July 23, 2015 • G+ Hangout: Why are Latinos invisible to mainstream media?

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By all accounts, Sunday morning shows are the spaces where the political conversations of the day are debated. These shows are watched by pundits, policymakers, and decision-makers, particularly during the presidential elections.

Which makes it even more heartbreaking, for lack of a better word, to read the results of a new Media Matters study on the incidence of Latino guest appearances on English-language Sunday shows. The report found that only 4 percent of total guests – or 46 out of 1,172 total guests – on English-language Sunday shows were Hispanic. That’s not the worst part: In fact, these figures are down by 42% compared to the same length of time last year. When Latinos were invited, the study also found, the overwhelming topic was immigration versus other issues. So, on top of everything else, we’re pigeonholed: Insult to injury.

This issue, of course, is nothing new. The concerns of Latinos, as those of many other communities of color in this country, have been ignored by the media (and Hollywood, and tech, and… most every other industry, really) for a long time. The price of such exclusion is too high. As the elections near, now is the time for marginalized communities to place their issues in front of presidential candidates, in order to hold them accountable. And how are we going to do that if we are, for all intents and purposes, INVISIBLE?

This Thursday, we will hear from a group of experts in media issues who will share their thoughts on the report, including:

– Jessica Torres, Researcher at Media Matters for America and co-author of the study

– Felix Sanchez, Chairman and Co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and staunch defender of Latinos in the media

– César Vargas, writer, producer, activist, and Founder of UPLIFTT (United People for Latinos in Film TV and Theater)

Follow the conversation online using hashtag #MediaMatters, and watch the hangout LIVE on Google Plus, on Youtube, or right here!

Elianne Ramos One of 20 Participants in the Women’s Media Center Progressive Women’s Voices Class of 2015

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Speak Hispanic Communications is proud to announce that its Principal and CEO, Elianne Ramos, will be one of 20 participants of the Women’s Media Center Progressive Women’s Voices Class of 2015. Ms. Ramos was recently the recipient of the Women’s Media Center 2014 Social Media Award and is one of WMC’s SheSource experts.

Below is the press release of the announcement, originally published by the Women’s Media Center. Visit their website to learn more about their mission and about the Progressive Women’s Voices Program.

Read the original post here:

Women’s Media Center Announces Progressive Women’s Voices Class of 2015!

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Women’s Media Center today congratulates the 20 women accepted into its WMC Progressive Women’s Voices class of 2015.

WMC Progressive Women’s Voices is the premier media and leadership training program serving women in our country. The 20 women will be training in Washington, DC in July. They will join the nearly 200 women who have been a part of WMC Progressive Women’s Voices media training.

“The Women’s Media Center works to make women visible and powerful in media,“ said Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center.  Last month the Women’s Media Center released its study ‘WMC’s Divided 2015: The Media Gender Gap’ which showed that men wrote 62 percent of all stories across print, broadcast, and Internet stories. “Our media should reflect our country’s diverse voices and experiences – which our trainees represent,” Burton said. “They are important leaders with the expert knowledge in many issues that fill the headlines every day.”

The training serves to highlight diverse women as experts for mainstream media to increase diverse women’s representation in mainstream media sources.WMC Progressive Women’s Voices trainees receive advanced, comprehensive training and tools to position themselves as media spokespersons in their fields. After their training they will be promoted through WMC SheSource — a brain trust of top women experts used by media outlets worldwide.

Graduates from WMC Progressive Women’s Voices training programs have appeared in a multitude of diverse outlets including CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, Al-Jazeera, Boston Globe, El Mundo, Forbes, Glamour, “Good Morning America,” Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC, USA Today and more.

Click here to learn more about WMC’s Progressive Women’s Voices.

