Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz’s Rosita to Participate in “Sesame Street” & CNN’s “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism” Town Hall

Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz is helping raise awareness on racism in America…

The 58-year-old Mexican puppeteer’s beloved Sesame Street character, Rosita, will be part of the long-running PBS series town hall addressing racism in partnership with CNN. The event comes in  response to protests around the world after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Carmen Osbahr-Vertiz's Rosita

Big Bird will join CNN’s Van Jones and Erica Hill to moderate the Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism town hall, which will cover topics of racism, protesting, embracing diversity, and being more empathetic and understanding.

In addition to Rosita and Big Bird, Sesame Street’s Elmo and Abby Cadabby will join experts to answer questions from parents and children.

The 60-minute special will air on Saturday, June 6, at 10:00 am ET. The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español. It will also stream live on CNN.com and on the CNN app, without requiring a cable log-in.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled into his neck for nearly 9 minutes. The incident was caught on video by multiple bystanders and released across social media, leading to an intense response from residents in cities across the U.S., as well as other countries, calling for justice and an end to police brutality against black people.

Osbahr-Vertiz’s Rosita is a 5-year-old turquoise Hispanic female monster Muppet character on the children’s television series. Fluent in English and Spanish, she’s the first regular bilingual Muppet on the show. Osbahr-Vertiz has voiced Rosita since 1991.

Sesame Street and the news network also combined forces in May for a town hall discussing COVID-19.

To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
  • Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
  • Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.

Aracely Jimenez to Speak on Climate Change at SXSW

Aracely Jimenez is bringing a little Sunriseto the Lone Star State

With SXSW just weeks away, the annual confab has added more featured speakers and keynotes to the 34th edition of its conference which takes place March 13-22, including a climate change talk featuring the Latina activist and member of Sunrise Movement, which mobilizes young people to take action to combat climate change.

Aracely Jimenez

Jimenez’s panel, entitled Climate Justice and Unlearned Lessons of the Day the Levees Broke, will also feature The Atlantic’s staff writer Vann Newkirk and CNN’s chief climate correspondent Bill Weir.

Here’s the full list of additions:

Newly-announced SXSW 2020 Keynotes include:

  • “5 Ways You’re Killing Your Creative Potential” — Keynote with Chief Creative Officer of TBWA\Media Arts Lab Brent Anderson(Convergence)
  • “Are You Ready for the Future of Space Exploration?” — Keynote with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli, Tyler N. “Nick” Hague, and CNN Business writer Jackie Wattles(Convergence)

Newly-announced Featured Speakers and Sessions include:

