This year, writers in Los Angeles and New York went on strike to fight for a number of changes that the union believes are crucial for wages and growth. Among the demands are changes that could help Latinos and other people of color grow in the industry. A recent Writers Guild of America report revealed that less than 6% of TV series writers were Latino. According to American screenwriter Sofia Brown De Lopez, AI and residuals are huge concerns, and that media that is erased “most frequently tends to be media that is making strides in terms of diverse representation.”
One woman making strides in the entertainment industry is Candice Sanchez McFarlane. A writer and Creative Director, Candice is the recipient of multiple awards including recognition by the Tribeca Film Festival. Born in Harlem, she attributes her passion for storytelling to her mother, who took her to “every play imaginable.” A graduate of Georgetown University, Candice cowrote Wednesday Morning with Pete Chatmon (Director, HBOs The Flight Attendant). Candice has also developed branded entertainment projects for companies like Visa, McDonald’s, and Pepsi. Candice is currently a writer on Law & Order Organized Crimes and Law & Order Specials Victims Unit.
Mental health is often stigmatized in the Hispanic community resulting in prolonged suffering and lack of treatment. Lillian Comas Diaz is an author, psychologist, researcher of multiethnic and multicultural communities, a and professor at Georgetown University. She has dedicated much of her professional career to servicing underrepresented communities especially, women across cultures and ethnicities. She co-founded the Transcultural Mental Institute and is also a pioneer in researching approaches to racial trauma. She is well known for her book, Multicultural Care: A Clinician’s Guide to Cultural Competence, which serves as a guide to clinicians to help them foster more cultural awareness.
Olivia Julianna is driving change through social media. At 20 years old, Olivia managed to raise $2 million dollars in just a week to defend reproductive rights. Olivia uses her platform to speak out on issues that affect young people. Describing herself as a “queer, plus sized, handicapped Latina,” Olivia represents marginalized communities.
Emma Gonzalez was a student at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School during the 2017 school shooting. As a result of her experience, Emma became an outspoken advocate of gun reform. Her “We call B.S.” speech calling for advocacy and empowered young people to speak out about school shootings.