President of Futuro Media, Founder of Latino Rebels & MSNBC Columnist
Julio Ricardo Varela is proudly Puerto Rican through and through. And that identity has become not only who he is as a person but also guided his career as a firebrand journalist, activist and pioneer in Latino media. Read More >
Julio Ricardo Varela on the #ParoNacional
Why Journalism: Julio Ricardo Varela
In the last 30 years, the number of Latinos in newsrooms across the country has risen by just a handful of percentage points — despite Latinos representing nearly 20 percent of our overall population. In print media, there has been only a 1% increase and broadcast media just 3%, according to a study by Latino magazine. And for those who do work in the industry, they’re often boxed into doing stories that are thought of as relevant to their identified groups. So how can we fix these dismal results? It is possible to get better representation, says Julio Ricardo Varela, by creating your own lanes instead of waiting on mainstream media to see the light. In this talk, Varela shares his own story of fighting the system as the founder of Latino Rebels — one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world. He says the mainstream media often does not understand Latinos and the gifts they can bring to the industry. But that’s not a reason to stop fighting for better representation. There are plenty of small and impactful digital outlets to pitch. Whether Latino or any other person of color, this presentation will inspire you to continue the fight — despite the roadblocks put in your way.
As the U.S. population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse — the majority of us will be nonwhite by 2050 — how do Latinos fit in? Not only just fine, says Julio Ricardo Varela, but they’ll also become a powerhouse that can lead to significant political and cultural change. In this insightful keynote, Varela, Editorial Director for Futuro Media and founder of Latino Rebels — one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world — shares the story of his bilingual/bicultural heritage and how it affected him, from feeling like a fish out of water while attending Harvard to becoming a leader and voice of the Latino community. He’ll give insights on how diversity will change America for the better and what we can all do to help the process continue in the future.
Julio Ricardo Varela’s many years covering issues and events directly impacting the Latino communities have positioned him as one of the leading voices when addressing the “Crisis at the Border.” With the Trump administration presiding over the largest flows of migration at the U.S.-Mexico border since the mid-2000s, the Biden Administration is tasked with tackling one of America’s most pressing issues that has no sign of slowing down or going away. In this inspiring keynote, Varela tackles the stories from the border that the mainstream media tends to ignore, and shares the latest firsthand accounts of those battling one of the country's most misunderstood and misinformed issues.
New polling continues to show what voices like Julio Ricardo Varela have always known: Latinos feel that both political parties do not understand them and they feel taken for granted. In this talk that explores the history of Latinos’ uneasy relationship with Democrats and Republicans, Varela shares what these parties should be doing to elevate the country’s second largest voting bloc.
Creating a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce involves much more than crossing off tasks on a checklist. You have to create a culture where everyone feels like they belong and have an equal chance of getting ahead. In this presentation, Julio Ricardo Varela, Editorial Director for Futuro Media and Founder of Latino Rebels, shares his insights on fostering DEI in the workplace the right way, from junior employees to leaders, and includes tools and tips to help you get started.
For Julio Ricardo Varela, life was going well. The longtime journalist had carved out a successful career. And then, like a lot of Americans, he was laid off as the country struggled with the recession. But instead of giving up, Varela decided to create his own opportunities. And that he did. In this highly personal talk, Varela shares how he rose from the ashes when his career path was cut off and created one of the top U.S. Latino digital media sites in the world — which led to opportunities with Al Jazeera America and NBC News — and how you can do the same, no matter your profession. If you are in a career transition or about to enter the workforce, this keynote is for you.
"It was amazing and our students are still buzzing about it. We are so grateful to you for all your help and to Julio who helped guide us into some very serious and difficult (but vital) conversations."
"Really really fabulous talk today! Thank you so much, Julio, for sharing your voice with us – during your talk, I received multiple emails from people saying that they were so incredibly glad to see themselves represented in your message. It was informative and inspiring and the perfect capstone event for our Heritage Month celebrations."
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