Category Archives: Special CNN Events

Latino in America, Part II

Live blogging Latino in America, Part II.  I think this one is going to be a great deal more negative than last nights.  I’ll try to get some photos rolling, too.  Maybe update last night’s post with a few, too.  Maybe not.

“In this country, anything is possible.”  “I don’t know.  I don’t know if the American dream exists, to tell you the truth.”

Tonight’s theme is Chasing the dream.

We’ve got a young girl, whose fictitious name is Marta.  We’re not using her real name.  Marta is in a refugee center in Miami called Boys  Town.  Many Cuban kids, called Pedro Pans at the time, were taken here at the beginning of Communist rule in Cuba by the Catholic Church.  The Cuban missile crisis halted all possibilities of these kids returning home.



The first Cuban-American in the US Senate, Mel Martinez, was one of those children.  He toured the grounds of the old Boys Town and reminisced about oatmeal cookies.  CNN was allowed access to the camp, but couldn’t show any faces.  The kids there learn English and play with toys, still supported by Catholic missionaries.

Marta’s mother left for the United States when she was 12.  She left Marta and her siblings with their grandparents.  Marta was able to meet up with her Mom in the United States, but there wasn’t a strong familial connection.  Marta’s mother had taken on a new boyfriend and had a new child.  Marta stayed with her Mom for two years before a judge ordered her deported.  That’s when Marta was sent to Boys Town.

Marta’s days at Boys Town seems a great deal like a rather harsh boarding school.  She misses regular school, and is interested in learning.  She also likes English.  Michelle Abarca is fighting for Marta.  Michelle plans on using the argument that her mother is not fit to support her and there’s nobody at home to support her, either.  It’s a tough choice for Marta.  Dedication to her mother or freedom.

Mel Martinez commented that the kids in Boys Town have it worse than he did.  Martinez, a conservative, is conflicted about immigration.  He says it needs to be more “rational,” taking into account the people who are already here.

Marta is going to accuse her mother of neglect in order to gain her freedom in the US.  “Miami has become a thriving center of Cuban culture,” Soledad informs us.  She spoke with Willy Chirino, a Cuban-American entertainer.  He landed in America when he was 14.  He was a Pedro Pan, as was his wife.  She was sent to live in Dubuque, Iowa.  This the daughter of Cuba’s Sonny and Cher.

Fast forward a few months.  Lissette and Soledad meet up at the animal rescue center where Lissette volunteers.  She wants to help Marta.  It’s Marta’s court date.  Michelle Abarca delivers the good news; they’re going to grant her a petition for asylum in the US.  While she’s out of detention, though, she’s not allowed to see her mother.  She has foster parents, though, who are familiar with children in her situation.  The way Marta spoke about Boystown is really harsh.  It’s as if she would have done absolutely anything to get out.  That, combined with the caution that CNN was forced to exercise while in there, should raise questions about living conditions.

Marta, who crossed the Rio Grande in an inner tube, faces her DHS agent.  She emerges from the building with a visa.

Pico Rivera, California

Hot dogs, balloon animals, baseball, cotton candy, the Star-Spangled Banner.  Sounds pretty American, right?  It absolutely is, but it’s also Latino.  Gracie Gallegos, the mayor, was born and raised in Pico Rivera and she called it the Brown Mayberry.  For decades, a move to Pico was a move “up.”  The PR agent for the city, an Australian, said that it was very hard to get a bookstore in the community.



