Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

One door closes (read more here), but am sure another one will open. The time I had with Al Jazeera America was indeed amazing. The people I have met at “The Stream” have quickly become family to me.

Now it’s time to forge ahead. If you know of any good opportunities for someone of my background, please feel free to let me know here or tweet me @julito77.

Check out my VISUAL CV. Download it if you want.

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Friend me on Facebook. And while you’re here, check out one of my Stream appearances for Al Jazeera English:

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In response to what appears to have been a very public airing of dirty laundry among major Latino social media organizations, Hispanicize also issued a statement to clarify their views about recent developments that led to accusations of unprofessional behavior.

We don’t have all the details and in fact, we don’t care why this occurred, but we do believe the following: ATTACKING AND ACCUSING among similar online groups serves no purpose. It creates an atmosphere of division, jealousy, anger, and frustration. Social media is not about competition and ego-blasting, it is about sharing, caring, supporting, mentoring, and humility. Those are the principles we should be sharing in all instances.

Here is their statement, which posted on their blog today:

Collaboration Will Foster Growth of Latino Social Media


It was a bizarre time for us at Hispanicize last week.  Barely days after our Hispanicize 2011 conference, certain people who we do not even know took to personally attacking us, falsely accusing us of having a secret partnership with folks from one social media organization, hating on our friends at BeingLatino and much worse.

Our policy is not to respond to unfounded accusations because we believe the body of our work over almost THREE YEARS speaks for itself: two leading online content platforms covering Latino social media (Hispanicize) and public relations (Hispanic PR Blog) as well as two highly acclaimed national conferences that have pioneered the Latino social media space.

Other organizations have clarified their position so our industry friends have recommended that we make our own clarifications:

Hispanicize will not condone, support or even retweet any public attacks against other organizations, individuals or companies.  A lot of Latino organizations and people get attacked online all the time but as a matter of principle we do not repost, rebroadcast or retweet anything about them because that’s the same as creating or supporting those things being published.  As an industry colleague wrote recently, shame on those who stir divisions.

Despite being a for-profit, Hispanicize we will not waver in our commitment to Latino bloggers and social media marketing professionals.  As our own conference modeled for the world recently, we will continue to build online and offline forums for collaboration and unity in this growing space and we will continue to provide these communities with countless free, professional development services because these tools are needed.  This belief is what compels us to produce the annual Hispanic Social Media Guide, the yearlong Latino Blogger Training Series and the Hispanic Social Media Insights Webinars series, among other things.

Hispanicize will continue to provide thought leadership content that helps propel ALL Latina and Latino bloggers forward regardless of whether they blog for personal, private or business gain.  We do this because we are passionately committed to helping ALL Latino bloggers – English and Spanish-language – succeed as citizen voices.

Despite being a for-profit, Hispanicize will also continue to provide the Latino community organizations with in-depth initiatives that serve and empower them.  Our national Latino Social Media For Social Good program, for example, provides unprecedented full day communications and social media training to non-profits serving Latino communities in eight major cities starting in June.  This major initiative is foundational to who we are and what we will continue to be.

Manny Ruiz

Hispanicize will not shy from our commitment to provide marketers with the facts and resources they need to make informed decisions about Latino social media.  We do not pretend for one second to have all the answers but we won’t allow that to stop us from examining the issues and trends that impact Latino social media.

The Latino social media space is maturing and will mature.  People have suggested that one party or another has preposteriously claimed they “own” this space.  I hadn’t heard that until recently but what’s interesting is that we have deliberately it seems to me that if our recent conference didn’t promote unity, collaboration and partnership in our community in the fullest way possible with many of the leading social media voices in attendance in one place at one time, nothing else can.

One last thought – Hispanicize is growing and evolving so don’t put us in a box.  We will continue to change and we will try new and innovative things.  Some will succeed and others won’t.  Hispanicize doesn’t have the corner on the best ideas by a long shot but we will put big ideas in motion and we will collaborate with many of you along the way.  In this long and ongoing process, we hope you will judge us by the fruit of our labor.

