The National Hispanic Media Coalition, NHMC, announced its 15th Annual Impact Awards Gala, taking place Friday, February 24, in Beverly Hills, California. The NHMC Gala is one of the most sought-after Latino media events in the country. President and CEO, Alex Nogales, will host five hundred of the most influential people in Hollywood when it comes to advancing Latino talent on both the big and small screen.
This year’s Impact Awards will honor onscreen talents Cesar Millan, Benjamin Bratt, Michelle Rodriguez, Efren Ramirez, and Aubrey Plaza; director Chris Weitz; and music artist Taboo. The Impact Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the positive portrayal of Latinos in media. The Impact Awards Gala is also an important event on NHMC’s fundraising calendar, as sponsorship helps advance NHMC’s mission. Among the sponsors of the 15th Annual Impact Awards Gala are Disney, Univision, Google, CBS, Bright House Networks, and NuvoTV. Comedic actor Rob Schneider and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols – who currently play Rob and Maggie on CBS’s ¡Rob! – will be Masters of Ceremony.
“Recognizing the positive portrayal of Latinos in the media is a social justice matter. Latinos make up 16.5% of America. We need and deserve to see uplifting reflections of our community onscreen. NHMC is very proud of the career achievements of this year’s awardees and most honored to celebrate them with our community,” comments Nogales.
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Media entrepreneur and best-selling author Cesar Millan will be honored with an Outstanding Reality Show Impact Award for his internationally popular and iconic series, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan. Dog Whisperer is National Geographic WILD’s flagship series and airs in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Michelle Rodriguez’s career was launched when she starred in the critically acclaimed indie film Girlfight. Michelle has since starred in many franchise hits such as the adrenaline-charged The Fast and the Furious and the action-horror film Resident Evil. Michelle will reprise her roles in both franchises this coming year. She was last seen starring opposite Aaron Eckhart in Battle: Los Angeles for which Michelle Rodriguez is taking home an Outstanding Performance in a Motion Picture Impact Award.
Actor Efren Ramirez is perhaps best known for his iconic portrayal of “Pedro” in the comedy feature film Napoleon Dynamite. Due to the success of the film and the popularity of Efren’s character, FOX Television made Napoleon Dynamite into an animated series. His voice performance is so captivating that Efren Ramirez will receive an Outstanding Performance in an Animated Television Series Impact Award. In spring 2012, Ramirez will star opposite Will Ferrell in the film Casa de mi Padre.
Seasoned television and film actor Benjamin Bratt is receiving an Outstanding Performance in a Television Series Impact Award for his role as “Dr. Jake Reilly” on the hit ABC primetime series Private Practice. He garnered an Emmy Award nomination for his role on NBC’s hit drama Law & Order. Bratt’s distinguished film career includes Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, which received five Academy Award nominations. Other film credits include Miss Congeniality and Love in the Time of Cholera.
Comedienne and actress Aubrey Plaza will be recognized with an Outstanding Performance in a Television Series Impact Award for her deadpan-style portrayal of “April Ludgate” on the hit NBC comedy Parks and Recreation.
Director, producer, and writer Chris Weitz garnered attention worldwide with his work on such films as American Pie, The Golden Compass, and About a Boy, for which he earned an Academy Award nomination in 2003 for best adapted screenplay. In 2009, Weitz directed The Twilight Saga: New Moon, based on the popular book series and most recently directed A Better Life – a poignant, multi-generational story about a father’s love and sacrifice to build a better life for his child. Since the film’s June 2011 release, it has been selected by the National Board of Review as one of the “Top Ten Independent Films” of the year. Chris Weitz is receiving an Impact Award for Outstanding Direction in a Motion Picture.
Finally, musician and actor Jaime Gomez is best known by his fans as Taboo from the internationally successful band “The Black Eyed Peas.” The band has sold over 65 million records worldwide. Taboo has shared his success by supporting several charities and he is also a stirring advocate for the Latino community, avidly speaking out against racism. Taboo has earned an Outstanding Advocate for the Latino Community Impact Award for his commitment to social justice.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit, media advocacy and civil rights organization established in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to educate and influence media corporations on the importance of including U.S. Latinos at all levels of employment, challenge media that carelessly exploit negative Latino stereotypes, and scrutinize and opine on media and telecommunications policy issues before the Federal Communications Commission and in Congress. Learn more at http://www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on twitter @NHMC.