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

.  .  .

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).

# # #

 

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).

# # #

 

Latinitas Aims to #AmpCamp, Invites Donors to Breakfast Fundraiser

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 2.40.22 PM

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.

# # #

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).

 

Women’s History Month Writing Contest

C53mwHzU4AA571QWe’re celebrating Women’s History Month by hosting a writing contest. Each entry increases your chances of winning a prize.  Participate in a daily writing activity, submit one entry, or more! Your entry will be featured in Latinitas Magazine and will be entered to win a prize.

Dates: March 6th  – 10th

Guidelines:

1. Submissions can be quotes, brief paragraphs, and/or stand alone pieces on MyLatinitas.com or sent via e-mail to Jasmine Villa (editor@latinitasmagazine.org).

2. Top blogueras will win a prize! Each entry boosts chances of winning a prize.

Prizes:

– 1st prize- $35 Sephora Gift Card

– 2nd Prize – $20 Starbucks Gift

– 3rd prize – $15 Amazon gift card

Bonus:  2 random drawings of a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Prompts:
March 6:  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 7: I am a chica poderosa because _____________! Give advice on how to others can be chicas poderosas just like you.

March 8:  Who runs this? Girls! #WCW more like #WCE! Spotlight a Latina who has changed your life and/or history.

March 9:  The “F” Word: What does feminism and/or being a feminist mean to you?

March 10: Why are you proud to be a Latina?

Questions/Contact Information: Jasmine Villa, editor@latinitasmagazine.org

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.

design-chica-poster-contest.jpg

# # #

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 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/.

# # #

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 Accepting Applicants for Interim Executive Director of El Paso Chapter

Latinitas is currently accepting cover letters and resumes to fill the position of Interim Executive Director for the El Paso, Texas Region.

Job Purpose and Description

The purpose of this project is as follows:

The Interim E.D. will report to the Board of Director and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Project Description:

  • Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals
  • Actively engage and energize Latinitas’ volunteers, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders
  • Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and regional expansion
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities

Job Scope

Latinitas El Paso will be transitioning into a Chapter organization model in 2017.  The Interim E.D. will work alongside the Board of Directors, both Austin and El Paso-based, and the Chief Executive Officer to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the El Paso Chapter. The Interim E. D. will leverage networks to increase fundraising and awareness, establish and foster existing partnerships. Work with Latinitas Development Director to increase funding for the El Paso region.

Qualifications

The Interim ED will be thoroughly committed to Latinitas’ mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:

  • Advanced degree, ideally an MBA or MPA with at least 10 years of senior management experience; track record of effectively leading and regionally and/or nationally scaling a performance- and outcomes-based organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalized strategies that have taken an organization to the next stage of growth
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed

Budget

The position will be on a contract basis.

Timeline  

The position has been posted since January 16, 2017. This request for resumes represents the requirements for an open and competitive process. Resumes and cover letters will be accepted until Feb 28, 2017.

Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the Interim E.D. for this request.  All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by Latinitas’ legal department and will include scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Latinitas will evaluate all submissions based on the following criteria.  To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following:

  • Overall proposal suitability: proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner
  • Organizational Experience: Bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project
  • Previous work: Bidders will be evaluated on examples of their work pertaining to client testimonials and references
  • Technical expertise and experience: Bidders must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience

Please submit a cover letter and resume via email to Laura Donnelly, Chief Executive Director, at austin@latinitasmagazine.org and Jennifer Rodriguez, jmlujan@utep.edu.

ABOUT US

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 3,000 girls and teens across Texas annually, 2000 in Central and 1000 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, learn 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 (25K monthly viewers) and its own social media network: MyLatinitas.com (1400 registered girls). The publications serve as an opportunity to not only address STEM skills in web development, design and digital media production, but also to publish stories and images of Latina girls and women succeeding in media and technology fields, non-traditional jobs and other ventures, capitalizing on media’s power to influence behaviors, reveal role models and validate youth of color, their culture and identity.

Latinitas enables young Latinas to achieve personal and academic success through media and technology outreach thereby addressing the critical state of Latina girls today. While Latina girls ages 12 to 17 are the largest group of minority girls in the country, they are more likely than their non-Hispanic peers to face the four most serious threats to achieving success: depression, pregnancy, substance abuse and becoming a high school drop-out. The solution lies in empowering these young Latinas, strengthening their confidence and expanding their opportunities.

OUR OBJECTIVES:

  • Provide a creative outlet for girls to express themselves, learn about their culture and discover their voice.
  • Help girls stay in school and be prepared for higher education.
  • Foster the career exploration and S.T.E.M. exposure of girls to be prepared to enter the workforce of the 21st century.
  • Connect girls with positive role models and mentors.
  • Strengthen girls’ confidence, self-esteem and cultural identity.
  • Connect girls with media and technology tools and access.
  • Promote leadership development, goal setting, social justice advocacy & community service among girls.

Latinitas is celebrating its 15th year of programming. Latinitas has been in El Paso since 2007.

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

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-12-26-01-pm

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.

# # #

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 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.

 

# # #

 

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.