Latinitas and Con Mi MADRE Present Austin Latinas in Film Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Laura Donnelly / 512-414-0472

laura@latinitasmagazine.org

 

Latinitas and Con Mi MADRE Present Austin Latinas in Film Event

September 15th Panel Features Troublemaker Studios Co-Founder and Vice President
Elizabeth Avellán

AUSTIN, TX — August 31, 2016 — Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States and their love for movies is unsurpassed: Latinos purchase 25 percent of movie tickets sold while they comprise 17 percent of the population; however, they are cast in less than 5 percent of the speaking roles in American films, which, for Latinas, are too often a “spicy Latina” or a domestic worker.

Austin-based nonprofit organizations Latinitas and Con Mi MADRE have partnered to bring together a panel of impressive women who work in front of and behind the camera to discuss the current state of Latinas in the film industry and learn about some of the amazing projects our panelists are working on.

Austin Latinas in Film will take place Thursday, September 15, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Google Fiber Space (201 Colorado Street). The event is free and open to the public.

The panel will feature Elizabeth Avellán, Co-Owner and Vice President of Troublemaker Studios and President of EYA Productions. In addition to producing genre and family films such as Spy Kids – one of the first and only films to feature Latino kids – that have collectively grossed over a billion dollars, she has played a primary role in developing Austin, Texas, as a thriving film community.

“We cannot simply encourage children to pursue their dreams; we have to create an environment for them that helps them see, helps them believe that their dreams can and will become a reality. If they don’t see others who look like them, who come from similar backgrounds, succeeding in the areas they want to pursue, it makes it hard for them to believe that it can be a reality,” said Con Mi MADRE Executive Director Dr. Teresa Granillo. “This type of panel and discussion is one step, a necessary step, into creating that environment, particularly for Latinas, who are sorely underrepresented in American cinema.”

Also on the panel are: six-time Lone Star Emmy winning Chelsea Hernandez, editor of Arts in Context on KLRU and Building The American Dream documentary filmmaker; Sharon Arteaga, producer for Republic Ventures Group; and Latina actress and writer Sandy Avila Ramirez. The panel moderator is award-winning writer and director and Austin Film Society Artist Services Manager Iliana Sosa, who is currently in pre-production of her full-length documentary, tentatively titled JULIAN. Sosa will be accompanied by youth moderator Emily Alpuche, a fourth-grade Latinitas ambassador.

“American cinema is still exclusively White and male,” said Laura Donnelly, founder of Latinitas, which works primarily with young Latinas in its after-school programs and weekend workshops. “When we ask girls in our programs to name the Latina/o equivalent of Will Ferrell, someone who is cast in multiple movies a year, they can’t. Until they can, we will keep this dialogue going.”

This is the second annual Hispanic Heritage Month panel hosted by Latinitas. Last year’s panel was Las Voces: Austin Latinas in Journalism, which featured panelists from Ahora Sí, the Austin American-Statesman, the Texas Tribune, KUT-FM, and Univision.

 

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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.

 

About Con Mi MADRE

Con Mi MADRE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to empower young Latinas and their mothers through educational and support services that increase preparedness, participation, and success in post‐secondary education. Con Mi MADRE currently serves 600+ mother‐daughter teams in 20 middle and high schools in the Austin area. The majority of the families are low‐income (65%), and 80% of the girls will be first‐generation college graduates.

 

Latinitas Selected 1 in 28 for 2016 Google RISE Awards

The Austin-based nonprofit is one of 28 organizations in 16 countries receiving a 2016 Google RISE Award

Austin, Texas (June 7, 2016) – Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit organization focused on equipping Latina girls and teens with multimedia production skills and technology training, announced today that it has received a 2016 Google RISE Award for its efforts to increase access to computer science education for youth.

Latinitas is the only nonprofit organization from Texas and one of only 13 in the United States to receive the annual award. Other award winners are located in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

“This collective effort to inspire our next generation of technology innovators and creators will reach tens of thousands of students this year,” said Nicky Rigg, Google’s RISE Awards program manager. “We are excited to include Latinitas in our recent cohort of 28 organizations across 16 countries. Our RISE Awardees make up a community of passionate and vibrant educators and advocates; they are change makers that engage, educate, and excite students about computing through extracurricular outreach.”