Lupe Anteveros lives here, in all of her Hollywood glory.  She says that she lives in Pico Rivera because Pico is her gente.  The immigrants have americanized aggresively, from their choice of holidays to their pronunciation of “foreign” words.  Erica Sparks, a 13-year-old who lives in Pico, initially thought that Pico was very nice.  She moved there from Torrance, CA.  She’s had a rough time in middle school, hanging out with gang members and getting a 187 tattoo on her hip.  Erica’s parents, by the way, have been transient prisoners for some time now.  Erica is being raised by foster parents.

erica and family

erica and family

Pico has had a dark period. Think gangland.  Maria Elena Hicks, was driving home from her sister’s house a two years back.  She saw a man tagging and honked her horn at him.  A shot rang out and she was killed instantly.  Her son, Matthew Hicks, spoke lovingly about his mother.  Four people were arrested in the crime, all gang members.  The death of Maria Hicks, a grandmother, galvanized the town into self-preservation.  Three million dollars were poured into the police department.  There’s also a scared straight program called Pride.  Erica Sparks is in that program.  They take them to jail, show them life in the streets, and, if the pictures are telling the story, they shove them in a casket to see death from the other side.  Pride shows kids that no matter how cool you think you are, acting out and gang affiliation only ends up in the hospital, the graveyard, or prison.

Soledad asked Erica why it’s so hard to choose the achiever side.  She said that she’s used to being bad.  Two days away from Pride graduation, Erica ran away.

The sheriff and the pastor in charge of the Pride program went out looking for  Erica.

This shifting narrative is making me dizzy.  Now Soledad is talking about the revitalization of Pico.  One of the driving forces of Pico Rivera is a low-rider club.  The members, according to Soledad, look like a gangster casting call.  This club, however, focuses on cars, family, and community.  No gang affiliation is allowed (though I’d like to examine that claim a bit, call me a cynic).  The club, Together, is raising money for the Pride program.  Here’s Soledad in a car:



The sheriff got a tip on Erica.  She said she ran away because of her stepdad.  She doesn’t want him at the graduation.  The sheriff is amazingly forgiving and offers her the front seat of the squad car.  He brokers an agreement between the two.  Erica graduated the program, served one month for the graffiti, and is still active in the Pride program.

Shenandoah, PA

Shenandoah is a multi-cultural mining town filled with Europeans and Latinos.  Luis Ramirez was killed here on July 12, 2008.  His girlfriend, Crystal, spoke of Luis as a man who worked hard for his family.  She thinks that her boyfriend was killed for his ethnicity.  Crystal, who is white, was called some pretty awful names on the street as she walked with Luis.

On the night he was killed, he ran into a group of white high school football players who had been drinking.  Tough words ensued and Luis was murdered.  Carlos Reymos lives in a latino neighborhood.  He’s outspoken about Shenandoah.  He called it a closed-minded down and he listed off some of the things he’d been called.

The boys who killed Ramirez were all considered good kids.  They now face decades in prison.  One of the boys’ father spoke out.  Stone-faced, he said that he had no problems with the latino community.

Luis Ramirez

Luis Ramirez

Shenandoah crashed in the 50’s when the coal ran out.  Joe Miller, who moved to Shenandoah for work, blamed the crime in Shenandoah on illegal immigrants.  He defends against accusations of racism by saying that, “Last night I was hanging out with lots of Spanish people.”  Joe argued that illegal immigrants took eeer jeeebs, but mostly jobs of black people.

I’m sorry, folks, but this argument is tired.  A legal resident who offers to work for less would not receive the same amount of scorn that an illegal resident receives.  This is very thinly veiled racism.

“If he wasn’t here illegally, it wouldn’t have happened.”  That’s what a Shenandoah resident said about Luis Ramirez.  I’m sure the drunk teenagers asked for a passport before beating him to his death.

Joe Miller is going to the trial of the two boys.  Of the four boys that Ramirez encountered that night, only 2 are being charged for murders.  There are rumors of a cover-up.  The doctor’s say that Ramirez was beaten so badly that his brains were oozing out.  After 8 hours of deliberation, the boys are acquitted of murder and ethnic aggression, being charged with drinking and reckless behavior.

The boys get 6-23 months of jail time.  Luis’s girlfriend, and the mother of his children, just wept quietly while taking the injustice in.  Unless there are some facts that Latino in America is hiding, this seems to be a complete farce.  I can either lose faith in the judicial system or I can lose faith in CNN.