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There are times where pride and love overtake you.

When we are positive and caring, we all win. When we strive to take down and demean, we all lose.

Such is the case of the recent blog post published by the fabulous Ana RC of Latinos in Social Media. In an age where the Latino online world is growing a rate that outpaces other demographics, the race to be the BEST has clouded the intentions of many. Let’s take a moment to pause and realize that by uniting and supporting the works of many, WE WILL ALL WIN. We are proud to republishing Ana’s recent post: A CALL FOR LATINOS UNIDOS.


A Call for Latinos Unidos

by ANARC on APRIL 24, 2011

It’s been a tough week for LATISM. We’ve been accused of not knowing what a real blogger is, of reporting inaccurate numbers, of taking commission money from a company, of intentionally keeping silent in front of attacks and false associations for the sake of private gain, of receiving undeserved praises since we’re not really influencers after wall, of allowing illicit use of the LATISM brand, and on goes the list. To me the worst part is that some of our community members have been asked to chose alliance in the spirit of “with me or against me” old crap from the 50s like it used to happen with the mafias.

My initial reaction was to ignore everything. In the end, my style has always been “A palabras necias, oidos sordos” (help me translate that in English, but it’s the equivalent of ignoring provoking statements). However my LATISM compadres have demanded that I make an official statement with clarifications about the rumors. I still don’t think I need to since actions speak louder than words and everyone who counts in the Latino sphere knows about LATISM, who we are, what we do, what is our mission.

Ana Roca-Castro

I do feel the need to call for Latinos Unidos. Whenever we start these cheap fights in public it only damages our image as a community. There is nothing wrong with healthy competition. That was the main reason why many of us ended up in this country. For the freedom of expression and the opportunity to take a piece of the pie. However we kill our businesses and organizations with lies, accusations and fights. That is totally against entrepreneurism, against community building and against professionalism.

We’ve looked like a circus lately in some pretty important platforms.

The minute we learn to show a united front, we will empower our respective businesses, causes and ideas. This doesn’t mean that now everyone has to merge, hug and kiss. Not at all. This means that we must treat each other with respect and professionalism. That we must emphasize our strengths and unique differential advantage without the need to trash or spit someone else’s work.

I have received many calls from brands about this issue. My excuse tends to be that we are a young community, that the entrepreneurs at stake are young and just getting started in their business, that they are rushing to make things happen fast thus the reason to literally copy cat ideas, names and concepts, and so forth.

But, entre nosotros, se me cae la cara de verguenza. (between us, I’m totally embarrassed). I can’t understand how those who promote division and hatred can’t realize that they’re only hurting their own image and brand, certainly not the ones they are accusing.

You all know that I’m not a marketer. As a developer I’m not used to this type of fiercely, backhanded competition. The IT sector tends to be very black and white about business ethics. You never know when you will need a competitor to win a bid or to get a project so you try your best to build strategic alliances. The typical approach is “hoy por ti y manana por mi” (today for you and tomorrow for me). Quality is our way to stand out. Never backstabbing since that would totally remove us from a circle of trust. There are fights, yes, big ones. But they remain internal and they are only a strong sign of a desire to collaborate (if not we just ignore each other and move on). You can then imagine my asombro in front of this bochinche de patio. I’ve been told that this is normal in the marketing world. I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s a justification. I know many marketers who are super professional and talented in their work. Regardless of the industry, this is WRONG.

I beg everyone to make an effort to push for unity. Don’t say about your brother what you wouldn’t want to hear about yourself. And if someone comes to you with a bad rumor, please stop it right there. You don’t even know if the rumor has been motivated by a misunderstanding or by a hidden agenda. So why pass it around? Remember that what comes around goes around. Let’s BUILD a healthy Latino business spirit. Let’s BUILD a strong Latino industry of professionals that can make everyone proud. Let’s BUILD more businesses and welcome competition. Let’s BUILD more organizations and support one another. Let’s BUILD more partnerships. Let’s BUILD more alliances. Let’s BUILD AND NOT DESTROY.

