👨🏻🙋🏽👱🏾🙎🏿👧🏻The Latinx Collective - Issue #20
THIS WEEK'S FIVE:
Raised in the Bronx by Puerto Rican parents, Marysol Castro spent 2 decades as a broadcast journalist and host and now she shares what it's like being the first female public-address announcer for the New York Mets AND the first Latina announcer in Major League Baseball. It's the first time in New York baseball history that a woman (gasp!) is asking fans to stand for the National Anthem and reading off the day's lineup. And because she's able to correctly pronounce the Latino player's names, Castro is a bridge builder for other Latinos at a time when Hispanic-viewing baseball audiences are at an all-time high in the U.S.:
A study showed that the addition of international players to MLB teams, many from Caribbean and Latin American countries, have resulted in a jump of millions in profits. As of last year, MLB players hailed from 19 countries, including the Dominican Republic (93 players), Venezuela (77) and Cuba (23). Castro, who grew up speaking primarily English, went to the Mets Clubhouse on one of her first days on the job and asked each player how they wanted her to pronounce their names. This meant a lot to many of the players, including the 11 Latinos in the 40-member team.
It was fun to be one of the nearly two dozen people featured in this article, and also to get so many great red lipstick reco's. :)
Red lips can be a reminder of the Latinx stereotypes placed on us by a society that oversexualizes our community, or it can be a symbol of power and reclaiming the culture. That's why Teen Vogue spoke with a broad group in the Latinx community about their personal relationship to red lipstick and how it defines who they are or how it makes them feel.
Backstage Accelerator is a 3-month program by Backstage Capital that will provide founders with mentorship, investment capital ($100k), and access to resources like free co-working space. Applications are due on Oct 15th (1 week from now!) so check out full details here and apply if you're in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London or Detroit. I'm one of the mentors for Backstage's portfolio of companies and believe in their mission to back brown and black entrepreneurs - the firm has already invested $4 million into companies led by underrepresented founders across the country.
Here's a 20 minute audio interview featuring high school and college students from Brooklyn and Queens sharing how their American experience has defined their identity. At a time when Latinos ages 18-34 are part of one of the largest and fastest-growing youth populations in the country, this group shares really thoughtful stories and questions about identity and belonging, like whether they can identify as Afro-Latino if they don't have a connection to the history, whether they're allowed to call themselves Latino if they don't speak Spanish, can't cook native dishes or don't like dancing.
Here's a must-read on the many spaces being created by and for artists in the Latinx community. Visibility can only happen in the emotional spaces held for each other and ultimately, in the physical spaces committed to centering Latinx voices.
“It's time to dismantle the structures/definitions that have been forced-fed to us; all due to colonialism and the residual side effects,” adds artist and activist DJ Bembona. “We are privileged and blessed enough to use our art, platforms, voices, knowledge to redefine our identities as Latinx people and to push forward our Latinx communities in a way that has never been done before.”
Dominican-American travel blogger, G. Isabelle (aka @Dominicanabroad) just announced the "Dominican Heritage Tour" an incredible 9-day tour for Dominicans to re-connect with their heritage, learn a less colonized version of Hispaniola’s history, and discover different corners of the country. Of course it's not just for Dominicans, so if you're Latinx and open to a more culturally immersive and off-the-beaten-path travel experience, reach out to her on Instagram or I'm happy to give you her email if you want to hear more. If anyone knows of other projects like this, let me know! I'd love to expand my knowledge of other countries.
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