Thursday, December 24, 2009

Latinos in Social Media and Being Latino Present the First Annual Three Kings Day Toy Drive & Fundraiser

Latinos in Social Media, the largest organization of Social Media professionals of Latino origin, is partnering with the Being Latino network, one of Facebook's fastest growing organizations, to bring joy to disadvantaged Latino children in the US and Latin America this holiday season. LATISM’s 1st Annual Three Kings Day Toy Drive & Fundraiser will benefit The Children’s Aid Society’s and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Part of LATISM’s long-term vision is to give back. The fact that our first Toy Drive and Fundraiser is aimed to benefit both children in Latin America and at home is yet another innovative example of how LATISM is using new media to benefit our community at large,” said Louis Pagan, Co-founder of LATISM.

"Being Latino's goal has always been the betterment of our community. Through establishing relationships with organizations such as LATISM, we can reach a much wider audience and spread our word to new ears. As a big brother, I understand the importance of giving back to underserved communities and have seen the impact one can make in a life with very little effort," said Lance Rios, Founder of Being Latino.

The partnership between LATISM and Being Latino has two primary goals:
  • To collect at least 400 toys which can be distributed to children who may otherwise not have any presents this Christmas.
  • To raise at least $1000 in monetary funds to help programs working for the survival, basic education and health needs of disadvantaged children in Latin America.
To this end, the Toy Drive & Fundraiser will have two levels:

  1. TOY DRIVE: Thanks to generous donations from their sponsors, Time To Play, Ingenio and Discovery Toys, LATISM and Being Latino will be donating new unwrapped bilingual Educational toys to the Latino Outreach Center of the Children’s Aid Society, located in Washington Heights, New York City. The toys will be distributed to poor Latino children in the area.
  2. FUNDRAISER: LATISM and Being Latino will be collecting donations from their joint online networks. These monetary donations will benefit UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and be distributed through UNICEF to centers aiding disadvantaged children in Latin America.
“In these tough economic times, it’s more important than ever to make sure that disadvantaged children in the US and Latin America enjoy the holidays and have access to basic necessities. LATISM is proud and excited to partner with the Being Latino network to help world-renowned organizations such as the Children’s Aid Society and UNICEF in their continued efforts to provide these services,” said Elianne Ramos, CEO of Speak Hispanic, Inc.

WHAT: Live Twitter Party
WHEN: December 30th 2009, 8pm EST
WHERE: Twitter (use hashtag #latismtoydrive or enter latismtoydrive on – you must have a Twitter account).

Potential donors can help by:

  • Participating in LATISM’s live Twitter party to raise awareness about the Toy Drive.
  • Making a monetary donation ONLINE through our Chipin/PayPal account. Monetary donations will be accepted until January 3rd, 2010. Details on the page.
  • Making a toy donation by sending new, unwrapped toys to: The Children’s Aid Society -105 East 22nd St, New York, NY 10010. Please use codename: LATISMTOYDRIVE09. Toy donations will be accepted until January 3rd, 2010.
  • Following and Retweeting our Toy Drive message using #latismtoydrive on Twitter.
  • Writing about it on their blog. Please contact eramos[.] for press materials.
  • Posting up the LATISM/Being Latino Toy Drive/Fundraising widget on their blog. Details on the page.
  • Broadcasting our link through FaceBook & LinkedIn pages/groups.

Toy Drive and Donations totals, as well as ceremony pictures will be posted at our website on January 6, 2010. For further information, please call Elianne Ramos, LATISM DC Media Relations Manager, at 646-932-7752 or Louis Pagan, LATISM Co-Founder, at 347-688-5385.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nihil Timeo!

What's the worse that can happen in any given situation? Death. What's the worst thing that anyone do to you? Kill you. Let's be realistic. One day, sooner or later, we all must die. There is a date and an exact time appointed to every living creature on earth when we will die. Some live recklessly as if death will somehow pass over them and they will continue to live forever in their present state. They hang on to the illusion that they have plenty of time to do what they need to do. Sadly, when they come about to do the things that they know the should do, it's too late. No rewinds. No tag backs. No redo. Time is up.

