“There are so many good things happening between Black and Latino activists and we often just don’t see it. We don’t even celebrate it and we often don’t know about it because we are busy in our own lives,” Araceli Esparza tells Madison365. “But I think the videos are helping to create that bridge more and more. The younger people watch videos and they don’t watch television as much.”
Esparza, the founder of Wisconsin Mujer, has been hosting events to bring the African American and Latino populations together including Talkbacks on Thursday nights which discuss important issues in the community. Wisconsin Mujer is a strategic marketing, outreach, and engagement consulting agency that crafts exclusive connections.
This Thursday’s “Latinx TalkBack on Black and Latinx Politics in Our Community,” which will take place on Facebook Live, will focus on the role of Adelante Madison in Latino community politics. Adelante Madison supports and trains candidates of color who have shown a prior commitment to addressing issues that impact their diverse communities. Adelante offers a full range of support including networking opportunities, training on forming a campaign committee, messaging, and the practicalities of running a successful campaign.
Esparza says that Thursday’s event will discuss things like the stereotypes, myths, and the intersectionality of Latinx and the Black communities when it comes to running for office, building a campaign, and what are the unique barriers that Black and Latinx people face when running for office.
“That’s one of the reasons why I created the Talkback, because of the intricate way that we are connected and the ways that we Latinos, at least, have not fully engaged in the Black Lives Matter movement … at least not locally,” Esparza says. “We wanted to speak to that and do our own part to reach people to talk about these important topics.”
Frances Huntley-Cooper, Wisconsin’s first African-American mayor (City of Fitchburg) and a member of the Board of Trustees for Madison College, will be one of the special guests along with Gloria Reyes, MMSD School Board President and founder of Adelante Madison.
“I don’t think that the Latino community or the communities of color or even the greater community understands how important Adelante Madison is,” Esparza says. “It’s an important group that is doing its own thing and increasing people of color’s insight and knowledge of politics while promoting great candidates of color.”
Beny Perez-Reyes, a Milwaukee native and the principal owner of Clover Phoenix Capital, which helps fund businesses in the Milwaukee area, will be another guest on the show.
“I love that I am able to get somebody from Milwaukee on every one of my panels,” Esparza says. “We are looking forward to having Beny on Thursday.
“I think what really inspired having the Milwaukee guests lately is the young Black, queer women and men who walked from Milwaukee to Madison,” she adds. “It made me see this connection. Our brothers and sisters in Milwaukee need our support. I feel like these topic series are a way of doing that.”
Johnathan William Osorio Delgado, a social justice advocate and activist, “hood historian,” local community organizer, volunteer, and founder of “The Puerto Rico Awareness Project,” will be the fourth and final guest.
“Latinx TalkBack on Black and Latinx Politics in Our Community” will be partially sponsored by DANG! Grant by the Dane County Arts Commission. Esparza says she not only hopes that the event gets people talking about important Black and Latinx topics, but also get people fired up to make a difference in politics – however big or small they can do so.
“I think its important to get people politically involved for this Novembers election,” she says. “That’s my goal. I would love to get more people from rural Wisconsin involved, too. I’m hoping to get them in on my talk.”
The moderator for this TalkBack will be Joe Maldonado, an alder for the City of Fitchburg and a local business owner.
“I’m excited about Joe being the moderator. I’m happy to pass the mic to him,” Esparza says. “It’s important to have his voice. I’m happy being the producer.”
The “Latinx TalkBack on Black and Latinx Politics in Our Community” will take place Thursday, Aug. 6, 8 p.m.
“I think people are going to want to tune in on Thursday to really find out about people’s stories, how and what motivates them to run for office and how they were also just regular people, as well, just like you and I. They are just regular people who care about the political structures of democracy that are available for us to use,” Esparza says. “I hope that people will be inspired by these folks.
“We want our listeners, too, to know that they can make a difference – whatever role they might play. We want them to feel empowered because the time is now. We need everybody.”