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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Latinas in Social Media, Somersaults and Familia

Tonight an amazing Latina in Social Media (@JulieDiazAsper) is hosting a little pre-wedding get together for me and some other social media powerhouses.  I am thankful for her and her generosity, her friendship and hospitality.  I am thankful too to have been able to meet them all and now call them my sisters as a result of this new world of Social Media.  I feel truly blessed - talk about abundance!

It's great having this online - sometimes off line familia. 

Earlier today I was feeling very nervous. 

The wedding is only five weeks away and my tummy is doing somersaults. 

So, I decided to tweet about it and see what my online family had to say.  In a tweet I compared my feelings leading up to the wedding to the feelings I have whenever I am about to do a public speaking engagement.  I LOVE public speaking, but I always get butterflies in my stomach right before I speak.  That's what is happening to me now a few weeks before the wedding.  I am very excited about it.  I am clear I am a very, very lucky woman to be marrying such a wonderful man and I am humbled and honored that we will be joined by friends and family in such an exotic location.  Everything is exactly as I had always dreamed it to be and I am nervous.  As I tweeted to another friend my feet are very warm and the butterflies are having a field day in my stomach. 

Someone else tweeted wisely, "Los nervios make it more exciting!!"  As much as I resisted her words by way of twitter, I think she speaks with much wisdom.  The nervios (nerves) really do make it more exciting; and being able to share all of it with my online family all across the country is an amazing blessing. 

I am thankful, a bit nervous, smiling and in pre-wedding bliss. 

Now it's time for me to figure out where I am going for tonight's gathering and for those of you that are curious, I will be posting pictures!

Monday, June 28, 2010

SXSW Panel Picker open until 7/9/11

Thank you to all of the folks who responded to my call regarding prospective panels at SXSW! 

The first step for us to get these panels through is for us to place them on the Panel picker interface.  The deadline for panel submissions is July 9, 2011.  Once you place your panel on the interface, let me know.  If you are interested in my being on your panel or in my helping you find other panelists, I am happy to help- just tweet me: @KetyE.

More on the panel submission below:



Proposals Sought for Music, Film and Interactive Events

June 15, 2010 - Austin, TX– South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals kick off the 2011 season today, as the popular PanelPicker™ interface opens to accept programming proposals for the next event. The PanelPicker™ interface is an innovative online tool that allows the SXSW community to have a significant voice in programming Music, Film, and Interactive conference activities (panels, presentations, discussions, etc.) through an open proposal and voting process. For the first time last season, the SXSW Music and Film conferences joined SXSW Interactive in using the PanelPicker™ interface to accept ideas, resulting in over 2,800 submissions. The move was a resounding success for SXSW, continuing its efforts to build on the unique intersection of creative and professional minds throughout the three events.

PanelPicker™ is a two-step online system. Step One encourages the community to submit proposals for programming at SXSW through the PanelPicker™ interface at beginning Tuesday, June 15, 2010 through Friday, July 9, 2010. Additional information including categories, presentation formats, and the new user-generated tags feature built in to PanelPicker™ can be found at Step Two allows the community to browse all of these ideas -- and rate which of these proposals they think are the best fit for the March 2011 event. Community voting begins Monday, August 9, 2010 and will continue through Friday, August 27, 2010.

“Integrating the PanelPicker interface process into all three events proved to be a great success in 2010,” says Roland Swenson, SXSW’s Managing Director. “We look forward to continuing to engage directly with the SXSW community, so we can shape the most dynamic and forward-thinking event possible for 2011.”

For 2011, SXSW Interactive is seeking proposals for solo and advanced level presentations. SXSW Film is most interested in proposals geared towards creating, marketing, and finding audiences for films in this new digital age, as well as hands-on workshop ideas. SXSW Music welcomes all ideas that bring new voices, perspectives and energy to the music conference.

The PanelPicker™ interface is accessible to the public, whether past attendees or engaged consumers. Participants will have the opportunity to propose and vote on ideas for any or all three SXSW events. Votes from the community, along with feedback from SXSW Advisory Boards and the SXSW staff, will help determine programming for the 2011 event.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Adding Diversity to the Conference Circuit: Starting with SXSWi

For the last two years I have had the distinct honor and priviledge to be a panelist at SXSWi.  Unfortunately, I have been one of the only Latino panelists and potentially the only Latina panelist.

