Rick Najera to Deliver Keynote Speech at Wellesley College

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Award-winning screenwriter, performer, director, producer, comedian, author and speaker Rick Najera will deliver his keynote speech today at Wellesley College, 106 Central Street – Wellesley, MA 02481

April 8: 5:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Rick Najera
“Cultural Pride: The Latinos You Don’t See”
Pendleton West 212

With a Name Indicating Inclusion of All in the Community Regardless of Gender, Latin@ Month Brings a Wide Range of Events to Campus

swirling skirts at Wellesley Latina dance performance

This month, Wellesley comes together to celebrate Latin@ Month 2014 (with the symbol @ used to indicate a celebration of all those in the community, regardless of gender). With a host of events including dinners, workshops, and special speakers, there’s something for everyone on campus to learn and enjoy.

“At Wellesley we celebrate Latin@ Month in April,” explained Mared Alicea-Westort, advisor to Latina students. “The main goals of the month are to celebrate the cultural diversity that Latin@ students, faculty, and staff bring to the Wellesley community as well as raise awareness about issues affecting the Latina community here at Wellesley and beyond. In short, it is a time to celebrate being Latin@!”

The month’s schedule is organized by the Latin@ Month Planning Committee, which coordinates with on- and off-campus groups and is responsible for communication, in collaboration with the office of the Latina Advisor.

The keynote speaker for the month is Rick Najera, an award-winning actor, writer, director, producer, author, entertainer, and entrepreneur. He has been honored by Hispanic Business magazine as one of “100 Most Influential Latinos in America” and has worked in film, television, theatre, and on Broadway. With stories and lessons from his personal and professional journey, Najera will speak on the topic of “Cultural Pride: The Latinos You Don’t See” on April 8 at 5:3 0.pm.

“Latin@ Month provides an opportunity for Wellesley’s diverse community to work together toward goals of cultural celebration and overall community awareness,” said Alicea-Westort. “Our theme this year is Latin@ Month Is for Everyone…. Through the many events we have planned we hope to help people gain a better understanding of Latin@ culture, heritage, and history. This represents a great opportunity for everyone to share and explore with others the many contributions of Latin@ culture.”

The month’s events are co-sponsored by: Latina Advisor’s Office, Asian Advisor’s Office, Cielito Lindo, Familia, the Office of Intercultural Education, Mezcla, Partnerships for Diversity and Inclusion, WGST, Spanish Dept., Hillel, Alianza, LGBTQ Programs & Services, the Funds of Eleanor Edwards, Rebecca Bacarach, Treves, and Wilson.


March 3: 6 p.m.
Latino Employee Appreciation Dinner
Recognizing and celebrating our hard-working unionized Latino employees
Slater International

April 2: 5 p.m.
Distinguished Latin@ Writers
Conversation and book reading by Prof. Marjorie Agosin & Francisco X. Stork

April 3: 4:30 p.m.
White Elephant Film Screening
Pendleton East 239

April 3: 8 p.m.
Exploring Latinidad
Mezcla General Meeting (everyone welcome)
Slater International

April 5: 7 p.m.
Latina Cultural Show
Celebrating Latin@ culture through dance, song & poetry
Jewett Auditorium

April 8: 5:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Rick Najera
“Cultural Pride: The Latinos You Don’t See”
Pendleton West 212

April 10: 6 p.m.
Latina Alumnae Panel
Diverse alumnae offer career advice to students
Slater International

April 12: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Seven Sisters Conference
Pendleton Atrium
Showcase at Punch’s Alley 7 p.m.