The Women’s Media Center welcomes the Progressive Women’s Voices Class of 2015:

Caitlin Abber Caitlin Abber Women’s Health Senior Editor, Brooklyn, NY
Dana Bolger Dana Bolger Know Your IX Co-Director, Washington, DC
Hannah Brancato Hannah Brancato FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture Co-Creative Director and Co-Founder, Baltimore, MD
Renee Bracey Sherman Renee Bracey Sherman Reproductive Justice Activist and Author of Saying Abortion Aloud
Stacia Brown Stacia Brown The Washington Post Freelance Writer, Pikesville, MD
Kandace Creel Falcon Kandace Creel Falcon Minnesota State University Moorhead, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Moorhead, MN
Kelly Dittmar Kelly Dittmar Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University Assistant Research Professor, New Brunswick, NJ
Rahna Epting Rahna Epting Every Voice Chief of Staff, Washington, DC
Angela Esquivel Angela Esquivel The As One Project Co-Founder and Executive Director, Washington , DC
Celeste Faison Celeste Faison National Domestic Workers Alliance Black Organizer Coordinator, Oakland, CA
Elisabeth Jacobs Elisabeth Jacobs Washington Center for Equitable Growth Senior Director for Policy and Academic Programs, Washington, DC
Lara Kaufmann Lara Kaufmann National Women’s Law Center Senior Counsel and Director of Education Policy for At-Risk Students, Washington, DC
Jessica Luther Jessica Luther Freelance Journalist, Austin, TX
Jessica Montoya Coggins Jessica Montoya Coggins FreelanceWriter and Journalist, New York, NY
Elianne Ramos Elianne Ramos Speak Hispanic/ Border Kids Relief Project, Principal and Founder, Baltimore, MD
Connie Razza Connie Razza Center for Popular Democracy Director of Strategic Research, Brooklyn, NY
Amaya Smith Amaya Smith AFL-CIO National Media Director, Washington, DC
Jessica Torres Jessica Torres Media Matters for America Hispanic Media Project Researcher, Washington, DC
Lauren Wilson Lauren Wilson Free Press Telecom Policy Counsel, Washington, DC
Nicole Woo Nicole Woo Center for Economic and Policy Research Director of Domestic Policy, Washington, DC

About the Progressive Women’s Voices Program:

Progressive Women’s Voices is the premier media and leadership training program for women in the country. Participants represent a range of expertise and diversity across race, class, geography, sexual preference, ability, and generation. They receive advanced, comprehensive training and tools to position themselves as media spokespeople in their fields, thereby changing the conversation on issues that fill headlines. Graduates join a supportive network of alumnae who support each other in their media goals.

With the WMC’s training and support, over 150 Progressive Women’s Voices experts have been featured in the Washington Post, The New York Times, Elle, ESSENCE Magazine, New York Magazine, USA Today, Forbes, Variety, Mother Jones, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, Salon, New RepublicLos Angeles Times; by the Associated Press and Reuters; on “Good Morning America,” CNN, MSNBC, “CBS Nightly News,” Fox News, ABC News, CNBC, Bill Moyers, numerous NPR shows; and within hundreds of other top-tier media outlets.

 

Elianne Ramos To Be a Featured Speaker at 2015 She Takes Flight Women’s Leadership & Empowerment Retreat in Mexico

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Elianne Ramos To Be a Featured Speaker at 2015 She Takes Flight Women’s Leadership & Empowerment Retreat in Mexico

Set at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico, the annual leadership and empowerment retreat is geared to today’s leading community of women entrepreneurs and executives.

Baltimore, MD – July 7, 2015 – In a world of 24/7 news cycles, social networking, and “leaning in”, we all end up doing more work, more often, for longer hours. This is particularly true for women, who often end up suffering from chronic exhaustion, and more frequent illness as a result. The annual She Takes Flight Women’s Leadership & Empowerment Retreat will give women entrepreneurs and executives an opportunity to learn techniques and tactics for coping with modern-day stresses, winning the career/personal life game, and rejuvenating the self. Under the theme Regroup, Refocus, Recharge, the retreat will be set in the idyllic All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico from September 23 – 27, 2015.  Today, Speak Hispanic Communications is proud to announce that its Principal and CEO, Elianne Ramos, will be a featured speaker at She Takes Flight.