I know it’s harder, I know it takes longer, I know it’s not as fun and spicy sometimes. But only by BUILDING a United Latino Front we can make a difference in this country. Take a look at the Jewish community. Why can’t we take their example? See how they support each other, defend their businesses and take pride in each other’s success. Maybe internally they kill each other, but for the world, they are ONE. Let’s build a collaborative approach. I have no doubt that we can make it happen. If our previous generation didn’t succeed in this, I know for sure that this digital generation can and will foster a smarter and more positive spirit.

For the record, LATISM is not affiliated with any for-profit organization. We are an independent 501 (c) 4 nonprofit organization. Which means, literally, we’re not in this environment to make profits.  Our mission is to help and empower our community. We do take sponsors, and the money goes directly to fund our initiatives such as giving scholarships, funding community projects and paying for the organization and administration of our conferences and Tweetups. Our board members are all volunteers who graciously give their time and efforts to make things happen for the benefit of all. In fact, many times, we put down our own money to finance projects. Why? Because we have all come to realize the power our community has and the amazing things we can do when we can channel its beautiful energy into projects that leave a positive, lasting mark in the community. We own the financial freedom to say no (which we have done many times) to any brand or organization that doesn’t value the basic human rights of our Latino community. We are very very selective with whom we partner. And I will make sure they’re all clearly listed on this page within the week. That way we avoid further confusions.

Case in point, and on a separate note, a big hug and huge thanks to each of the 7,200 blogueros and blogueras who have completed our Blogosphere survey. Our goal was to reach 5,000 and, as always, you have exceeded our expectations. The results will be amazing: showing the power and scope of our community, backing it up with TRUE NUMBERS can benefit all of us, regardless of the field we are in.

To give you a quick peek, when we asked the Latino influencers: “If you were the President what would be your #1 priority?” 73.7% has selected “Education” – followed by “Jobs” then “Health” and “Immigration” – the least popular was “Tax Cuts.”

It’s not too late to add your granito de arena and join this survey which will be The Largest Voice of Influential Latino(a)s. We have until May 10th to welcome new participants. So please join and apply for scholarships to the different social media conferences we have partnered with throughout the year.

Click Here To Take The Survey And Be Represented

I am particularly moved by those of you who are making donations to the scholarship funds. You are a real inspiration since I know many of you personally and I know that the donations you are making represent a sacrifice. This leads me to believe that, even if there will always be chismes and “growing pains” within our community, when we unite we can do beautiful things together. You are the reason why we keep going. You are the living example of the LATINOS UNIDOS! Thank You.

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The following column by Oscar Pintado Rodríguez was published in Spanish in the April 12 edition of El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest circulation newspaper. We have provided a translation into English. Pintado Rodríguez expresses the opinions of the island’s Alliance for Free Association (ALAS in Spanish) and how this non-political party will use the proposed upcoming status plebiscites to educate Puerto Rican voters about the option of free association, one of three options being recommended (independence and statehood are the other two) by the White House report.

The Alliance for Free Association (ALAS) announced that the upcoming consultations (referendums) are a good opportunity to educate people about the option of free association. We are a group of private citizens organized to educate others about this option of decolonization.That is why we do not have the weight that political parties carry in the electoral interests.

We believe that status must be keep out of the elections and the hands of political parties. Our participation is conditional and that the definition of free association is consistent with international law, the conditions of participation are equitable to the representatives of all the alternatives and that the definitions of the options are based on the reality of relations between Puerto Rico and the U.S..

This involves the inclusion of a provision of dual citizenship for Puerto Ricans. However, if the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) wants to defend this provision, I’m sure ALAS would not have qualms to disband and join the PDP.

However, since we are not a political party nor do we want to be, we can not be asked to think and act with electoral interests in mind. Consequently, our good friends from the Popular Party cannot pretend to grant ALAS responsibilities that show our allegiance to the PPD, or any other political party. The proposed referendum has to have options that are non-colonial and non-territorial. The colonial commonwealth will not be on the ballot. We have always claimed that we want to decolonize Puerto Rico. In fact, the Obama report recognizes the territorial nature of the current commonwealth.