April 15: 6 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Rafael Campo
Poet, physician, associate professor at Harvard Medical School
Pendleton West 212

April 24: 6 p.m.
Cherrie L. Moraga Lecture
Playwright, poet and essayist
Location: TBD

April 27: 7 p.m.
Latina Cafe
Offers prospective students insight into student life at Wellesley for Latina students
Location: TBD

April 29: 7 p.m.
Teatro Luna (Pan-Latina) Theatre Co.
Socially, culturally & politically relevant skits, poems and monologues
Tishman Commons

May 1: 8 p.m.
Poster Campaign Talkback
Students come together to raise awareness about the Latina community

- See more at: http://www.wellesley.edu/news/2014/4/node/43103

Award-winning Screenwriter, Author Rick Najera to Serve as Keynote Speaker at Harvard and Wellesley College on Ivy League Book Tour

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Award-winning screenwriter, author Rick Najera to speak at Harvard Law School, April 5, 2014
Award-winning screenwriter, author Rick Najera to speak at Harvard Law School, April 5, 2014

Award-winning screenwriter, author, director, producer Rick Najera will serve as keynote speaker at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA on Saturday, April 5 and keynote speaker at Wellesley College on Tuesday, April 8.  He will discuss his new book Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood and the dynamics of working in the entertainment industry.

Najera has spoken at dozens of special events including Google.  He will also serve as keynote speaker on May 8th at Stanford.

Sat, Apr 5, 2014 - Rick Najera is keynote speaker at Harvard Law School 17th Annual Conference, Cambridge, MA; Visit http://www.latinoconferenceatharvard.com/speaker-bios.html for more info.

Tues, Apr 8, 2014 – Wellesley College, 5:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Rick Najera “Cultural Pride: The Latinos You Don’t See” at Pendleton West 212 – See more at:http://www.wellesley.edu/news/2014/4/node/43103#sthash.N7fi3mC9.dpuf

For more speaking appearances, visit http://ricknajera.com/schedule/

CASA 0101 Theatre Announces New Solo Series: Almost White by Rick Najera and Scarred for Life by David Valdez

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Limited Engagement Runs April 11 through May 4, 2014;
Fridays & Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 5PM

Casa 0101 Solo Series
LOS ANGELES – March 21, 2014 – Today CASA 0101Theatre, a leading arts venue for Los Angeles’ East Side, presenting theatrical productions, film festivals, and other special events year round, announced their newest solo series, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood by Rick Najera and Scarred for Life by David Valdez. These limited-engagement, comedic stage play productions will run April 11 through May 4.

Najera, one of Hollywood’s most prolific playwright-performers, sets the stage for his new comedic stage play based on his latest memoir, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood. AW chronicles the real life experiences of his journey though Hollywood, from his days on In Living Color and MADTV to Broadway with Latinologues, from CBS to the ICU and back. From red carpets to code blue, his story doesn’t end here. Comedic and poignant, Forbes called his memoir, “Accessible, real and empowering.” (80 minutes).  Show dates: April 11, 12, 13, 25, 26 and 27.

David Valdez returns to CASA 0101 Theater to perform his one-man show, Scarred for Life: Tale of A Mexican-American Trying to Get Out of East L.A.  Following a successful run at the NYFringe, the show earned a four-star rating in Time Out New York and said “Valdez owns the stage with modesty, charisma, and a big heart.” SFL is an animated collection of misadventures growing up in an immigrant family and heading off to college at Yale University.  The story of Scarred for Life is based on true events and chronicles the comedic tales of a boy who grew up bilingual, bi-cultural…and by the freeways. (80 minutes).  Show dates: April 11, 18, 19, 20 and May 2, 3 and 4.

CASA 0101 presents its newest solo series of one-man shows: Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood by Rick Najera and Scarred for Life by David Valdez at  Casa 0101 Theatre, 2102 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033. Purchase tickets in advance here.

For more information about Casa 0101, visit http://www.casa0101.org.

Go to the Facebook event for current updates.

Rick Najera’s Memoir Almost White Nominated for Most Inspirational Non-Fiction Book by Int’l Latino Book Awards

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Rick Najera’s memoir, “Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood” has been nominated for Most Inspirational Non-Fiction book by Latino Literacy Now’s Int’l Latino Book Awards.