They’re about to talk about what it’s like to live in America and not speak “English.”  I put that in quotes because, in my opinion, nobody in this country speaks English, but that’s just me.

Carlos Robles struggles with English pronunciation.  He’s hoping to reduce his Spanish accent, according to CNN.  Carlos, by the way, is not from Spain, but from Puerto Rico.  Thanks, CNN.

In PR, Carlos was a police officer.  He failed the sheriff’s exam because of his limited English proficiency, or so he thinks.  Carlos studies with a Columbian surgeon who installs cable TV and a Venezuelan naval officer who cleans pools.



As Carlos struggles to learn English, Trey owns a baseball training camp and is trying to recruit Puerto Rican students.  He has hired an assistant from Puerto Rico who coaches the spanish-speaking students.

Carlos was working for a toy store when he first arrived, but lost his job when the store went under.  He has been studying English and law enforcement in his free time.  Oh, and he’s now expecting a baby.

Vanessa and Sole are from Puerto Rico and are living the American dream.  Vanessa’s accent makes me want to take a cheese grater to my eardrums.  Think latina plus Minnesota.  She’s the spokesperson for Walt Disney World.  As if it needed to get more annoying.

And………Carlos failed the sheriff’s exam. He plans on taking the test again.

I don’t  want to make any blanket statements about Latino in America.  I’m depressed in so many ways.  I need to take a long vacation from CNN.

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²Eva Longoria: “I’ve never played any stereotypical roles” Oh REALLY?

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria was on AC360 yesterday and made a satement that she has never played a ‘stereotypical’ role on TV. I couldn’t help but think about the word ‘stereotypical’ and what it means. When it is stereotypical to play a maid when you are a Latina, not playing one won’t still ensure you don’t play a stereotypical role. You can play a rich Latina, one who has fame and fortune and has achieved a lot in life but the stereotype should not just be looked upon as a ‘role’ or a ‘job’. It’s more about a certain type of attitude people think is attached so certain ethnicities.

Although some countries have people who have naturally more of a temperament and joy for life, stepping into that territory is a little dangerous, especially when defining people by negative stereotypes.

I remember 3 years ago writing a post on a forum about “There are no stereotypes about Gabrielle Solis being a Latina on Desperate Housewives, she and her husband have the biggest house on the block. That’s one of the reasons I love to watch it.” Another poster quickly threw me a reality check bucket of ice cold water on my avatar face. “Wait a second, she said, Eva is definitiely playing the typical girl mainstream America believes all Latinas are like. They make her play the role of a selfish materialistic big mouthed sexy woman who only thinks about her looks. People believe all Latinas are like that, and this only reinforces the stereotype. So what if she has money. Her attitude on that show screams louder than her title or bank account.”

That made me think. I reasoned that Eddy Britt, who is white, also plays a selfish woman with a bad attitude and too concerned about her looks and devouring men. But she’s not a Latina, and she doesn’t seem as concerned about money as Gaby is. She’s a man-eater. But there are other white women on Desperate Housewives who can counteract that image. But the only Latina in the show has got to be a scheming, mean, loud, shallow and materialistic person.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the way that Gaby grows in the show and becomes the ‘perfect’ wife. She learns to be less egotistical. She learns the true value of love and family.

“Stereotypical” is more than just a role you play on TV. It’s about attitude.

Think about other popular shows or movies who star Latinas as the main character. Think of Ugly Betty, for example. Betty’s family is a poor family living in Queens. I can live with that although some people will say it’s stereotypical. Betty, the main character of the show is a brave young Latina woman who works really hard to achieve her dreams. Although from a poor background, she’s definitely not the average girl people think Latinas should be like. She doesn’t take care of her outer appearance that much (has huge braces and red glasses aka Steve Urkel), and she’s too honest to her disadvantage at times. She’s the most unselfish and unmaterialistic person you’ll meet. She has big dreams and she doesn’t take no for an answer and manages to become an associate editor for a prestigious magazine in the fashion industry. Basically, she’s strong and intelligent without needing her looks. Is she playing a stereotypical role just because she’s from a poor family from Queens ? No.

