Made in L.A.: A Tale of Courageous Latina Workers


By Patricia Foxen, Deputy Director of Research for the National Council of La Raza



A few years ago I had the privilege of meeting Almudena Carracedo, the director and co-producer of the documentary Made in L.A., at a conference on low-wage women workers. Her film is a poignant portrayal of a brave and spirited group of Latina immigrant garment workers in California who organized to resist exploitative labor practices by their employer, popular clothing retailer Forever 21. Made in L.A. has won numerous awards in different industries—including an Emmy Award and a Hillman Prize for broadcast journalism—and has received nominations and special mention for many others, including NCLR’s very own ALMA Awards.


Upon viewing the film I was so moved that I immediately organized a viewing at our NCLR offices in Washington, DC. With the co-sponsorship of Amnesty International and Sojourners, the screening and ensuing panel highlighted the moral imperative to reform our current immigration system and eradicate unfair labor practices such as wage theft, discrimination, dangerous working conditions, and many more that are endemic to low-skilled jobs filled by Latinos.


These intersecting issues are not only vividly exposed in the film but at the center of NCLR’s work, including our advocacy for fair and comprehensive immigration reform and improved working conditions for low-wage workers. With congressional discussions on a viable immigration bill still in the works, we must continue to push for broad-scale change that will allow not just immigrant workers but all low-wage workers—those who pick our produce, prepare our food, and make our clothes—the right to fair and dignified treatment in the workplace and beyond.


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and with funding from the Sundance Institute, Made in L.A. is now available in a digital format and can be viewed by audiences throughout the country. Anyone who wants—or needs—to see the human faces and hear the human stories behind our current policies should watch this film; they will learn a great deal about the tragic real-life consequences of our broken system, but they will also leave feeling deeply moved by this touching story of perseverance and hope.


You can watch Made in L.A. on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, and Vimeo On Demand.



United Through Service: Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc.


The 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards will be honoring individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to service, social causes, and philanthropy. Our honorees truly encapsulate what it means to use their star power for good and to give back to their communities. As part of the ALMA awareness campaign, we partner with organizations throughout the country to spread the word about the show and the mission.


Last year’s college community partnership contest winner continues to support our efforts to get the ALMA word out. KDChi helped deliver 4,705 viewers to watch the show last year and to engage in discussion around Latinos in American entertainment. The organization was established by four women on April 6, 1987 at Texas Tech University as a Latina-based organization focused on providing community service to the campus, local and national communities. With over 4,000 sisters made up of 50 undergraduate chapters and 19 graduate chapters across the country, KDChi’s goal is to help young women of all backgrounds achieve the dream of a higher education, to provide an opportunity to develop leadership skills, a world-wide network of professionals and to then continue to evolve into the leaders in the professional world while continuing to give back to the communities they live in. The sisterhood takes pride in providing an average of over 40,000 hours of service to their surrounding communities.


For example, the KDChi Pi Chapter at the University of Texas at Austin hosts Longhorn Leaders Day (LLD).  LLD is an annual conference geared towards young women and provides an opportunity for junior high and high school students to learn more about high school and pursuing higher education.


Perhaps the most well-known KDChi sister is civil rights leader, Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (United Farm Workers) with César Chávez. KDChi’s official motto “Leading with Integrity, United Through Service”, reflects the mission of ALMA and the important work that our honorees accomplish to improve our communities.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       

September 18, 2013                                                              





Robert Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson and Carlos Santana to receive special tributes

Tony Plana and Wilmer Valderrama among honorees

Jessica Alba, Alexa Vega, Gina Rodriguez, Rico Rodriguez, the cast of Devious Maids

and more to present

One-hour prime-time special to air LIVE on MSNBC

Friday, Sept. 27 at 10:00 ET/7:00 PT


LOS ANGELES—Leading Latina actress and activist Eva Longoria (ABC’s Desperate Housewives) will return once again as co-host of the “2013 NCLR ALMA Awards,” joined this year by actor and television personality Mario Lopez (NBC’s Extra, FOX’s The X Factor).  The barrier-breaking awards show will broadcast LIVE on MSNBC as a one-hour televised prime-time special on Friday, September 27, 2013, at 10:00 ET/7:00 PT.  The awards show will also include complementary programming on MSNBC and mun2 and on digital platforms including and


