Paola Ramos Joins Vice News as Correspondent

Paola Ramos is joining the Vicesquad…

The Latina journalist is joining Vice News as a correspondent, starting this week, in the first notable new hire by Jesse Angelo since he joined the company as head of news and entertainment in June.

Ramos has previously written for Vice.com and hosted Latin-X, a Vice series focused on under-reported stories about the Latinx community. 

In her new role, Ramos will work across platforms. Two key venues for her work will be Vice and Vice News Tonight, which are both set to relaunch on new networks after a multi-year deal with HBO wound down a few months ago. Vice, a documentary series, will debut on Showtime next spring, and Vice News Tonight will start airing on the Viceland cable network in early 2020.

“Paola is an extraordinary talent and has done some incredible reporting in her career. The depth of her coverage on the Latinx community goes beyond the typical stories of immigration and the crisis at the border, and taps into underrepresented issues that matter to Millennial and Gen Z viewers,” Angelo said. “She connects with audiences in ways that make her exactly the type of person we want to tell Vice News stories.”

A regular contributor to Telemundo and MSNBC, Ramos is the former Deputy Director of Hispanic Media for Hillary Clinton and a former political appointee in the Obama White House. She holds degrees from Barnard Collegeand Harvard’sKennedy School.

Next year “will go down in history as one of the most consequential years of our lifetime and I cannot think of a better platform to inspire and mobilize young people across the country,” Ramos said. “I look forward to telling stories that impact our generation, to uncovering untold truths and to shedding light on the voices that are on the front lines of change.”

Monica Ramirez to Speak at This Year’s Makers Conference

Monica Ramirez is Maker-ing a difference…

The Latina activist will take part in this week’s Makers Conference, a three-day event that seeks to underscore the stories of trailblazing women.

Monica Ramirez

Ramirez, the co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, will be one of the speakers at the conference, which looks to amplify the conversion around sexual harassment and push for change on issues such as equal pay and diversity in the workplace.

Ramirez, the daughter and granddaughter of migrant farmworkers hailing from a rural community in Ohio, has served farmworker, Latina and immigrant women as an attorney, organizer and advocate. She’s dedicated to ending violence against women, particularly farmworkers.

She’s also the founder of several major initiatives and projects, including Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Bandana Project and the Latina Impact Fund, and she’s a Board member for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Deputy Director for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

This year’s other speakers — chosen from the worlds of tech, entertainment, business and non-profits — include Hillary Clinton, Gloria SteinemJane FondaLena Waithe, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, Cleo Wade, Jessica Biel and Lena Dunham.

The 2018 Makers Conference will take place from February 5-8.

The Associated Press Names Miranda Its Entertainer of the Year

Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t just the man of the hour… He’s the man of the last 8,000-plus hours.

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor, playwright, composer, rapper, and writer, bested Beyonce, Adele and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, among others, to earn the honor of The Associated Press Entertainer of the Year, voted by members of the news cooperative and AP entertainment reporters.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. Miranda has had a banner year, winning a Pulitzer Prize and a pair of Tony Awards.

The Hamilton writer-composer also earned a Golden Globe nomination, won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, wrote music for a top movie, and inspired a best-selling book, a best-selling album of Hamilton covers and a popular PBS documentary.

“There’s been more than a little good luck in the year itself and the way it’s unfolded,” Miranda said after being told of the honor. “I continue to try to work on the things I’ve always wanted to work on and try to say yes to the opportunities that I’d kick myself forever if I didn’t jump at them.”

Miranda joins the list of previous AP Entertainer of the Year winners who in recent years have included Adele, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey and Betty White.

The animated Disney juggernaut Frozen captured the prize in 2014, and Star Wars won last year. (Miranda wrote one of the songs in The Force Awakens.)

When he hosted Saturday Night Live in October, he somewhat tongue-in-cheek acknowledged the rarity of having a theater composer as host, saying: “Most of you watching at home have no idea who I am.”

But that has definitely changed… Miranda was virtually everywhere in popular culture this year — stage, film, TV, music and politics — engaging on social media as he went. Like a lyric he wrote for Alexander Hamilton, it seemed at times that the non-stop Miranda was working as if he was “running out of time.”

Julio D. Diaz, of the Pensacola News Journal, said Miranda “made the whole world sing, dance and think. Coupled with using his prestige to become involved in important sociopolitical issues, there was no greater or more important presence in entertainment in 2016.”