Do I personally think that Latinas are big mouthed women who only love drama and Gucci clothes ? No.

Do a lot of people in America think that? Saddly yes, or at least that image is somewhat ingrained into their minds to a certain extent.

Wilhemina Slater, the evil scheming creative director, played by Vanessa Williams in Ugly Betty, is seen as black in the show (bus she’s in reality of mixed ethnicty) and to me, she can own Mode Magazine (I knw she doesn’t)o and sleep in her chinchilla coat every night but she’s also playing the stereotypical ‘drama queen’ black woman. Don’t get me wrong. She’s rich, so everything should be fine.

I’ll never forget a job interview I once went to. I look brown, so people never know what ethnicity I am. So they assume things. The manager asked me a question I will never forget: “when was the last time you had a tantrum?”. A tantrum? I had never been asked this question before, esp. using the word ‘tantrum’. I could have understood a question like “Do you remain calm under pressure” as this is a question a lot of employers love to ask. But the way he asked the question and the way he looked at me screamed louder than the question itself. I went to ask my current boss at the time what this question meant, and he said it was a racist question. The interviewer saw that I was brown and assumed I must be a ‘drama’ queen. I’m the most sweet person you’ll meet and I live to avoid drama and bitching. So I did take a little offense to that question, but the way he asked it (mean and skeptical tone of voice) and accusing glances was what sealed the deal for me. I didn’t get the job, of course, but nevermind. I didn’t want it anyway. I found something much better shortly afterwards. This incident wasn’t about getting a job but learning that racism is still alive and well. And can I thank Eva Longoria for perpetuating the myth that ‘brown’ people are drama queens? But she owns big house, y’all !

It’s certainly not Eva’s fault if there are some mean spirited racist people like this manager on planet earth. But you get my point. I don’t judge Eva for playing Gaby Solis. I love Desperate Housewives and I still love the concept of Gaby. Underneath all that shallow exterior, she’s a real survivor and a softy at heart.

What about J-Lo who played a maid in the movie ‘Maid in Manhattan’ ? I don’t think she played a stereotypical role at all. There are maids of all ethnicites. The role could have been easily played by Julia Roberts for all it’s worth. But wait, Julia played a prostitute in Pretty Woman. A role worse than being a maid. Yet she’s not a Latina and no one thinks of white women as being prostitutes after watching this movie. They think of Julia as being a lost PERSON who finds herself eventually.

So it should be with all Latinas and Latinos: We should see them as PEOPLE and INDIVIDUALS, no matter what roles they play: maids, rich CEOs, housewifes, career women, villain, super hero, lawyers, police officers, queens etc.

A role is just a role. An attitude is an attitude that will speak volumes about who you are, more than what you do.

My point is that times have changed. No one today thinks of ‘maid’ when they hear the word Latina. They’ll think of a famous movie star, singer or perhaps a gorgeous looking woman. Maybe they’ll think of Taco Bell or Cuban rythm and salsa dancing. I don’t know. And somewhere along the lines they’ll also vaguely think of a drama queen who loves expensive clothes and has a face full of makeup even when caught in bed.

It’s true that Latinos, and other minorities for that matter, have come a long way in the last 50 years. Nevertheless, ethnic stereotypes remain deeply rooted in American culture. Racism and prejudice have taken another form, if you want my honest opinion. Now it’s politically and culturally incorrect to be a hater of latinos, blacks and other minorities. Pop culture dictates what rules. Beyoncé, Shakira, Jay-Z and J-Lo and the likes now dictate to the youth what’s hot. This generation has no problems mingling with all types of ethnicites. But when the perceptions have drastically changes, the seterotypes remain. Now…intolerance and prejudice are disguised under other stereotypes. Latinas are like this and black girls like that…and white people…oh they are just too… Black men always drop out of school or become athletes.

