Press Public Policy

Rise Up: Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Counted

By Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, EVP - Government & Corporate Affairs

May 9, 2018

This month, Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is beginning a comprehensive multi-year impact initiative – Rise Up: Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Counted – that doubles down on the Company’s mission to not only inform, empower, and entertain our audiences, but also to stand with our communities as they shape the future of the United States. The initiative, which will merge our existing Rise Up and Univision Contigo platforms, builds on our longstanding corporate social responsibility efforts, and will use storytelling, journalism, digital engagement, TV integrations, PSAs, infographics, animation, gaming, experiences, advocacy, and events to create impact.

We recognize that there are many issues impacting our diverse communities, and to drive a positive narrative, UCI is embracing this Rise Up initiative to celebrate our communities’ cultural, economic, and social diversity. At the same time, we are listening to those who are encouraging corporations to take action and give voices to the communities, especially the young and rising mainstream voices who want to be heard. As such, our new impact strategy follows three primary themes:

Be Seen builds upon our efforts to create advancement opportunities within the Hispanic community, focusing, in particular, on educating children, students, and parents, promoting health and wellness, encouraging entrepreneurship, and telling inspiring stories about Hispanic culture. For the second year, we are producing La Fuerza de Creer, miniseries that uses great storytelling to promote early childhood education in partnership with “Too Small To Fail,” the Bezos Family Foundation and Literacy Partners. With Pearson, ACT and Learning Heroes we are championing Hispanic teachers and helping Hispanic families successfully navigate the U.S. education system. In health, we are working with Appalachian Trail Conservancy and others to promote the outdoors and active lifestyles. With our partner Televisa Foundation we are expanding small business entrepreneurship efforts.

Be Heard gives voice, both in Spanish and English, to the communities we serve by promoting diversity in media and technology and advocating for freedom of the press and free speech. Recognizing the need for STEAM and the creation of our next generation of Latino leaders, we are promoting diversity in media and tech through the Univision Technology Center (UTEC) in San Jose and joining NCWIT and the Televisa Foundation to support Technolochicas, which empowers Latinas to create the future of technology. We are also investing in academic programs at California State Fullerton, Miami Dade College, Texas A&M San Antonio, and City University of New York, among others, to train future media and technology professionals. Additionally, in partnership with the California Endowment we continue to train, mentor, and provide a platform for young content creators from underrepresented areas through our Rise Up: Be Heard program. We recently launched an 8-part podcast called The Brave, which tells the stories of the new generation of diverse activists who are creating and inspiring change as they find strength in solidarity and #riseupasone.

Later this year, we will make space available in certain local stations to community organizations and young journalists to give them access to professionals and resources to create effective content.  Recognizing the power of advocacy and giving platforms to dynamic young leaders, we will combine unique storytelling and digital engagement to highlight the voices that are leveraging cultural commonalities to drive change across the country, culminating with the Rise Up Virtual Youth Summit in the fall.

Be Counted recognizes the growing economic, cultural, and political clout of Hispanic communities and the need to raise awareness and participation in them for civic engagement. Elections. The Census. Citizenship. These are all areas that matter. Univision is partnering with community and civic organizations to both register new voters and get out the vote. We know that the power of one vote cannot be underestimated as every election – whether at the most local or at the highest federal levels – matters for America’s future.

Beginning this year, Univision is dedicating resources and attention to the 2020 Census. We are raising awareness and promoting participation in the Census as it will have a tremendous impact on the communities we serve. More than 130 programs and nearly $700 billion federal dollars in health, education, environment, workforce, and infrastructure investments are at stake.  Additionally, the future of Congress and how much representation communities will have is determined by the Census.

Lastly, immigration and citizenship remain important to our corporate social responsibility efforts.  Citizenship workshops, immigration town halls, and Univision Noticias interactive digital tools that provide a “How to” America as well as social media campaigns are all part of our efforts.  Indeed, we are excited by El Buscador de Visas para EEUU, Univision Noticias graphics unit’s most recent project that guides foreigners on what visas they need to enter and remain in the U.S. legally.

At the heart of Rise Up: Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Counted is providing a platform and literally giving the mic to voices that need to be amplified as they advocate for positive change.  We are investing in efforts and partnerships that strengthen our impact.  Unequivocally, UCI will continue to inform, empower, and entertain our audiences, but we also intend to Rise Up to best position our diverse Hispanic communities for the future.

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