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Gaby Natale, president of AGANARmedia. Photo: Newswire
Gaby Natale, president of AGANARmedia. Photo: Newswire

Gaby Natale advocates for fair Latino representation

During a speech at the United Nations, the three-time EMMY award winning journalist detailed the needs of advancing the Latino community.

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Representation matters. Narratives matter.

That is the message Gaby Natale wanted to send during a speech at the United Nations 2018 Hispanic Leadership Summit.

Despite comprising 18 percent of the U.S. population, Latinos only account for 3 percent of speaking roles on the big screen.

The same trend of underrepresentation can also be found in newsrooms, board rooms, and executive suites across the country.

While underrepresentation is a clear issue for Latinos, Natale stated that misrepresentation of Latinos is also widespread.

“Stereotypical representation of Latinos in fiction and news stories have concrete consequences across all areas of society,” she said.

She added that it becomes harder for young Latinos to picture themselves as the next CEO of a Fortune 500 company, for example, when women who look like her on the screen portray characters with low income jobs, who commit crimes or simply serve as eye candy.

“When a minority group is dehumanized in the national dialogue, mean-spirited characterizations flourish. Like the one that intends to blur the line between criminals and asylum seekers—opening the door to cruel public policies,” Natale said.

In order to change the narrative surrounding Latinos, Natale suggested we support and recognize those already doing a good job, and demand transparency, and hold those who aren’t taking steps in the right direction accountable.

However, most importantly, Latinos have to believe in themselves and their vision.

“I believe that to go from where we are to where we need to be as a community, it is critical for us to embrace a pioneer mentality,” Natale said. “We need to take a leap of faith, step into the great unknown, and dare to be first.”

Natale was one of dozens of speakers at the summit, which included Julian Castro, former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; CEO of Ulta Beauty Mary Dillon; Former San Antonio mayor and Secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros; Cid Wilson, President and CEO of HACR; and Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino.

The summit was a gathering of business, media, political and advocacy leaders aided by the We Are All Human Foundation—an organization dedicated to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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