Longoria to Host Latino Inaugural Concert

Eva Longoria is preparing to host a huge pachanga to celebrate President Obama’s inauguration.

The 37-year-old Mexican-American actress and political activist, a co-chair for Obama’s inauguration, is hosting a Kennedy Center concert honoring Latino arts and culture during inaugural weekend.

Eva Longoria II

The $300-per-head event will take place on January 20 and will feature José Feliciano, George Lopez, Mario Lopez, Rita Moreno, Chita Rivera and others.

The event is part of “Latino Inaugural 2013,” a three-day series of lectures and cultural activities in Washington, DC.

“Latinos played a critical role in this year’s elections and helped tip the scales in President Obama’s victory,” said Longoria, a national co-chair of Obama’s 2012 campaign. “But we are not waiting another four years to make an impact on our country’s future, and Latino Inaugural 2013 will set a path for Latino civic engagement in the near term,” she said in a statement. “What better way to establish our presence at these inaugural celebrations than by showcasing the beauty and diversity of our culture at the nation’s premier performing arts center.”

The Latino inaugural gathering is driven in part by organizers of The Futuro Fund, which helped mobilize Latino support for the Obama-Biden re-election campaign. Millions of Hispanic voters turned out with 71 percent support for Obama. Republican candidate Mitt Romney‘s 27 percent Hispanic support was less than any presidential candidate in 16 years, drawing calls for Republicans to rethink their approach to Latinos.

Alba & Fellow Stars Appear in PSA Demanding an End to Gun Violence

Jessica Alba is demanding a plan to bring an end to gun violence in this country…

The 31-year-old half-Mexican American actress appears in a public service announcement aimed at encouraging Americans to “Demand a Plan to End Gun Violence.”

Jessica Alba

Released on the same day as the National Rifle Association conference and a week after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six educators, the video gone viral on YouTube.

Along with Alba, the nearly minute and a half long video by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition features of number of Hollywood celebrities, including Latina luminaries Cameron Diaz, Selena Gomez and Aubrey Plaza, as a call on Americans to demand the government make changes to end gun violence.

The video is sponsored by Demand a Plan, which is urging President Obama and Congress to pass “common sense legislation.”

Since its release, the clip has garnered more than four million views and over 31,000 likes.

“Demand A Plan to End Gun Violence” is just the latest video published by the organization. Its YouTube profile also features videos of shooting survivors and family members of victims from Virginia Tech, Tucson, Columbine and the Oak Creek temple shooting.

Demand a Plan is urging government to make a change in gun control that can “prevent future tragedies,” its website states. This legislation would require background checks for guns sold, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and make gun trafficking a federal crime.

“It’s time. Join more than 800 mayors and 800,000 grassroots supporters to demand that President Obama and Congress step forward with a plan to end gun violence,” its website states. It also encourages visitors to sign a petition to send to Washington.

Lovato Performs Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” for the Obamas

Demi Lovato isn’t afraid to tackle Mariah Carey’s music this holiday season…

Demi Lovato

During TNT‘s Christmas in Washington special, which aired Friday night, the 20-year-old part-Mexican singer/actress and The X Factor judge performed Carey’s classic “All I Want for Christmas” with President Obama and the First Family in the front row.

Late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien served as host of the telecast, which was taped in Washington D.C.’s National Building Museum.

Additional performers included former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, who recently released an album of holiday music, as well as Smash star Megan Hilty and former The Voice finalist Chris Mann.

Juanes to Headline Concert to Fight HIV/AIDS

This summer, it appears the beat will go on for Juanes

The 39-year-old Colombian superstar will headline the Beat Goes On IV, a concert to benefit Lifebeat, Music Fights HIV/AIDS in Washington D.C.


It’s the latest cause that Juanes, a well-known social activist, will be lending his voice to. He’s been a staunch advocate for a wide range of causes, including the worldwide elimination of land mines and pre-school education in Latin American countries.

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Lifebeat, a non-profit organization dedicated to reaching America’s youth with a message of HIV/AIDS and STD prevention.

Gary Dell’Abate, Lifebeat’s newly appointed Board president released a statement to the media, saying, “In honor of this milestone anniversary, we are thrilled to have Juanes headline the Beat Goes On concert to help us raise funds and awareness to fight this preventable disease.”

The concert is affiliated with the International AIDS Conference (IAC), which, for the first time in three decades, will take place in North America due to President Obama having lifted the ban on people with HIV traveling to the U.S.

The Beat Goes On IV concert will take place July 26

For more information on the concert visit Lifebeat.org.

Giffords’ Hero Elected to Tucson-Area School Board

He’s the former intern for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz) who rushed to the congresswoman’s side after she was shot in the head outside a Tucson supermarket. And, now Daniel Hernández Jr. is now an elected member of a Tucson-area school board.

The 21-year-old hero—who propped up Gifford’s head in a move credited with helping save her life—was elected to a vacant seat on the Sunnyside Unified School District governing board. Hernández received 61.8 percent of the vote.

“Our entire team is very proud of Daniel,” Jessica Schultz, Giffords’ campaign political director told the Los Angeles Times. “His commitment to southern Arizona was evident through his work in our office.”

The University of Arizona political science major can add this feat to his list of accomplishments, including  attending the State of the Union address, meeting President Obama and throwing out the first pitch at Major League Baseball’s All-Star game.

During the shooting in January that left six people dead and severely injured Giffords, Hernández ran to her side, was the first person to attend to her, and tried to stop her bleeding—possibly saving her life. His quick thinking made him a national hero, a title Hernandez didn’t think he deserved. But President Obama disagreed.

“We’ve decided you are a hero because you ran through the chaos to minister to your boss and tended to her wounds and helped keep her alive,” Obama said during a memorial service in Tucson.

Image courtesy of Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

Perez Receives Presidential Citizens Medal for Fighting Illiteracy

President Obama has presented Roberto Perez with the Presidential Citizens Medal—the nation’s second-highest decoration awarded to civilians—for his efforts to combat illiteracy throughout the world.

The Cuban-born Perez serves as president of Alfalit, a non-profit organization with 6,000 volunteers committed to fighting illiteracy from Africa to South America. Because of his efforts, about seven million people in 22 countries in the Americas, Africa and Europe have learned to read and write in the organization’s 50-year history.

Alfalit president Roberto Perez receives Presidential Citizens Medal

The former Miami-Dade County social worker arrived in the United States from Cuba at the age of 17, he quickly learned how difficult it was to get by without knowing how to read and write English. For a long time, he was misled into accepting lower wages. When he injured his finger while working in a factory, Perez was afraid he’d never be able to work again.

Since then, he’s dedicated his life to learning and teaching. First he educated himself; then he starting helping others “come out of the shadows” of ignorance.

“For a person who doesn’t know how to read or write it’s as if he’s blind,” says the 68-year-old ordained Methodist pastor who has counseled prison inmates and alcoholics. “Many people are in the shadows for that reason…and our objective is to change… their lives (so that) they aren’t mistreated because they’re considered to be ignorant”.

Perez is one of 13 recipients who received this year’s medal at a special White House ceremony today. 

“They come from different backgrounds” and have “devoted themselves to different causes,” Obama said. “They are united by the choice that they’ve made. They could have made an excuse to do nothing; instead they chose to help.”

The Presidential Citizens Medal was established in 1969 to recognize Americans who have performed exemplary service that has had a lasting effect on others, their community, the nation or the world.