This is more often than not my experience on the conference circuit and one of the reasons that I joined with Ana Roca Castro and Louis Pagan in September of 2009, the original leaders of Latinos in Social Media to try and create a structure through which we could remedy this challenge. 

On the conference circuit, the response that I get often for this dearth of Latino and Latina panelists is: we don't have any other Latino/Latina panelists because there is no one else out there.  My experience has been that many of the conference organizers blame the digital divide.

However, although the digital divide is a very real problem that faces a certain part of our community the reality is that the Hispanic community is diverse and multi-faceted; and we have had some experts in technology, social media and new media for decades.  The opportunity is making sure that these folks are getting the exposure that they deserve. 

As it relates to SXSWi I first raised the issue with the conference organizers when I participated in their conference two years ago.  In response, last year we organized the first ever Latinos in Tech panel at SXSWi which we hope to do again in 2011.  This year, however, my objective is much more ambitious and I am partnering with the conference organizers at SXSW to make it real.  Given the fact that SXSW is in Texas which is heavily populated by Hispanics, our hope is to bring to the table dozens of panels enfused with Hispanics, Tejanos, Latinos, Mexican-Americans, Boricuas, Chapinos, Ticos, Guanacos, Pinoleros, Catrachos, etc.  This project has been two years in the works and I believe that now is the time for us to make it reality. 

To date, more than a dozen folks have responded to my call to bring more Hispanic/Latino panelists to SXSWi.  If you are interested in joining us or helping out, tweet me: @KetyE.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Transitions and New Beginnings

Earlier this year, you saw the announcement made by Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) on its newly formed board and my role as the organization's interim Executive Director. Over the course of the last few months, I dedicated significant time to help form the LATISM board, draft LATISM's bylaws for incorporation, obtain its first contract and organize local efforts in several states including local chapters and conferences. My goal in doing all of this was to help in the initial phase of the new LATISM start up.

Now, nearly six months after my leaving my job with National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to join LATISM, I have been offered the position of Vice President Digital Strategy for Ogilvy Public Relations WorldWide. I am stepping down from my role with LATISM in order to take this position and look forward to continuing to contribute to LATISM as a volunteer and a member moving forward.

Upwards and onwards!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"To the Moon and Beyond" Team USA: World Cup 2010

My first recollection of a World Cup was when it was held in Mexico in 1986.  I won't date myself by revealing my age, but I will say that I was old enough remember my grandfather and step-grandmother having these really cool containers with the Mexican flag on it and the World Cup logo.  Both of them lived in Mexico but they came to visit us in upstate New York and brought the containers.  At least, that's how I remember the story.  Back then there was little if any interest in futbol (soccer) in the U.S.A.  My father loved it and played it recreationally in a league but beyond that and hearing it on the TV at home, I'm afraid we all had little exposure to soccer outside of our home, since it wasn't a big thing in the U.S.

A lot has changed since 1986. In the last 24 years (my goodness it really has been 24 years!) soccer has become mainstream.  Soccer moms are a political staple and the U.S. has become a world class team. So begins the story of why I am rooting for the U.S.A. In a previous post, I simplified my allegiance by saying that I was rooting for team U.S.A. because I was born here. That is true. However, it goes a bit deeper than that. When I say that I am rooting for the team because I was born here, what I am really saying is that I am rooting for the team because:

1- As a second generation, I am thrilled to see soccer become mainstream in the U.S. My fiance grew up watching football at home and so loves football. I grew up watching futbol at home and so love futbol (soccer). Back in the day, I was often alone and misunderstood in this love. It is gratifying now to see the throngs of U.S. fans packing the pubs in this country to watch team U.S.A. play. It is great to be able to share with my U.S. compatriots my love of the game and to celebrate with them.