2016 marks Google’s seventh year of supporting outstanding organizations that engage girls and underrepresented students in extracurricular computer science programs. “For me, it matters that we drive technology as an equalizing force, as an enabler for everyone around the world. Which is why I do want Google to see, push, and invest more in making sure computing is more accessible, connectivity is more accessible,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google Inc.

Latinitas will use the grant to use its existing after school, summer camp and conference programming to create a more definitive pipeline between young Latinas in Austin and access to jobs in the tech sector.

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 GOOGLE RISE AWARDS

The Google RISE Awards is an annual funding program for informal education organizations around the world that promote computer science for K-12/pre-university age youth. The program emphasizes participation from girls, youth in low-income communities, and minorities who have historically been underrepresented in the field of computer science. Since 2010, the Google RISE Awards have contributed $5 million dollars to over 200 organizations across 40 countries reaching more than 850,000 youth.

Learn more about the Google RISE Awards at g.co/riseawards.

Latinitas Celebrates Women’s History Month with Blog-a-thon

Latinitas Announce Weeklong Blog-A-Thon

Calling all Latina bloggers to celebrate Women’s History Month! The nonprofit organization, Latinitas, is hosting a Blog-A-Thon March 1st-5th on www.MyLatinitas.com for the creative girls who want to #SpeakOut and share their creative voice during Women’s History Month. Each day will have a different blog topic.

Expressing themselves through writing is one of the best ways to incorporate their voice and show that Latina voices matter. Young Latinas are the largest group of minority girls and the fastest growing youth population in the United States, six times faster than their peers. Despite the power in numbers, the image and voice of Latinas is absent or often distorted in media. Women are often quieted from letting their true colors shine through their creativity.It’s time for Latinas to come together and share their creativity and show that Latinas will be a part of mainstream media.

To get involved, bloggers are invited to create an account at MyLatinitas.com or submit their work to editor@latinitasmagazine.org. Prizes (gift cards) will be awarded to the to first, second, and third place blogueras who contribute high quality content. Blogs from the blog-a-thon will be eligible for publication in LatinitasMagzine.com or in an anthology to be released in 2017.

Blog-a-thon Topics:
March 1: Tell us what you are doing to help future generations of Latinas succeed! Whether you’re a first generation college student setting a standard for siblings or volunteering in your community, show us what you contribute.
March 2: Who runs this? Girls! #WCW more like #WCE Spotlight a Latina woman who has changed your life and/or history.
March 3: The “F” Word: What does feminism and/or being a feminist mean to you?
March 4: I am a chica poderosa because _____________! Give advice on how to others can be chicas poderosas just like you.
March 5: As a future Latina hero, what would you like to be known for?

Providing forums and programs to capture this voice, Latinitas, (www.latinitasmagazine.org) empowers Latina girls and teens using media and technology. Latinitas is prompting girls nationwide with some “hot topic” blog ideas to get their feedback on the big issues they face today.

Austin’s Public Housing and Girls Empowerment Non-Profit Partner with National Tech Initiative to get More “Chicas” to Explore Tech

HACA’s Pathways Program and Latinitas’s Girls Leading Girls Initiative Use National Center for Women and Information Technology Resources to Cultivate More Gender Diversity in Tech

Austin, Texas – February 05, 2016 – 9,000 technology jobs are coming to Austin by 2017, yet the current industry employs less than 17 percent of women. The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) has committed to an initiative that will engage young girls in computing concepts. Pooling resources such as HACA’s on-site computer labs, Latinitas’s 14 years of experience empowering girls of color using technology (latinitasmagazine.org), and NCWIT’s youth partners and curriculum, Girls Leading Girls Through Tech is leveraging collaboration to teach more young girls the basics of coding, app and game design, and animation.

“I see [Girls Leading Girls Through Tech] as a great way to give to these girls the kind of relationship I have with technology,” said Linnea May, Team Instructor for Girls Leading Girls. “To me, it’s a way to make amazing things, something to be used as a tool and trusted to meet your needs.”