Yes. I don’t like stereotypes in any way, shape or form but a little more disturbing is when people can’t even recognize they’re being stereotyped.


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Latino in America

Latino in America – the live blog.  Figured I’d give this a shot.  I’ll update this post as the show goes on.

Garcia is now one of the top 10 last names in America.  The show opened up with a photo montage and a statistic; there are 51 million latinos in America right now, and that number is grown.

Isabel Garcia – Tucson, Arizona

This segment opens up with a shot of an immigration rally.  There are plenty of anti-immigrant protestors, as well.  Isabel represents all immigrants, legal or illegal.  Aracely Torres is 26 and has been in the US most of her life, illegally.  She dropped out of college early so she could work at Panda Express to support her family.  One day in 2008, 11 employees were arrested for working with fake social security numbers.  Soledad asked Aracely if she knew that it was illegal to use a fake social security number.  Aracely responded by saying, “I know it’s not illegal to work.”  As an American who has lived and worked abroad, I have to disagree with her.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he would not be deterred from his anti-immigrant tactics, which include clothing inmates in pink and making them stand in the heat.  Isabel’s father was also a supporter of labor.

Isabel Garcia attended a rally where a pinata of Sheriff Arpaio was beaten viciously.  Garcia picked up the head of the pinata (to calm the situation, according to her).  The anti-immigration protestors shouted awful things at the rally.

Aracely Torres has a 3-year-old daughter, who is American.  Out of jail now, Aracely faces deportation to Mexico, though it is a country that she doesn’t know.  In court, Garcia said that this is Aracely’s home, and she should be allowed to remain.  The court didn’t agree.

Lorena Garcia – Miami

Lorena Garcia has a Friday morning cooking segment on Univision.  She’s a household name in the Spanish-speaking home.

She moved with her family from Venezuela in 1990.  She said that her big dream is to have an English-language cooking show.  Producers told her that in order to do that, she would have to wipe out her accent.  Rather than americanize her voice, though, she americanized her image by slappinig it on a whole slew of kitchen products.

Lorena started a healthy cooking program for young latinos, who are plagued with obesity.  She draws a great deal of life quality from this work and her program, but she’s looking forward to having kids, too.

She took part in a cooking competition, where she had to cook for other chefs.  She yelled out from the stage, “YES, YOU LIKE?”  The audience responded positively.  The head of the American Culinary Federation recommended her for her own show, wholeheartedly.

Cindy Garcia – Los Angeles

Cindy is 17 years old and in the trenches of LA.  70% of the students in her high school, mostly latino, don’t graduate on time.  She’s more than a semester behind and it’s 3 months til graduation.  No big surprise, as she skipped almost all of her classes freshman year.

Cindy lives with her mother, two sisters, baby brother and baby niece.  Very often, she skips school to help with the kids or in the family store.  Also, she helps her mom translate sometimes, because her mother doesn’t speak English.

Monica Garcia (a bonus??)  is the superintendent of the LA school district.  It’s overwhelmingly latino and it is in peril.  Almost half of the district’s students don’t graduate on time.  I’ve got a bad feeling about this segment.

Monica spoke to a group of students at Garfield High School, which was built to hold 1,500 students and often has about 4,500 students inside.  Monica lived with her 7 family members in 2-bedroom house not far from the school.

Cindy is pulling 12-hour days at school.  Hopefully

LA mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, says that the nation’s future depends on these kids graduating.  The schools, he says, are failing them.  I say to him: it’s easy to say that from your office.  Go to the teachers and I dare you to repeat yourself.  Better yet, make sure that your teachers get fair pay!!  Sorry, as a teacher myself I get fierce when people talk about schools.

After the break, Cindy’s grades are in.  She failed Biology and Homeroom.  How did she fail homeroom?  She missed too much school, I guess.  This is apparently a district that seriously needs to consider online classes for at-risk high school students.