2- My parents, who emigrated from Guatemala and Mexico instilled in me a strong pride and love for this country. They believe in and feel that they lived the "American dream" and have imparted to their daughters a deep honor of this idea- the idea that this is a country where people can fulfill on a life that they dream of as possible. Sociopolitically I know that the reality is much more complex. However, at a visceral level I still believe profoundly in the singularity of this nation as it relates to that ideal that we call the American dream. I am proud of being an American (a daughter from the Americas in general and from the U.S. in particular) and as such I am proud of the team that represents the U.S. on the World Cup field. As Univision's commercial so aptly puts it, while each of us root for our countries of origin/our ancestors countries of origin, we Latin American immigrants and the children of said immigrants all root for the U.S.A.

3- This year's team embodies many of the characteristics I most value in the U.S. culture. They are like Woody in Toy Story 3.  **spoiler alert** Like some of the other characters say, "The thing that makes Woody special is he'll never give up on you, ever."  Team U.S.A. doesn't give up on eachother, ever.  They play with heart and soul and never give up.  They persevere in the face of adversity, and despite being a very young team they have the spunk to go for and achieve phenomenal results.

4- The team is excellent. We have amazing players and though we have some clear stars, it is a team of gifted athletes. If anyone had any questions about the level of the U.S. team's skill, I think that after Wednesday's game those questions have been put to rest. As I said before, the team is excellent.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I am rooting for team U.S.A. and why I will be glued to the television on Saturday, crossing my fingers, praying, lighting velitas, tweeting and hoping that we advance.  Like Buzz Lightyear says, "To the moon and beyond!"  If Buzz Lightyear can dream (in English and Spanish) why not, team U.S.A.!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh What a Night! Blog Posts, Weddings, Conferences - Oh My!

I have decided to stay up late tonight.  I am in the middle of drafting some blog posts, getting ready for my wedding (I can't believe it's only 6 weeks away!) and preparing for several upcoming conferences.  It's going to be a late night.  Thankful to green tea and espresso! 

World Cup 2010 and Growing Up Latina

I am guessing you did not watch today's game. If you did I think any question surrounding the excellence of the US team's skill would be null. The team is excellent. They play with heart and are often underdogs. I will be writing another post on why I love the US soccer team soon, but those are some of the reasons. In addition to that the fact that they are from the US is indeed one of the other reasons that I love them. For me they represent some of what is best in the US character - how we play with heart and soul and never give up, how we persevere in the face of adversity and how, despite being a very young nation we have the spunk to go for and often achieve better results than countries much older than our own. Two other reasons that I love this team are as follows:

#1- I have seen in my life the evolution of this sport in the US and I am thrilled with what I see.

#2- As Univision so aptly put it in one of its commercials: cuando juega Estados Unidos - todos estamos Unidos. In other words - when the US plays we are all united. The US being the diverse nation that it is often rallies many of us who also cheer for other teams given our heritage. Many times the Americans that you see cheering are the kids of Mexicans, Uruguayans, Argentines, Koreans, etc.
About China
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Pictures from Latinos in Information Science and Technology Association (LISTA) Event

Pictures from yesterday's LISTA event below.

(Thank you LISTA for the pictures!)

World Cup 2010 and Growing Up Latina

(Posted on the Huffington Post yesterday)

How many of you have been watching the World Cup? I have surprised myself with the recent realization that I am a World Cup fanatic. I love futbol (soccer)!

The other day I was eating my soup and salad combo at the Olive Garden when I overheard a group of guys next to me talking about the World Cup. There was only one self-identified Latino and the rest of the guys seemed to defer to him and his soccer expertise, even though he candidly admitted that he was more of a baseball guy himself, being Dominican. Yet, the others were very interested in his opinion as a Latino; and as he spoke I realized that I knew as much, if not more than him, about each of the teams and the players. That's when I came to terms with the fact that I am an undisputed World Cup fanatic.

This might have something to do with my upbringing as a second generation American. Every weekend I took comfort in the fantastic sound of "Gooooooooooooooal" emerging from the TV without fail. Like an old friend I counted on the announcers pronouncement and now as an adult I remember it with a certain nostalgia- with it come memories of my mom's home cooked meals and games shared with my dad.