  • Comedian, actor, creator and host of Adult Swim’s hit series The Eric Andre Show, and star of Bad Trip Eric Andre has joined a conversation with Academy Award-winning filmmaker and director of Apple’s upcoming documentary feature Beastie Boys StorySpike Jonze (Making Film & Episodics)
  • Performer and independent afrobeats artist Mr. Eazihas joined the Featured Session “The Path To Creative & Economic Freedom”, with CEO and Founder of Platoon Denzyl Feigelson(Future of Music)
  • Entrepreneur, fashion model and Kode with Klossy founder Karlie Kloss, and SAP Global Chief Marketing Officer Alicia Tillmanwith CNN Newsroom co-anchor and host of the CNN podcast BossFiles, Poppy Harlow(Tech Industry & Enterprise)
  • Journalist, writer, attorney and the host of MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari MelberAri Melberhas been added to a conversation with CEO and co-founder of 300 Entertainment and author Kevin Liles(Future of Music)
  • NBC News’ Today, co-host of The 3rd Hour of Today and anchor of MSNBC live Craig Melvin will be joining “Oxygen’s Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project” with Kim Kardashian West, #cut50 Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Jessica Jackson along with Momolu Stewart 
  • Wu-Tang Clan founding member, filmmaker and Cut Throat Citydirector RZA has been added to “The Black List Podcast” (Film & TV Industry), co-hosted by The Black List founder Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen.
  • Entrepreneur, founder of Venture 4 America and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has been added to The Privacy Project at SXSW session with New York Times Opinion writer Charlie Warzel and contributing writer Kara Swisher.
  • The Big Picture Live: The Illusion of Identity with Frank Oz and Derek DelGaudio (Making Film & Episodics): RingerEditor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey sits down with filmmaker Frank Oz and writer/creator Derek DelGaudio.
  • Climate Justice and Unlearned Lessons of the Day the Levees Broke (Climate & Social Action): In this session, The Atlantic’s staff writer Vann Newkirk and CNN’s chief climate correspondent Bill Weir will share their reporting on issues of climate change, where vulnerable communities are increasingly on the frontlines. Joining the session is Aracely Jimenez of the Sunrise Movement, which mobilizes young people to take action to combat climate change.
  • A Conversation with the executive producers of Apple’s Little America with actor, writer, and producer Kumail Nanjiani; writer and producer Emily V. Gordon; Co-founder of Epic Magazine and film and television producer Joshuah Bearman in conversation with CNN anchor and host of At This HourKate Bolduan (Making Film & Episodics)
  • The Next Big Bets: Optimists’ Take on the Media Landscape(Media & Journalism): Hear from three leaders who are navigating a fast-changing industry with partnerships, creativity, community building — and making big bets. A conversation with Vox Media co-founder and CEO Jim Bankoff; renowned journalist turned podcast host and founder of Katie Couric Media, Katie Couric; NYU Marketing professor, founder of section4, bestselling author, and co-host of the Pivot podcast, Scott Galloway; and moderated by Hollywood Reporter editor Natalie Jarvey
  • A Starting Point (Government & Politics): A conversation about “a new civics engagement project aimed at helping to demystify politics while bringing our elected leaders closer to the communities they represent. Hosted by the organization’s co-founders: actor/director Chris Evans; Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated filmmaker/actor Mark Kassen; media & technology entrepreneurJoe Kiani; and executive producer and host of theTamron Hall ShowTamron Hall
  • Wondery Presents: The Success of Blood Ties and the Future of Scripted Drama (Making Film & Episodics): Wondery’s CEO and Founder Hernan Lopez and Chief Content Officer Marshall Lewy, and star of Blood Ties Gillian Jacobs in conversation with Hollywood Reporter Editor Natalie Jarvey

Monica Hernandez to Moderate the Next Democratic Presidential Debate

Monica Hernandezis getting political…

The Latina broadcast journalist and WMUR-TV anchor/reporter will serve as a moderator at the next Democratic presidential debate, alongside ABC News chief anchor George StephanopoulosWorld News Tonight’s David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis, and WMUR-TV’s Adam Sexton.

Monica Hernandez

The debate is set for February 7 at 8:00 pm ET in Manchester, New Hampshire, wedged between the Iowa Caucusesfour days before and the New Hampshire primary four days after.

The eighth debate of the primary cycle is hosted by ABC News, WMUR-TV and Apple News. It is set at St. Anselm Collegein Manchester and will air on ABCHearst Television’s WMUR-TV, Apple News and on ABC News Live.

So far, all six of the candidates who qualified for the previous debate – Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren— appear to have met the fundraising and polling thresholds to qualify for the debate. Another way in per Democratic National Committeerules would be to score a pledged delegate in Iowa.

The qualifying criteria involving grassroots fundraising (225,000 individual donors with 1,000 unique donors or more per state) likely will keep out candidate Michael Bloomberg, who is self-financing.

The previous debate hosted by CNNat Drake Universityin Des Moines, Iowa on January 14 drew an estimated 7.3 million viewers, a slight uptick from the 6.17 million who watched the debate in December, sponsored by PBSand Politico, and the 6.5 million who watched November’s event, hosted by MSNBC.

The New Hampshire debate is the second of four in each of the key voting states. Next up is February 19 in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC with The Nevada Independent, and February 25 in in Charleston, SC, hosted by CBS News, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Twitter.

CNN to Air Acclaimed Linda Ronstadt Documentary on New Year’s Day

Linda Ronstadt’s inspiring story is headed to the screen…

CNN Films has acquired the documentary feature about the 73-year-old Mexican American singer, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, and it has set the film’s television premiere for New Year’s Day on CNN.

