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Tuesday, April 4

9:40am EDT

Virtual Reality and 360-Video: The Revolution is Here Town Hall
Are you ready to look into the future? If you are, then settle in for the journey. Scenes from futuristic movies are no longer fiction, they are slowly becoming a reality. Whether it's VR dominating the tech headlines, or PokemonGo becoming an overnight AR sensation, this technological shift is ushering in a new era where content is no longer flat, it's now 3D/360, virtual and holographic. We are no longer just viewers, we are becoming participants and Hispanic audiences are already starting to engage with this new reality.

As VR and AR continue to mature the need for valuable content that is culturally relevant will only skyrocket. 

This technological shift is set to impact all industries and verticals and will bring about great opportunities for brands, businesses, communicators and content creators. During this session, you will hear from some of the most influential Latinos in the VR/AR space on how this new reality is impacting science, education, journalism, travel, television, marketing, and entertainment. If you're ready to journey into the future join us for one of the most thought-provoking town hall sessions ever held at Hispanicize. 

avatar for Gemma Busoni

Gemma Busoni

Head of Community, Discovr Labs
Gemma Busoni is the Head of Community at Discovr Labs, a VR startup focuses on immersive educational experiences. Formerly, she worked at CalTech, StudentRND, and Hack Club. Recently, she was featured on the cover of Seventeen magazine with Michelle Obama.
avatar for Cathy Hackl

Cathy Hackl

Chief Communications Officer, Future Lighthouse
Cathy Hackl is an Emmy-nominated broadcaster turned social media marketer & nationally-recognized live video and VR/AR influencer and speaker. She's the organizer of Latin@s in VR and is a pioneer in the immersive marketing field. Hackl is a bilingual storyteller that is recognized... Read More →
avatar for Michael Ibrahim

Michael Ibrahim

Director of Innovation Products, Media Labs
Michael Ibrahim is the Director of Innovation Products at Media Labs. Media Labs is NBCUniversal’s internal incubator and accelerator of emerging technologies that drives innovation across NBCUniversal’s businesses, including Television, Film, Theme Parks and Digital. Michael manages... Read More →
avatar for Evelyn Miralles

Evelyn Miralles

Lead VR Innovator/Business Technology/Engineer, Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRLab) Astronaut Training Facility NASA JSC
For more than 20 years, Evelyn Miralles has worked at NASA Johnson Space Center for the Virtual Reality Laboratory to enhance Human Spaceflight. Her work as Virtual Reality Principal Engineer and Technology Strategist has been integral to train astronauts to perform one of the most... Read More →
avatar for Francisco Rivera

Francisco Rivera

Francisco Rivera is Vice President, Emerging Business for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. He is responsible for Mobile, Digital Video Distribution and Digital Business strategy with the goal of leveraging the fastest growing platforms and establishing strong pillars for future... Read More →


Tuesday April 4, 2017 9:40am - 11:05am EDT
JW Marriott Marquis, 19th Floor, (BALLROOM)
Wednesday, April 5

9:40am EDT

Fireside Chat with Civil Rights icon Jesse Jackson, Sr. (presented by the NAHJ)

Hispanicize 2017 and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) are joining forces to present a fireside chat about leadership and community movement strategies with civil rights icon and Rainbow PUSH President the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.

The Rev. Jackson will be interviewed by Claudia Gonzalez Romo, Chair of the Hispanicize CMO Summit and a global communications leader and political campaigner who has advocated for human rights for more than two decades. Both will be on the biggest stage of Hispanicize 2017, on Wednesday, April 5th.

Whether you agree with the Rev. Jackson’s politics or not, no one can deny that in many ways the Rev. Jackson's got the IT factor to mobilize and successfully address issues for the African American community like no Latino leader or organization knows how to do for our own Latino community.

Wednesday April 5, 2017 9:40am - 10:10am EDT
JW Marriott Marquis, 19th Floor, (BALLROOM)

10:10am EDT

The Moment of Truth: Where Latinos Are in 2017 and What We Must Do to Unite Now
All the hope most Latinos had to improve their standing in America was riding on the electoral coattails of Hillary Clinton.  But now that the Democratic Party is in shambles, powerless and reeling from the most stinging defeat in political history, what is our community to do?  Where are we in 2017 and where are we headed?  What have we learned and what can we do RIGHT NOW, more than ever before, to finally find our voice?  