Ms. Ramos will be leading several sessions throughout the retreat, focused around how to forge ahead with your passion work without neglecting your personal life. The winner of multiple awards for her advocacy work, Ms. Ramos is a nationally recognized social entrepreneur and Latino community advocate, and is considered one of the most influential Latinas in social media. “If you’re the idealist type who is devoted to a cause or issue, you need a strategy for making your advocacy work sustainable. I am absolutely ecstatic for the opportunity to share my experiences and tips on how to do this, and look forward to a bonding, life-enriching experience with participants and fellow presenters,” says Ms. Ramos.

The speaker lineup at the 2015 She Takes Flight Retreat includes Star Jones, TV personality and President of the National Association of Professional Women; Leslie Blodgett, Creator of Bare Minerals; Colleen Elridge, Life and Success Coach; and Kate Horning, Health Coach and Chef, among others. The four-day conference will offer a wide range of learning opportunities, including:

  • Empowerment-oriented workshops that will give participants hands-on opportunities to take back their lives and make time to create more and do more
  • Career guidance and personal growth tools you that can be applied immediately
  • Exposure to diverse, nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models

She Takes Flight attendees will enjoy numerous break- out sessions, beachside yoga, group painting class, and even a catamaran cruise. “We created an agenda with a mix of education and down time so that attendees can regroup, refocus and recharge,” says Rayna Wallen, Founder and CEO of She Takes Flight. “My goal is for every woman to take back her life, and to appreciate the power in doing so,” she adds.

The She Takes Flight Retreat is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and internationally. Early Bird Registration is currently open. To learn more about this year’s agenda, details and speakers, visit the retreat’s website.

# # #

ABOUT ELIANNE RAMOS

Elianne is the Principal and CEO of Speak Hispanic Communications and Founder of the Border Kids Relief Project. Known online as @ERGeekGoddess, she is an award-winning, nationally recognized social entrepreneur and Latino community advocate. She is considered one of the most influential Latinas in social media.

Elianne lends her broad expertise to projects that raise civic awareness and participation, including collaborations with the White House, the U.S. Department of Health, and major civic-centered organizations. For years, she has sought to elevate the dialog on critical Latino issues, by amplifying the voices of social justice and marginalized segments of our community through her weekly Google+ show, Twitter chats and other online/offline initiatives. You can connect with her here.

ABOUT SHE TAKES FLIGHT

She Takes Flight is a provider of unique Leadership, Empowerment & Wellness retreats, summits, and conferences for female entrepreneurs and leaders from across the United States who are searching for an empowering and relaxing escape from their busy lifestyles.  Attendees come together to discuss the expectations and demands facing women in today’s fast-paced environment.

Speak Hispanic Media Contact:

Arelis Santos • admin@elianneramos.com • 410.989.3521

Speakers STF Retreat

June 6, 2015 G+ Hangout: Let’s Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month!

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“We have a strange immigration policy for a country of immigrants.  And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg

Unfit for today’s world. The above quote pretty much sums up the reasons why we need to develop policies that address our country’s needs for labor, for competitiveness, for survival in a rapidly moving world. From a historical context that extends to the present day, the contributions of immigrants to this country are undeniable. Immigrants have been, are and will be the driving force of America. Just look at some of the latest numbers:

  • Immigrant-owned firms today employ 1 in 10 U.S. workers
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs are twice as likely to start a business as native-born citizens
  • Immigrants make up 28 percent of Main Street Business owners, and account for 16 percent of the labor force nationally

(Source: SBA)

  • Immigrant-owned small businesses employed an estimated 4.7 million people in 2007, according to the latest estimates
  • Small businesses generate more than $776 billion annually

(Source: Fiscal Policy Institute)

And that is just the economic tip of the iceberg. Immigrants’ contributions to American cuisine, arts and culture, the sciences, and every aspect of society is undeniable. Yet, instead of being celebrated, they have become some politicians’ favorite piñata: The go-to scapegoat for whatever ails the country at any given time. They’re despised, harassed, vilified; their lives torn apart. This calls for a change in the narrative: It’s time for US immigrants to harness our power, claim our stakes and take our immigrant stories on our own hands!

That’s why I simply LOVE the new Immigrant Heritage Month campaign from the folks at Welcome.us and FWD.us. With the goal of bringing together a dynamic coalition of individuals and organizations to encourage every American to tell their immigration story, the campaign examines the complexities of being an immigrant by highlighting and celebrating the diverse experiences, colors and flavors that make up the very fabric of the United States.

