Entertainment

WOC Could NEVER Get Away With What Elizabeth Holmes Did Even Though Latino Businesses Contribute $700 Billion To The Economy

If you don’t know the story of Elizabeth Holmes by now HBO’s latest documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley” will get you somewhere on the scale of understanding. The film, which debuted Monday night, works to debunk all that we know to be true about Holmes. First, that she is con-artist who convinced rich older men to invest in a falsehood while armed with a black turtleneck. And second, that in doing so destroyed peoples’ lives.

The Alex Gibney directed documentary softly focuses its lens on the Stanford dropout and disgraced Silicon Valley who sold investors on an impossible idea.

While Gibney’s documentary is sympathetic to Holmes, we must remember the facts about Holmes and her company Theranos as we know them. The facts: she captivated the world and big-time business investors ( Rupert Murdoch and Betsy Devos among them) when she promised the world’s most revolutionary invention: an at-home toolkit that, with just a prick of a finger and a single drop of blood, could run up to 200 diagnostic health tests.

More facts: Holmes would never have been able to pull off such a ruse if she’d been a Latina.

The most appalling aspect of Holmes’ story is also what the documentary fails to address. The blind faith in her company would never have been lent to one of the 4.4 million Latino-owned small business in the U.S.

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Older, established white men (and Betsy Devos) placed all their faith and finances in Holmes’ idea only find years later that they had invested in a company built on sand. Up until Theranos’s rise, Holmes was a Stanford drop out, her great grandfather was an entrepreneur and her uncle was a doctor. In the film, Theranos chairman Don Lucas explains that he was certain that Holmes, at the time a 22-year-old college dropout, “came by it naturally” because of the accomplishments of the men in her family.

Because nowhere in 2019 Trump- run USA would a Latino get away wit this caca.

@AgeofIrony / Twitter

So for real. Lock her up.

@tiaremeliza / Instagram

Check out the trailer for this woman below.




Male-dominated, underrepresentation and privilege are just some words to describe the tech industry. Less than 20 percent of women make up the tech space, and that number drops even lower when it comes to women of color. But these stats haven’t discouraged Latinas from leaving their mark in the tech world.

Here, 7 Latinas killing it in the tech industry.

1. Gretel Perera

(Courtesy of Gretel Perera)

For Venezuelan-born Gretel Perera, the most exciting part of technology is storytelling.

The PR professional has been specializing in tech companies for the past decade, working for brands like HomeAway, Evernote and Dell. In 2014, she and friend Rocio Medina felt there wasn’t a community for Latinas in the industry and together founded Latinas in Tech, a nonprofit organization with the mission to connect, support and empower Latina women working in the field.

Their org, which Perera calls a “full-time passion,” started out as a couple Latinas in the tech space meeting up at bars to discuss the challenges they faced at work. Fast-forward to today, they host meetups inside tech companies like Google and Lyft.

“Our community has more than 2 thousand women working in tech, from more than 15 countries. In all the major companies, we have a presence. Women who are entrepreneurs, investors, marketing professionals, engineers, cybersecurity experts, etc,’” Perera told FIERCE.

There are challenges Latinas face when culturally adapting to an environment as dynamic as Silicon Valley. To start: It’s fast-paced and male-dominated, but Latinas in Tech offers meetups and various panels in the U.S. and Mexico that educate women on how to use their culture as a strategic tool for their careers.

“You have a different perspective you can bring to a company,” she said. “We want Latinas to learn how to package it and market themselves differently compared to someone who doesn’t have it.”

2. Janel Martinez

(Courtesy of Janel Martinez)

Janel Martinez was born in New York to Honduran parents. Growing up, she was obsessed with all things media. From watching the news after school to catching up on popular shows, she was very aware from an early age of what representation looked like in mainstream media and that she never saw a complete view of her identity in it.

She started her own career in media at a business publication. While interviewing entrepreneurs, she realized they all said something similar: “I created this because I saw there was no solution for it.” She carried these words with her until 2013, when she launched Ain’t I Latina, a digital destination that celebrates and highlights Afro-Latinas.

Her advice for young Latinas looking to get into the tech space? Go for it! With Latinas only making up a small percentage of the tech industry, Martinez understands why discouraged women of color might ask, “Why would I go for it if my chances are lower than my white counterparts?” But she doesn’t want them to be brought down by the numbers.

“There’s going to be times you’re the only Latina in the room, but don’t let that hold you back because you definitely are deserving and worthy to be in that space if you want it,” she told us.

