LatinaLista -- There are two indisputable truths about young people: They are the future and they are the YouTube generation. To young people, filming and posting their own videos -- that they shoot with their smart phones -- is second nature. They don't even think about it twice but a new social media campaign wants Latino youth to do exactly that -- think -- about their culture, their lives and how they envision America.
The campaign, Valor Latino, targets young people with a challenge to create a video that expresses their "vision for America's future through songs and videos that inspire pride and provoke thought."
The campaign, found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, is sponsored by Los Cenzontles, a grass-roots artist-driven organization based in San Pablo, CA, that promotes Mexican cultural pride and understanding.
Launched with such stars as Linda Ronstadt and David Hidalgo of the rock band Los Lobos, Valor Latino wants to reach Latino youth, the fastest growing population segment, to start encouraging them to use their voices as a way to work their way towards greater civic participation and inclusion in the larger national dialogue.
One of the videos already featured on the site is a music video by Blank and Maureen Gosling titled "Soy Mexico Americano." It includes the lyrics "By my mother I am Mexican/By my destiny I am American/I am Mexican-American ... I am from two lands and defend both with honor."
"It's really learn your tradition first," said Los Cenzontles founder Eugene Rodriguez. "We need to recognize who we are, where we come from. We need to take the best from our ancestral culture, take the best of what we have in the United States and that's our future."
All young people are encouraged to create their own videos and submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.