Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nuyoricans Against MTV's True Life

Several months ago I posted the first of an ongoing story about MTV's "True Life: I'm a Nuyorican" series in regards to its negative portrayal of several young New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent. I also joined the group Nuyoricans Against MTV's True Life on Facebook and signed an online petition against the same. Progress on this continues to be made and I will continue to provide updated posts as information becomes available. The following is the latest message by Katalia Velez, creator of the Facebook group, to all members of the group. She writes:

Saludos All Group Members!

Last Thursday, together with: representatives from the Hispanic Media Coalition, the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc, the National Institute for Latino Policy, author Linda Nieves-Powell, and a representative from the government of Puerto Rico, (we also had endorsement and support from Women of el Barrio, among many other community organizations, as well as politicians and academia from different areas of the country)

I had the distinct honor of sitting down to represent your call for change and accountability in front of:

MTVs head CEO- Judy McGrath, as well as their MTV News, MTV3, Global Strategies, Branding, etc. CEOs... all in all there were roughly 25 people in attendance to discuss the divisive and damaging documentary which innacurately portrayed Puerto Ricans and those of Puerto Rican descent living in the United States.

Among many things discussed we spoke of how this episode served to divide our community and present us to the United States in an incorrect political light (ie- we are not immigrants, we are migrants and have served in every war the US has fought in for the last century) we also discussed the controversy over the word "Nuyorican" its historic context and the missed opportunity to educate on our contributions to the Civil Rights Movement by way of the Young Lords, and to the artistic panorama of New York with respect to the Nuyorican Movement exemplified by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

We spoke of what corrective measures should be taken, and the opportunity they have to produce corrective programming. We also requested to look into their funding of community organizations, not only for Puerto Ricans in the U.S. but for Latinos in general.

I am VERY PROUD to report that they responded positively and have committed themselves to produce a special re-educating the country on what Puerto Rico and Nuyoricans as sons and daughters of the island are about. This will be done in a town hall setting where young people can talk about their identities, the controversies, and the facts will be displayed within an accurate social and historic context.

MTV understands their CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY to youth and the power they exert in molding minds. They are going through a renaissance of social awareness and are incorporating our story in this framework. I will be posting additional information on the outcome of the meeting on the group's discussion board.

They also understand that Latinos in general are the emerging majority in the country especially with respect to purchasing power and they recognize the need for accountability when we are, after all, contributing to their wealth.

Whether you completely agreed with this initiative or not, I am thankful for the dialogues that have taken place on our wall board. It is imperative that these topics continue to be discussed.

Hold your head up high when you leave your house... the people in that meeting represented for you, they did so aggressively and with grace. And they accomplished A LOT for our community.

Stay Tuned and Pa'lante.....


Katilia has worked diligently on this matter and deserves all the support, not just from Nuyoricans or Puerto Ricans but from all Latinos/as as this is just as much about you. Many a thank you to Katilia.

You can still sign the petition and join the Facebook group. It is not too late!

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