Hundreds of bloggers, coders and tech enthusiasts are in New York this week attending the Latinos in Tech Innovation & Social Media #LATISM conference. Here's a dispatch from Tell Me More's senior producer, Davar Ardalan
Oscar Torres is leading a group of young entrepreneurs and computer programmers in his first Hackathon. Programmers and developers have come together for 24 hours at the Waldorf Astoria meeting hall to connect and collaborate on projects. Torres, 33, knows a thing or two about hacking. He's the 2012 winner of Techcrunch Disrupt. "Maybe you can create a running app," Torres says, addressing a handful of eager hackers at the Latism2013 conference in New York City. Torres is encouraging them to think of an app or product that will benefit the Latino community. Even though Latinos over index in the digital and mobile space, Torres says "when I go to hacking events I am one of only two or three Latinos in the room."
Kim Haas is the Founder of LosAfroLatinos.com. She was part of a spirited conversation on race and racism in the Latino community. "There absolutely is racism in the Latino culture." Hass says. "It's important that this is on the agenda that we talk about race and Afro Latinos in particular because so often the picture of Latino Hispanics is one of European descent and we've got to broaden the imaging and the views of what it means to be Latino."
"We grew up listening to our Moms catching up with our tias Sunday night on the telephone. We don't do that," says Brenda Salinas, social media producer for LatinoUSA. Salinas and her LatinoUSA colleague Kaitlin Archambault are here recording stories as part of a new segment, using #LatinoProblems. Latina Magazine advice columnist Pauline Campos is also helping out. "We use social media especially Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch with our extended family. And we've discovered we can use social media also for activism and to have our voices heard," says Salinas.