The “2013 NCLR ALMA Awards” honorees include:

  • Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence:  ROBERT RODRIGUEZ

Credited with reshaping the cultural landscape by integrating Latino faces, stories and themes into the mainstream with groundbreaking works such as El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn and the Spy Kids franchise, Robert Rodriguez will be presented the Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence by Jessica Alba (Sin City), who will be joined onstage by Machete’s Tito Larriva and Spy KidsDaryl Sabara and Alexa Vega as part of the special tribute.  Actors Cheech Marin, George Lopez and Danny Trejo will also take part in the presentation.


  • Outstanding Commitment to Cause and Community Award:  CARLOS SANTANA

Music legend Carlos Santana will be recognized for his tireless advocacy for increased access to the arts, education and health care for underprivileged youth, as well as the fight against child poverty and suffering.  A ten-time Grammy Award® winner and three-time Latin Grammy Award® winner, Santana is an emblem of success and altruism in the Latino community and worldwide.


  • Outstanding Commitment to Cause and Community Award:  ROSARIO DAWSON

The box-office darling Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Men in Black) will be recognized for distinction in service, where she matches her talents on the big screen with an equal passion for activism in the Latino community.  Dawson supports the Lower East Side Girls Club, Voto Latino and other causes and charities that make a difference in the lives of women, protect the environment and have global impact.


  • Presenters also include:  Jessica Alba (Sin City, Machete), Gina Rodriguez (Filly Brown), Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family), the cast of NBC’s new comedy Welcome to the Family (Ricardo Chavira, Justina Machado, Fabrizio Zacharee Guido and Joseph Haro) and the Latina-led cast of Lifetime’s Devious Maids (Roselyn Sanchez, Dania Ramirez, Judy Reyes, Ana Ortiz and Edy Ganem).


In addition, the “2013 NCLR ALMA Awards” will feature three new segments, including a comedic segment with special guest Al Madrigal (The Daily Show), a social media segment with mun2’s Yarel Ramos and Crash and a special performance segment featuring the young singer Sebastien De La Cruz, “El Charro de Oro” (America’s Got Talent). 


A special one-hour pre-show telecast will honor actor, writer and director Tony Plana with the Ricardo Montalban Award for Lifetime Achievement, actor Wilmer Valderrama with the Outstanding Social Activism Award and writer and producer Nancy De Los Santos Reza with the Outstanding Industry and Community Service Award.


The 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards telecast—a National Hispanic Heritage Month event—celebrates America’s favorite Latinos in the entertainment industry, television, film and music.  The special will be produced by Flavio Morales, Sergio Alfaro and John Ehrhard, executive producers of Latino-led Big Vida Entertainment.  Also serving as executive producers are Longoria and Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.


Fans will be able to view four on-air hours of related programming, in addition to online content that includes celebrity interviews and behind-the-scenes footage:


  • Friday, September 27 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT on MSNBC
    “2013 NCLR ALMA Awards” LIVE broadcast of a one-hour awards special.

  • Friday, September 27 at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT on MSNBC
    Live broadcast of a one-hour news special on issues affecting the Latino community hosted by MSNBC’s Alex Wagner with featured guests Janet Murguía and MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar.

  • Saturday, September 28 at 4:00 p.m. ET on mun2
    The “mun2 News Special Hecho en America” featuring Latinos who are changing politics, culture and business in the U.S., including actress Jessica Alba, Janet Murguía, Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.), Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez, comedian George Lopez, boxer Marlene Esparza and recording artist Christina Aguilera.

