SOURCE: Hispanicize 2013

April 16, 2013 17:45 ET

The New Latino Rebels Foundation Raising Funds to Build a Pipeline of Latino Film Makers and Journalists

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2013) - In response to the results of a shocking new study about the negative perception of Latinos in the United States, a who's who of Latino business, communications and media professionals have banded together to form the Latino Rebels Foundation. The foundation has pledged to raise scholarship funds for Latinos to study film and journalism with the hope of improving the roles and images of Latinos on television, in movies and the media.

"The results of the Hill & Knowlton study are extremely troubling," said Charles Garcia, co-founder of the Latino Rebels Foundation. "Despite the positive influence of Hispanics in the United States, 80% of non-Latinos said they believe Hispanics are involved in criminal activity. It is an insult to the millions of hardworking Latinos who have made major economic, social and political contributions to the United States."

The Latino Rebels Foundation was officially launched today during Hispanicize 2013, the largest gathering of Latino journalists, bloggers, celebrities, advertisers and their agencies in the US. Garcia made the announcement during a conference panel in which the study results were presented.

"There couldn't have been a better place to launch the foundation," said Garcia. "The journalists, bloggers and media professionals will truly give this movement a voice. It is time for Latinos to really be heard."

The foundation's mission is already gaining momentum. The American Film Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Latino Donor Collaborative, the group that commissioned the study, to provide a 2:1 match for any funds raised and hopes to admit at least 15 qualified Latinos into their two-year Masters of Fine Arts program. The Latino Rebels Foundation has announced its support of the AFI/LDC partnership and has pledged to support the program's fundraising efforts. Additionally, in partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund ("HSF"), who will manage the program, the Latino Rebels Foundation will grant 50 scholarships of $5,000 to Latinos getting a degree in journalism, and will also pay them a monthly stipend to write stories of their own. Jim McNamara, the CEO of Cine Latino who is also the Chairman of HSF, has given a $100,000 match grant for this initiative.

In an effort to raise these scholarship funds, the foundation is asking the public to pledge their support by joining the #LRF899 campaign. Supporters can make a monthly contribution of $89.99 or $8.99. More information is available at www.latinorebelsfoundation.org.

"Every contribution will help change the image of Latinos in this country," said Garcia. "It is time we have a say in how we are portrayed."

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