The bomb drops: Cindy got pregnant.   More than half of all latinas get pregnant before the age of 20 and most of those don’t graduate high school.  She and her boyfriend have decided to keep the baby and raise it together.

Deboray Duardo is a school social worker in LA who specializes in dropout prevention.  She began a program called the Diploma Project, which aims to support at-risk students like Cindy.

She’s been missing classes (notice the time shift) due to morning sickness; this is especially bad for her homeroom.  Cindy spoke to some smarmy librarian at her school who, when she told him she was sick every morning, asked for a doctor’s note. Cindy is also responsible for her younger siblings and niece; they follow her to school sometimes.

Well, Cindy didn’t graduate on time.  While the other kids were throwing up their caps and gowns, she got an ultrasound.  Cindy is very close to graduation, and she claims her dream is to become  a social worker.

The Garcias – Charlotte, North Carolina

“I don’t like Spanish food.  I like fried chicken and stuff.”  This was from Brian Garcia, oldest son of the Garcia family in Charlotte.  The family moved to NC from NY and while the experience has been good for the parents, they fear the children may be losing their latino heritage. The Garcia parents are from the Dominican Republic.

This one is good.  This is going to call into question the meaning of latino, or so I hope.  The word is bandied about a bit recklessly.

The sons, they say, are more interested in fitting in than learning about their culture.  Bill and Betty, the parents, try to expose their children to their latino heritage in any way they can.  The boys, however, are rebellling against their parents by refusing to comply.  Brian Garcia doesn’t speak Spanish and even failed it at school.  Betty thinks that he’s rejecting her culture.  “We weren’t raised like that.  We were raised speaking English and going to McDonald’s.  And stuff.”

The parents regret having raised the kids in only English.  Betty almost regrest leaving New York.  New York is the parents’ link to their heritage; they travel there every year.

The boys are happy to visit New York because they can visit their street-smart Uncle Bob (Bobito in the neighborhood).  Bob is not worried about the boys because he thinks they will begin at a later time to inquire about their heritage.  The boys are apparently showing an interest in Spanish, now.

Brian had the quote of the night: “In the south, you’re either white, black, or Mexican.  I don’t want to be called Mexican.”

Noelle Garcia

Noelle just got married, but a few years ago she tried to commit suicide.  Hispanic (we’re using hispanic now?) girls are very likely to attempt suicide.  One girls in seven attempts. Noelle is now youth minister working with latino youth.

One of the young girls Noelle works with is Francisca Abrajchu, whose mother Isabel came to the states in 1997, but left her kids behind in the Dominican Republic until she could afford them.  Francisca came and was not able to spend much time with her mom, for she was always working.  Consequently, Francisca ended up fighting with her mom because she wanted to spend time with her American friends.  Isable didn’t want her daughter cavorting with Americans because she believed that American children treat their parents badly.

Eleven-year-old Francisca feel into a deep depression.  She took her mother’s pills.  She said that she  did it because she was sick of being a burden in her mother’s life.  She wasn’t successful, but a year later she found herself again deeply depressed and entered a psychiatric hospital.

Following her release, she met a boy three years older.  She skipped school to spend time with him.  She got pregnant a few years later, when she was 14 or 15.  Soledad grilled Francisca and asked her if she thinks she might end up like her own mother.

Oooh.  Anderson Cooper came on for a 360 Bulletin during the commercial break.  Stick to your time slot, AC!

Pedro Garcia – St. Louis, MO

Pentecostal latinos.  Latinos account for about twenty percent of new pentecostals are latino.  Pedro is a devout Catholic and the rising tide of latinos in the Catholic church is causing problems.  Pedro barters friendships at Catholic churches in the area.  The white people in the area seem to enjoy talking about relieving ethnic tension, but theey seem to believe that the onus of change rests with the latinos.

Angelica Garcia, who has been in St. Louis for a good minute, says that the problem is language.  Angelica has a younger son who is learning English as a Second Language.  His summer teacher firmly told Angelica that she needs to speak English to her son.