Among the things Miranda did this year are asking the U.S. Congress to help dig Puerto Rico out of its debt crisis, getting an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, performing at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on Broadway, lobbying to stop gun violence in America, and teaming up with Jennifer Lopez on the benefit single “Love Make the World Go Round.”

He and his musical Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards in June, but perhaps his deepest contribution that night was tearfully honoring those killed hours before at an Orlando nightclub with a beautiful sonnet: “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside,” he said. “Now fill the world with music, love and pride.”

He started the year onstage in the Broadway hit Hamilton (which in 2015 had won a Grammy and earned Miranda a MacArthur genius grant) and ended it with a Golden Globe nomination for writing the song “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, which was on top of the box office for three weeks this month, earning $165 million.

“I’ve been jumping from thing to thing and what’s been thrilling is to see the projects that happen very quickly kind of exploding side-by-side with the projects I’ve been working on for years,” Miranda said.

Though theater fans have long cherished his fluency in both Stephen Sondheim and TupacHamilton helped Miranda break into the mainstream in 2016. The groundbreaking, biographical hip-hop show tells the true story of an orphan immigrant from the Caribbean who rises to the highest ranks of American society, performed by a young African-American and Latino cast.

The cast went to the White House in March to perform songs from the show for the first family and to answer questions from school children. A version of the show opened in Chicago in October and a production is slated to land in California next year and in London soon.

Erin O’Neill of The Marietta Times said Miranda dominated entertainment news this year but, more importantly, “opened a dialogue about government, the founding of our country and the future of politics in America.”

There’s more Miranda to come in 2017, including filming Disney‘s Mary Poppins Returns with Emily Blunt (due out Christmas 2018) and an ambitious TV and film adaptation of the fantasy trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle.

“I’m back in a planting mode after a harvest,” Miranda said, laughing.

Lopez to Perform at Hillary Clinton “Love Trumps Hate” Event in Miami

Jennifer Lopez is stumping for Hillary Clinton

Despite Donald Trump’s downward spiral in the polls, the Democratic presidential candidate is calling on some big names to help sway undecided voters in key battleground states.

Jennifer Lopez

The campaign announced a series of events dubbed “Love Trumps Hate” that will feature performances by the 46-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actress, Katy Perry and Jon Bon Jovi, among others.

According to the campaign scheduling siteBon Jovi is slated to perform in Pittsburgh on October 27 and Tampa on November 5, while Lopez will be in Miami on October 29; no additional event details have been announced.

“The performance series will feature a number of artists performing in battleground states who will energize our supporters and encourage them to turn out to vote on Election Day or to take advantage of early voting options in their states,” said Clinton’s campaign via press release. More performances will be announced in the coming days.

The phrase “love trumps hate” was used by Clinton during her primetime address at the Democratic National Convention in July.

The announcement explained that the performances will also serve as a recruiting opportunity to find new volunteers for the home stretch of the campaign.

“In the final weeks of the campaign, what voters will hear from these performers and all HFA surrogates is that Hillary Clinton has the experience and steadiness to bring people together and get real results,” the statement continued. “The choice in this election is clear. We can either come together to tackle the big challenges facing the country or let Donald Trump keep tearing us apart with his divisive rhetoric and dangerous ideas. That’s why millions of people are coming together to support Hillary Clinton and send a clear message that ‘love trumps hate.’”

Miranda to Perform at One-Night Only Broadway Show Benefiting Hillary Clinton’s Hillary Victory Fund

Lin-Manuel Miranda is stumping for Hillary Clinton

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor and Hamilton star/creator has joined the list of Broadway and Hollywood stars teaming up for a one-night only Broadway performance benefiting the Hillary Victory Fund.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda joins a lineup that includes Julia Roberts and Hugh Jackman, all appearing in support of Clinton.

The show, “Stronger Together,” features Chelsea Clinton as a special guest and Billy Crystal as host, appearing alongside familiar faces including Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Josh Groban, Angela Bassett, Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Mirren, Sienna Miller, Bernadette Peters, Cynthia Erivo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Sarah Jones, Andrea McArdle and Ayodele Casel.

Organizers of the evening promise new duets and collaborations.

Michael Mayer, the Spring Awakening and Hedwig and the Angry Inch director whose Off-Broadway production of Love, Love, Love is now running, will direct the production, with Diane Paulus on board as special consultant. John Guare serves as script consultant, with Seth Rudetsky as musical director.