This article is not intended to be a depressing call of doom and despair. My intention is to relay a message. Life is short. There's much work to be done and a set amount of time to do it in. That's reality. I recently wrote a 2009 year in review of the past twelve months of my life. It really cemented the fact that from January 1st, 2009 until the present time, I have accomplished x amount of work, learning and improving. I also learned how much I did not do over the past 12 months. 2009 is almost over and when it is, 2009 is gone forever.

Once we conquer the fear of death, we banish all other fear: the fear of being rejected, the fear of being talked about, the fear of being alone, the fear of being betrayed - all fears vanish. That's when you truly become free.

Since I am going to die anyway, I'm going to die on my terms. When I realized that I would be the only person going into my grave, whether I was loved or unloved, married or single, rich or poor, why would I live (and die) by someone's terms? When I realized that I will have dogs nipping at my ankles (critics) whether I do good or bad, I stood up and took my life back. Enough is enough. That day I rose up in power and I rebelled. I took my freedom back and I became fearfully fearless.

In 1990, I graduated from a Correctional Sciences Academy in my class. As soon as I hit the compound, I discovered sergeants that had been in the system for twenty years or more. They were just biding time, waiting to collect their pensions. They walked around the yard with no life left in their souls. I couldn't do that. I wanted more. I wanted to lead. I wanted MY Captain's bars. I threw myself into obtaining that goal. I took every class the DOC had to offer, worked every position on every shift and observed shift leaders like a ravenous hawk. I absorbed every piece of information I could get my hands on, including Chapter 33, the Florida Code that governs the Department of Corrections. On my spare time, I joined the JayCees, became a Emergency Medical Technician, taught AMA-CPR to ranking officers, became involved with the local domestic violence women's shelter, created a city counsel sponsored program for victims of rape and domestic violence, the first in Cape Coral, Florida, was a victim's advocate and became a volunteer EMT Firefighter. In 1993, I was handed the answers to the Sergeant's Exam. I turned it down. I wanted MY Captain's bars. Nothing else would do. I was told I would never have those bars because I was the wrong color. They said that to the wrong person. To make a long story short (I know, too late. Ha!) I legally had the a warden, a colonel, a captain, a lieutenant and two sergeants either suspended or fired. I LOATHE racism. Did they ever give me those bars. No. I was the wrong color.

Before I retired, I returned to university, killing the entrance exam (100%) of the number two liberal arts school in Florida – the first time ever for that university. I always want to hit the heights. Took a totally new and opposite direction. In 1997, became Computer Graphic Artist. I graduated with a 3.67 GPA – honors, baby. I retired from corrections for good. I stood at the gates the last day said my last goodbye on my terms. Let's say that the inmates and old cons applauded. To the Charlotte boys, this color is still kicking ass.

(NOTE to the KKK, you should have pulled the trigger. I will always be the bane of your collective existence.)

In 1998, I graduated from a Microsoft school as a Network Engineer. Since then what have I done? I've worked for mostly Fortune 500 companies, started and ran three of my own companies, been involved in hundreds of projects and created at least one thousand pieces of art work, websites, articles, blah, blah, blah. I've been on TV, on radio, and my work is known in places like India, England, Russia, South Korea, and Germany.

In 2004, I created “The Latino Edge". I didn't know where I was going with it, but I blazed a trail into the unknown – discovering my pioneering spirit. I also discovered that I am a darn good writer. Between just those two accomplishments, my work has reached thousands globally.

I've grown mentally and emotionally to become the person that only lived in my dreams. Now I call the shots. I flow and hustle. I am free to be flexible to the chaos around me. I am not part of it but I use it to my benefit. The old guard - the old way of doing things - has been a dying entity for a few years now. The new guard, the creative oddities that once flourished in America at the turn of the 20th century, is taking over with a silent and lethal vengeance. I am part of that new guard. You can join us if you choose.