Latino Book Awards

2014 is an amazing year for books for Latinos – and the market’s rapid growth is merely one reflection of how solid themarket is. Latinos in the USA will purchase more than $500 million in books in both English and Spanish. Books targeting Latinos are a growing segment because of the rapid growth of the market and the current gaps in relevanttopics being presented. The 2014 Finalists for the 16th Annual Int’l Latino Book Awards are another reflection of the growing quality of books by andabout Latinos.

This year’s number of entries was 41% more than the previous record year. In order to handle this large numberof books, the Awards had 123 judges, nearly double the number from 2013. The vast majority of the judges glowed about thequality of the entries. The Awards celebrates books in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Amongst the 231 finalists are well known writers like Isabel Allende, Alma Flor Ada, Edna Iturralde, and Rick Najera. Other honorees include Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and celebrities like TV chef Pati Jinich, the late singer and actress Jenni Rivera, singer Linda Ronstadt and TV personality Lilliana Vasquez. Finalists are from across the USA and from 18 countries outside the USA.

Read entire list of nominees here:

2014 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalists-1

New York Special Engagement April 3: Reception for Hollywood Playwright-Performer-Author Rick Najera

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Join Marcar Visions Marketing and NYC Latino Professionals (@nyclatinomeetup) for a New York special engagement with Hollywood Playwright-Performer-Author (and Comedian) Rick Najera.

When: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Time: 6:30pm to 10pm
Where: 49 Grove Street, Manhattan, NY 10014
Cost: FREE (or VIP, $25 tickets include an autographed ‘Almost White’ book and after party)

Marcar Visions Marketing presents award-winning writer-performer-director-producer and author with credits in film, television, theatre and Broadway, Rick Najera.  Rick will be visiting NYC before he heads to Cambridge to deliver a keynote speech at Harvard Law School on Sat, Apr 5, 2014 and Wellesley College on Tues, Apr 8, 2014.

He will share his experiences about what it took for him to accomplish his goals of working in Hollywood (and the power of “YES” and “asking for things”).

His message is powerful and will inspire you to stop underestimating yourself, or allowing others to underestimate you, which he also shares in his new book “Almost White.”  Though he is an accomplished Hollywood creative, his message applies to any Latino that has dreams and goals.  Dream big and know that it’s up to you to create your own opportunities and just do it.

In addition, Rick will share his thoughts about the lack of Latino representation in Hollywood and what can be done about it.

According to Najera, “Hollywood is … most likely a scared, white, 20-year-old boy.”

“This is a problem in writers’ rooms,” adds Najera, “because he says the typical Hollywood writer doesn’t have experience interacting on a regular basis with people of color.” And Rick Najera adds that a lack of diversity in the writers’ room isn’t apparent to most audiences.

“A lot of times the writers were the guys in the back room. So no one sees us, but they don’t realize we’re the ones that are changing everything,” he says.


Thurs, April 3, 2014 – 6:30pm – 10:00pm NYC Latino Professional’s present Reception for Rick Najera, sponsored by Marcar Visions Marketing, Manhattan, New York; Purchase tickets here. 

Sat, Apr 5, 2014 - Rick Najera is keynote speaker at Harvard Law School 17th Annual Conference, Cambridge, MA; Visit http://www.latinoconferenceatharvard.com/speaker-bios.html for more info.

Tues, Apr 8, 2014 – Rick Najera is keynote speaker at Wellesley College, a liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world.  

Rick Najera


Najera on NPR

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npr radio
npr radio

Rick Najera, a regular contributor to NPR Radio, was recently on  Michelle Martin’s show, Barber Shop, which airs nationwide each Friday.

Here is a recent clip from Friday, Feb 28, 2014:

Rick Najera Featured on CBS News

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Recently, CBS News KCAL9 featured Rick Najera as part of their morning segment. Najera discusses his new book, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood plus diversity in entertainment and directing the CBS Sketch Comedy Showcase for the ninth year.