  • Saturday, October 5 at 4:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. CT on mun2
    “2013 NCLR ALMA Awards All Access Red Carpet Special” featuring performers, presenters, hosts and honorees on the red carpet followed by mun2 rebroadcasts of the “2013 NCLR ALMA Awards.”

Advertisers returning for this year’s show include Target, Pepsi, Comcast, Wells Fargo, State Farm, Prudential and McDonald’s.  Encore presentations of the “2013 NCLR ALMA Awards” will air throughout Hispanic Heritage Month on mun2, and exclusive content will be available for Comcast Video on Demand and on


For additional information, including announcements about the host, presenters and performers at this year’s ceremony, visit or follow the show using our handle on Twitter: @almaawards and on Instagram:, or hashtag #ALMA13.



About NCLR

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  The NCLR ALMA Awards presentation is an integral part of that mission:  a national prime-time television network entertainment special with a cause—to show how diversity strengthens our country and how inclusion strengthens the American entertainment industry.  For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and on Twitter.


About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.  Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses.  NBCUniversal operates 30 news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Visit for more information.


MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives. Reaching more than 95 million households worldwide, MSNBC offers a full schedule of live news coverage, political opinions and award-winning documentary programming – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Viewers can find more information on MSNBC’s programming at


 Contact: Julian Teixeira / (202) 776-1812 /



Interact with YOUR Favorite Stars at the NCLR ALMA Awards!

Guest Post by Jessica Molina


For the first time in the history of NCLR’s ALMA Awards, the show will air LIVE on MSNBC! As the winner of the 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards Red Carpet Fashion Correspondent Contest, I’ll have the honor of interviewing today’s hottest Latinos as they arrive on the red carpet. I’m still pinching myself because I almost can’t believe this is real.


Although this is my first stint at the ALMA Awards, I’ve had tons of great experiences as a correspondent before. I’ve been both a host and red carpet correspondent at numerous film and television festivals, major sporting events, and fashion and beauty showcases.  I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing athletes, musicians, filmmakers, actors and even some ALMA stars, like America Ferrera, Andy Garcia, John Leguizamo, and Wilmer Valderrama. I’m thrilled to be sharing the red carpet this year with all those making significant contributions for Latin@s in Hollywood and beyond. 


When I think of the accomplishments Latin@s have had in the past year, I can’t help but stand a little taller (and being 5’4”, I need all the help I can get!).  I feel so blessed to be a part of NCLR’s ALMA Awards, and on the night they make history with a live broadcast no less. Of course, I’ll be standing extra tall in my tacones on ALMA night to get the very best view of all the glamour on the red carpet. 


Whether you decide to strap on your stilettos or just slap on your sneakers come September 27, I want you to be there with me! I’d love to share this exciting experience with all you readers out there, so I’m giving everyone a special chance to be involved. Stay connected with me on Twitter and Instagram to tell me which looks you love on the red carpet.  Be sure to send me the questions you want to ask your favorite stars – a few lucky winners will have their questions chosen and I’ll include them during my interviews. Watch the 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards on MSNBC on September 27 then on Saturday, October 5 at 4:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. CT watch the 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards All Access Red Carpet Special on Mun2.


All in all, I can’t wait for all of the fashion fun the ALMA Awards has to offer. I’m going to try not to fall in love with every gown I see, but I make no promises! And even though the show is a great excuse to see all your favorite stars in one place, it’s more than that: it’s a celebration by, and for, Latinos, and is certainly one you don’t want to miss!  So grab your family and friends, gather around the TV, and tune into MSNBC on September 27th at 10ET/7PT.  I’ll see you on the red carpet!



Contact Jessica on Twitter and Instagram with these handles and hashtags and YOU could have the chance to interact with your favorite celebrity on the red carpet!