No more do you have to accept the rigid and stoic ways of thinking. Make living and creating out of the box the comfort zone. Left field is your yard and you're the Alpha dog. Meet chaos with excited energy and view it as new opportunities to flourish. Don't stick yourself in a rut of being a specialist of just one thing. Have four and five projects going on at the same time. Be more than what traditional convention dictates.

Is this about bragging? Not at all. Some of my critics will say it is. Who cares? Not me. I only mention them in passing to let my beloved readers know that no matter what you do in life, you will have critics. Lincoln, Churchill, King, the Kennedy brothers, Mother Teresa and Gandhi had their critics. Even Jesus Christ, till this day, has His critics.

In fact, I want to take this time to wholeheartedly thank my critics. Thank you! Every time you knuckleheads come after me, it makes me work even harder. You've made me into a alchemist – turning pooty into sugar. I love you guys. Keep up the good work. The harder you push me, the harder I dish it out. Thanks to everyone of you! Special thanks to the Klu Klux Klan.

To my beautiful, powerful and talented readers, hustle and flow. If one thing does work, do another and keep flexible. There's nothing wrong with wanting to do it all. Obviously, we can't. But it's going to be fun trying, huh?

Now get up off your saddles and let's get to work!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Join LatISM DC for a Groundbreaking Conference on Latinos in Social Media

Washington, DC – Latinos in Social Media, the largest organization of Social Media professionals of Latino origin, announced today that the Latinos in Social Media (LatISM) DC Conference will be held on December 11 and 12, 2009 at the National Council of La Raza’s (NCLR) Raul Yzaguirre Building at 1126 16th Street, NW.

“We are very excited to be able to bring LatISM to Washington, DC where so many organizations and government agencies are working everyday to reach the Latino community,” said Ana Castro Roca, CEO of Premier Social Media and LatISM Founder.

The two-day community-building event will bring together organizations interested and focused on reaching Latinos/Hispanics and the seasoned social media veterans that can help them strategize and implement successful online campaigns. Influential Latino thought leaders in the area who will share their tips, tricks and strategies on how to leverage social media for your organization, business, nonprofit or government agency’s benefit and will discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t among the Latino/Hispanic community. Conference tracks include: Brand Building, Social Good, the Mobile Opportunity, Gov. 2.0 and Social Media 101.

Attendees include Latino business owners, professionals, government officials and industry experts from California, New York, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the Washington DC Metro Area. Among the Conference sponsors are: Comcast, Innovation Generation, Broadband for America, Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership, National Council of La Raza, O'Reilly, NextGenWeb and EchoDitto.

“With 23 million Latino internet users in 2009, Latinos are adopting social media as their primary source of communication, news and entertainment faster than any other group. Their buying power is projected to reach $1.3 Trillion by 2013,” said Kety Esquivel, New Media Manager for National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Director of LatISM DC.

The event was organized by a team of accomplished Latino professionals in the Washiginton DC area: Kety Esquivel, Elianne Ramos, Julie Diaz Asper, Jennifer Lubrani, Alma Suarez and Sylvia Aguilera. “This is a great opportunity to tap into the amazing power of social media and engage our community. We become stronger by promoting our fellow Latinos,” says Elianne Ramos, Baltimore Hispanic Business Columnist for and Media Relations Manager for Latism DC.

Additional information about LatISM DC can be found here.

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Latinos in Social Media (LatISM) is the largest organization of Social Media professionals of Latin origin. LatISM members are bloggers, twitters, group leaders in social networks, social media consultants, government officials, non-profit program officers, developers and more. Together we reach: 1,970,000 Twitter accounts, 800,000 Blog Readers, 2,680,000 Social Network Friends. Visit LatISM - DC for more information.