Ellen Ochoa to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Ellen Ochoa has earned a special presidential honor…

The 65-year-old Mexican American engineer, former NASA astronaut and former director of the Johnson Space Center is among the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Ellen Ochoa,The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. The White House last held a ceremony in July 2022.

In 1993, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Ochoa became director of the center upon the retirement of the previous director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012. She was the first Hispanic director and the second female director of Johnson Space Center.

But Ochoa isn’t the only Hispanic person recognized this year.

Teresa Romero is also being honored.

The Mexican immigrant and activist is the president of the United Farm Workers and the first Latina to become president of a national union in the United States.

She has secured key victories to improve the lives of the workers who feed and fuel our nation.

Other honorees include Phil Donahue, Michelle Yeoh, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), former Vice President Al Gore, former Secretary of State John Kerry and former senator Elizabeth Dole. Jesuit priest Gregory Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, also will be honored.

Others on the list include Clarence B. Jones, the civil rights activist and lawyer who helped draft Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech; swimmer Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky; educator and activist Opal Lee; astronomer Jane Rigby; and LGBT activist Judy Shepard.

Being honored posthumously will be Medgar Evers, former senator Frank Lautenberg and multi-sports legend Jim Thorpe.

Ada Limón Named to Time Magazine’s 2024 Women of the Year List

Ada Limón has earned a special place in Time

The 47-year-old Mexican American poet, the first Latina to be Poet Laureate of the United States, has been named to Time magazine’s annual Women of the Year list.

Ada Limon,The Time list is designed to recognize “extraordinary leaders working toward a more equal world.”

In 2022, Limon was appointed the 24th poet laureate of the U.S., a role previously held by the likes of Tracy K. SmithJoy Harjo, and Rita Dove.

Last spring, she was granted a two-year second term. And in October came the announcement that she’d won a MacArthur “genius” grant.

These are the achievements most writers only dream of—but there was one invitation that even the most inventive of poets would not have imagined: NASA reached out. It wanted Limón to compose an original poem to be launched into space.

“As soon as I hung up, I thought, Oh, no,” Limón says.

Her poem “In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa” will be engraved inside the Europa Clipper, a spacecraft set to launch on October 10 and begin orbiting Jupiter by 2030.

Out of this world though the commission may be, it’s a fitting one for a poet dedicated to exploring the ties between the human experience and the universe we all share.

“When I’m in my darkest space, as a poet and as a human, turning to nature is the one thing that will bring me back to myself,” Limón says. “It’s very hard to write from a place of fear and isolation. If you can, connect to the natural world—a tree, a shrub, whatever you can set your sight on for a moment. We’re not alone.”

This summer, Limón will embark on a tour across the U.S. to unveil poetry installations in seven national parks as part of her signature program as poet laureate, dubbed You Are Here—which is also the title of an anthology she’ll publish in April. From Washington to Florida, Limón will convene people from all walks of life to celebrate both poetry and the land.

Other Class of 2024 honorees this year include actor, writer and director Greta Gerwig; actor Taraji P. Henson; singer, songwriter and actor Andra Day; tennis player Coco Gauff; Global CEO of Chanel Leena Nair; co-founder and leader of the Israeli movement Women Wage Peace Yael Admi; founder and director of Women of the Sun Reem Hajajreh; president and chairwoman of nonprofit Nadia’s Initiative Nadia Murad; medical scientist and professor of research on hyperemesis gravidarum Marlena Fejzo; founder and executive director of The Chisholm Legacy Project Jacqui Patterson; and economic historian and labor economist Claudia Goldin.

Time will host the third annual invite-only Time Women of the Year Gala on Tuesday, March 5, in Los Angeles. The event will feature appearances and remarks from Women of the Year honorees, the presentation of a Time Earth Award, as well as a special musical performance by Andra Day.

Alejandro Sanz Receives All-Star Welcome to His New Label, Sony Music Latin-Iberia

Alejandro Sanz is getting an all-star welcome at Sony Music Latin-Iberia.

The 54-year-old Spanish award-winning singer-songwriter was serenaded by Kany GarcíaCamilo and Evaluna, among other artists, serenaded  at an event hosted by Sony Music during Latin Grammy Week in Sevilla, Spain, officially welcoming Sanz to his new label.

Alejandro SanzProducer Javier Limón, a close friend of Sanz’s, hosted the event along with Afo Verde, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Latin-Iberia, and José María Barbat, president of Sony Music Iberia.

“We’re here on an unforgettable night because we have the opportunity to celebrate the arrival of Alejandro Sanz to our great Sony Music family,” said Verde, who signed Sanz to Sony this past June.

”We know the extraordinary artist that’s inside you. We know of your drive and passion for your work, your curiosity for new artists, the support you give those who are starting off, your generosity with your colleagues, your commitment to causes of fairness and the value of your friendship,” added Barbat.

Camilo, Evaluna, Niña Pastori, Kany García, J·Noa, Darumas, Yerai Cortés and Montse Cortés performed some of Sanz’s emblematic songs, including “Amiga Mía” (J Noa), “Cuando nadie me ve” (Kany García) and “Desde cuando” (Camilo y Evaluna).  The honoree enjoyed the evening from a table set in a semi private area, from which he could see the performances.