As part of a special segment of this year’s show entitled “I am American,” NCLR will be collecting photos of Affiliates, friends, ALMA followers and other Latinos from throughout the nation who are an important part of the fabric of American culture. During this segment, on the screen will be pictures of diverse Latinos: celebrities, athletes and regular people holding up cards that state “I AM AMERICAN or I was born in____________.” A limited amount of photos will be selected for the show. Submit your photo for a chance to be selected. Please see submission details below.


This year’s NCLR ALMA Awards telecast will feature a segment entitled “I AM AMERICAN.” The segment will include images of Latinos from across the country holding signs expressing that they are American and stating where in the United States they were born. Your image could be selected for this project. If you would like to submit a photo of yourself, please follow the specific guidelines below:


  • All photos must be horizontal orientation.
  • Photos should be from the waist up with a bit of headroom; leave some space around yourself in case we have to zoom in to the photo.
  • Please keep in mind the lighting. Take your photo in a well-lit area.
  • Please take TWO photos holding a white piece of paper in front of your chest (horizontally).




    • Photo 1: The paper should be blank.
    • Photo 2: Write on the paper: “Born in ____.” This should indicate the place where you were born (e.g., “Born in Chicago, Illinois.”).

OR the phrase: “I AM AMERICAN.”

  • If you are normally in uniform for your job, please wear this uniform or incorporate your role in your picture as well.
  • Pictures should be taken with cameras or smart phones of 5 megapixels resolution or more (phones like iPhone 4, 4S, 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, Motorola Droid X2, and Nokia 808 Pureview, should work).
  • Be sure to email the picture with the highest possible quality and size (the actual size the pictures were taken).
  • Email both pictures to


By submitting this photo, you give NCLR the right to use your name, likeness and/or photograph (collectively the “Photos”), as depicted in the photo(s).


By submitting your photos, you give permission for them to be used in whole or in part, in the production of advertising materials for the NCLR ALMA Awards, on the Internet (including on the NCLR ALMA Awards official page and on social networks, mobile sites and applications related to the NCLR ALMA Awards), print and other non-broadcast media in all forms of television, including without limitation during the broadcast (and any re-broadcast) of the NCLR ALMA Awards, or any and all media now or hereafter known without limitation in perpetuity and without any further compensation, consideration, or notification. NCLR and its representatives shall have the unqualified right to alter, modify, edit, adapt, crop, couple, digitize or otherwise use the Photos as they see fit, without the need for further consent or approval. All rights to inspect and approve the finished product, its use or such written or spoken copy as may be used in connection therewith are waived.


By submitting your photos, you acknowledge that you are over 18 years of age, have full right and power to grant the rights set forth above without permission of any kind from any other person or entity or are the parent or legal guardian of any minors appearing in the Photos.



Photo 1:


Photo 2:


The #4KMore Challenge


Help us reach our new goal! Take the #4KMore Challenge to help us pick up 4,000 new followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram before the 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards goes LIVE this September!


NCLR introduces the #4KMore Challenge, the best way to keep ALMA in mind every day. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to answer ALMA trivia! Test your knowledge about this year’s awards to learn key information about #ALMA13 and brush up on previous ALMA highlights to answer the Flashback questions.


Submit your quizzes, post your answers, and win the VIP Sweepstakes prize – a trip for 2 to the 2013 NCLR ALMA Awards. We’ll announce the winner on the ALMA Facebook and Twitter pages!


We additionally encourage college and Greek groups to participate! The winner of the Latino Greek challenge will win bragging rights, placement on the cover photo of the ALMA Facebook page for 2 weeks following the show, a button on the front page of the ALMA website for 2 weeks following the show, 4 general tickets to the show for their membership and 4 free full registrations to the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference in Los Angeles.


A total of 9 questions will be asked over the course of 5 weeks, so there are plenty of chances to enter. The contest officially begins this Saturday, August 24, 2013. Will you be ready?


