Letter to NALIP from Outgoing Chair Maria Agui Carter

Dear NALIP comunidad,

It has been one of my greatest privileges to get to know and work with so many of you. Our community of NALIPsters have encouraged and inspired me every day.  We must be the authors of our own narratives if we are to effect real change and claro que sí se puede, together.   As Cesar Chavez has said, "Once social change begins you cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours."

As a working NALIP filmmaker-member I can attest to how vital NALIP is as the most important organization supporting and advocating for us and I remain deeply connected to NALIP and its mission. In 2014 I will move to our Board of Trustees to work on advocacy, partnerships and development for NALIP. 

I am thrilled to announce our incoming NALIP Executive Director Axel Caballero. Founder and Executive Director of CUENTAME, a leading new media immigration and civil rights advocacy site with over 123,000 followers, Axel is a commentator on national news media and formerly the Media Production and Distribution Director of Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films.  Axel also brings to NALIP his extensive experience in non-profit and political organizing. 

A warmest thank you to our departing Acting Executive Director, Beni Matias, one of NALIP's founders, who moved to LA for the past two years to shepherd our organization as we professionalized and streamlined operations, expanded our partnerships, and kept NALIP thriving!  Beni has been a dear and trusted colleague, leader and friend to me and to so many of us and we wish her continued success in all her future endeavors including producing her Latino Public Broadcasting-funded new film Coquito!  We can't wait to see it!

I am excited to introduce you to our incoming board Co-Chairs – Kirk Whisler, and Rosa Alonso!  Kirk Whisler, President of Latino Print Network, which works with 625+ Latino newspapers & magazines and 300+ websites with a combined circulation of 19 million, has served as a co-founder of the Nat'l Latino Media Council; Latino Literacy Now (that has produced 52 Latino Book & Family Festivals); the Los Angeles Latino Int'l Film Festival; and as founding president of the Nat'l Association of Hispanic Publications, as well as overseen marketing for a variety of films including Stand and Deliver.  Rosa Alonso is the winner of the 2013 "The Innovator" award at the prestigious SXSW film fest/conference, known to Spanish language viewers with her "Mi Vida Tec" show on Telemundo, and a former Latino website founder and marketing and advertising executive at Fortune 500 companies specializing in the multicultural market. 

It is a testament to the maturity of our community that we can leave NALIP in such capable hands!  To my beloved comunidad - gracias for all your struggles to tell our stories!  I will be out there cheering for each and every one of you.  I look forward to our changing the story of America, one film at a time.

María Agui Carter

Maria Agui Carter grew up an undocumented "Dreamer," and graduated from Harvard University. She has been the winner of a Rockefeller, a George Peabody Gardner, and a Warren Fellowship, and has been a visiting scholar/artist at Harvard, Tulane and Brandeis.  Her latest films, No Job For a Woman (Producer), and Rebel (Writer, Producer, Director) are touring festivals and broadcast on national PBS in 2013/14. She is writing a narrative script about a mother facing a "Sophie's Choice" decision about which child to save and which to abandon due to their undocumented status and turning Rebel into a feature film script.