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Innovation Among Devastation on the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico

By Daiquiri Ryan, Policy Counsel, NHMC

If you were to visit San Juan, it is still devastating to witness the extent to which Hurricane Maria ravaged the island 18 months ago. Some areas did not have power and communications for months after the storm. Over a year and half later, Puerto Ricans in remote areas still live in darkness. Their days are governed by sunlight. Access to cell phones and internet are still limited, infrequent, and unreliable. Nevertheless, these Americans continue to rebuild.

“Espíritu puertorriqueño” means one that is strong, resilient and ever joyful. It’s a phrase that centers around familia, music that you feel in your soul, and the loudest laughter you have ever heard. For Puerto Ricans, it’s phrases like these that portray the resilience, passion and deep culture of the community. These phrases don’t have an English translation, but it is the only way to verbally express the true spirit of Puerto Ricans. If you were to close your eyes, you may not even know the damage it’s seen — you may not even know it’s still recovering. …

Hollywood Still Fails to Acknowledge the Untapped Potential of the Latino Community Ignored and Overlooked:

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As a child, aside from the actors in telenovelas, I did not see myself reflected on-screen. The scarcity of depictions of Latinos only made me notice their absence even more. I soon found myself searching every television show I watched, every movie and cartoon for any portrayal of Latinos.

Dora from Dora the Explorer, a show which I outgrew after the first grade, was one of the only Latino characters on screen. When I stumbled upon Selena the movie, I saw the story of the singer whose songs would reverberate off the walls of my home, the same songs I would sing and dance to with mi mama y mi papa at our family gatherings. …

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If you were to ask Roxanna Barboza five years ago about where she saw herself after college, she would not tell you that she would be working in telecommunications. However, after finding an internship opportunity at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and working as a Univision Policy Fellow at the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), her outlook has completely changed.

At NHMC, Univision Policy Fellows work on telecom policy research, analysis, writing as well as public speaking skills. Fellowships are a way to not only learn more about an area of interest, but to help students find their voice in telecom policy. That was the case for Roxanna Barboza, a second year Master of Public Administration candidate and undergraduate senior studying Public Policy at University of Southern California. …



Media advocacy/civil rights org. for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that’s fair & inclusive, & for universal/affordable/open communications

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