The future of Latino Rebels is becoming a reality.
The future of Latino Rebels is becoming a reality.
It has already (or only?) been two years since LatinoRebels.com officially launched on May 5, 2011.
In those two years, the site has gone from a blogger collective to one of the top independent Latino media sites in the world. Like we said two years ago (next to an historic image of a Mexican general whose life and words have always resonated with us): “The Latino Rebels are a group of committed Latino activists, authors, bloggers, comedians, artists, filmmakers, and social media influentials who use satire, comedy, analysis, video interviews, writings, films, and just plain trouble-making to educate people about the life of the US Latino in the 21st century. Through our content, we will expose those so-called patriots who are quick to use ignorance and hate to spread lies about Latinos living in the United States. We will kill stereotypes with humor, insight, compassion and maybe a loud GRITO DE QUESO.” We still think our mission has stayed the same, as our appeal has grown, even though the GRITO DE QUESO has evolved into #NoMames.
So two years in, and where do we go next? Before sharing more about what we plan to achieve the rest of 2013, here are just some of LatinoRebels.com’s two-year web accomplishments and analytics:
Yes, we always knew that there were many bilingual and bicultural people like us who wanted to beyond the typical independent Latino sites that barely scratch the surface with issues, and wanted content that was edgy but respected its readers. It was a big risk to take, but we took it, and it was all worth it: from the thousands and thousands of hours we have logged in, to the words of support and encouragement we have gotten from our community. We are here to stay.
And this year, to paraphrase the great Sinatra, the best is yet to come.
First, we have successfully launched Latino Rebels Foundation, our non-profit organization committed to funding scholarships for Latino journalism and film majors. With Andrés W. López as the Foundation’s Chairman and Charles P. García as its President, LRF is attracting one of the most impressive boards ever assembled in the Latino media space. We have already received contributors and volunteers who share in the same vision. It is early days for LRF, but I am immensely proud of the reception we have already received and the unprecedented potential of this organization. Our first two videos (one with Esai Morales and the other a “TED Talk” presentation Charlie gave in Miami on April 12) have already gone viral. That is a great start.
In addition to our non-profit efforts, the Rebeldes will also be hosting and producing its own one-hour radio show for IHeart, launching later this month. Basically we plan to take our online world into a radio format.
Finally, there will be an even bigger surprise for the Rebeldes around May 17. I won’t share too many details now, just to say that it will be another venture with another global media outlet.
The best is yet to come, indeed, but in the meantime, I want to thank ALL the Rebeldes who have been there from Day 1 especially @tonytorero, @rscspokenword, @Efrain_Nieves, @charlievazquez, @bellavidaletty, @bezotes, @mr__christian, @LucyMFel, as well as those who have come and gone on to other exciting ventures, especially the fabulous @kiki416, @dominizuelan, and @rj_c . You are all part of the Original Rebeldes, and your belief in this site and what we could accomplish with it has made Latino Rebels what it is today. We have seen growing pains, we have had our critics, but in the end, “we be Rebels,” and those who have been on this journey since the beginning to those who have joined us recently (there are way too many amazing people to list, but I have to thank @salmendoza for his behind-the-scenes awesomeness), should feel incredible pride for helping us form a site and community that has redefined the Latino media space.
And of course, we would be nothing without our AMAZING readers, supporters, and followers. You make us better each and every day, and we truly love you all for that.
Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela (@julito77 on Twitter) founded LatinoRebels.com (part of Latino Rebels, LLC) in May, 2011 and proceeded to open it up to about 20 like-minded Rebeldes. His personal blog, juliorvarela.com, has been active since 2008 and is widely read in Puerto Rico and beyond. He pens columns on LR regularly. In the last 12 months, Julito represented the Rebeldes on CBS’ Face the Nation, NPR, Univision, Forbes, and The New York Times.
The following release is now being circulated with the media and will hit the wire this week.
We here at LatinoRebels.com are extremely proud of the Latino Rebels Foundation, which we helped to form and launch at Hispanicize. We also want to thank actor Esai Morales for being a huge part of our premiere Foundation video.
NEW NATIONAL STUDY ON PERCEPTIONS ABOUT LATINOS SHOCKING WITH MISCONCEPTIONS
The new Latino Rebels Foundation raising funds to build a pipeline of Latino filmmakers and journalists in new and mainstream media
Miami, FL (April 11, 2013) In response to the results of a shocking new study about the negative perception of Latinos in the United States, a who’s who of Latino business, communications and media professionals have banded together to form the Latino Rebels Foundation. The foundation has pledged to raise scholarship funds for Latinos to study film and journalism with the hope of increasing opportunities and improving the roles and images of Latinos on television, in movies and the media.
“The results of the Hill & Knowlton study are extremely troubling,” said Charles García, co-founder of the Latino Rebels Foundation. “Despite the economic, social and political influence of Hispanics in the United States, 80% of non-Latinos said they believe Hispanics are involved in criminal activity. It is an insult to the millions of hardworking Latinos who have made major economic, social and political contributions to the United States.”
The Latino Rebels Foundation was officially launched today during Hispanicize 2013, the largest gathering of Latino journalists, bloggers, celebrities, advertisers and their agencies in the US. García made the announcement during a conference panel in which the H&K study results were presented.
“There couldn’t have been a better place to launch the foundation,” said García. “The journalists, bloggers and media professionals will truly give this movement a voice. It is time for Latinos to really be heard.”