Other artists, including Malú, Ana Mena, Arde Bogotá, Omar Montes, Reik, Nicki Nicole, Kenia OS and María José Llergo, were also at the event ,which took place in Hacienda Azahares.

This year, Sanz is nominated for a Latin Grammy for song of the year for “Nasa” alongside Camilo, and record of the year for “Correcaminos” with Danny Ocean.

Sanz thanked his “Dear Sony family” for the warm welcome. “It’s been a beautiful night to get together again and begin this new stage, in addition to a prelude to a week where we’ll celebrate music. Let’s enjoy and celebrate!” he said.

Sebastian Lelio to Direct NASA-Themed Film “Voyagers”

Sebastian Lelio is preparing for a special voyage(rs)…

The 49-year-old Chilean director, screenwriter, editor and producer will helm Voyagers, his next film at FilmNation Entertainment.

Sebastián LelioAndrew Garfield is attached to play astronomer Carl Sagan and Daisy Edgar-Jones is expected to play Cosmos filmmaker Ann Druyan.

The feature is produced by Ben Browning for FilmNation Entertainment, Lynda Obst, and Druyan.

The film is set in 1977 as NASA prepared to launch humanity’s first interstellar probes and a team led by Sagan set out to create a message to accompany them — The Golden Record. But what starts out as a race-against-the-clock mission becomes an epic, unexpected love story between Sagan and his collaborator Druyan. FilmNation Entertianment paired Druyan with screenwriters Lelio and Jessica Goldberg, who wrote the original screenplay based on interviews with Druyan and many others who worked on the Golden Record project.

Lelio most recently co-wrote and directed The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh with House Productions and Element Pictures producing for Netflix. It was nominated for Outstanding British Film of the Year at last year’s BAFTA.

Coral Peña to Star in Action Comedy “Thelma”

Coral Peña is ready for some action (comedy)

The 21-year-old Dominican actor will star in Thelma, an “action” comedy starring 93-year-old Academy Award nominee June Squibb, which has wrapped production.

The first feature from writer-director Josh Margolin centers on 90-year-old grandmother Thelma Post (Squibb), who gets duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson and sets out on a uniquely treacherous quest to reclaim what was taken from her.

Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg and Malcolm McDowell round out the cast.

Zoë Worth, a longtime collaborator of Margolin’s, and producing partner Chris Kaye started developing Thelma after reading an early draft in their writer’s group, Rock & Roll Universe. The film will be their first produced together.

Peña, best known for playing the role of NASA flight director Aleida Rosales on the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind, has also appeared on television in Blue Bloods and 24: Legacy.

Peña made their debut movie appearance in the 2017 film The Post.

Salvador Chacón to Appear on Season 4 of Apple’s Series “For All Mankind”

Salvador Chacón’s latest project is out of this world.

The 38-year-old Mexican-American actor, producer and director has joined the cast of Apple’s For All Mankind for Season 4 in a recurring role.

Salvador Chacon Chacon will portray Gerardo, one of Miles’ (Toby Kebbell) bunkmates on Mars.

For All Mankind explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended. The series presents an aspirational world where NASA astronauts, engineers, and their families find themselves in the center of extraordinary events seen through the prism of an alternate history timeline — a world in which the USSR beats the US to the moon.

Season 3 of the alternate reality series took viewers to a new decade, moving into the early ’90s with a high-octane race to a new planetary frontier: Mars. The Red Planet became the new front in the Space Race not only for the US and the Soviet Union but also an unexpected new entrant with a lot to prove and even more at stake. The characters found themselves going head-to-head as their ambitions for Mars come into conflict and their loyalties tested, creating a pressure cooker that built to a climactic conclusion.

Daniel Stern, Tyler Rushing, Maria Mashkova and Dimiter Marinov were previously announced Season 4 cast.

Ronald D. Moore created the series along with series showrunners Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert.

Sony Pictures Television is the studio behind the series.

Chacón is best known for his work in FX’s Mayans M.C. in the role of Pablo, Adelita’s (Carla Baratta) right-hand man in the show’s first three seasons.

His additional television credits include appearances on ABC’s Black-ish and Showtime’s The Chi.

Camilo Teams Up with Alejandro Sanz for Heartwarming Single “NASA”

Camilo has teamed up with his idol…

The 28-year-old Colombian singer, musician and songwriter has joined voices with Alejandro Sanz on the heartwarming new single “NASA.”

Camilo, Alejandro Sanz, NASA,Marking their first collaborative effort, the track fuses a mid-tempo ballad with flamenco flairs and classical instrumentation.

Its lyrics are vulnerable and honest, from a person’s point of view who admits they are wrong and is asking for forgiveness.

“I have admired you for years,” Camilo told the Spanish singer in an Instagram video. “I honestly feel in my heart that a cycle has closed. This for me and my family is a dream come true. I’m telling you this not as an artist, but as Camilo.”

Camilo even stamped his admiration by showing Sanz a video of when he was 13 years old and performed his songs “Corazon Partio” and “Cuando Nadie Me Ve” in Factor XS.

