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Announcement Extends Company”s Ongoing Commitment to Education during its “¡Edúcate, Es el momento!” Call to Action Week

Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, today announced it would award $300,000 to students around the nation through its new scholarship program “Becas Univision” (Univision Scholarships). Managed by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), Univision”s new multi-year scholarship program will award scholarships to eligible Hispanic students, as part of the company”s highly successful, multi-platform education initiative, Es el momento (The Moment is Now).

“We are proud to build on Univision”s commitment to education with ”Becas Univision” and provide the leaders of tomorrow another tool essential to their post secondary studies,” said Randy Falco, president and chief executive officer, Univision Communications Inc. “As we look to continue building a solid pipeline of community leaders whose contributions will be instrumental to our country”s prosperity and economic success, this program further underscores the importance of increasing educational attainment.”

“As an extension of Univision”s education efforts to help bridge the education gap affecting our nation, we are thrilled to present ”Becas Univision” and invest in deserving young men and women to help make their college aspirations a reality,” said Cesar Conde, president, Univision Networks.

Beginning in 2012, “Becas Univision” will award scholarships to students around the country. Students of Hispanic origin who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, who have overcome strong obstacles and who are involved in extracurricular activities will be eligible for the scholarship. Additional information and requirements are available online at www.eselmomento.com.

The launch of the new scholarship program was announced on Univision”s morning show “Despierta América” (Wake-Up America) during the company”s first-ever national education week “¡Edúcate, Es el momento!” (Educate yourself, The Moment is Now). The seven-day call to action effort (October 16-22, 2011) features a town hall, special programming at the network and local levels, and local workshops and phone banks. The weeklong activities will help better equip Hispanic families with the tools and information they need to successfully navigate the education system and the financial process so they can guide their children to academic success.

The ongoing efforts of organizations from all over the nation have had an impact as Pew Hispanic reports that Hispanic college enrollment spiked by 24 percent between 2009 and 2010. However, despite the increased in college enrollment and Census results indicating the largest population growth in the United States is being driven by the Hispanic community, research indicates that Hispanic students across the country continue lagging behind their peers in graduation rates, college completion and key areas of academic achievement. To counteract this growing education gap, “¡Edúcate, Es el momento!” education week, as part of Univision”s Es el momento continued efforts, aims to further increase Hispanic educational attainment and help foster a college bound culture.

For more information, please visit Univision”s Es el momento comprehensive online and mobile website, http://www.eselmomento.com, which serves as a hub for education-related news, tools and resources. The site also features a dedicated section for “¡Edúcate, Es el momento!” education week.

About Univision”s Es el momento

Es el momento, launched in February 2010, is Univision”s comprehensive, multi-platform, national education initiative aimed at improving academic achievement among K-12 Hispanic students. The initiative focuses on college readiness, high school and college completion, as well as engaging Hispanic parents and the broader community. This effort is conducted in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, community, education and civil rights groups from around the country. Other partners include ASPIRA, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, The College Board and NASA. As the premier media company serving the U.S. Hispanic community, Univision”s mission is to inform, entertain and empower Hispanics. Es el momento builds on Univision”s legacy of supporting the community through the creation of initiatives on issues affecting them, including education, health and civic engagement.

About Univision Communications Inc

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is the premier media company serving Hispanic America. Its assets include Univision Network, one of the top five networks in the U.S. regardless of language and the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the country reaching 97% of U.S. Hispanic households; TeleFutura Network, a general-interest Spanish-language broadcast television network reaching 86% of U.S. Hispanic households; Univision Cable Networks, including Galavisión, the country”s leading Spanish-language cable network, and a suite of six cable offerings – De Película, De Película Clásico, Bandamax, Ritmoson, Telehit and Clásico TV; Univision Studios, which produces and co-produces reality shows, dramatic series and other programming formats for the Company”s platforms; Univision Local Media, which owns and/or operates 62 television stations and 70 radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Interactive Media, a network of national and local online and mobile sites including Univision.com, which continues to be the #1 most-visited Spanish-language website among U.S. online Hispanics, Univision Móvil, a longstanding industry-leader with unique, relevant mobile products and services, and Univision Partner Group, a specialized advertising and publisher network. Headquartered in New York City, UCI has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.univision.net.

Contacts:

Univision Communications Inc.
Carolina V. Valencia, 212-455-4712
cvalencia@univision.net

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On July 7 in Guatemala, Cristina Siekavizza, a wife and mother of two, went missing. As of today, Siekavizza is still missing and there are unconfirmed indications that her husband, Roberto Eduardo Barreda (a suspect in this case) and her children, have fled to the United States.

Social media is playing a role in trying to spread the word about Siekavizza. A group called VOCES POR CRISTINA has amassed over 4,000 followers and has actively been reaching out to outlets in the United States to see if anyone has seen Barreda recently and the couple’s two children.

This news has dominated the Guatemalan press since news of Siekavizza’s disappearance went public. Here is one recent column from Guatemala (in Spanish) that tries to capture the issues surrounding this tragedy.

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After writing about the Tom Brady Naked Baby Picture Controversy today, it all made sense to me. Boston Barstool Sports, even though they crossed the line, got a lot of media attention the last few days. Maybe that was what BBS wanted, and even though i think they handled it poorly (really, getting banned from WEEI?), it is clear when it comes to blogging and webpages: in the online world, people devour controversy.

