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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Occupy Wall Street

Vea este artículo en español aquí

You’ve probably heard about on the newspaper, in blogs or on TV. Occupy Wall Street is a movement fighting against inequalities and I’m proud to have been a part of the local occupy movement in my hometown. Occupy Wall Street is a national movement that has been going on since September 2011. According to www.OccupyWallSt.org, Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District.”  The movement has “spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movementaims to fight back against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.”

The fight is to stop huge corporations from the mistreatment and inequality in the work place, animal cruelty, over exaggerated student loan debt, the use of military and police force to prevent freedom of the press or of assembly, the power to charge us to hold money we EARNED, the drastic disappearance of benefits. The list goes on my friends, but you get the point.

This issue (as we all know) has been a problem since Thomas Edison decided to light up banks with light bulbs. I’m sure if he knew what their intentions were, he would have kept his secret on the down low.  The madness has taken over cities all over the U.S., as well as at the national level. This has triggered people to go out in the streets to demonstrate their frustration.

The issue has also hit my hometown.  In El Paso, Texas we have been demonstrating and occupying San Jacinto Plaza for about 2 months now. Being that the Plaza is the heart of El Paso, but most importantly we have three huge corporations right across the street – Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. Our team of local activists have been camping out all this time! Our group has persisted disregarding the drastic cold weather we have had throughout the days. We have also had activist from Australia, New York and Chicago come to our occupation.

The community has helped by donating food and necessities every so often. Besides the purpose or the anger we have within, this is an amazing turn out for El Paso. Nothing beats the unity we have gained throughout these months. Yet, there is still a lack of support from our “so called” revolutionary generation. It has been very difficult to get our people there to support this cause. It is only a few who have been keeping the momentum.

This is an awakening to my city, to our city. We are all in this together. We should help each other out! Support one another! It is movements like this that make me feel the warmth of my city. It is the stupid mistakes that the government makes that unify us!

Now the question is.. Is success and comfort blinding us? I mean, we are aware what world we are living in right? How could one not stop and think about all those who are going through hard times? Or as long as we are “okay,” then nothing matters right? How could people preach for PEACE and wear their little cool peace shirts and bracelets, but don’t even bother actually giving that word life? I hear it again and again how horrible this world is.  My question to you is – what are YOU doing about it?