Smiley plans “Latino Nation” symposium, to “re-examine assumptions”

Public broadcaster Tavis Smiley is co-sponsoring a daylong symposium for discussion of issues of importance to the Latino community, modeled on his State of the Black Union gatherings. The April 6 event at Chicago State University, “Latino Nation: Beyond the Numbers,” is the first time that “such a diverse and representative group of Latinos discusses its broad agenda on a national stage,” said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the co-sponsoring William C. Velásquez Institute, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Smiley said that the “exponential growth” of the Latino community “demands that we re-examine the assumptions we hold to create new ideas and possibilities for a better, more united tomorrow.”

Agenda topics include health care, climate change, education, jobs and immigration. The participants, still being finalized, feature Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Margaret Moran, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, and actress Eva Longoria. Smiley had sponsored State of the Black Union gatherings nationwide for 10 years, calling them “a pulse check on how African Americans were fairing economically, politically and socially.” He ended the events in 2010, saying that communication and activism on the Internet reduced the need for an annual in-person meeting.

Madeleine Brand says outside offers lured her from KPCC

Madeleine Brand, who quit KPCC Sept. 21, told Current that “outside offers just became too attractive” for her to remain at the Pasadena station. Her hourlong morning Madeleine Brand show, which premiered on KPCC in September 2010, morphed last month into Brand & Martinez, when former ESPN sportscaster A Martinez signed on as co-host. The show also grew into a two-hour program for national distribution and will include a mix of segments intended to appeal to minority audiences. The changes were backed by a $1.8 million CPB grant to Southern California Public Radio in December 2011 as part of the One Nation Media Project, bolstering reporting and programming for and about Latinos and other people of color in the diverse Los Angeles area.