do not graduate from high school within four years, if at all.
      • 14% of Latinas attempt suicide, that’s 1 in 7!
      • Media and technology are two of the most influential and prolific professions in the U.S. right now, yet both realms, even in the 21st century, are still hard-pressed for gender and racial diversity.
      • Women make up less than 17% of tech jobs even at companies with structured diversity engagement such as Google and Facebook and Latinas even less, at 1%.
  3. Help us spread the word about our #GivingTuesday campaign by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and sharing our posts.

If you are a business or individual who would like to provide a matching opportunity, please email vicky@latinitasmagazine.org.

Thank you for supporting Latinitas!