My love for soccer might also have something to do with the fact that everywhere I've lived, my life has been touched by the sport. When I lived in Mexico for six months as a ten year old, it was the sport of choice. When I lived in Brasil as a teenager, everyone talked nonstop about soccer. And when I lived in China in the nineties, I remember after a few months of hearing no Spanish, a bit of English and mostly Chinese, being woken up one morning by the sound of Ricky Martin's Copa de la Vida.

I love the sport. I find it beautiful, graceful, exciting and fun. Though my number one pick this year is the USA, since I was born in said country, I am also rooting for Mexico, the country of my father's birth; France, another one of my ancestral countries; Brasil, the country where I left my heart as a fifteen year old; and Italy because I love how they play.

Now I have to run. The Mexico vs Uruguay game is about to start.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Web 2.0, Social Media, Advocacy and Being Latino: My Panel at the LISTA 3rd Annual Tech Latino Legislative Briefing

This afternoon from 1-3pm I will be presenting a Workshop at LISTA's third Annual Tech Latino Legislative Briefing.  My fellow panelists include Lance Rios, President and CEO of Being Latino and Raul Danny Vargas, President and CEO of VarCom.  The topic of our panel is Web 2.0, Social Media, Advocacy and Being Latino.  More on the panel below:
The Latino culture is all about family, friends, and close communities. Latinos that make the United States their home as well as those who are second or third generation Latinos maintain that strong sense of socialization.While the media sings the praises of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, LISTA is concerned with what web 2.0 tools can do for people in the non-profit community in order to develop a strategy for their outreach, advocacy and recruitment of volunteers.LISTA has always set up partnership of like-minded organizations who share our preoccupation.
See the full agenda.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Holdin Out for a Hero Blog

This Sunday I had the great honor of being featured in Laura Tellado's Holdin Out for a Hero blog.  I am humbled and thankful to all of the amazing folks that I have met over the last decade online that have made this work possible.  Also, by way of clarification the founder of LATISM (Latinos in Social Media) was Ana Roca Castro.  She and Louis Pagan were really two of the most influential people to birth LATISM.  I came along as the third member of their team/board as they began the efforts to formalize the organization.  Together, the three of us recruited the other members of the now seven member strong LATISM board and subsequently I had the distinct privilege to step into the role of the organization's first ED.  Below is an excpert from Laura's post.

Day 295 Kety Esquivel (of LATISM)

Lately I’ve had the the frequent impulse to write about people who are moving others to do positive things on a large scale. I truly believe social media will play an even bigger role in the near future in getting people connected to one another, and it will be a new chapter in corporate and philanthropy books alike.
One woman who is doing her part in changing the way that people communicate and spread the word about important issues is Kety Esquivel...of Latinos in Social Media (LATISM).
A trailblazer Latina, Esquivel has founded, co-founded and sat on the board of numerous non-profits.
According to the official Web site, LATISM is the largest organization of social media professionals of Hispanic origin.” The brains behind the operation is Ms. Esquivel, who previously worked as the New Media Manager for the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
Esquivel also co-founded the Institute of Progressive Christianity and the Sanctuary and, according to The Huffington Post (which she contributes to), she has “over fifteen years of experience in the non-profit, private and political sectors.”
Additionally, she founded, a Web site for progressive-minded Christians who want to speak out on some of our world’s most pressing issues.
I had only heard of the LATISM hashtag on Twitter, #latism. I learned of Kety and her fabulous work in moving Hispanics forward along with the changing technology when my friend, Christian HenrĂ­quez, interviewed her for his show, One Voice Radio. Since then, I’ve participated in a few LATISM “tweeting parties” online, and have become part of the bigger community Kety is fostering on the Web.

Read the rest of the post.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Interview on Women in Social Media with Ananda Leeke

Yesterday, I had the honor and priviledge to be interviewed by Ananda Leeke from Sisterhood, the Blog Radio for her series on Women in Social Media.  Unfortunately, my Sprint Overdrive device started acting up and the reception from AARP (where I had gone for a Digital Capital Week event) was spotty at best.  However, Ananda did a great job of sheperding me through a phenomenal interview.  I plan on posting the transcript from our talk in the coming days.  Check out the interview.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Keys to Twitter: Second in a Series of Trainings on New Media

In May of this year, I hosted a two hour training on New Media.  Many of the folks who attended that session asked me to do a series of trainings, including a session on Twitter.

