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Rick Najera’s Latino Thought Makers Series at Morton College Kicks-Off
Hispanic Heritage Month with Multi-Award Actor Luis Guzman

Award-winning actor Luis Guzmán, who was just announced as a leading cast member of Netflix’s Wednesday Tim Burton’s live-action Addams Family series –  will be the first guest of Rick Najera’s nationally acclaimed interview series, Latino Thought Makers on Friday, September 24th at 6:30pm live at Morton College’s Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804. The event is complimentary and open to the public and RSVP is required via Eventbrite.

This marks Guzmán’s second appearance at Morton College in the last two years. He hosted a question-and-answer session with Morton College students in November of 2019.

The Latino Thought Makers series at Morton College features four separate, live, sit-down interviews and personal conversations in Morton College’s Jedlicka Performing Arts Center stage hosted by Najera, who taps into his network of influential and inspirational Latinos and Latinas in Hollywood.

The Latino Thought Makers builds bridges of understanding in cultural diversity through personal and comedic dialogue and showcases critical thinking as it relates to entertainment and education and provides the audience an opportunity to be a part of a greater dialogue and motivational story-telling experience. It is an unscripted interview series highlighting prominent Latinx personalities through organic conversations with Najera’s network of industry friends and community leaders. Previous guests have included Edward James Olmos, Dr. Cornel West, Dolores Huerta, Danny Trejo and hundreds others.

Guzmán worked as a youth counselor at the Henry Street Settlement House, while performing in street theater and independent films. He graduated from The City College of New York. Early in his career, he made guest appearances on numerous television shows, including “NYPD Blue,” “Law & Order,” “Oz,” “How to Make it in America,” “John from Cincinnati” and “Miami Vice.” He starred in the CBS medical drama “Code Black,” where he portrayed senior nurse Jesse “Mama” Salander. 

Since Guzmán’s big break on “Miami Vice,” he has appeared in more than 60 feature films, including “We’re the Millers,” “The Taking of Pelham 123,”  “Magnolia,” “Boogie Nights,” “Carlito’s Way” and “Nothing Like the Holidays” in which Rick Najera wrote the film.

Guzmán is a three-time Screen Actors Guild Award® nominee for his roles in the films “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia” and winning Outstanding Performance by a Cast in 2001 for the Academy Award®-nominated film “Traffic.” Also, he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “The Limey.”

Guzmán was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Manhattan. Currently, he splits his time between Los Angeles and his farm in Vermont where he keeps horses, livestock and has his own maple sugar grove.

Latino Thought Makers builds bridges of understanding in cultural diversity through personal and comedic dialogue and showcases critical thinking as it relates to entertainment and education and provides the audience an opportunity to be a part of a greater dialogue and motivational story-telling experience.

“Luis (Louie) will bring a fresh perspective to the show and we’ll explore his early inspirations and share a few laughs,” commented Najera. 

“Latino Thought Makers was created as platform for Latinos/as to change the narrative and showcase and celebrate positive contributions to the American experience,” said Najera.

The author of five critically acclaimed books, Najera has also written for film and television for more than 20 years in Hollywood and performed on Broadway in New York in his self-written stage play, Latinologues, directed by comedy legend Cheech Marin.

Latino Thought Makers will also be broadcast live via Morton College’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Latino Thought Makers with special guest Luis Guzman will take place on Friday, September 24, 2021 at 6:30pm, live at Morton College’s Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804. Parking is free and available on campus. The event is complimentary and open to the public; RSVP is required via Eventbrite.

For more information on Latino Thought Makers, please visit www.morton.edu/latino-thought-makers/. Follow Morton College’s Facebook page for the announcement of future guests and shows.

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