However, trying to put it in as an option of decolonization is a clear violation of international law. If the definition of free association, as I said before, meets, according to ALAS, current standards of international law, we will represent, defend and spread our message to educate our people.

Puerto Ricans who believe in sovereignty should not miss this opportunity to place free association as a legitimate option for the future.

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In their latest edition, Dallas-based D MAGAZINE has listed “hiring a day laborer” as one of the things one must do in Dallas to become “a true local.” In a section called “What You Must Do In Dallas: The city’s essential experiences. You’re not a true local until you’ve done them all,” the magazine lists 52 “must do” things, including such favorites as riding a bull, eating chicken fried steak at Babe’s,  going to the drive-in at the Galaxy, and spotting Troy Aikman.

Tucked in the last row of the list, right before going to the State Fair of Texas and exploring the Trinity River Audubon Center, is the suggestion to go and hire a day laborer.

Here is the advice D MAGAZINE is giving its readers so that they earn the badge of a being a true resident of Dallas:

Hire a day laborer

Need someone to dig a trench, tile a patio, cut down a tree, or haul trash? Don’t ask your elderly father. He’s weak. Good, cheap labor is a short drive away on Carroll Avenue, between Ross and San Jacinto. Look for the vacant lot with mustachioed men sitting on stumps by the cyclone fence of wind-trapped Funyuns bags. Arrive early in the morning for the best workers. If they’re motivated to get up early, they’re motivated to work hard. They’ll swarm your car, which can feel a bit like a nascent siege, but it’s normal. Negotiate rates up front and be prepared to pay $10–$14 an hour. A few years ago, we offered $7 an hour and dudes scattered as if our vehicle read “INS.” Hopefully, you have a truck. Anything less makes for an uncomfortable ride to the jobsite. Especially if you’re hiring multiple guys. We once endured an awkward trip in a Miata with one laborer straddling our lap, facing us, and telling us he loved us. Give them clear instructions, buy them lunch, and keep them in water. If a guy is a loafer, pay him, take him back to the lot, and pick up another one. Sounds cruel, but in this job market it’s survival of the fittest.

We did contact D MAGAZINE via email tonight for comment, but have yet to get a response. Once we do, we will share. According to its own official information about its history (it launched in 1974), D MAGAZINE actually takes these types of lists rather seriously. It also touts its reputation as one of the city’s (and the country’s) most successful magazines today.

Not everyone was happy with the new magazine. It was frequently attacked, and even sued, by politicians and business interests who were upset by its candid editorial content and strong positions. But readers continued to support D even when advertisers didn’t, and by 1977 when it launched its annual “Best and Worst” awards, D Magazine was an unqualified financial and editorial success.

(Founding editor Jim Atkinson remembers how we blew the lid off this city with restaurant reviews. Read “The Wonder Years,” published in D Magazine’s 30th anniversary issue.) In 1990, D Magazine was sold to American Express. In 1995 Wick Allison once again assumed the helm of the magazine and in 1996 led a group of investors in buying the magazine. Today, D Magazine is again part of the lifeblood of Dallas. Circulation has soared some 500 percent since 1996, and D has become one of the best-selling magazines per capita in the United States on local newsstands. The reason for its success is its devotion to editorial quality. D Magazine has been named the “Best City Magazine” in the nation three times by the City and Regional Magazine Association. D Magazine has also won five of the Press Club of Dallas’ 2005 Katie Awards, including the awards for “Best Magazine” and the “Visual Communications Award for Magazine Design” for the March 2005 issue.

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While Americans cheer democratic movements in the Middle East and as we enter yet another Middle Eastern conflict, the human rights crisis in the oldest colony in the world—the US territory of Puerto Rico—has yet to hit the mainstream media on a consistent basis. While Latino media outlets like Univsion, Telemundo, and Fox News Latino provide coverage, and blogs like the Daily Kos and the HuffPost offer sporadic coverage, there is a troubling lack of consistent media coverage. To the American media, the Middle East sells ratings. But when it comes to Puerto Rico, the American media is just as colonial as its government.