This Friday, I have invited some of the folks behind this exciting initiative to discuss why this is the time to celebrate our Immigrant Heritage. My guests:

We’ll discuss why this us such a timely campaign, the steps they are taking to help change the narrative about immigrants in this country, and how YOU can get involved! Watch below, or join us LIVE on G+ on Friday 6/5 at 11:30 am ET!

May 20, 2015 G+ Hangout: Special Interview: Rep. Rubén Gallego

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On Wednesday May 20, 2015, I have the honor of interviewing the son of Latino immigrants, a veteran, and a community leader, U.S. Representative Rubén Gallego from Arizona’s 7th congressional district.

In his relatively new role as a congressman, Rep. Gallego is quickly managing to make a name for himself by tackling very important yet polarizing issues like income inequality, the cost of higher education, immigration reform and campaign finance reform, veterans issues.

We will discuss his humble background, his stint at Harvard University, his service in Iraq, his political trajectory, and what he would like his legacy to be. Don’t miss his amazingly inspiring story, send him your questions, and tune in!

 

May 19, 2015 G+ Hangout: Life as a Young Parent #IamYoSoy

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For a population that continues to have the highest rates of teen pregnancies (Latina adolescent females ages 15-19 had the highest birth rate: 41.7 births per 1,000 adolescent females in 2013), there seems to be little conversations or programs geared to support young Latinas dealing with parenthood.

Young Latin@s have to contend with several conflicting yet pervasive cultural expectations, such as the tendency to discuss sex only in the context of marriage (if at all), the push Latina women to begin families earlier while stigmatizing them if  — God forbid!  — they happen to become single mothers. All of these create a complex dynamic that often leaves young parents isolated, vulnerable and without much needed guidance on becoming the best parents they can be.

This Tues., May 19th at 7pmET, I have the honor of hosting my #IamYoSoy coalition partners: Advocates for Youth, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity & Reproductive Rights, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the Hispanic Federation, and Voto Latino on an open and honest discussion with young #Latino parents to talk about their experiences and why it’s important to support young parents.

The national I Am/ Yo Soy campaign is dedicated to ending our community’s silence about sex education, birth control, abortion and young parenting. Please help us spread the word, support our efforts and, of course, watch the hangout! You can also follow the conversation and send your questions on hashtag #iamYoSoy.

April 28, 2015 G+ Hangout: Celebrating National Minority Health Month

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The end of National Minority Health Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of health disparities, which impact racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately. Despite much progress, there is still much ground to cover when it comes to making sure these are properly addressed.

This hangout will discuss current health disparity statistics, the road to health equity, proposed initiatives in addressing them, and existing resources to help minorities.

PARTICIPANTS:
• Tony Welch, Office of Minority Health
• Donna Barry, Director of Women’s Health and Rights Program, Center for American Progress
• Jose Plaza, National Director of Latino Engagement, Enroll America
• Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, Director of Health Equity, Families USA

Send us your questions and watch the hangout on Google+, on YouTube, or below.

April 21, 2015 • G+ Hangout: Taking Action To Save Our Earth

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This week marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, a day in which the global community pauses to celebrate our connection to our mother planet, Pachamama.Yet, as it has become increasingly clear, one day of the year is not enough. For many communities, Latinos included, the consequences of damage to the environment are something to be dealt with every day. These communities breathe the dirtiest air, live near the dirtiest of polluting power plants, in the areas most threatened by climate change.

The links between climate, environment and poverty are well documented (just Google the terms), and are increasingly the subject of discussion among organizations that focus on environmental justice. This Tuesday April 21st, 2015,  I’ll host a conversation examining these links, as well as the challenges and opportunities as we search for potential solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

GUESTS:
• The League of Conservation Voters (@LCVoters)
• Earth Justice (@EarthJustice)

Stay tuned for more details, but for now, save the date!

#GirlBoss Lessons from NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito #LaJefa

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According to the Urban Dictionary, a Girl Boss is “THE woman who is in control. She demands respect and gets it. She runs the show.”