For more information on how to register your organization, contact Grace Kaiser at




Facebook: NCLRALMAAwards

Twitter: @ALMAawards

Instagram: @almaawards






Show off Your Style – Enter to be the 2013 Red Carpet Fashion Correspondent!

2012 ALMA Awards Fashion Correspondent Brittany Valadez and ALMA winner Diego Boneta on the red carpet.


From the red carpet to the stage, stars at the ALMA Awards dazzle in breathtaking gowns and sharp tuxes. We were inspired by ALMA fashion to create this space to highlight the great style exemplified by many Latino entertainers. Keep up with this section of the ALMA website to read about what’s hot, what’s trending and what designers and stars might just contribute to the 2013 ALMA Awards’ best dressed list.


Don’t just keep up with the latest trends, help set them! Enter this year’s ALMA Red Carpet Fashion Correspondent contest and you could be reporting live from the red carpet!


Back by popular demand, NCLR is giving one lucky winner the chance to attend the 2013 ALMA Awards as the ALMA Red Carpet Fashion Correspondent. YOU could be the one to tell viewers who’s hot on the Red Carpet! In return for your fashion expertise you will receive:


  • One general show ticket
  • One night hotel stay
  • One domestic round trip flight to Los Angeles
  • One Press Pass to gain access to the Red Carpet

If you think you have what it takes, submit the following by 11:59 PM EDT on August 25th:


  1. Record and post a video no longer than 2 minutes on YouTube of yourself auditioning to be the ALMA Red Carpet Correspondent
  2. Email with: 
  • An appropriate photo of yourself
  • Your Name
  • Age
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Mailing Address
  • Link to your YouTube video
  • A short composition (500 word maximum) explaining why you’re the next ALMA Red Carpet Fashion Correspondent


From the ALMAs to Articulista: My journey to becoming a red carpet correspondent


By: Brittany Valadez


I’ll never forget the call that changed my life.  Strolling down the women’s shoe aisle in Target (typical, for an aspiring fashionista), my phone began to ring. I didn’t recognize the number, but picked up anyways. “Hello?” I said casually, examining a bright purple pump. “Hi!” a voice chirped brightly on the other end of the line. “This is the National Council of La Raza – we’re calling to let you know you’ve been selected as a finalist in our search for a fashion correspondent at the 2012 ALMA Awards. Congratulations!”  


I could barely breathe! Would I be able to answer a few follow-up questions, the voice asked? Yes. Was now a good time? Of course! Although I was the one answering questions over the next few minutes, I couldn’t help have a few of my own pop into my head: Am I speaking too fast? Am I rambling? Am I sabotaging my chance at becoming ALMA’s inaugural fashion correspondent? I was completely nervous! I knew I wanted this opportunity more than anything in the world.


A couple days later, my phone rang again. A number not listed in my contacts flashed across the screen. I answered and suddenly, it was as if all of my dreams had come true. I could barely contain my excitement as I heard the life-changing words echo across the phone: “Congratulations! You’ve officially been selected as the fashion correspondent for the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards.”


The next few weeks were a whirlwind. I went dress shopping with my mom, carefully choosing a beautiful, floor-length, lavender gown as my ensemble for the event. Of course, to give it that little something extra, my mom hand-stitched rhinestones to the bodice. What can I say? Fashion is in the family! Before I knew it, I was boarding a 6 AM flight to Los Angeles.


The day of the Awards, I felt an unimaginable joy. As I scrambled around my exquisite room at Pasadena’s Langham Hotel getting final touches to my hair and makeup, all I could think about was what I was about to experience at my first-ever awards show.  ALMA was not only the first awards show I would attend; it was the only event other than prom where dress was black tie. I felt like a princess.


When I arrived on the red carpet, my dreamlike fairytale became reality. I felt right at home interviewing celebrities from Eva Longoria and Tyler Posey, to Diego Boneta and a host of recent Olympians. There were stars everywhere, and I was so inspired to see each of them supporting Hispanic heritage. I knew then that I wanted to pursue this work professionally.


