It was very difficult to select the following persons from a list of so many other fabulous Role Models. 94 outstanding persons were not mentioned here but they were part of the 100 because of their passion, dedication and tireless efforts to improve our communities. All of the person interviewed shared a great deal of themselves and pointed out ways each of us can also expand our leadership positions and be role models to future leaders.
# 6 - There is the dedication of Terry Olivas de la O who works on increasing the self-confidence of young women and men. She is a dedicated volunteer helping many social organization on the local, national and international levels. She provides her leadership skills to all who ask her. She is a tireless supporter to the communities and multiple organizations she serves. It's her goal to help network professionals on a global level.
# 5 - I enjoyed interviewing Tony Diaz who "smuggles" banned literature books into Arizona. Tony's efforts is much more than just caravaning books to Arizona. His work is highly symbolic and brings attention that books and ideas, not only those on Latino issues, are actually being banned and censored in the US. While his efforts deals primarily with Mexican-American literature, his mission is to also bring attention to the developments of a dangerous precedent to have books be branded and prohibited in our schools.
# 4 Infinie De la O, who at the time was attending high school started a anti-bullying club on her campus. She approached her high school principal and launched a anti-bullying student club on campus. Infinie visits other campuses and shares her own story about being bullied. She assists with the development of their own club and expanding the campaign. Infinie does public speaking engagements to share the experiences of her peers and herself and encourages others to begin programs on campuses. She also helped mentor Madison Schoonmaker, who is 12 years old and is attending middle school. Madison, with help from Infinie ,and her mother, assisted her with her presentation for Madison's school principal. Madison also lead the way to begin an anti-bullying club. It's wonderful to hear about our youth developing each others leadership skills. It's vital that they help their peers and classmates with begin open discussions on anti-bullying and related issues.
# 3 - There is Bel Hernandez & Jesus "Chuy" Trevi??o. Bel works through her publication "Latin Heat". She highlights the need to increase the number of Latinos in the movie and television industry. She shares that movies produced in the US are view worldwide. It is important for viewers worldwide to see Latinos portrayed in positive roles. Viewers, of all ages, need to see Latinos beyond the typical negative stereotypes that have been portrayed for many years. My interview with movie producer Jesus "Chuy" Trevi??o provides additional insights on the impact movie and television have on the viewers. Viewers create opinions on what they see and hear on the screens and its impact (realistic or imaginary) can have a long term effect on how we see ourselves and one another. Jesus and Bel both point out how mainstream media reaches billions of viewers every day and viewers form deep seated opinions about Latinos. The power of the media to sway views and opinions must never be ignored. They both call for more Latinos to be in front and behind the camera. Emphasis was placed on the importance to have Latinos on the policy-making and board positions of media companies.
# 2 - I think of Viridiana Berenice Martinez who is making presentations on behalf of undocumented students, throughout the nation, who wish to graduate and further their post secondary education. Viridiana learned she was undocumented when she was accepted to college but could not file for financial aid. She went public with her public call for action to allow undocumented students to further their education. As she was doing public presentations she was herself detained and sent to a detention camp holding undocumented persons. The podcast interview was conducted while she was in the detention camp. Her perspective was to share how youth that grew up their whole life in the US wanted to be educated and be full contributing citizens. She was articulate and did the programs in English and Spanish. She is young, proud and energized with the view of a better future. She speaks for others who can not.
# 1 - Rudy Acu??a, Ph.D. Rudy is like a great a??ejo tequila. He gets better as it ages.
I had the honor of interviewing Rudy first on our web broadcast programming and recently on podcast. His books were required reading during my undergraduate college years (early 1970s). He is a person who has earned the right to sit peacefully on his rocking chair and reminisce. But instead he is very active teaching, organizing discussion groups and leading caravans of supporters to Arizona, from Los Angeles, to protest the attacks on Mexican-American Studies. He is open, articulate and verbalized his views. He is critical, which he shares through his writing and he still circulates them globally via social media. He is dedicated to his mission to insure that we understand our history. He will immediately point out myth and half-truths and welcomes counter-views. Just make sure you did your research well!
Dr. Acu??a demonstrates the importance of being continually educated and sharing with mainstream media. He warns all Latinos to work hard to counter racism and prejudice. Rudy points out how people in power afflict their negative views through policies on Latinos He highlights that abuse of power does exists, that it's very real and that we have the power to counter it. We do not have to play the victim role. His words call out, "Well, pick up a pen and use your voice, speak up!"