Based on popular demand, on Monday the 28th of June I will be hosting a two hour training.  The topic for this month's session will be Twitter.  

Per the participants request, this is the second in a series of trainings on new media.  I am hoping to schedule at least one training per month.  If you have participated in any one of my trainings, you will save $20 on the cost of enrollment. 

Click here to RSVP.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

My Q&A with Nilki Benitez from Condor Book Tours

My interview with Nilki Benitez from Condor Book Tours is now live!  Check it out.  Here's a preview.

You have so many incredible projects going on--how do you keep yourself on track, organized and coherent so that your energy is well-directed and productive?  
Thank you Nilki!  I try to contribute my grain of sand.  I was raised by a phenomenal mother who did it all.  By trade she was a school teacher.  When she came to this country she worked her way up from the mail room to the purchasing department in a Fortune 100 company; and then when she came home each night she took care of her two daughters and her very traditional though ideologically progressive Latino man.  Folks always wondered where she got all the energy to do everything she did.  I guess I'm lucky in that I've taken after her in that way.  What keeps me on track, organized and coherent so that my energy is well-directed and productive is keeping my eye on the prize and not sweating the small stuff.  Whenever I find myself going off track, I just remember why I do the work I do and then it all seems to fall into place, almost magically.   I recently came across the following quote by Thomas Jefferson and it rings pretty true to me, "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."  I work hard and try and work smart. 
Read the rest of the interview here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sleepless in the Beltway: A Tale of Twitter, Facebook, Earthquakes and Insomnia

Last night I could not sleep for the life of me.  So, I decided to be productive and work on a few blog posts as well as check in with my tweeps on Twitter and my friends on Facebook.  Being in the beltway I was unaffected by last night's SoCal earthquake, however, a few other problems stood in my way.

#1- Twitter was acting up.  Tweets and DMs would not go through.  The whale was up and down and up and down.  All of my old tweets disappeared, leaving only a message for my followers to nudge me to tweet.  (How ironic is that?)  And although purportedly the tweets were not posting, in reality tweets were being posted multiple times (I woke up this morning with several repeats of the same tweet.)

#2- Facebook was acting up as well.  Although I did not experience the brunt of it, I saw others post stories of their suffering. 

#3- To top it all off, my Sprint overdrive device was acting up and not working for the second time in the last few days. 

NYCityMama tweeted:
Facebook is out of whack and Twitter keeps crashing.  Kiss and hug your loved ones y'all.  The world is ending.
When the news of the SoCal earthquake came in by way of FB of course I put it all in perspective.  Although there have been no injuries from the earthquake reported to date, a 5.9 earthquake is much more serious than a Twitter fail whale.  However, it was obvious to everyone myself included how inextricably our life, social circles and consumption of information news and otherwise are tied to these new technologies.  The exercise is no longer hypothetical.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Grow and Mobilize Your Social Media Followers: My Bridge Conference Presentation

I've been invited to do a presentation at the Bridge conference next month.  The presentation title is, "How to Grow and Mobilize Your Social Media Followers."  I am sitting on a panel with three other great women.  It promises to be a fantastic event. 

Today I was in the middle of organizing my slides for our upcoming discussion when it dawned on me... I should go out into the social media universe and ask my friends, followers and readers for their advice.  What are your thoughts?  

What do you find particularly useful when working on growing and mobilizing your Social Media followers?  What have you seen others do that you think has been the most effective/helpful?  What are some of the worst examples that you have seen?  What about the best examples?  Thanks in advance for any thoughts that you care to share!  

Further details on our Bridge conference session below.  I hope that you will join us!  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Presentation Title:          
How to Grow and Mobilize Your Social Media Followers

Presentation Description:

So, you’re tweeting and have fans.  But you wish you had larger growth or engagement on your social media sites. Are there tools, techniques, or strategies you should be employing? This panel of online marketing experts will share what’s working for their organizations and audiences. And you’ll hear valuable findings from a new study – Nonprofit Social Media Benchmarks Study – that will help you create your own social media benchmarks and strategy. 