Girls Leading Girls Through Tech is an intensive 6-week session of lessons exclusively for girls living in public housing. Girls ages 9 – 18 are welcome and will meet every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm beginning February 6th and ending March 19th at HACA’s Meadowbrook Apartments, located at 1201 W Live Oak St, Austin, Texas, 78704. The lessons will be delivered by teens selected in NCWIT’s AspireIT K-12 Outreach Program. NCWIT works to increase gender diversity in technology and computing in order to improve business performance and better serve a more diverse population. NCWIT believes that by providing women with lucrative careers, the economic and social well-being of a larger population will increase.

Latinitas will be assisting with program management, getting career presenters and registration. Since 2002, Latinitas has been empowering young girls through media and technology while focusing on inspiring young Latinas to become confident and successful. By partnering with NCWIT’s AspireIT K-12 program, Latinitas will continue to expand their mission. Similarly, HACA’s Pathways program, Austin Pathways, seeks to promote education and general welfare to low-income families in Austin.

Participants of Girls Leading Girls Through Tech will have the opportunity to meet persons from the game and app design industries in Austin, as well as engineers, coders and animators. The initiative will culminate with a short presentation of developed products during SXSW and passes for all girls involved.

For more information, call Latinitas at (512) 900-0304 or email Sylvia Butanda at sylvia@latinitasmagazine.org.

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College Chica El Paso

COLLEGE CHICA PREPARES GIRLS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

 

WHAT:  College Chica is a full-day conference centered around college attainment. The event will feature college prep workshops, a college student panel and keynote speakers presenting on the value of academic pursuit.

WHO: Girls ages 10-18 are invited to attend Latinitas’ College Chica conference. The event is co-hosed by Latinitas, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering young Latinas, and the UTEP Center for Civic Engagement.

WHEN: February 13 from 10am-2pm

WHERE: UTEP Miner Village

WHY: Young Latinas are suffering the highest rates of school drop out of all their female peers and College Chica is a direct effort to curb those statistics by demystifying the college experience. Girls are invited to discover the importance of college and get an insider’s view of college life. Girls will have an opportunity to tour the UTEP campus, meet college student mentors, attend workshops on the importance of education and participate in activities to start preparing for college. Sessions on video production, photography and blogging will feature investigative activities on why college is important, what it is like and how to afford it.

CONTACT: For more information, contact Latinitas 915.219.8554, or latinitaselpaso@yahoo.com.

Healthy Chica

Latinitas Uses Media & Tech to Debunk Confusing Health Messages 

El Paso, TX- Media has such power and influence, directing mixed messages at teen girls about diet, esteem, body image, happiness, achievement and much more.  Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference, January 30 from 10am-3pm at El Paso First, 1145 Westmoreland for any girl ages 9-18 puts the message-making in girls’ hands and is an opportunity to re-script confusing perspectives about what is and isn’t healthy.  Conference attendees will use video, photography, blogging and other digital media methods to explore nutrition, exercise and mental wellness.

Latinitas is partnering with the El Paso First Health Plans to host a full day of health & wellness. Girls will learn about health, wellness, self-esteem, nutrition, fitness and making healthy choices. Girls will also complete an exercise circuit sampling zumba, dance, and yoga. Attendees will be given the opportunity to create original content to implement a health public awareness campaign.   Girls and teens at Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference will also be visited by nutritionists, doctors,  health experts and social workers who will share their career experiences during lunch.  Join us for a full day of creating media and empowering the Latina youth.

The Latinitas mission is to empower young Latinas through media and technology. Latinitas was founded as a non-profit in 2002. Latinitas host media enrichment programs to help girls learn how to build confidence and discover their voice. It also publishes the first and only magazine made for and by young Latinas. (www.latinitasmagazine.org)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics report 73 percent of Mexican American women are overweight or obese, ten percent more than the general population. More than half of Mexican American women do not report any leisure exercise and are consequently at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.  As the U.S.’s largest Latina population, statistics paint a dire picture about the fate of Latina female health, overall.   And, these numbers are only addressing physical health. One out of 7 young Latinas attempt suicide, a majority afraid to get help due to dated and cultural stigmas about depression. In many ways, Latina girls’ and teens’ health and wellness is in crisis.