So today, we let the images speak for themselves. Here are even more photos and videos of that occurred at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras campus this past February.


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The following is a full English transcript of the AL PUNTO March 13, 2011 segment between host Jorge Ramos and Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner and pro-statehooder Perdo Pierluisi.

JR: What is happening in Puerto Rico? On this very same program Congressman Luis Gutiérrez announced that the island was in danger of losing its “fiber of democracy” and also said that for the first time in 30 years the police had entered the University of Puerto Rico and that young students were beaten. The Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Perdo Pierluisi criticized Guitérrez and said that it was not fair to make comparisons between the protests against the Egyptian dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and the protests against the Governor of the island Luis Fortuño. The Commissioner joins us right now via satellite from Washington, DC. Thanks for being with us.

PP: Good morning, Jorge, and good morning to the entire Hispanic community in the United States.

JR: Commissioner, I saw the images. I saw the Puerto Rican police beat the students. I saw the repression at the University of Puerto Rico. How can you justify this?

PP: Really, in the case of Puerto Rico, it is not different from other protests that we have seen of students when they confront increases in tuition. We saw it in the state of California in March of last year, thousands of students, hundreds of arrests, in cities such as Oakland, Sacramento, and in other cities in California. We saw it in Great Britain during November of last year when thousands of students suddenly, there were even fires, arrests, wounded…

JR: Yes, but in Puerto Rico…

PP: It’s sad.

JR: Commissioner, but how would you explain the violence of the police against Puerto Rican students? How can you justify this?

PP: No, well, there were isolated incidents that I saw myself where maybe there was use of excessive force by the police in managing these demonstrations and each time that happens in Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico we have the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Puerto Rico, two legal systems—the federal one and the state one—that focus on responding and attending to the concerns of civil rights violations for all Puerto Ricans, including students…

A University of Puerto Rico student beaten by police and security forces

JR: The problem is that this doesn’t appear to be isolated in nature…

PP: In the case of Puerto Rico…

JR: They don’t appear to be isolated in nature…

PP: Yes, they were.

JR: The ACLU is talking about an investigation about possible violations of human rights. The spokesperson for the Division of Civil Rights for the federal Justice Department of the United States said that investigation is still pending from the year 2008 due to excessive force, actual unconstitutional events by the police of a discriminatory nature. These don’t appear to be isolated incidents.

PP: Well, once again, in cities like Los Angeles, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, the United States Justice Department has conducted similar investigations and they were completed with decrees and orders. In the case of Puerto Rico, as you state yourself, that comes from 2008 and it’s possible that they investigate particular incidents y recommend improvements in the way we mobilize the members of the Puerto Rican police force in a way that, well, they are pre-, that for example, when one of these police members exceeds because then measures are enforced so that this conduct does not repeat itself or they get kicked out of the police force. But Puerto Rico can be an example of democracy for the rest of the world. In Puerto Rico, we have, civil rights are respected, we have exemplary elections every four years. And to compare Puerto Rico with totalitarian and dictatorial regimes is nonsense, an insult to the Puerto Rican people.

JR: Commissioner, actually, Luis Gutiérrez, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez said the following on this program. Let’s listen to him:

Congressman Luis Gutiérrez

LG: But to see these attacks against the basic human and civil rights of the Puerto Rican people, if I don’t speak out, I am an accomplice and I permit that what is happening right now continues. They cannot continue with impunity destroying the fiber of democracy in Puerto Rico.

JR: This is something very different from what you are telling us, Commissioner. For Congressman Gutiérrez, democracy is at risk right now in Puerto Rico.

PP: That is completely false. It is really nonsense. In Puerto Rico we have exemplary elections. 80% of all Puerto Ricans votes every four years. And we have, like I said, two Constitutions, two legal systems, a Puerto Rican human rights commission, plus the federal one that protect the rights of our people. And it is clear that in the latest protests from the students, there was aggression against the university’s chancellor. And when what the police does, when there is no other alternative, well, you call the police to intervene and I am the first to note that if I saw the use of excessive force, I will condemn it. One thing is to denounce any incident where there is excessive use of force, it is another thing to come out and paint Puerto Rico as if it were a dictatorship like the one we have seen in Egypt for the last thirty years.

