Aida Rodriguez Calls for Unity at ‘Influential Latinos’ Celebration: ‘Who’s Going to Tear That Wall Down?’

Maria Cavassuto

The Imagen Foundation, which strives for the positive representation of Latinos in entertainment and media, celebrated its 8th annual “Most Powerful and Influential Latinos” at the City Club in Los Angeles.

The Latinos celebrated during the event included those in leadership positions, business affairs, creatives, marketing and agents. Helena Hernandez, President of the Imagen Foundation, evoked the mission of the foundation.

“In the early ’80s you could count the individuals in these positions with one hand. It is inevitable that our community needs to be taken into account,” she said.

Although not all honorees were able to attend, Hernandez let the audience know that it’s because they’re busy working.

“And that’s what we want!” she added.

The event was hosted by Aida Rodriguez (“Last Comic Standing”) and Allen Maldonado (“You’re The Worst”). Rodriguez promised to not bring politics to the celebration but found a way to lightly take a jab at this year’s election.

“We need to create a bridge, more unity. We need that more than ever now. I mean, who’s going to tear that wall down? That’s gonna be us!” she said.

The “Most Powerful and Influential Latinos” honorees included Javier Avitia, Executive Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, CBS Studios International; Carlos Carreras, Senior Vice President, Agency for the Performing Arts; Elizabeth Casanas, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Showtime Networks, Inc.; Phil Gonzales, Senior Vice President, Communications, CBS Entertainment; Enrique Guillen, Senior Vice President, Alternative Programming, NBCUniversal; Angelica McDaniel, Executive Vice President, Daytime Programs & Syndicated Program Development, CBS Entertainment; Rick Najera, Director, Diversity Showcase, CBS; Anita Ortiz, Vice President, Global Inclusion Strategy – West Coast, Viacom; Norma Provencio Pichardo, Executive Director, Television Academy Foundation; Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Group Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer, Variety and Indiewire and Warren Zavala, Partner, Talent Agent, WME Entertainment.

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