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

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

gentefied / Instagram

Any and all news is welcomed right now and Netflix came through this week. “Gentefied” is coming back for a second season and this is absolutely not a drill. Soon we will be back in Boyle Heights with Ana, Chris, Erik, and the rest of the cast we have come to love so much.

Netflix has confirmed “Gentefied” for a second season.

The show is a fan favorite for Netflix with praise and love pouring in for the groundbreaking show. “Gentefied” is set in Boyle Heights and it is all about the fight against gentrification. The show premiered this year to big fanfare and excitement from Latino Netflix users. The show, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, was picked up for an eight-episode run of the 30-minute show.

The show is one of the most relevant portrayals of the Latino experience in the 21st century.

The show highlights the plight of gentrification on communities across the U.S. Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has been the center of growing tension as the neighborhood slowly gentrifies. Rising rents have forced some residents and businesses to close and leave because of the changing demographic in the neighborhood.

Hearts are full as everyone celebrates the news of a whole new season.

The show originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a digital series. Lemus and Chávez debuted the show and it was an instant hit with festival-goers. After three years of waiting, the show was released by Netflix and became a national hit. The show has shone a light on the cost of gentrification for more Americans than knew about it before the show aired.

Low key, it has made for perfect binge-watching during this quarantine.

There isn’t a whole lot any of us can do at the moment. Most of us are at home because of self-isolation and social distancing guidelines designed to save lives during the pandemic. Might as well us some of your time to watch and support and very important moment in our community. This kind of representation is something that Latinos have been asking for.

While excited, some fans want more, like a cross-over with Starz’s “Vida.”

Now, just to be clear, we are not concerned with what it takes to make this happen. Netflix and Starz can come up with the actual plan. We are just going to be here waiting to be heard so we can all have the kind of cross-over the world deserves. Just imagine a chance for those two shows to collide in Latino excellence.

Now we wait for an air date.

We are patient. We will be here when you are ready. All you have to do is let us know when to tune in and you know we are coming through.

READ: I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts

Latino Bookstore In North Carolina Faces Very Uncertain Future Just 6 Months After Opening

Things That Matter

Latino Bookstore In North Carolina Faces Very Uncertain Future Just 6 Months After Opening

epiloguebooksch / Instagram

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a relatively new bookstore in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that is facing a very uncertain future. The Latino-owned bookstore opened its doors to the Chapel Hill community six months ago and now COVID-19 is putting their future at risk.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a Latino-owned bookstore in North Carolina that is fighting to survive COVID-19.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews came from a need that the owners saw in downtown Chapel Hill. A bookshop had recently closed in the area so Jamie and Miranda Sanchez knew that it was time for them to help fill that sudden loss.

“We felt like there was a big hole in downtown,” Jaime told The Daily Tar Heel. “A bookshop creates this whole sense of community for the town so we decided to go forward and try to open our own bookstore.”

The bookstore was serving a community that needed a place to gather and discuss ideas after a former bookstore closed its doors.

“The core of our idea began years ago as the union of Jaime’s heritage and Miranda’s passion for writing and the transportive nature of reading. Wanderers and wonderers, our idea continued to grow in the plazuelas of Mexico and the chocolaterías of Spain, in the plazas of every country where such spaces form quasi-families for both the briefest of moments and the longest stretches of time,” reads the bookstore’s website. “In these spaces, people share everything from decadent chocolate to fried street food, to myth-like tales, to the memories of our own childhood selves chasing pigeons and sucking the sticky droplets from paletas off our hands.”

While the bookstore was well received by the community, the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.

COVID-19 has swept through the U.S. and the number of cases continues to climb. While New York might be seeing fewer cases, the rest of the U.S. is in an uptick. The virus has forced businesses across the country to close or retool to be online only. That is what Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews did to make sure they can weather the storm.

The owners of the bookstore realized they needed to retool their business strategy when students stopped coming back from Spring Break.

“We started adjusting our plans in early March to accommodate for the new lack of traffic,” Jaime told NBC News. “Students weren’t coming back from spring break, so we had originally thought the locals would come out like they did during winter break to take advantage of the lack of downtown traffic, but that obviously didn’t happen because of coronavirus, so we started getting ready to adjust and pivot online for when we’d no longer be able to sustain brick and mortar operations.”

The Sanchezes are keeping their literary dream alive through the pandemic.

“Jaime’s always wanted to open a business and bring a piece of home to it,” Miranda, who is originally from Tijuana, told NBC News. “We felt that continuing that tradition of having a bookstore in the area would be a good mesh, not just of who we are as people but how we want to engage with our community. A community that works to sustain an independent bookshop has certain values.”

Independent bookstores are one of the hardest-hit businesses since readings and events in the spaces have been canceled.

Bookshop started to help struggling independent bookstores weather the storm. COVID-19 has left millions of people without jobs and businesses are having to close permanently because of the virus. Bookshop is giving independent bookstores a chance to survive the closures and social distancing.

Bookstores serve a vital role in communities. They give people a place to gather and share ideas. The easy access to literature can change the lives of children in underprivileged communities but allowing them to see themselves reflected in new lights. They also serve as a place to explore the world around you by flipping open a book cover.

If you have time on your hands and enjoy reading, check out Bookshop and build up that 2020 reading list.

READ: Celebrities Are Reading Children’s Books To Help Parents And Children Cope With COVID-19