This year, #YoSoyLaCara will open participation on the national arena by attempting to make voting a social experience. The campaign will focus on how Latino millennials can use the benefits of their generation—being bi-lingual, technologically savvy, well-connected, and well-educated—to express the importance of voting, to take the mystique out of registering to vote, and eliminate the perceived taboo of talking about voting.
“The stakes are simply too high to ignore the opportunity,” says Josue Duarte, VP of Media & Marketing at Esperanza, “We want to challenge the Latino community to hold each other accountable by asking them to post a short video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or Snapchat showing their commitment to take action and tell the world why they are voting in the 2016 Presidential Election, of course accompanied by the signature #YoSoyLaCara.”
A number of community stakeholders have already committed to participating including GPHCC CEO Jennifer Rodriguez, Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival Marangeli Mejia, Executive Producer of the Philadelphia Hispanic Choice Awards Javier Suarez, and Musician Frankie Negron.
“Registration and voter turnout is a challenge to our community,” says Founder, President and CEO of Esperanza Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr., “With 55 million Latinos in this country, we have a duty as American citizens to vote this November. History has shown that young people and minorities simply don’t vote in high percentages. The Yo Soy La Cara campaign serves as a reminder to our community that we have a responsibility to register as individuals, educate our family and friends on issues of concern and ensure that we go to the polls and vote our interests. Our Yo soy la Cara campaign is Esperanza’s way of joining dozens of other civic participation movements across the country asking for Latinos to participate fully in our democracy.”
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In 2014, Esperanza introduced the “Yo Soy La Cara” community pride campaign during which we encouraged community members to show their pride by sharing selfies with the hashtag #YoSoyLaCara (I am the face) on social media. The purpose of the campaign was to showcase community members who have invested in our North Philadelphia neighborhood as well as the residents who are the everyday “face” of Hunting Park. The campaign aimed to promote the revitalization of the North Philadelphia Latino Neighborhood and affect the perception about the North Philadelphia Latino community in the general media and public outside of the community.
In 2015, the campaign transformed into the “Yo Soy La Cara: Pride through the Lens” photography contest as a unique opportunity to show what pride means through the lens of our youth. There were three categories of winners: Best Selfie, Best Portrait (of one or more people), and People’s Choice. A panel of judges including Photographer Tony Rocco, Journalist Ana Gamboa, and Philadelphia Latino Film Fesitval Director Marangeli Mejia, chose winners who best exemplify Latino pride through composition and creativity in the Best Selfie and Best Portrait categories.