Why in the world there isn’t a photo of Melissa Mark-Viverito next to this description, is beyond me. The current New York City Council Speaker oozes girl-boss-ness (yep, I made that up), right down to her unconventionally cool childhood story: She credits her father, a doctor who provided services to people who couldn’t afford medical care; and her mom, a feminist, as the source of her lifelong social consciousness.

This thirst for social justice, she says, informs all her decisions when it comes to enacting policy and speaking up on issues, such as immigration. Under her leadership, for example, the city has implemented legislation that limited cooperation with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in order to protect undocumented New Yorkers who have committed nonviolent, low level offenses from deportation. It has also secured legal representation aid for unaccompanied minors brought to the city, among many other initiatives. All because, in her words, “we believe people should have legal representation and get a fair shot.”

These initiatives are prompting other states to seek her advice as they seek solutions for similar circumstances. Her growing influence has not gone unnoticed, and is already prompting speculation about her future in politics. And while she says she’s staying put for now, she also concedes that “all options are on the table.”

From equality to the shifting Latino leadership she’s helping pioneer in New York City, to the plight of women of color in politics, Speaker Mark-Viverito shared one glorious half hour with me on her first-ever Google+ hangout, veritably handing out fierceness lessons at every turn. And she did it in the only way she knows how: “Sin pelos en la lengua” (Literal translation: With no hair in her tongue. Real translation: Like a total BOSS.)

For the full effect, you MUST watch the full video above. But, for now grab a pen and take notes. Here’s how a real Girl Boss gets the job done:

On the need for more women in politics*:
“There’s still a lot of work that need to do to create an inclusive environment in which young women would want to run, in which we are cultivating and nurturing young Latinas and women of color to consider running. We need to have government, in all aspects, to be truly reflective of the diversity that we live in this city.” [Tweet This!]

On Immigration Reform:
“I think that we have done such a disservice to this nation by not implementing comprehensive immigration reform. We’ve shortchanged the lives of many and we’re also limiting the economic potential of including […] specifically undocumented immigrants into the pool.” [Tweet This!]

On Inclusiveness:
“We should be aspiring to live in a society and in a city that is inclusive, that makes everyone feel welcome, regardless of your immigration status, regardless of your economic reality, regardless of the neighborhood you live in, etc.” [Tweet This!]

On Latino Leadership:
“We need to elect more Latinos to office, but it has to be the Latinos with the right kind of framework. It’s not just about being in the position to be in the position. It’s also about the values that that individual is bringing.”          [Tweet This!]

On Standing Up for What You Believe:
“When you’re speaking for what’s right you should never be afraid to lift your voice. […] We need to be engaged and concerned about the what is happening in our communities. We can’t leave it or expect for others to do the work for us.” [Tweet This!]

Here’s how the conversation played out, simultaneously, on Twitter (Under hashtags #LaJefa and #GirlBoss):

* NOTE: There are 51 members in the City Council, only 15 of which are women. New York City’s population of 8.4 million people is 52.3% female and 47.7% male.

April 7, 2015 • G+ Hangout: Special Interview with NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

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UPDATE: THIS HANGOUT WAS POSTPONED TO TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2015 AT 7PM ET.

All over the country, Latinas are slowly but surely gaining political ground, while infusing public life with their very unique leadership styles, more inclusive perspectives and why not? That chispa that is truly all their own — even as they defy unbelievable odds on the road to political office.

My next Google hangout guest is a prime example of this: She’s a Latina who has come into national prominence for being a strong defender of her city and district, a fiercely outspoken advocate on social justice issues and, I’d venture say, the harbinger of a new era of Latino leadership in New York City politics.

As the first Latina woman elected to New York City’s second-most powerful political post — Speaker of the City Council — Melissa Mark-Viverito is also the first member of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus to hold this position. Her rise to the top of the NYC Council, however, has not necessarily been a breezy one.

Tune in to hear Mark-Viverito’s discuss her political journey, her vision for her district, her city and the nation, and what it’s like to be a Latina #GirlBoss in the wild world of politics.

And please don’t forget to send in your questions for Madame Speaker!