Attendee will learn:

1.  Best practices for what to do and NOT to do to grow your social media base
2.  How to engage corporations and other organizations to help you
3.  How to target Latinos and other special audiences in the social media world

Speakers Name/Title:   Amy Ganderson, Digital Marketing Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Speakers Name/Title:   Kety Esquivel, Executive Director and CEO, Latinos in Social Media

Speakers Name/Title:    Arielle Holland, Consultant, M+R Strategic Services

Speakers Name/Title:  Catherine Algeri, Senior Account Executive, InfoGroup Nonprofit (Moderator)

Tuesday, July 27, 2:00-3:15 (75 minutes)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Latinos, Technology and the Environment: Digital Week Session on Climate Justice

Washington, DC
June 10, 2010

Latinos, Technology and the Environment

(Washington, D.C.) -  As intergovernmental negotiators in Bonn are yet again, finding it impossible to reach a mutual agreement on Climate Change, digital savvy Latino-environmentalists are using technological innovation within and across borders to unite new and legacy media through organizing for climate justice.  Join us for our panel during Digital Capital Week in Washington, D.C., on June 13th from 3 to 5pm, at the Energy Action Coalition to find out more.  The panel 'Latinos, Technology and the Environment,' examines the opportunity presented by the digital sphere as it relates to Latinos and the environment.  We will discuss our participation in the recent World's People Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia and explore the role of technology in organizing the grassroots movement for the next annual meeting of intergovernmental climate negotiators in Cancun scheduled for November.  

At 49.7million, Latinos are the fastest growing and largest 'minority' population in the United States. In a recent poll commissioned by the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), 66 percent of Hispanics (Latinos) said tackling climate change should be a “high” or “very high” priority with 41 percent supporting the regulation of carbon emissions.” The National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC) and the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change (CEAACC), conducted a joint study in swing States across the U.S. that backs these findings.  An overwhelming majority of Latino voters in Florida (80%), Nevada (67%) and Colorado (58%) say they are more likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate that supports proposals for fighting global warming.  

The concern for climate action amongst Latinos in the United States is directly linked to the fact that they live or work in the most environmentally degraded areas, are amongst the most climate vulnerable in the United States and come from countries across Latin America where climate change has already wreaked havoc and caused hardship for their families and friends.  Mainstream environmental organizations have yet to engage the Latino community online although, their presence as a group within social media networks is more engaged across the board than non-Latinos.   The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reports that 59.5% of Latinos are online, while a March 2010 report by Forester shows them growing most in the creator, critic and collector spectrum of the “Social Technographics Ladder.”

The few mainstream organizations that have taken the leap, such as the NRDC with Voces Verdes, the Earth Action Network, and the Sierra Club are yet to channel mobilizing online with face to face creative space. Greater opportunities to explore the roots US Latinos have to Latin America for environmental action are only beginning to get cultivated by grassroots organizations. Conferences such as the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia, Digital Capital Week coming up in Washington, D.C., and the US Social Forum in Detroit, do away with the bureaucracy and ego of traditional conferences and create the space to organically grow common visions in a big way.

The integration of Web 2.0 technology into these creative spaces has facilitated diverse environmental and social justice groups to stay connected and develop common strategies that sustain time and cross sectors as well as, borders.    Angela Adrar, an environmental new media communicator and Latino activist says that “Latinos in the US are growing weary of organizations that do not respond to their needs. They are sharing their experiences using bilingual communication and community muscle to change the narrative of power through social media and succeeding.”  The rise of the digital activist has been a long time coming but the effectiveness, tools and ability to create real world impact is exponentially increasing as more communities of color come of age online enabling them to generate their own stories and offer their own solutions.

Kety Esquivel, Interim Executive Director of Latism, the largest organization of Latinos in Social Media and Angela Adrar, Environmental Communicator with La Trenza Leadership Eco-Hermanas will be spearheading the panel.