The event is set for October 17 at the St. James Theater, the Jujamcyn-owned venue currently occupied by “Something Rotten!,” which is dark on Monday nights.

Tickets are on sale on the Hillary Clinton website.

Fernandez Endorses Hillary Clinton with a Special “Corrido”

Vicente Fernández isn’t rocking the vote, he’s ranchera-ing it…

The 76-year-old Mexican singer, known as “El Rey de la Música Ranchera,” is endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with a personal corrido.

Vicente Fernández

Titled “El Corrido de Hillary Clinton,” Fernandez’s special announcement begins with a message to the Latino community: “Dear brothers, your voice is your vote. Together, we can.”

He explains why it’s important for Latinos to vote for Clinton in the upcoming November elections, and takes a few jabs at Donald Trump, singing, “It hurt my pueblo that someone offended us… With Hillary there is respect, and with her as president, we’ll always have a bridge.”

He adds: “Mrs. Clinton, I am here to ask you that when you become president, don’t forget about all my Mexican brothers and Latinos.”

The “El Rey” singer partnered with the Latino Victory Project organization to make the video and song.

Hernandez Bests Simone Biles to Claim Silver in Women’s Balance Beam at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

Laurie Hernandez is proving to be the future of U.S. Gymnastics…

The 16-year-old Puerto Rican gymnast, who helped the American team win the gold in the women’s gymnastics competition, has beamed her way on the medal podium on her own at the 2016 Rio Games.

Laurie Hernandez

Hernandez capped a rollercoaster Olympic with a silver medal of her own on balance beam, eclipsing teammate Simone Biles in the apparatus final on Monday.

Hernandez, the youngest member of a team that also includes 2012 London Games veterans Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, has held her share of the spotlight here with ups and downs that her coach freely acknowledges.

An internet GIF of Hernandez winking at judges before her floor routine last week has made the rounds online, and the Old Bridge native’s animated personality and potential longevity in the sport figure to open more doors for her after the Olympics. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton adapted her campaign slogan to root for Hernandez on Twitter, announcing #ImWithHernandez. John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, also tweeted his congratulations, to the delight of Hernandez, who cites the book as a favorite.

Laurie Hernandez

Despite Hernandez’s growing profile, the U.S. team’s initial qualification-round lineup gave Biles, Raisman and Douglas a shot at getting into the individual all-around final, while Hernandez was left on the sidelines rooting for them. Biles and Raisman went on to take gold and silver in the all-around, respectively.

That was a blow for Hernandez, who has beaten Raisman and Douglas in competition at times in the past year, and who was left with her one chance for an individual medal on beam. But, that didn’t seem to dampen her experience throughout the Games.

“She’s going home with two medals, a gold and a silver. That’s amazing. This is her first really major international competition,” says Maggie Haney, Hernandez’s coach.

Rodriguez Debuts “Our America” Short at Democratic National Convention

Robert Rodriguez is shining a spotlight on Our America.

The 48-year-old Mexican American director and El Rey Network founder took the stage last night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to debut his newest work — the short Our America.

Robert Rodriguez

The video, which clocks in at 1 minute and 54 seconds, stresses the nation’s multicultural roots and is part of the push to get out the vote among Latinos — his target audience on El Rey.

“I made this film you just saw because there has never been a more important time for building understanding among people, by telling our stories,” Rodriguez said onstage after the video. “I grew up in San Antonio Texas, a family of 10 kids, and it was there that I realized that storytelling amplifies our voice. To my fellow Latinos, that voice is our vote.”

He concluded, “It’s time to elect Hillary Clinton the next president of Our America.”

Perez & Fellow Broadway Stars Sing DNC Tribute to Victims of Gun Violence

Rosie Perez is sharing the love at the Democratic National Convention

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican actress, community activist, talk show host, author, dancer and choreographer joined fellow Broadway stars Audra McDonaldIdina Menzel and others to promote peace and support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Broadway Stars at DNC

Perez and the gang performed their charity single “What the World Needs Now is Love as a tribute to victims of gun violence during the D.N.C. on Wednesday (July 27).

Performers included Ben VereenDarren Criss, Brian Stokes Mitchell, with each getting a chance to sing the classic song written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, inciting the audience to join arms and sing along in unity.

The joyous performance also included Kristen Bell, Debra Messing, Richard Kind and Stephanie J. Block, Tyne Daly and more.