Linda Ronstadt

Ronstadt was 21 when she first hit the national charts with the Stone Poneys’ “Different Drum,” and her plaintive vocal leapt off the radio from the opening line. By the mid-’70s, she was cranking out smash singles and multiplatinum albums as fast as the public could consume them. Three of her LPs hit No. 1 en route to her becoming the most successful female singer of the decade. 

Ronstadt is a 10-time Grammy winner, and has earned a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Latin Recording Academy and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Famein 2014.

Two-time Oscar winner Rob Epstein and Oscar nominee Jeffrey Friedman directed the documentray from Greenwich Entertainment1091and CNN Films. 

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice premieres at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, January 1.

Cardi B Films 2020 Presidential Campaign Video with Bernie Sanders to Appeal to Young Voters

Cardi Bis collaborating with an unlikely partner…

The 26-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar has teamed up with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to film a 2020 presidential campaign video meant to appeal to young voters.

Cardi B & Bernie Sanders

“We (are) working on a way to involve more young people in the political process,” the Vermont independent toldCNNin an interview as he arrived for the shoot. “The future of America depends on young people. They are voting in large numbers, but not large enough numbers.”

He said he and Cardi B spoke about a range of issues, including canceling student debt, climate change and raising the minimum wage. 

The video — filmed at the TEN Nail Bar, a local nail salon owned by two black women — is the first collaboration between the two.

After their meeting, Cardi B thanked Sanders on Instagram.

“Thank you Senator Bernie Sanders for sitting with me and sharing your plans on how you will change this country,” the rapper wrote.

She added that she asked the senator questions submitted by her fans and hinted to “stay tuned to see how he will fight for economic, racial, and social justice for all.”

Earlier this month, Cardi B was complimentary of the senator.

“I been reading about Bernie Sanders and I’m really sad how we let him down in 2016,” she tweeted. “This man been fighting for equal rights, HUMAN rights for such along time. Seeing this country become a better place been really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign.”

Last week, when asked about Cardi B’s support, Sanders told late night host Jimmy Kimmel he had spoken to the rapper on the phone on “several occasions.”

“She is really smart. And she is deeply concerned about what’s happening in this country,” Sanders said during an appearance on Kimmel’s show. “She wants to make sure we improve life for working people in this country, and I’m delighted that she is a supporter.”

The mutual admiration dates to April 2018, when Cardi B praised President Franklin Delano Rooseveltfor being “the real ‘Make America Great Again’ ” during a GQinterview. That statement caught the eye Sanders, who frequently refers to Roosevelt in his arguments for Democratic socialism and his single-payer “Medicare for All” plan.

“Cardi B is right,” Sanders tweeted at the time.

When asked Monday what it would mean to have Cardi B’s endorsement, Sanders said, “What it means is that, what Cardi B does is not only is she an enormously popular entertainer what she is doing is speaking to young people about the important issues that are on their minds and I applaud that very much.”

Soledad O’Brien Signs with ICM Partners

Soledad O’Brien has new representation…

ICM Partners has signed the 52-year-old half-Cuban American broadcast journalist and her production company Starfish Media Group.

Soledad O’Brien

O’Brien, a former Weekend Today co-anchor, produces and anchors Hearst Television’s weekend political show Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien. She’salso a correspondent on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

She also hosted and produced this year’s O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession and Who Shot Biggie and Tupac? for Fox along with Oxygen’s Mysteries and Scandals.

O’Brien is President and CEO of Starfish Media Group, a multiplatform media production company dedicated to telling empowering and authentic stories on a range of social issues. Starfish Media produces short and feature-length documentaries and journalistic reports, including several projects with HBO, Hearst and Oxygen, among many others.

Her résumé also include working as an anchor, contributor and/or contributor for all of the Big 4 networks, along with PBS News Hourand CNN. She anchored morning news shows for the latter and produced documentaries including the Black in Americaand “Latino in America” series. She has three News and Documentary Emmys to her credit and Peabody Awardsfor covering Hurricane Katrinaand theBPoil spill. She also has authored a pair of books and serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Archivesas well as the board of trustees for the Rand Corporation.