Kety Esquivel (410) 500-8340
Twitter: @KetyE
Angela Adrar (202) 439-7724
Twitter: @DancingSparrow

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Latinos, Technology and the Environment - This Sunday

This Sunday I will be co-facilitating a session at Digital Capital Week from 3-5pm.  The session is graciously hosted by the Energy Action Coalition.  The topic is Latinos, technology and the environment.  If you are in DC for Digital Capital Week or in the beltway for any other reason this week-end, please join us!  Remember to RSVP, as space is limited.

Sunday, June 13
3:00pm - 5:00pmNLatinos, Technology and the Environment << less
at Energy Action Coalition 1850 M St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20036
 Click here
About According to a Sierra Club National Survey, 66% of Latino(a)s in the United States, work and live close to toxic sites, add to that, the African Americans and Asians that live in highly polluted urban neighborhoods, the farmer migrants that are exposed to pesticides when picking US food and the Indigenous peoples that are having their lands mined and degraded and we have a big hot mess that makes the US majority generally and environmentally disadvantaged. This panel will examine the opportunity presented by the digital sphere as it relates to Latinos and the environment. We will discuss our participation in the recent World's People Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia as well as the next annual meeting of environmental ministers in Cancun in November.
Speaker/Artist(s) Angela Adrar Kety Esquivel
Host Organization(s) Energy Action Coalition
Limited Capacity Max. 30 attendees
Audience TechnologistsGoviesEntrepreneursCommunicators

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Race, The Prince of Persia, CNN and Trevor


Thank you for your comment. I agree with you, it is shocking to see how people perceive race in the 21st Century. Particularly shocking/troubling for me is the fact that those in question in the CNN interviews were youth. Some of the clips were heartbreaking on so many levels...

I too have high hopes for the Millennials.

And, I have high hopes that if we are diligent as a community, families, parents and leaders can communicate with our children in such a way to combat the societal stereotypes that they are absorbing and modeling.

These children are so small and innocent and they are looking to us to discover the world and the way it works. Let's teach them well. Earlier in the day I posted the following tweet:

"Either the United States will destroy ignorance, or ignorance will destroy the United States."
– W.E.B. DuBois

Let's make sure we continue to work towards the former.

Thank you for reposting. A big hug to you too!
About CNN
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Race, The Prince of Persia, CNN and Trevor

Thank you Martin! Hacemos lo posible- we do what we can.

That's great that this post has inspired you to chat with your 12 year old more in depth about the different races and cultures in your family. You have such a rich diversity in th mix! I'm sure those will be a great series of conversations.

We did not have our 13 year old this week-end or we would have chatted with him about it as well (He had a friend's birthday party to go to). Hopefully we'll be able to see the videos from CNN's study and discuss with him the next time we have him.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
About CNN
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Race, The Prince of Persia, CNN and Trevor

This Memorial Day week-end our youngest asked us to go see the Prince of Persia.  He loves the Prince of Persia Legos his father bought him (He says they look just like Indiana Jones)...

It was right about at that point in the conversation (when he was explaining how the Prince of Persia looked exactly the same as Indiana Jones) when I requested that we have a conversation about race since:

#1- The Prince of Persia is Persian.  

(Though in the movie the role is played by Jake Gyllenhaal who is a descendant of the Swedish noble Gyllenhaal family on his father's side and of a Jewish New York family on his mother's side.)
#2- It seems kind of strange that Indiana Jones and the Prince of Persia are interchangeable in Lego land since the Prince of Persia is from Persia and Indiana Jones is well, not.  
#3- Earlier in the month I had seen clips of CNN's study on race and what I had seen had shocked me.

Another clip from the study, "Why do you want that skin color?" 

Parts two and three of the study's findings continued here.

I have been in Trevor's life for the last three years.  Since I have been dating his father we have:

#1- talked about Thanksgiving and what happened with the Native Americans that were here before us; 

#2- talked about immigration and the DREAM Act and taken him and his brother to detention centers and immigration marches;
#3- talked about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Park;
#4- talked about the struggles that the Irish have gone through historically both in this country and in Great Britain.