“Girls face unhealthy and contradictory media messages about unhealthy body image ideas as well as advertising for unhealthy food and lifestyles,” said Alicia Rascon, Latinitas founder and CEO. “We want to encourage girls to make healthy choices by learning about what good nutrition is, how to have a positive body image, ways to stay active and to avoid unhealthy substances.”

Girls and teens can register at www.laslatinitas.com, email latinitaselpaso@yahoo.com or by calling 915.219.8554.

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EPCC Technology Workshop

TECH CHICA WORKSHOP: (12/5 – El Paso, TX)
Women Leaders Motivate Girls to Discover Their Voice in Media & Tech

WHEN: December 5, 2015 ( 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

WHERE: EPCC Administrative Building, 9050 Viscount

WHAT: Girls are given the opportunity to explore career opportunities in media and technology mentored by professionals and college leaders in media and tech world.

WHO: Latinitas is partnering with the EPCC technology department to host a behind-the-scenes tour of the EPCC TV station and technology department. This event is open to all girls between the ages of 9 and 18.

WHY: Attendees will be given the opportunity to create original content to implement a social media campaign of a topic of their choosing.  There will also be an exciting lunch time panel with professional women in various media and tech industries. Join us for a full day of creating media and empowering the Latina youth.  The Latinitas mission is to empower young Latinas through media and technology. Latinitas was founded as a non-profit in 2002. We publish Latinitas Magazine and host media enrichment programs to help girls learn how to build confidence and discover their voice.

REGISTER: Pre-registration is encouraged. For more information, call 219.8554, email latinitaselpaso@yahoo.com or visit http://laslatinitas.com/programs/registration

Healthy Chica Conference Gives Girls Tools To Create a Movement

Latinitas Uses Media, Tech and Musician/Health Enthusiast Suzette Quintanilla to Debunk Confusing Health Messages 

AUSTIN, TX- Media has such power and influence, directing mixed messages at teen girls about diet, esteem, body image, sexuality, happiness, achievement and much more.  Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference, Oct 24, 9am-4pm at ACC Eastview for any girl ages 9-18 puts the message-making in girls’ hands and is an opportunity to re-script confusing perspectives about what is and isn’t healthy .  Conference attendees will use video, photography, blogging and other digital media methods to explore nutrition, exercise and mental wellness.

Suzette Quintanilla, sister to the late Selena Quintanilla and drummer for the Los Dinos, will kick off the morning by sharing her journey to a fit lifestyle. Girls and teens at Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference will also be visited by nutritionists, doctors, dentists, acupuncturists, hospice workers, girls’ health experts and social workers who will share their career experiences during lunch.  Girls will also complete an exercise circuit sampling CrossFit, yoga and martial arts.

Latinitas is a non-profit organization focused on empowering girls and teens using media and technology. It also publishes the first and only magazine made for and by young Latinas. (www.latinitasmagazine.org)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics report 73 percent of Mexican American women are overweight or obese, ten percent more than the general population. More than half of Mexican American women do not report any leisure exercise and are consequently at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.  As the U.S.’s largest Latina population, statistics paint a dire picture about the fate of Latina female health, overall.   And, these numbers are only addressing physical health. One out of 7 young Latinas attempt suicide, a majority afraid to get help due to dated and cultural stigmas about depression. In many ways, Latina girls’ and teens’ health and wellness is in crisis.

“Media manipulates what ‘good health’ is photo-shopping bodies to an unreachable body ideal. Ad-driven, it’s also hard to know what is really good nutrition and what is a fad.” Said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas founder and COO.  “This event lets Latina and other girls define healthy living on their own terms, a point of view not covered well in mainstream media.”

Registration is $10 and includes lunch.  Girls and teens can register at www.laslatinitas.com or by calling 512.900.0304.  Scholarships are available upon request or girls can post a picture of a healthy habit (ex. lacing up tennis shoes for a run, grabbing an orange as a snack) to Latinitas social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) with the hashtag, #healthychica for free admission.

