Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) 2012 Conference (Pics included!)

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HOUSTON, Tex. — This past weekend, I represented at the 4th annual Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) conference. LATISM is the largest online network of Latinos with 148,000 members on Facebook alone.

I was honored to speak at a health reform panel with (middle) Laura Tellado, publisher of the Holdin’ Out For A Hero and Expresso Con Leche blogs. Alexandra Landeros (on right), a sustainable living and health blogger, moderated the discussion.

I shared with our audience — largely staff members of community health clinics and health bloggers — the healthcare advocacy MomsRising has done in the Latino community. Laura, who has spina bifida, shared how the Affordable Care Act (health care reform) has helped her. It was thrilling to interact with the audience and see people thumb through MomsRising’s members’ stories afterwards!

I also attended a panel discussion on the DREAM Act, a key piece of legislation that would grant unauthorized immigrants brought to this country at a young age, conditional residency. Afterwards, I spoke to panelist Teresita Chavez Pedrosa (pictured below), an attorney in south Florida, who like me, also happens to be a Cuban-American from Miami. We discussed how pro-DREAM Act and pro-immigration Florida Cubans are because it represents all the values we are raised with: family, education and a strong work ethic.

I was especially moved by the stories of the DREAMers, who in spite of no pathway to citizenship, continue to study, work hard and inspire others to do the same:

Other highlights from the conference? Congratulations to the winners of the annual LATISM Awards. The comedy troupe Latino Rebels took home the “Best Social Activist” glass statue while Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores was voted by the community “Politician with the Best Tweets”.

Also, I loved how LATISM broke up “work” — like panels and workshops — with fun culturally relevant activities. We were treated to performances by dancers from Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Mexico, a couple of salsa parties, and even a few Latino celebrity sightings: Miguel Cancel from Menudo; entrepreneur and television producer Nely Galan; and New York Times bestselling author Sandra Cisneros.

Finally, I must send a shout out to all of our contributing bloggers in the LATISM community, including the following food bloggers from left to right: Nicole Presley, publisher of Presley’s Pantry; and Ericka Sanchez, publisher of Nibbles & Feasts.

Looking forward to LATISM ’13 in New York City!

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About Elisa

I am a journalist and online organizer who is the co-publisher of this blog. When I am not online, I am shuttling around my two kids, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

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