JR: I understand the differences, Commissioner.

PP: That is unsustainable.

JR: I understand the differences, but if there is not an environment of repression, if there is not an environment against the freedom of expression, why then was the President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association jailed?

PP: Oh, no, that is something totally different and separate…

JR: I understand, but that is the environment of life in Puerto Rico, what happened there?

PP: No, but let’s talk about that case in particular. There we are talking about a case that is in the United States courts and not Puerto Rico’s. It reached the 1st Circuit of Appeals of the United States. It’s a case that has to do with a lawsuit brought by a group of lawyers that became a class action suit from lawyers against that Bar Association and the federal judge, who was nominated by the President of the United States, that, that made that decision to order the jailing of the President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, what he did was when they didn’t pay, the Bar Association refuses to pay and the President refuses to pay a $10,000 fine that the judge imposes on him for not following the orders of the federal court then it proceeds to this…

JR: But why put him in jail?

PP: Incarceration.

JR: But why put him in jail? You can’t have a dialogue with him?

PP: That is a decision of the federal judge, the court of the United States in Puerto Rico. It has nothing to do with the student protests, it has nothing do with the environment on the island…

Governor Luis Fortuño

JR: I understand, but this event occurred after a law was signed by the very own Governor, that is what I am referring to. Commissioner, do you think there is an environment of unrest in Puerto Rico? The Governor, during his campaign, clearly said that he wouldn’t fire public employees and at this moment at least 26,000 public employees have been fired, this is a, the Governor broke his promise, is there not unrest on the island for this also?

PP: No, look, in Puerto Rico this is what happened: in Puerto Rico Governor Fortuño inherited a government that was completely bankrupt, discredited in the finance markets in all of the United States and only after two years of reconstructing the government, put the house in order, the same houses that evaluate the credit of all the governments in the United States are giving him very positive grades saying that what is being profiled is a promising future in Puerto Rico…

JR: But…

PP: The environment in Puerto Rico is an environment of change. As to the employees who were fired, the exact number is 12,505 and we are seeing that other states that are having financial crises…

JR: But…

PP: They are proceeding to do the same thing because they have no alternative.

JR: But the Governor broke a promise because he did fire employees in the first place and you say that there is a promising future. The statistics that I have, tell a different story. In 2009, there was an unemployment rate of 13.3% and now the unemployment rate is at 15.9%. That doesn’t sound promising.

PP: Well, if we talk about the promise, it is very different to talk about a promise when one, well, the Governor made the promise, he does it under a premise. When he arrives to govern, he realizes that there is no…

JR: But you have to complete the promise…

PP: Money to pay for the first salaries…

JR: You have to complete the promise…

PP: Of public employees in fifteen, it was, impossible, impossible to complete the promise because the government didn’t have the money to pay…

JR: Then he shouldn’t have made the promise then.

PP: To make the first biweekly payment.

JR: If the politician doesn’t want to complete the promise, then why make it?

PP: When he does it… When he does it, he doesn’t understand the enormous financial crisis that he discovered when he came to the Fortaleza, when he came to govern. So then when it comes to the future, Puerto Rico has had more than five years under economic recession, but now we are starting to see how the economy is starting to experience a revival, finally. So that is why we are talking about, that we are seeing, the ship right itself again. This hasn’t been easy. What occurred to Governor Fortuño hasn’t occurred to any other Governor of Puerto Rico since the Great Depression. In other words, the important thing is that it maintains, that this gets evaluated in the given context. And so we will be having elections next year and once again our people will demonstrate that we do know about democracy and we do know how to choose our governor.

JR: Commissioner, thank you for being with us and thank you for answering all of our questions.

PP: Thank you, Jorge. Good morning to everyone.

JR: Thank you.

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