One year later, my whole life is different. A correspondent for both Latina Magazine and Hollyscoop, I get to live out my dreams every day. My experience at the ALMA Awards was just the platform I needed to launch my career. Thanks to NCLR, I was given a chance to shine. Thanks to God’s grace and mercy, I found my calling. And while I know a lot can change in a short amount of time, I hope to continue down this road to success for many years to come…and if that road is a red-carpeted one, all the better!


Thank you NCLR, from the bottom of my heart.




Since attending the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards, Brittany Valadez has covered Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, the Do Something Awards, and “The Voice” red carpets. She attended FOX’s Teen Choice Awards this past Sunday, and will cover “The X Factor” in the Fall. Brittany currently works as a correspondent for both Latina Magazine and Hollyscoop.






Shakira Brings Her Unique Blend of Sweet and Sassy to ‘The Voice’


By: Adriane Lopez


NBC’s singing competition ‘The Voice’ has won over millions of viewers, finishing the May 20-26 week ranking #9 among primetime programs across the network television demographics. Most recently, it hit a year-long high of a whopping 14.4 million viewers.


With the addition of Shakira to the judging panel this season, she brings her unique blend of sweet and sassy to the table. Throughout the competition, she has proven herself to be charismatic, expressive and perceptive. She actively engages with all of the individuals on her team, patiently coaching them.


Shakira’s team consisted of 12 singers from across the country and has been cut down to now one flourishing artist. In regards to eliminating people from her team, Shakira told Today that “…the guilt is overwhelming. Last night, for example, I couldn't sleep very well. I had one of my artists in my mind the whole night because I had to let him go.” This reflects the affection with which Shakira treats her team.


Shakira’s approach to coaching consists primarily of openly and honestly critiquing the competitors, all to allow them to hone their skills. Shakira’s energy and enthusiasm shines through when she talks to her team members, and it makes her an invaluable asset to the judging panel. She has been a true role model for aspiring young Latina singers, and her coaching has undoubtedly helped them to fulfill their dreams.


What are your thoughts on Shakira’s contributions to “The Voice” this season? Let us know HERE and you could win an ALMA Prize Package!





New Documentary Explores the Secret Life of Loreta Velazquez —

Cuban immigrant, Confederate Soldier turned Union Spy



Shrouded in mystery and long the subject of debate, the amazing story of Loreta Velazquez is one of the Civil War’s most gripping forgotten narratives. While the U.S. military may have recently lifted the ban on women in combat, Loreta Janeta  Velazquez, a Cuban immigrant from New Orleans, was fighting in battle 150 years ago ― one of the estimated 1000 women who secretly served as soldiers during the American Civil War. Who was she? Why did she fight? And what made her so dangerous that she has been virtually erased from history? Directed by María Agui Carter, REBEL premieres as a special presentation of the Latino Public Broadcasting series VOCES ON PBS, airing nationally on PBS on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. ET (check local listings).


Deftly weaving lushly dramatized scenes of Loreta’s riveting tale with historical commentary and archival material, REBEL explores the story of a complex woman, a myth and the politics of national memory. The story of a wealthy Cuban planter’s daughter sent to New Orleans in 1849, REBEL chronicles Loreta’s rebellious relationship with her traditional family and her early marriage to an American soldier known only as William. After the devastating sudden death of William and her three young children, Loreta turned her grief into transformation. She embarked on a new secret life, disguising herself as a man and, under the name of Harry T. Buford, served first as a soldier in the Confederate Army and later as a Union spy. 


Bonus videos and learning tools for teachers are available on and you can visit and like to hear about theatrical screenings in your area.


* * *

REBEL is a co-production of Iguana Films, L.L.C. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with WPBT2/Miami and Latino Public Broadcasting with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).


Contact CaraMar Publicity:

Mary Lugo                  770-623-8190   


For downloadable images, visit