In the midst of the worse crisis in U.S. Latino history, Hispanicize convenes some of the nation's leading voices across the political spectrum and no tough question will be left unasked.  Will Latinos rise above partisan politics to finally find their unity, and if so, how can they go about this?  Political correctness just went out the window.  Join us for one of this important town halls we're confident everyone will talk about this year.  

avatar for Adrian Carrasquillo

Adrian Carrasquillo

Political Reporter, BuzzFeed
Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Diane Guerrero

Actress, Orange is the New Black

Verónica Herrera

Founder, Cultural Philanthropy
Veronica Herrera is the founder of #CulturePhilanthropy, a social-innovation movement with the purpose of highlighting culture as an valuable asset in economic development. She is a lifelong educator and a columnist for small Spanish-language newspapers. She was the recipient... Read More →
avatar for Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro

Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro

Deputy Vice President, National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro is passionate about strengthening civil society. As Deputy Vice President at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S, she leads efforts to advance fair and effective immigration policies, and to expand Latino civic engagement by helping immigrants become citizens, citizens become voters, and the community overall... Read More →

Ana Navarro

Republican Strategist and Political Commentator
avatar for Ed O'Keefe

Ed O'Keefe

Congressional reporter, The Washington Post
Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post, having covered congressional and presidential elections since 2008. Previously, O’Keefe covered federal agencies, federal employees and government oversight issues. During the 2008 election season, he was The... Read More →
avatar for Manny Ruiz

Manny Ruiz

Chief Executive Officer, Hispanicize Media Group
As Chief Executive Officer of Hispanicize Media Group, Manny Ruiz is responsible for leading the development and execution of the Company’s long-term strategy by maximizing revenues, achieving profitability and creating shareholder value.Manny is the visionary and founder of the... Read More →

Wednesday April 5, 2017 10:10am - 11:20am EDT
JW Marriott Marquis, 19th Floor, (BALLROOM)
Thursday, April 6

9:40am EDT

Addressing America's Diversity from Crisis to Opportunity
Multiculturalism is under fire in the midst of the most racially and ideologically divided, politically partisan America we have seen in decades.  Fomented in part by political agendas on both extremes of the spectrum, "fake news" and more, misguided anger has cast an ominous cloud over diverse communities, the very demographic growth engine of our nation.
In this town hall, several leading thought leaders from diverse fields and backgrounds will have a candid discussion about why this is happening in America and what diverse communities, leaders and even brands can do to ensure that they too rise above the fray.  
Among the tough questions we'll examine:
  • What are the implications of the hostility against immigrants for brands?  What are brands to do?
  • Are Latinos being lost or ignored in Hollywood every time Tinseltown talks about embracing diversity?  What is being done about it?
  • What policies, patterns or cultural tendencies contributed to the extreme backlash against political correctness?  Did political correctness itself run amok, and if so, where?
  • Is America ready for a new definition of tolerance?  One that can be embraced by progressives and conservatives alike?

avatar for Audrey Ponzio

Audrey Ponzio

Founding Partner, APC Collective
Audrey Ponzio is the founding partner of APC Collective, where she develops communications, marketing, and social programs to help clients simultaneously grow their reach, influence and impact. Specializing in integrated marketing and community engagement, Audrey has counseled and... Read More →

avatar for Semhar Araia

Semhar Araia

Managing Director, Diaspora & Multicultural Partnerships, UNICEF USA
avatar for Natalie Boden

Natalie Boden

Managing Director and Founder, Boden
Natalie Boden is Founder & President of Boden. Named one of PRWeek’s Top 40 under 40 Heavy Hitters and one of PRWeek's 2017 PR Champions, Natalie has succeeded in building Boden into an award winning communications agency and winner of PR News’ Best Places to Work. Her thought... Read More →
avatar for Ramon Escobar

Ramon Escobar

Vice President of Talent Recruitment and Development & Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, CNN Worldwide
Ramon Escobar is vice president of talent recruitment and development and the vice president of diversity and inclusion for CNN Worldwide. He is responsible for the recruitment of all on and off-air talent for CNN U.S., CNN International, CNN en Espanol and HLN. He also advances the... Read More →
avatar for Mekahlo Medina

Mekahlo Medina

Anchor-Reporter / Immediate Past President, NBC Los Angeles / National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Mekahlo Medina is the Emmy Award-winning technology and social media reporter for NBC4 Southern California. Joining the station in 2006, Medina can be seen weekdays on the NBC4 News at 11 a.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. His most recent stories can be viewed here.  Follow hi... Read More →
avatar for Rick Najera

Rick Najera

Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor, Director, Speaker, Author, Coach
Rick Najera is an American sketch comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, actor, author, playwright, coach and national speaker with an expansive portfolio of credits in all forms of entertainment. From starring in films with George Clooney to directing Perez Hilton in Britney... Read More →
avatar for Gloria Rodriguez

Gloria Rodriguez

Founder, President and CEO, Comunicad, LLC
Gloria Rodríguez is the Founder / President & CEO of Comunicad, LLC, a full-service, cross-cultural public relations and marketing communications agency. Comunicad is a Latina-owned, Virginia-certified Small, Women, and Minority (SWaM)/Disadvantaged Business. Gloria founded Comunicad... Read More →

Thursday April 6, 2017 9:40am - 11:00am EDT
JW Marriott Marquis, 3rd Floor, (MET 2/3)