So this week-end we talked about the Prince of Persia and CNN's video clips on race.  Trevor's response when he saw the clips?

"They don't know anything."

We asked him, "What don't they know anything about Trevor?"

His response, "They don't know anything about anything. All people are the same.  It doesn't matter what color they are on the outside."

We proceeded to have a great conversation about what this means for him in school as a young blond haired white male, as well as the child of a multi-racial family (his cousins are mixed, African-American fathers and a white mother as well as one cousin whose mother is Latina and whose father is white).  Moreover, I spoke to him about privilege and structural inequalities and  explained to him that if someday his father and I had a child that his brother or sister may look like me, much tanner than either he or his brother.  I am happy to report that little Trevor was quite engaged in the conversation, asked many questions, offered up his thoughts and overall his main concern seemed to be that we not have the child too soon, since right now he's our little baby.

I was thankful that we were able to have the talk that we did with our six year old, especially in light of the
CNN study which says that children's views on race are informed by the conversations that they have/do not have with their parents.  Moreover, I was thankful that Rich has done such a phenomenal job raising the children the way that he has and I was thankful that I was there to be a part of the conversation with this brilliant little being as he continues to grow up.

For more on the importance of talking about race with children, regardless of their race, read this post from
Modern Familia

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Al and Tipper Gore - Musings from a New Bride

Thanks Doni!

I had heard that divorce after 40 years was extremely unusual. TIME even did a piece on it because of the Al and Tipper split.

Congratulations on the 23 years of marriage and 30 years of togetherness!

Good to know that being empty nesters might even bring us closer.


"Get married and fear not" - I love that.

That will be my mantra on my way to Tibet! ;-)
About Marriage
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Al and Tipper Gore - Musings from a New Bride

Hola Humanatek!

We might have to make a trip out to California sooner rather than later so that we can both enroll in that "You're always right honey" training. :-)

Thank you for the congratulations!

Looking forward to meeting you and your wife in person soon! Great Peruvian food sounds delicious!
About Marriage
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Al and Tipper Gore - Musings from a New Bride

Hey there Prerna! I can only speak for myself, but I cared about Al and Tipper's marriage because for me they were role models. In what seemed like a crazy D.C. world these two seemed to have a solid, loving, romantic marriage.

The stats on marriage and divorce are not pretty. To see role models who seem to have it together is inspiring. At least, that was the case for me.

Necessary? Perhaps not. But definitely nice to see/nice to have.
About Marriage
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Al and Tipper Gore - Musings from a New Bride

Yesterday my beloved sent me a text asking me if I had seen the news on twitter - Al and Tipper Gore were getting a divorce.

Folks mused,

"Who gets the internet?"

"Who would have thought that Bill and Hillary would last longer."

"I am so upset."

As someone who is just entering this bond called marriage for the first time in her life and as an abashed fan of the Al and Tipper romance, I too was sent reeling by the news.  

A few takeaways for me were as follows:  

1- No one ever knows what is truly going on between a couple except for the couple. 

2- Marriage is not a cake walk - even after, or perhaps especially not after 40 years.

3- Anything can happen along the journey, no matter who you are.

I don't know why Al and Tipper decided to call it quits after forty years.  

I do know that for many of us the news was particularly devastating because in this modern age where few marriages last theirs "seemed" like one that was working despite of their great political success and that gave the rest of us hope.  

Now we are left to our own devices and left to fend for our partnerships on our own.  

I still plan on getting  married overseas in a few months.  

I am doing so with eyes wide open.  I happen to be marrying a great man who is kind, generous, patient and incredibly loving but even so we still have our ups and our downs.  (We are after all human.)  I am hopeful that our marriage will last more than forty years, to the end of our lives where we both get to swing on the porch as old people holding hands; and though anything can happen along that journey, no matter who we choose to be I am hopeful that we are able to make it through, despite the odds, unscathed.  

Marriage is not a cake walk- that we both know well but I am hopeful that we are able to make it through as a couple.

As for Al and Tipper, I wish them all the best and much happiness.  Thank you for being a role model for us for so many years and thank you for having the courage to do what you both thought was best.