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The unit celebrated the Inflation Reduction Act investment made in the USVI by organizing a ceremonial tree planting activity. The unit celebrated the Inflation Reduction Act investment made in the USVI by organizing a ceremonial tree planting activity.
02 April 2024

Latino Young Professionals for the Nation’s Future


Written by: Wesley Perez Vidal


The Latinos’ journey in the United States and territories is a call to action for individuals to rise, connect, and contribute to a future where diversity is not just acknowledged but celebrated into action. However, the dynamic landscape of Latino advocacy during the nationwide election extends beyond policy to the heart of communities.

“Latino stories are unrepresented in history books, museums, heritage sites, and Hollywood. As PR professionals, we have the power to change that. The stories we tell through the content we create or media coverage we earn can be a part of making positive change,” said Melissa Vella-Williamson, who specializes in public relations, applying Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion principles.

We need to recognize the crucial need for accurate and inclusive representation of Latinos in the U.S., showcasing the people’s contributions to a broader narrative. As a Public Affairs Specialist, I have been working with the U.S. Forest Service for nearly two months, focusing on communication campaigns, media relations, and engagement strategies for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands at the International Institute of Tropical Forestry under State, Private, and Tribal Forestry unit.

I always aspire to engage with multicultural audiences using innovation, media collaboration, and content strategies. The Hispanic Access experience have given me the space to growth and learn assisting the RAP Orientation Week in New Mexico, and the 52nd AgriFest in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Now, I will expand my horizon as one of the persons selected by the Foundation to the U.S. Latino Advocacy Week in Washington D.C. and sponsored by the Professional Developmnent Found to the 40th Anniversary and 2024 Conference of the National Association of Hispanic Journalist in Hollywood, California.

The 52nd Agriculture and Food Fair of St. Croix had the presence of Moko Jumbies. According to African lore, they are  protectors whose height allows them to watch over villages. The tradition was brought to the U.S. Virgin Islands over 200  years ago, and today, Moko Jumbies are an essential part of festivals and Carnivals.

The 52nd Agriculture and Food Fair of St. Croix had the presence of Moko Jumbies. According to African lore, they are protectors whose height allows them to watch over villages. The tradition was brought to the U.S. Virgin Islands over 200 years ago, and today, Moko Jumbies are an essential part of festivals and Carnivals. 

Since I was 16, I have embarked on a new chapter as a first generation in university and the media industry, collaborating with local, national, and international stations with only one vision: social responsibility and representing Puerto Rico.

However, growing up seeing the global reality of representation, including within “Isla del Encanto,” I was unaware of the necessities and unity between the story of the people we see in television, government, and entertainment vs. the story of first generations from rural and suburban populations.

I was a 10-year-old when I visited with my father for the first time "Noticentro". A news program of a national Puerto Rican TV Station: WAPA - TV.

The Latino Donor Collaborative report (2022) shows that Latinos are underrepresented in TV and streaming shows despite representing 20% of the U.S. population and $2.8 trillion in total economic output. Now, in 2023, the data in the report makes clear that the percentage of Latinos working at the highest level of the journalism industry does not match the national market parity of U.S. Latinos.

The rich culture, resilience, and the people’s voices acknowledge to bridge understanding and appreciation. Our heritage is an invitation for young professionals to step into their power, be heard, and foster a future where the Latino voice is not just heard but revered.

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