Episode 24: Tono Latino

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My guest today is the founder of Tono Latino, Sylvia Salazar. Sylvia is a Colombian immigrant and a computer engineer turned political activist. Her passion is helping other people understand what is going on in the world of politics and to encourage them to become more politically involved and vote. She is determined to change Latino representation in politics and in media.

Tono Latino is a progressive platform that informs and educates Latinos about politics in the United States and encourages them to become more involved and vote.

In this interview, we explore why Sylvia felt the need to create Tono Latino in the first place, why she thinks it is important that our community gets more politically involved and the potential consequences if we do not, what she would like to see in the media to further include and better represent the Latinx community, and much more. It was a pleasure speaking with Sylvia. We bonded from the moment we first met, and not just because we are both Colombian compatriots. Her passion is palpable, her knowledge is deep, and her do-it-yourself ethic and sense of social responsibility are admirable and inspiring.

Guest

"I was saldy surprised ... to see the low turnout of Latino voters in not the last election but the last six presidential elections. For the last six presidential elections the Latino turnout has been below 50 percent and we are nearly 18 percent of the US population. In fact, by the year 2060, we're expected to reach 30 percent of the population. So we are very important. The Pew Research Center estimates that by 2020, there will be approximately 32 million eligible Latino voters but we need more than 16 million of them to show up at the polls. And that is something that I couldn't quite process when I saw the numbers after the last election. And at the same time, on a positive note, I would say that I was happily surprised to see so many different organizations trying to create awareness, to create change, and I think we've seen the results of that work over the last two years, in the last midterms, for example. But another thing that struck me was how ... very few organizations were focused on reaching the Latino community."
Sylvia Salazar
Founder, Tono Latino

Host

Founder, Executive Director, Editor-in-Chief

Julián Esteban Torres López is a Colombian-born journalist, publisher, podcaster, and editor. Before founding the nonfiction storytelling organization The Nasionahe ran several cultural and arts organizations, edited journals and books, was a social justice and public history researcher, wrote a column for Colombia Reports, taught university courses, and managed a history museum. He’s a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee and has written two books on social justice. Torres López holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from University of New Hampshire and was a Ph.D. candidate at University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.

Twitter: je_torres_lopez

jetorreslopez.com

The Nasiona Podcast shares stories that explore the spectrum of human experience and glimpse into foreign worlds. We focus on stories based on facts, truth-seeking, human concerns, real events, and real people, with a personal touch. From liminal lives to the marginalized, and everything in between, we believe that the subjective can offer its own reality and reveal truths some facts can’t discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López.

Our theme song is “Lat Dior” by Abdoulaye Mboup.

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