Published On: Thu, Nov 7th, 2013

Who Are The Hispanic Heroes In Your Neighborhood?

LOUISPAGAN1Yesterday… Hispanicize Digital made an BIG announcement related to something that happened at Hispanicize 2013 that I never blogged about… some of you may know that I was the first winner of  the Positive Impact Award created in the honor of my late  friend and colleague Louis Pagan who passed away just weeks before the conference was underway. I was at this event, to announce an education fund we created for Louis Pagan’s daughters and was seated with Louis’ wife, his mother in law and the girls. A few seconds later I was blindsided when Manny called Yolanda up to the stage to bestow this honor on me. I am not sure who has the video, but I will admit it was hard to contain my emotion when I heard why I was selected. Almost immediately after, Hispanicize Digital announced that they would start the fund with a $5,000 donation that was almost immediately matched by Procter & Gamble for the event. I walked off that stage in shock but happy knowing that people believe in the vision that Louis Pagan helped bring to life.

Having won this award is an incredible honor for me because I had worked with Louis closely. For at least a year, we talked online frequently about how to to organize, mentor and collaborate with loosely organized Latinos in all sectors of the digital realm. He wanted us to be a force to be reckoned with and influence media as if we were the fastest growing community in the United States. It was Louis that tapped me be the first Director of the NYC Chapter of LATISM and develop the first conference at Columbia University in 2009. Years later, it was Louis that introduced me to Manny Ruiz and led to my first trip to Hispanicize in 2012 where I saw first hand the dream coming alive in a way I had never seen before. I have many friendships and partnerships today due to the bridges that Louis built.


I have not blogged about it before today because it hits really close to home in so many ways, but yesterday’s news is so much bigger than me. This award can tell stories long ignored by tradional, mainstream media and truly show the true heroism that happens in our communities day in and day out.

As of yesterday, we have asked YOU to nominate people of all walks of life, that have incredible stories that often do not make headlines or the evening news. People who have created something out of nothing and are building legacies. We are looking to recognize parents, students, teachers, law enforcement, military, community leaders, authors, poets, artists, bloggers, small business owners, CEOs, thought leaders, politicians, religious leaders, activists, media personalities, social influencers… the list goes on and on, but I think you know what I mean.

“Our national search for nominees and culminating gala event at Hispanicize 2014 will be one of the most inspirational programs ever created to showcase the good works of compassionate Hispanic Americans,” said Manny Ruiz, founder and organizer of the Hispanicize event. “This event will be the centerpiece of Hispanicize 2014.”now we will be able to keep that legacy alive thru the expansion of the Positive Impact Award.

Each of the 20 Positive Impact Award winners will be flown to Miami for a gala event held in their honor on Thursday, April 3rd courtesy of Hispanicize 2014, the presenting sponsor of the Positive Impact Awards and supporting sponsors of the gala. The event will be co-emceed by award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa of NPR’s Latino USA. The red carpet-style awards show will culminate with a major performance by an A-list Latin music artist.

On a personal note, I want to thank Manny Ruiz and the entire Hispanicize Digital Team for setting the stage for national recognition of the best our Latino community has to offer. I have humbly accepted to Co-Chair this initiative in memory of Louis Pagan and to continue to build the education fund we started for the two daughters he left behind. Our work is far from done…





My Call To Action!

Take a moment today to answer this call to action and nominate that person in 

your community that creates Positive Impact.

National Call and Criteria for Nominees
Effective now through January 15, Hispanicize 2014 is accepting nominations for the Positive Impact Awards at

– Nominees can be of from any part nationality, resident status, education level, age, work and/or professional background.

– Candidates can be nominated in one of several categories: General Category, Health, Education, Social Work, Music, Film, Entertainment, Legal, Business, Journalism, Social Media, Mentorship, Public Service and Military.

– Even though non-profit organizations are likely to nominate their most outstanding volunteers, nominees do not have to be affiliated to any non-profit or organization.

– There will be no restrictions about age. Teenagers and young adults are highly encouraged to be nominated.

– Nominees can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else.

– Special consideration will be given to individuals who volunteer and are not necessarily salaried employees of non-profit organizations or groups.

– The top 50 finalists will be asked to produce two letters of recommendations and to submit a two-minute video on YouTube explaining what this award nomination means to them and the cause they’re involved in.

The Top 50 nominees, their bios and photos will be uploaded to a dedicated website where the public will help vote for the final 20 winners. The top vote getter will win a special prize. All 20 winners will be individually promoted nationally and in their local media.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Sponsorship information is available by contacting or calling 203.364.4779.

Hispanicize 2014’s social media agency partner is Burson-Marsteller.

About Hispanicize 2014

Now in its fifth year, Hispanicize 2014 ( (#Hispz14) is the iconic, largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in social media, journalism, advertising, PR, film, music and innovation.

Co-chaired by award winning journalist Maria Hinojosa of NPR’s Latino USA and Patricia Pineda, Group Vice President of the Hispanic Business Strategy Group of Toyota Motor North America, Hispanicize 2014 is expected to gather more than 1,700 of the nation’s most influential Latino professionals from the industries of blogging, journalism, music, marketing, film and business over four full days. Featuring U.S. Hispanic thought leaders and celebrities, the 5th anniversary edition of Hispanicize will be taking place at the InterContinental Miami hotel with several offsite events at major cultural venues.

The event is a launch pad for creative endeavors, new products, technologies, marketing campaigns, films, books and more targeting Latinos in the U.S. and/or Puerto Rico.

Hispanicize 2014, a partnership of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), Hispanicize and thePublic Relations Society of America (PRSA), will be held at the InterContinental Miami hotel, April 1-4, 2014 in downtown Miami.


George Torres
The Urban Jibaro
Cultivando Cultura since 1997…
Social Media | Branding | Event Management
Follow me on Twitter… @UrbanJibaro
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Who Are The Hispanic Heroes In Your Neighborhood?