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Contact Laura Donnelly Gonzalez at 512.809.4618 or laura@latinitasmagazine.org for an interview.     

 

Girls Aim High in STEM Conference

LOCAL WOMEN LEADERS MOTIVATE GIRLS TO AIM HIGH
Aim High Conference Features Leadership & Career Workshops

WHAT: Aim High Conference: Girls are given the opportunity to explore career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math mentored by professionals in this leadership and career workshop.

WHEN: November 7, 2015 ( 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

WHERE: 7000 Edgemere

WHO: Latinitas and the American Association will be hosting the Aim High Conference, a special career exploration workshop about empowering Latina youth. The Aim High conference is created especially for girls ages 10 and up with unique hands-on workshops, exhibits and panels.

WHY: The Aim High Conference is geared toward encouraging pre-teen and teen girls to aim high by setting high goals for themselves, achieving in academic realms and exploring professional opportunities for their future success. Girls are invited to imagine their future career and meet role models. Workshops are led by professional women who are excited about sharing their careers with participants. Aim High features unique hands-on workshops, activities and inspiring guest speakers. Aim High Conference is hosted by Latinitas and the American Association of University Women.

REGISTER: Pre-registration is encouraged. For more information, call 219.8554, email latinitaselpaso@yahoo.com or visit LasLatinitas.com/ElPaso.

ABOUT LATINITAS: Latinitas is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Latina youth. Through multimedia enrichment programs, Latinitas empowers local girls to express themselves and connects them with role models and mentors who guide them in building their confidence and self-esteem. Latinitas members publishes www.latinitasmagazine.org, a bilingual webzine focused on informing, entertaining and inspiring young Latinas to grow into healthy, confident and successful women.

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Latinitas and Google Fiber Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Las Voces: Austin Latinas in Journalism

Local and National Journalist Panel Discuss Diverse Voices in Media

Women represent just 35 percent of newspaper supervisors according to the 2014 American Society of News Editors newsroom census.  Same goes for TV and radio, where women make up just 28 percent of news directors in the top 25 U.S. markets and 26 percent of radio news directors at stations with 1M listeners or more.

Shifting the lens to women of color, Latinos, overall, are just one percent of U.S. newsroom staff and national coverage of Latino issues in a country where 90 percent of American children under 5 are Hispanic is…wait for it…under one percent, with issues limited singularly to immigration and crime.

WHAT:           Bringing together Latina journalistic voices in print, radio and television, Latinitas and Google Fiber present for the first time Las Voces: Austin Latinas in Journalism, a panel discussion on cultivating diverse voices in media and the shifting American narrative. 

 WHO:             Las Voces Panelists include:

Josefina Casati, Editor in Chief, Ahora  Si

Gissela Santacruz, Editorial, Austin American Statesman

Alexa Ura, Politics and Demographics Reporter, Texas Tribune

Veronica Zaragovia, News Reporter, KUT-FM

Moderator: Leslie Montoya, Univision and Alejandra Charre Otero, Latinitas

 WHEN:          Wednesday, Sept 30, 5:30 pm doors open, event goes until 7:30

 WHERE:        Google Fiber (201 Colorado).  Food and drink served.

RSVP HERE (FREE EVENT):  https://fiberevents.withgoogle.com/events/1875/register

“Representation is key in a providing authentic narratives in media.  We thank Google Fiber for providing the forum and space discussion strategies for cultivating more diverse voices in media and also a platform to celebrate women in the trenches doing it right now.” Said Latinitas founder Laura Donnelly.

About Latinitas

Latinitas is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to empower young Latinas through media and technology.  Founded in a class at UT Austin in 2002, Latinitas is also the first and only digital magazine made for and by young Latinas (www.Latinitasmagazine.org). Twenty five thousand readers per month and thousands of articles later with 20,000 served through the magazine’s outreach programming that includes digital media education camps, clubs and workshops, Latinitas continues to grow with new chapters in El Paso, TX and programs in Las Cruces/Silver City, New Mexico.  

About Google Fiber

Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that is available in Austin. Fiber customers get access to a range of products from Gigabit Internet to Google Fiber TV to the Basic Internet product. Go to fiber.google.com to learn more.