“How much longer do we have to accommodate?” asked an old church lady.  Soledad then asked her if that was a Catholic thing to say.  Church lady got quiet.

“If we were in Latin, it would be fine.  We’d all be speaking Latin.”  That’s what one of the older members of the white part of the Catholic church said when Soledad gently asked whether or not it was true that the language of the church is Latin.  I can’t make this up.

OK.  So there are two churches in one building: one latino and one anglo.  Each one believes that it is the other’s responsibility to bridge the gaps between them.  There church organized a fiesta to address the issue.  Predictably, it began like a school dance with races separated instead of genders.  After a few plates of food and maybe some communion wine, they loosened up.  The band played La Bamba.  Angelica Garcia shook her hips with her son.  Church lady was nowhere in sight.

Jessie Garcia – Hollywood

What’s it like being  Hispanic in Hollywood?  “There were times when I was surviving on refried beans.”  A majority of latino roles in Hollywood are thugs, gang members, and gardeners.  Lupe Antiveros spent the majority of her professional career playing the stereotypical role of the latina housemaid.

Latinos go to the movies more than any other demographic.  They’re not well-represented, however.  Latinos receive about 6% of leading roles.

Here comes George Lopez!!  According to CNN, his show is “a hispanic Cosby Show.”  Oh, the star power, here comes Eva Longoria Parker.  She created an awards show geared towards latinos.

Tying up this segment, Jessie Garcia’s most recent role is…….a gardener.

Coming up tomorrow night

Stories of coming to America.  The impact of latinos on American towns and cities.

Sorry, Anderson, I’ll catch you on the flip side.

OK, I stayed up a bit late:

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Tomorrow: Anderson Cooper Interviews Eva Longoria

This is lady’s week ! Drew Barrymore and now Eva Longoria Parker. Anderson Cooper will interview her tomorrow about healthcare, immigration and worker’s rights. I love Eva! She’ so open, talented and strong. She’s very beautiful too. Her hubby Tony Parker is French and of mixed ethnicity. (afro european)  I can’t wait to see the interview as I love anything that has to do with ethnicity. Fantastico.


This is what has been posted on AC36O:

“By 2050, the U.S. Latino population is expected to nearly triple. Next week, CNN’s ‘Latino in America’ explores how Latinos are reshaping our communities and culture and forcing a nation of immigrants to rediscover what it means to be an American.

Don’t miss this special on October 21 and October 22 at 9pm (ET) to watch interviews with Eva Longoria, George Lopez, and Latinos across America to examine issues from immigration to education and the American dream.

On Tuesday, Anderson will speak to Longoria about ‘Latino in America,’ Hispanic Heritage Month and the role of Latinos in Hollywood. Longoria is also the commissioner for the National Museum of the American Latino. Tune in to hear her thoughts on health care, immigration and worker’s rights. Tomorrow, AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.”

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Time Warner Press Release: Anderson Cooper Announces Top Ten 2009 CNN Heroes

Anderson Cooper Announces Top Ten 2009 CNN Heroes October 01, 2009 (picture was added by me)

(Whoever writes press releases at Time Turner, it’s RoSSana Rosado, not RosaNNa Rosado… btw. thanks.)

Beginning at 1 pm ET and continuing hourly through 10 pm on Thursday, October 1, CNN’s Anderson Cooper will announce a Top 10 2009 CNN Hero, culminating in an 11 pm ET special called Change the World, You Vote, CNN Heroes¸ spotlighting all Top 10 CNN Heroes. The Top 10 Heroes announcements will also be featured on, HLN, CNNI, CNN Radio and CNN en Espanol.

