The Champions, a Change: TWLC Goes to the White House

On Monday, I was squaring my week which had already become demanding with three assignments from Fox News Latino and Latina Magazine where I am a regular politics contributor.

Thursday would be a typical, hectic day since this is when I prepare to publish a weekly TWLC newsletter for my networks, in addition to my freelance assignments and writing the blog.  It is time consuming work.

Thursday is also the day my fabulous friend and intern Margery comes to partner with me.

The Wise Latina Club's Viviana Hurtado Moderates Champions of Change White House Panel

TWLC’s Blogger-in-Chief Viviana Hurtado with TWLC Intern-in-Chief Margery

Then in seconds, my week changed:

“Viviana, will you moderate a panel in honor of César Chávez at the White House?  The people participating are ‘Champions of Change,’ an Obama Administration program that spotlights the Americans working to improve our communities and nation?”

Ummm…let me have my people talk to your people…

¡NOT!

I said, Sure!

The Wise Latina Club's Viviana Hurtado Moderates Champions of Change White House Panel

TWLC’s Viviana Hurtado and White House Champions of Change Introduced by Actor America Ferrera

Immediately, I thought, how are we going to amplify their stories of sacrifice and commitment, besting Kim Kardashian’s viral reach after she does…NOTHING!

The answer came as quickly: By mobilizing my networks which will also show the White House and the world the Latino community is informed and involved.

Then came the Herculean effort over the next 18 hours: in meetings, on conference calls, through email, Facebook, Twitter, smoke signal, doves (crying or not).

I contacted everyone I know, reached out to more people I don’t, and asked them to partner via social media.

The response was overwhelming, organizations with impressive online presence and reach jumping in, enthusiastic, motivated:

¡OMG Viviana this is SO AWESOME, I’m sooooo there!

¡Órale, síííí!

¡Pa’lante porque pa’tras, ni pa’ impulso!

Virtually, we numbered so many with a reach that went beyond and beyond: Being Latino, Latina Bloggers Connect, Hispanicize, Voto Latino, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Fox News Latino, and countless others who joined the live stream: Latinos in Social Media (LATISM), Huffington Post Latino Voices, Voxxi, Our Tiempo, NBC Latino.

I didn’t need the legions of White House analytics gurus to tell me what I felt in my bones was happening: the Twitterverse, ciberespacio was buzzing as this group that isn’t well represented in politics or media, was melting down servers through live tweets, comentarios, even jokes. 

The Wise Latina Club's Viviana Hurtado Moderates Champions of Change White House Panel

TWLC’s Viviana Hurtado Translates “Champion” Rogelio Lona’s Spanish Proverb “Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente” as “If you snooze, you lose.”

See there’s a big gap in the Hispanic community between on one hand, our demographic might as the largest and fastest growing demographic, with an estimated $1 trillion buying power, and on the other, our uneven, to not say eroded political and social standing.  “The Champions” who were honored, are just some of the Americans working and sacrificing to bridge this gap.

But so is technology, especially social media.

“Hispanics over-index on the use of mobile devices and social media,” is what I will say the day I present binders filled with market research to PepsiCo or Disney.

¡Pssst!  That’s just a fancy way of saying my Latinada loves to buy smart phones, tablets, compus, you name it, in record numbers.  Makes sense, ¿no?  The price of technology has driven the cost–way down–of how we keep in touch with those we love, here in our country, as well as the ol’ country.

The result of technological advances combined with affordability through competition is one big I-Touch–device and emotion–in its most connected way.

The Wise Latina Club's Viviana Hurtado Moderates Champions of Change White House Panel

President Barack Obama’s Surprise Appearance, with “Champion” Cornell Professor Mary Jo Dudley

On Twitter and Facebook, it’s also where we find our voice, our perspectives reflected, echoed, challenged:

I feel listened to, not talked down to.

I don’t feel invisible, IGNORED.

César Chávez once said, “The job of a leader is to make ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

These White House-christened “Champs” keep the flame of Chávez’s legacy burning brightly, with their voices, our collective voice magnified, roaring.

What are we going to do, how are we going to help with this power?

Who is your Champion of Change? 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Viviana! I’m SO happy for you, amiga!!! So proud! This is your year, I know it!! One gigantic abrazo to you.

    And also, kudos to the Obama Administration for organizing this program. How terribly important it is for our children to see positive Latino role models who look like them or members of their family. Yay, yay, and YAY!

  2. says

    This is so awesome! I love that YOU were asked to moderate and share information and knowledge on our power and worth! It’s beyond time the WH and the administration engage society and the nation at large on our contributions and the milestones we are creating! Oh, and sweet on having an intern! Life can be so much easier con ayuda, no? ;)

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