Rick Najera’s Latino Thought Makers Series returns to Morton College for a Conversation with Latinas in Hollywood

(Cicero, IL) Award-winning actress, writer, producer, and social media activist Yareli Arizmendi along with award-nominated actress and philanthropist, Alex Meneses will be the next guests of Rick Najera’s nationally acclaimed interview series, Latino Thought Makers on Thursday, October 20 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.

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.

Yareli Arizmendi is an award-winning actress, writer, and producer, as well as a social activist. She is best known for her performances as Rosaura in Like Water for Chocolate and as Lila Rodriguez in A Day Without A Mexican, a movie she co-wrote and co-produced. With more than twenty-five years of a solid professional career Yareli has appeared in multiple television programs and films. Starting with Like Water for Chocolate, she has narrated a wide array of audiobooks including Isabel Allende’s Violeta, Maria Hinojosa’s Una Vez Fui tu, Reyna Grande’s The Ballad of Love and Glory, and The Distance Between Us, and Jeannine Cummins’ American Dirt amongst many more.

Her Tedx Talk: Making the Invisible Visible, is a declaration of both personal and professional intents. Now a member of The Academy/Oscars (AMPAS), she earned a B.A. in Political Science and an MFA in Theater from the University of California, San Diego.

Alex Meneses can currently be seen in CW’s hit show, WALKER.  Alex recently starred opposite Jackson Rathbone and Esai Morales in the independent film The Wall of Mexico, which premiered at SXSW in 2019. She filmed the independent pilot Unorganized Crime, directed by Academy-Award winner Nick Valleglonga. She recently guest-starred on CBS all access hit series Why Women Kill for Marc Cherry. Alex recurred on CW’s critically acclaimed series Jane The Virgin. She also starred on NBC’s comedy Series telenovela, opposite Eva Longoria. Alex received an Imagen Award nomination for her performance. Alex first became embraced by audiences playing Teresa Morales in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Her role Everybody Loves Raymond earned her ALMA Award and American Comedy Award nominations. Other TV credits include Friends, The Goldbergs, CSI, CSI Miami, Prison Break, NCIS, Psych, Austin & Ally, and The Cleveland Show.

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.

“So often people forget Latinas are a part of the Hollywood fabric, but they exist and have been remaking and fighting the Hollywood structure to tell their stories with authenticity and truth,” said Rick Najera. “These two women are veterans and examples of that struggle, and this will be a dialogue of lessons learned behind and in front of the lens.”

Most recently, Rick Najera co-authored an Amazon top-seller book titled “Ignite the Fire Within: Master Your Speaking and Writing” with Harvard Professor Sanjiv Chopra. He has also written for film and television for over 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 guests Yareli Arizmendi and Alex Meneses will take place on Thursday, October 20, 2022, 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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