October 24th, 2019

Alex Nogales, CEO of National Hispanic Media Coalition

Alex Nogales is president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) which he co-founded in 1986 in response to the gross under and misrepresentation of American Latinos in media. The NHMC, a civil rights, media advocacy organization, works to ensure Latinos are fairly and consistently represented in media, challenging media executives to embrace diversity and inclusion by making industry-wide hiring practices all encompassing.

In 2018, Alex led a national boycott against Paramount Pictures for having the worst record of employing Latinos as writers, producers, actors and directors. Consequently in 2019, Paramount announced an initiative that would promote diversity across storylines, vendors, and crews in film, television, and animated projects. The initiative marks an historic victory in paving the way for achieving equality for Latino creatives in Hollywood.

In 2000, Alex and the Multi-ethnic Media Coalition, a national group representing communities of color, brokered the first-ever memorandums of understanding with ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. The agreements have led to a slow but steady increase of Latinos creatives being hired at the networks.

Alex and the NHMC have also become champions in fighting hate speech on the airwaves and on the internet, holding national boycotts against advertisers of radio and television shows who have had a long record of spreading hate and division in media. After repeatedly calling for a government analysis of the connection between hate speech and hate crimes against Latinos, NHMC commissioned its own landmark studies on the harmful effects of inaccurate coverage of Latinos in media.

Previously, Alex was a multiple Emmy award-winning television producer and writer at KCBS-TV Los Angeles.

Kimberly Chavez

NKimberly Chavez joined LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes as Director, Development and Membership in April 2018, bringing 14 years of non-profit experience in Southern California. Prior to joining LA Plaza, Kim worked as Associate Director, Foundation Relations at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Before joining the CHLA Foundation, she served as an adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena in the School of Human Development and spent eight years as a producer with KCET, the PBS flagship station for the Westcoast. Kim holds a Master of Science in educational psychology and instructional technology from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and Spanish from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Karina Luna Actress, Comedian, Entrepreneur and Social Activist

From a very early age, Karina grew up knowing she wanted to one day be like Selena (Quintanilla) — a strong, positive, unapologetic Latina boldly living out her dream, captivating the American market while representing her own culture with pride. Selena was an important figure to many but especially to a first-generation Mexican-American little girl who often felt out of place. Karina grew up in an era where you just did not see people that looked like her in Hollywood. It is for this reason that she pursued her own dreams in entertainment and strives to also one day be the face for another little girl to be empowered by and identify with.

Recently, Karina’s entertainment career has gone from “on-camera talent” to a “behind-the-scene” business queen! Just this year, she opened her own multimedia production company, graduated with her Bachelor of Science in entertainment business from The Los Angeles Film School and is continuously positioning herself to make an impact in her community with all that she does.

Armed with a passionate spirit and magnetic personality and fueled by a fire to empower, it was only a matter of time before Karina stepped into a motivational speaking role. She enjoys speaking at colleges, high schools and women’s conferences and has described herself as an “overcomer of life” striving to help empower others to reach their healthiest potential. Karina has a real passion for connecting with all individuals and investing in their personal (emotional, mental and physical) growth. She is a firm believer that history holds the keys to our “freedom” and power; therefore, she is a huge advocate of education. If there was only one thing she could leave you with, it is that you have the power to change the world by reminding us that “local” actions lead to global impact. Go forth and get active!