The new collaboration follows Camilo’s feel-good cumbia villera “Pegao.”

 

Kid Cudi Taking Part in Amazon Prime Day Show with ‘Out of This World’ Performance

Kid Cudi is getting primed…

The annual Amazon Prime Day Show will feature a streaming music performance by the 37-year-old half-Mexican American singer/songwriter and actor, whose real name is Scott Mescudi.

Kid CudiIn addition to Kid Cudi, who appeared this March as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, Billie Eilish and H.E.R. will also perform.

The events will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video for 30 days starting June 17, with Amazon Prime Days set for June 21 and 22. The streaming is available to all without a Prime subscription needed.

The special will offer performance and storytelling, inspired by Paris, the Dunbar Hotel, and outer space.

“Working with Billie Eilish, H.E.R., and Kid Cudi to bring their music to life through these imaginative experiences has been incredible,” said Ryan Redington, VP of music industry at Amazon Music. “Watching these globally renowned artists create three shows from the depths of their imagination has been unlike anything we’ve ever done before. We’re thrilled to bring fans along with us to celebrate these three remarkable artists and Prime Day.”

“These iconic artists have not only broken new ground in music but are inspired storytellers, culture creators, and visionaries,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “We’re thrilled to partner with Billie, H.E.R., and Cudi to bring these authentic and deeply personal specials to fans around the world as we celebrate Prime Day.”

Kid Cudi will depart earth to establish a new community on the moon in his performance. Featuring music from his album, Man on the Moon III, he collaborates with the International Space Orchestra, the world’s first orchestra composed of space scientists from NASA Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute, and the International Space University as his backing band.

The Prime Day Show with Kid Cudi is produced by Fremantle, Wolf + Rothstein, Mad Solar, and Amazon Studios, and is directed by Sam Wrench. Ashley Edens served as executive producer, along with Chad Wolf, Fam Rothstein and Sam Wrench as co-executive producers. Runtime is approximately 25 minutes.

Beginning today, Amazon Music subscribers and Prime members can access the official Prime Day Show playlist here or by asking, “Alexa, play the Prime Day Show playlist,” to stream Billie Eilish, H.E.R., and Kid Cudi. The Prime Day Show will also be available to stream on Twitch, IMDb TV, and on Amazon devices including Fire TV, Echo Show, and Fire tablets on Prime Video.

Coral Peña to Star on Season 2 of AppleTV+’s Space Drama Series “For All Mankind”

Coral Peña is spacing out…

The Dominican actress has been cast as a series regular for Season 2 of AppleTV+’s space drama For All Mankind.

Coral PeñaThe second season will premiere on Friday, February 19, with Cynthy Wu and Casey W. Johnson also joining the cast as series regulars.

They join returning cast members Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Wrenn Schmidt, Jodi Balfour, Krys Marshall and Sonya Walger.

Created by Ronald D. Moore, Ben Nedivi and Matt WolpertFor All Mankind will see its second season pick up in 1983, at the height of the Cold War. The cast heads into space with even greater ambitions as the Soviet Union and the United States battle it out for control over lunar resources on the moon. As tensions rise, the various characters see the militarization of NASA impact their own lives, with the threat of a nuclear war looming.

Peña, who has acted in The Post and Chemical Hearts, will play brilliant yet troubled engineer Aleida Rosales.

For All Mankind season two features 10 new episodes, with each new installment airing weekly, every Friday only on AppleTV+.

For All Mankind is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Among the Real-Life Heroes Celebrated in DC Comics’ “Wonder Women of History” Graphic Novel Anthology

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting illustrated

DC Comics has unveiled the new young adult graphic novel anthology Wonder Women of History, which celebrates real-life heroes, including the 30-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician who currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, or simply AOC, as she’s known, drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party‘s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district in June 2018, defeating Democratic Caucus chair Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries. She defeated Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November general election.

Taking office at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress

Female and non-binary writers and artists tell 17 stories of those “who take up Wonder Woman‘s iconic mantle” in their respective fields of science, sports, entertainment, politics, social justice and more, according to the DC Comics blog. 

New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson edited the collection after recently writing the original graphic novel Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Wonder Women of History also spotlights singer-actress Janelle Monáe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Iskwew Air CEO and Founder Teara Fraser, LGBTQ+ rights activist Edith Windsor, transgender activist and Stonewall uprising figure Marsha P. Johnson, Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate Emma Gonzalez, disability rights activist Judith HeumannNASA‘s first Hispanic female astronaut Ellen Ochoa, deputy director of Wuhan Institute of Virology and China’s “Bat Woman” Dr. Shi Zhengli, 23-time Grand Slam winning tennis player Serena Williams, stand-up comic Tig Notaro, actress Keiko Agena, and the first African American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal Dominique Dawes.

The graphic novel will officially hit bookstore shelves everywhere on December 1. The anthology will also include portraits of illustrators Weshoyot Alvitre, Colleen Doran, Agnes Garbowska, Bex Glendining, Ashley A. Woods, and Safiya Zerrougui.

Wonder Women of History is already available for pre-order here.