3. Nathalie Molina Niño

(Courtesy of Nathalie Molina Niño)

Nathalie Molina Niño started her first startup when she was 20. Now, nearly two decades later, she is the CEO and founder of BRAVA Investments, which targets high-growth, scalable businesses that deliver a measurable economic benefit to women.

That’s not all. Molina Niño also founded the Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Barnard College of Columbia University, where she teaches; works on a TV show about women of color in STEM, whose pilot has been picked up by Freeform; and has a book, LEAPFROG: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs, that is set to hit bookshelves in August. The book was inspired by the myth, often perpetuated in other startup literature, that people who want to open businesses have wealthy friends and family that can write them checks.

Born to a Colombian mother and an Ecuadorian father, Molina Niño says what she admires most about the Latino community is the spirit we have to be the most entrepreneurial people in this country.

4. Natalia Carrasco

(Courtesy of Natalia Carrasco)

In San Francisco, Bolivian-born Natalia Carrasco is the director of strategy for The Town Kitchen, a community-driven food company that employs and empowers low-income youth by delivering chef-crafted, boxed lunches to corporate clients.

Carrasco has always been fascinated with using business and tech for good. “Technology can be super powerful, and when you apply that power into social good, you can make a very important impact,” Carrasco told us.

No day is ever the same for her at The Town Kitchen, but she is always looking to implement technology tools into her workplace in order to create a more efficient office. She’s currently working on a personal project that will gather local vendors with a social impact. Through it, she hopes to provide a directory for companies and individuals looking to purchase goods and services from a brand that has a positive impact in their community, whether it be vendors that hire formerly incarcerated youth or businesses run by people of color.

5. Elena Buenrostro

(Courtesy of Elena Buenrostro)

From New York to Australia, California-born Elena Buenrostro is building an international community for women who fly drones. This Mexican-American certified drone pilot never imagined she’d be doing this work. With a background in video production, last year, after deciding she would hike the Great Wall of China, she knew she wanted to make a video of it with a fresh perspective. To do so, she bought a drone.

Buenrostro became obsessed with flying her drone and soon realized that there wasn’t a community for women who were drone pilots, so she co-founded Women Who Drone, a digital space for female drone pilots, enthusiasts and aerial content creators.

Together, they strive to educate and inspire women to join the UAV industry by providing everything from workshops to brand ambassador positions in all parts of the world.  

With more than 17 thousand followers on Instagram, the Women Who Drone community continues to expand, bringing in women from all walks of life.

She now teaches people how to fly, and says the most rewarding part is when they tell her they bought a drone because of her.

“It’s a booming industry. It’s going to be worth 127 billion by 2020, and only 4 percent of women are involved in that. Drones are going to be a large part of the future,” she says.

6. Ariel Lopez

(Courtesy of Ariel Lopez)

Born in Florida and raised in North Carolina, Puerto Rican entrepreneur, career coach and public speaker Ariel Lopez is helping to train individuals on the skills they need to find careers in tech and media spaces.

She’s the founder and CEO of 2020Shift, a startup that helps tech and digital media companies diversify their recruitment process and provides leadership and skills-based training.

Lopez came up with 2020Shift in 2014, after seeing the disparity in tech among woman and people of color. Her background is in recruiting and talent acquisition, and by helping many startups hire talent, she was able to get an inside look at what companies want when hiring for tech positions.

“I started it really in the effort to prepare people for these roles and raise awareness on all the different things that you can do in tech regardless of your skillset or your background,” she says. “The misconception is: learn how to code, become an engineer and that’s your golden ticket in. When you can literally do hundreds, if not thousands, of other things within the space.”

What’s next for 2020Shift and Lopez? Knac, a platform that will be launching this summer that will actually let people showcase their skills to employers through small assessments and hiring challenges. Some of the employers participating include Snapchat, Vimeo, MasterCard and more.

7. Soledad Antelada Toledano

(Courtesy of Soledad Antelada Toledano)

Argentine-born Soledad Antelada Toledano works in cybersecurity operations at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in San Francisco. It’s not an industry that has many women, so in 2014, she started Girls Can Hack, an organization determined to close the gender gap in tech.

Through her org, she offers guidance and empowerment to women looking to enter the cybersecurity world.

“Only 10 percent of people in cybersecurity are women, and the numbers are not going up. It is an extremely hostile field for women,” she says. “Cybersecurity nowadays is the base of the change and advancement in tech. It is changing the world politically and economically, and women are missing out.”

Antelada is also the president of The Women Scientists and Engineers Council at her lab, and she is continuing to work hard to bring diversity and inclusion to the cybersecurity space.


Read: In A White, Male Tech World, These Latinas Are Kicking Ass And Creating Space For Other Women Of Color

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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