Personally, a lot of my fellow bloggers like to avoid controversy, and if you think about it, it makes sense. I think it is cool. Because once you start taking stands on things and writing strong opinions about passionate topics (you can never go wrong with politics, sports, and religion), you might notice that those visitors who weren’t coming to your site, are now visiting it more and more.

When you start posting that kind of content, reader comments do come. Now, MOST of the people on the Internet who comment on blogs, Facebook, Twitter (and now Google+) GET IT. Even if you disagree with someone, you can still be respectful and civil. Ever since I started this blog in 2009, we learned that pretty quickly. You earn people’s respect by following those golden rules.

However, as Peter Parker’s uncle (btw, will new Afro-Latino Spiderman Miles Morales have a Tío?) once said, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Ok, that is for superheroes and comic books, but I will say this: “with good content, comes great responsibility, and when you feel attacked, insulted, lied about, slandered, called bad names, or are just the recipient of general negativity, RESPOND and RESPOND QUICKLY.” And if you start getting trolls (those amazing bullies who hide behind computer screen and spew anger at the world, but if you ever saw them in person, they would never say those same things to your face), you deal with it just like Mom used to say about dealing with bullies: you call them out and you expose them.

Here at JRV.com, the bullies are alive and well. This week, we were proud to receive this lovely nugget:

Do your free ride is over….We don’t want to pay for you anymore.

Oh there are some of your people who are in my state because they
told me they suck all the benefits from two or three other states dry
and when me state go’s broken they will more on like the rats they are ….Sorry it’s not my fault you were born in that shit hole called
mexico.

Instead of blocking this person (not cool) or deleting this comment (this an open forum), I responded, like I always do. This is what I said:

Ok, last time I checked, I am an American citizen. Sorry you have me for life. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!! WOOT!!!!

In most of my dealings with the Bully Trolls of the Web, that is what I have done. When people starting ripping Alisa Valdes for her brilliant use of social media earlier this year, I answered the trolls. When we posted the TOP GEAR VIDEO that the BBC didn’t want you to see, I went right after them too. When the pro-Fortuño Puerto Ricans call me a “fake Puerto Rican,” you will get an answer from me.  By the way, the Fortuñistas are alive and well on this blog ever since a new poll on the island said that the Governor is doing an awful job in running Puerto Rico.

And when people spread lies about your relationships to other Latino pages and other social media people, you make sure you make your case. Now mind you, I normally talk to people face to face, but when the attacks are so bad and so personal, I won’t. Simple as that. I find that writing is my defense shield.

This past week, I have been the recipient of some very salty and nasty language from a bully troll we will call Tomatito. Now Tomatito and I were part of a Latino-based page had some very cool and very engaging people. Long story short, people move on, they focus on other things, and you wish the people you leave the best of luck. He said I said something first, that I had taken advantage of others to further my web business (full disclosure: I have several businesses online and I do try a make a living out of them). Some people called me a hypocrite and a faker. Other people say WTF? And over, and over, and over. After a certain point, I remind myself that I don’t want to relive my junior high experience so I move on

Not Tomatito. Tomatito continues to spread rumors and lies about my relationships with mutual colleagues, he continues to make claims that I should be lucky to have been involved with this certain Latino-themed paged and that I would be a nobody without them. (BTW, that very large Latino-themed page got me 50 visits to my site. 50. I wrote four months for them. That is one visit every two days.)

Well, Tomatito, let me shed the light on a little bit of history:

  • I started doing social media for my amazing brother Fernando. I was blessed to have met a lot of similar-minded individuals who wanted to help me and I wanted to help them. Ah, 2008, it was a heady time in social media, and it was awesome. So much so, that me and Fernando were able to build a nice little niche for his music, and because of that a certain Spanish-language television network hired me to help them out on their social media strategy. Yes, I got a job with Univision all because of some tweets and the desire to help others. Crazy. And that opened up more doors for me, and I am still amazed that you can make a living doing social media.
  • In the meantime, I had always dreamt of forming my own Latino Daily Show, so around late last year I formed Latino Rebels, which will soon be on freakin cable TV (still can’t believe it) all over the country. Now Tomatito is saying that I couldn’t have achieved such success with the Rebels if it weren’t for the fact that I was associated with the larger Latino-theme page we both contributed to. Nope, that is not the case. Just like anything I do, I worked it and worked hard, and I am proud to say that the Rebeldes are doing just fine. And you know why the Rebeldes are having so much fun? Because we don’t care about who is better than others or who has the most followers or the least fans, we have a GREAT GROUP of talented performers and writers who all share the same vision as I do: to unite and entertain. And we treat ANY of our fans as if they were the most important person in the world, which is a lesson that Tomatito should take to heart.
  • In the meantime, Tomatito, keep hating and keep spreading those lies. My web traffic appreciates it so much. And since you have called me and other great people such loving words such as “shameless self-promoters,” “cafeteria communist,” “loser,” “rejects,” and “crazed Napoleans,” I just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for hating, for harassing, for cursing me out online, and for just being the awesome online bully troll that you are. In the end, hate gets you nowhere, and besides, my skin is thicker than Fort Knox.
So, bring the bully trolls on. I got a shield. It’s called the people who really know me and know my true intentions.

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