Becky G to be Honored at the Latin Recording Academy’s Leading Ladies of Entertainment Luncheon

Becky G is a (leading) lady who lunches…

For the second consecutive year, the Latin Recording Academy will host its Leading Ladies of Entertainment luncheon, honoring professional women within arts and entertainment who have made significant contributions to their fields, including the 21-year-old Mexican American singer/songwriter/actress.

Becky G

In addition to Becky G, this year’s honorees include Univision journalist and anchor Pamela Silva CondeBMI’s VP of Creative for Latin music, Delia Orjuela; and Cynthia Hudson EVP and GM of CNN en Español and Hispanic Strategy for CNN/US.

“With great pride and admiration we laud these honorees who throughout their careers have continually demonstrated grit, determination, an absolute sense of pride, and an indomitable spirit,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president/CEO of the Latin Recording Academy.

The Leading Ladies of Entertainment program launched last year with a similar lunch in Las Vegas, honoring executives like Lionfish Entertainment founder Rebeca Leon (who manages Juanes, Rosalía and J Balvin), Warner Music Latina GM Gabriela Martinez and Billboard’s executive director of Latin content and programming Leila Cobo.

The event was a rare honor designed specifically for women involved in Latin music and entertainment.

Demi Lovato to Join School Shooting Survivors at “March for Our Lives” in Washington, DC

Demi Lovato is heading to Washington, DC next week to help shine a light on the issue of gun violence…

The 25-year-old part-Mexican American singer/actress will join survivors of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as they take to the streets of Washington to protest gun violence.

Demi Lovato

On March 24, survivors will be joined by Lovato, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson as they call for gun legislation reform.

One of the survivors, David Hogg, made the announcement for March for Our Lives during an appearance on CNN.

“We’re gonna have four major independent women that are standing with us and walking beside us,” Hogg said.

According to the March for Our Lives mission statement, organizers will “demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before (the U.S.) Congress to address these gun issues.”

The shooting at Stoneman Douglas High claimed the lives of 17 people.

Lovato  invited survivors onstage during the opening show of her tour in San Diego.

Other celebrities, including Jimmy Fallon and George Clooney, are set to attend as well.

The march will occur 10 days after a national student walkout, which was met with similar support by celebrities including Katy Perry and Zendaya.

Sister marches will take place in cities across the nation.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Organizing All-Star Charity Disaster Relief Single for Puerto Rico

Lin-Manuel Miranda is making music for a cause close to his heart…

The 37-year-old composer, lyricist, playwright, and actor, best known for creating and starring in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights, has organized what could be an all-star charity single to raise money for disaster relief in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda hasn’t revealed the song’s title yet, but it will be available on October 6, according to CNN.

Miranda, whose parents came to the United States from Puerto Rico, said he “called every Puerto Rican I know” to contribute to the song. Two of the people participating are singer Ruben Blades and Hamilton castmate Anthony Ramos, who each belt out “Puerto Rico” in brief previews Miranda posted to Twitter.

“I had the idea at 3 in the morning. … The initial demo was me singing in a bathroom,” Miranda told CNN. “To every artist, I’ve said, ‘Can you help out on this song?’ And they said yes. Without even hearing the song, everyone’s joined in.”

“Puerto Ricans, that’s 3.5 million American citizens, just like Texas, just like Florida. I know there’s a tendency for fatigue because we’ve just been through two hurricanes. And we can’t be fatigued when it comes to our fellow Americans,” Miranda told CNN of the crisis in Puerto Rico, where many people are still without power and running short on basic supplies.

Miranda said his family in Puerto Rico is “all right,” but “there were a few terrifying days where nobody heard from anyone.”

CNN Names Santiago Its Mexico City Correspondent

Leyla Santiago is heading south of the border…

CNN has hired the Latina broadcast journalist as a correspondent based in Mexico City.

Leyla Santiago

Prior to joining CNN, Santiago was an anchor and reporter for WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she and her team won the Alfred I. DuPont award for the documentary The Journey Alone, about the surge in illegal immigration of unaccompanied minors from Mexico.

Santiago also has served as a morning anchor for KBAK/KBFX in Bakersfield, California; and as a reporter for KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska, and for NBC29 in Charlottesville, Virginia.