Culled from over 9,000 submissions – a new record for the CNN HEROES initiative, which began in 2007 – and selected by an esteemed Blue Ribbon Panel, these Top 10 CNN Heroes will each receive a $25,000 award at CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE, airing Thanksgiving, November 26, at 9 pm ET on CNN. One Top 10 CNN Hero will be named CNN HERO OF THE YEAR, as voted upon by the public via, and will be awarded an additional $100,000. Hosted by Anderson Cooper at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, the November gala is the only awards show of its kind – featuring celebrities honoring everyday people who have made an extraordinary difference in their communities and beyond. The broadcast will air globally on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year will commence at 11 pm ET on October 1, and continue until 6 am ET on November 19, 2009.

Below is the list of the 2009 Top 10 CNN Heroes. Please note the time at which each Top 10 2009 CNN Hero will be announced; all times are Eastern. The information about each Top 10 CNN Hero is strictly embargoed until the time listed, and may not be posted or reported before then. Please do not report the entire list of Top 10 CNN Heroes until 10 pm ET on October 1.

1pm – JORGE MUNOZ, QUEENS, NY: School bus driver Jorge Munoz is helping hungry New Yorkers make it through tough times. Since 2004, he has handed out more than 70,000 meals from his mobile soup kitchen in Queens — for free.

2pm – JORDAN THOMAS, CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE: Jordan Thomas, 20, lost both of his legs in a boating accident in 2005. Since then, his Jordan Thomas Foundation has raised more than $400,000 to provide prosthetics for children in need.

3pm – BUDI SOEHARDI,SINGAPORE: Budi Soehardi founded a children’s home in one of the poorest areas of Indonesia. Today, Roslin Orphanage in West Timor provides food, shelter and education to more than 45 children.

4pm – BETTY MAKONI,ESSEX, ENGLAND: Zimbabwe native Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network to provide a haven for young victims of sexual abuse. The organization has rescued more than 35,000 girls since 2001.

5pm – DOC HENDLEY, BOONE, NORTH CAROLINA: Bartender Doc Hendley is providing clean water to communities worldwide. Through creative fundraising, his nonprofit Wine to Water has brought sustainable water systems to 25,000 people in five countries.

6pm – EFREN PENAFLORIDA, THE PHILLIPINES: Efren Peñaflorida gives Filipino youth an alternative to gang membership through education. His Dynamic Teen Company’s 10,000 members have taught basic reading and writing to 1,500 kids living in the slums.

7pm – DERRICK TABB,NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA: Derrick Tabb started The Roots of Music to give young people an alternative to New Orleans’ streets. His music education program provides free tutoring, instruments and music instruction to more than 100 students.

8pm – ROY FOSTER,WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA: Army veteran Roy Foster started Stand Down House to help veterans struggling with addiction and homelessness in Florida. Since 2000, his program has provided life-changing services to nearly 900 veterans.

9pm – ANDREA IVORY,MIAMI, FLORIDA: Breast cancer survivor Andrea Ivory is bringing early detection to the doorsteps of uninsured women. With mobile mammography vans, her group has provided more than 500 free screenings.

10pm – BRAD BLAUSER,DALLAS, TEXAS: Brad Blauser, currently residing in Baghdad, is providing hope and mobility to disabled children and their families in Iraq. Since 2005, his Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids program has distributed nearly 650 free pediatric wheelchairs to children in need.

This year’s Blue Ribbon Panel includes retired Retired Gen. Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner, Shakira, Rossana Rosado, Mariane Pearl, Malaak Compton-Rock, and Sir Elton John, among other humanitarians.

More information, including video of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, links to the Heroes’ organizations, and highlights from previous CNN HEROES programming can be found at To download art of any of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, please visit:

Contact Info:
Janine Iamunno
New York
(917) 224-5417

Shimrit Sheetrit
Los Angeles
(917) 826.4959

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CNN ‘Heroes’ Tonight at 11pm ET on AC360

Go on the CNN heroes page to find out more and see the list of heroes.

Whatever you do, don’t miss it!!! You can vote for your favorite ‘hero’ from 11pm and on.
It is hosted by Anderson Cooper.

Some of last year’s CNN Heroes 2008 photos:



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Filed under Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper CNN, Heroes 2009, Special CNN Events