The foundation’s mission is already gaining momentum. The American Film Institute hopes to admit at least 15 qualified Latinos into their two-year Masters of Fine Arts program. Additionally, in partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (“HSF”), who will manage the program, the Latino Rebels Foundation will grant 50 scholarships of $5,000 to Latinos getting a degree in journalism, and will also pay them a monthly stipend to write stories of their own. Jim McNamara, the CEO of Cine Latino who is also the Chairman of HSF, has given a $100,000 match grant for this initiative.
In an effort to raise these scholarship funds, the foundation is asking the public to pledge their support by joining the #LRF899 campaign. Supporters can make a monthly contribution of $89.99 or $8.99. More information is available at latinorebelsfoundation.org.
“Every contribution will help change the image of Latinos in this country,” said García. “It is time we have a say in how we are portrayed.”
Latino Rebels received three nominations this year for the 2013 Social Revolución at SXSWi awards. As a proud Ally of the event (see the video we did below with our friends from Cuéntame), we think the Social Revolución represents all that is good about the Latino digital space. We congratulate all the nominees, but since part of the process involves getting as many likes from our supporters as possible, we are shamelessly asking you that you take a minute and just click on the links below or on each nominee’s image to vote for the Rebels. Or you can just LIKE Latino Rebels, Julito, and Charlie right now. Voting ends on February 25.
To vote for Latino Rebels, you can click here or just click on the image below. This will take you to a Facebook link, and all you need to do is click LIKE. If you want, you can also SHARE the post with your Facebook friends after you clicked LIKE.
To vote for Julio Ricardo Varela, our founder, you can click here or just click on Julito’s image.
And to vote for Charlie García, one of our newest Rebeldes, you can click here or just click on Charlie’s image.
Given that Twitter will be very busy tonight when Jorge Ramos chats immigration with Mamiverse, Latino Rebels, and iHispano, I am feeling a bit selfish right now. I know many people have submitted some great questions for Ramos, but there is a part of me that just wants Ramos to answer the following 10 questions listed below, especially after what President Obama had to say at last night’s State of the Union.
In case you missed it, this is what the President said about immigration reform:
Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.
Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.
In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.
And these are the questions I would ask Ramos tonight:
I would think that Ramos will have a lot to say tonight, even in the world of 140 characters. Yes, immigration is complex, and it is still a very important topic. I look forward to Ramos’ insights.
Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela (@julito77 on Twitter) founded LatinoRebels.com (part of Latino Rebels, LLC) in May, 2011 and proceeded to open it up to about 20 like-minded Rebeldes. His personal blog, juliorvarela.com, has been active since 2008 and is widely read in Puerto Rico and beyond. He is also a weekly contributor to NBC Latino. Recently, Julito represented the Rebeldes on CBS’ Face the Nation, NPR, and The New York Times.
Even as the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that deferred action recipients are now considered to have a “lawful presence” in the United States, recent events in Arizona and in other parts of the country have sent a mixed message.
The homes of Arizona DREAMers continued to get raided in 2013, from Erika Andiola to Edi Arma. Additionally, ICE agents raided the wrong home of a legal resident in Oklahoma and have been sued in a classic case of “driving while brown.”
Is ICE a rogue agency? Many think so, and the department’s budget numbers confirm that “the identification and removal of ‘criminal aliens’ remains the priority. There is a shift away from the 287(g) program and the Fugitive Operations Program, and toward Secure Communities, which is expected to be mandatory and activated in all jurisdictions across the country by the end of FY2013.”
As the country begins to look at comprehensive immigration reform, the current enforcement role of ICE needs to be addressed. The homes of “low priority” individuals are still being raided, ICE continues to violate the rights of legal residents, and racial profiling is commonplace. The Obama administration pushes immigration reform in public, while ICE agents deport people at a record rate. A recent post by PolicyMic sums the issue succinctly, “Immigration Reform: Obama Talks Change, But Deported Half a Million People Last Year.”
This needs to stop.
Starting this week, Latino Rebels and Cuéntame will be using #ICEFail to share the real stories that are happening every day in America. If you want to share your story, you can tweet it to #ICEFail, @latinorebels or @mycuentame. You can also post your stories and tips to the Latino Rebels Facebook page or the Cuéntame Facebook page.
We need reform, not more raids. Staying silent is no longer an option.
Before we start 2013 with new stories and new directions, we here at Latino Rebels wanted to get geeky for a second. This post is all about analytics, and the 10 Analytics Facts about LatinoRebels.com, our main content portal.
Here are the results:
The La Comay Boycott 88%
The DREAMers 5%
The YoSoy132 student movement 3%
The Librotraficante movement 2%
The return of the Zapatistas 1%
We plan to contact the Boicot group to see when we can deliver the award to them.
2012 was certainly a turning point for the Latino Rebels. The year began with a little bit of luck, which led to spectacular growth, a highly engaged social media community, and 50+ Rebelde stories being picked up by global and national media outlets. Yesterday our founder @julito77 had a chance to talk about the history and the future of the Rebeldes with WGBH’s Boston Public Radio, one of the country’s premiere NPR radio stations.
— Charles Garcia(@charlespgarcia) December 29, 2012
As we reach the end of 2012 and approach 500,000 YouTube views on our channel, we wanted to share a few of our most popular videos from this year. Our goal this year was to use video as a way to complement the stories we covered, and YouTube was the perfect vehicle for this.
Here are just a few of our most popular videos that we posted:
ABC’s WORK IT controversy got over 74,000 views in 2012.
The East Haven Taco Mayor got over 20,080 views.
The first time Penn State returned to the football field after the Jerry Sandusky scandal struck a chord with many. This video got over 18,000 views.
ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe calling for the deportation of Melky Cabrera also got over 18,000 views.
The recent “Puerto Rican Temper” video from an ESPN broadcast was posted last Sunday, and it has already gotten over 12,000 views.
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