Rosario Dawson & Voto Latino: Inspiring Youth Through Social Media and Song
Empowerment organization Voto Latino wants you to hit the polls this election season. Music lovers, take note: free iTunes downloads are involved!
If you’ve picked up a newspaper, clicked through a news website, or turned on a television set recently, you’ve probably noticed that politicians are busy gearing up for the 2012 election season. But in many cases, their impassioned speeches and campaign dollars will fail to inspire millions of Latino youths in the United States who don’t vote.
According to non-partisan national youth empowerment organization Voto Latino, only a small percentage out of approximately 9 million young Latinos make it to the polls on election day. Sadly, when you take a look at the statistics, it makes sense. This nonprofit reports that higher than average levels of poverty and unemployment plague the Latino community, making voicing their opinions seem futile.
That’s where Voto Latino steps in. Co-founded by Chairwoman Rosario Dawson in 2004, the organization works to encourage Latinos to stand up for a better tomorrow through participating in the political process.
And while engaging young people is no easy feat, the organization has enjoyed large successes. Its 2010 ‘Be Counted, Represent!’ Census campaign featured 25 free iTunes downloads and raised $150 million worth of community resources for the Latino community. In addition, thousands of teens and twenty-somethings pledged to cast their votes.
This year, Voto Latino is aiming even higher with 35 inspiring and totally free songs for download on Facebook. Featuring renowned artists like Kat Deluna, Los Tigres del Norte, Pitbull, Diego Garcia, and many more, this is one jam you’ll listen to again and again. Plus, you’ll be rocking out for a great cause.
“Nothing impacts us quite like music,” Maria Teresa, Voto Latino’s CEO/President, told us. “It tugs at our heartstrings, making us cry, moves us to shake our hips and nod our heads, and even motivates us to stand up for our rights. The artists featured on Voto Latino’s Soundtrack to a Movement help us empower our community by donating their music and their time to send a message that together we can move this country forward.”
So, these tunes aren’t merely to kill time on a lazy weekend. By drawing supporters to Voto Latino’s Facebook page, the group can disseminate important political information from around the web.
“Social Media is the fastest way to spread messages, which is why we have a team dedicated to updating our Facebook and Twitter every hour,” Teresa added. “We post breaking news around the issues that matter most to our community: economy and jobs, education, immigration, health care, and women’s and LGBTQ rights.”
Just as Voto Latino’s Facebook page is committed to tackling a vast array of issues, its latest compilation reflects the diversity of young Latinos. Featured genres include Regional Mexican, Rock/Alternative, Hip-Hop, Brazilian, and Christian. And this is only the beginning.
“This free 35-song compilation is just the first of Voto Latino exclusives for our supporters this year,” Teresa explained. “We’ll be working on the ground in communities across the country, putting on concerts and rallies to make sure everyone is counted and has a voice. Just as music is a personal choice, we have to make our vote in 2012 personal, too.”
This year, it’s time for those of us who can vote to cast our ballots. With more than three dozen free songs by your side, those lines at the polls won’t seem nearly as daunting. So what are you waiting for?
Diana Denza is a regular contributor to BettyConfidential.