Representation of Immigrants in Film and Media

While Hollywood has made significant in-roads with presenting more diversity on and off the screen, the roles for immigrants are still limited and often reinforce stereotypes. Participants will speak about how they have balanced the demands of the Hollywood while staying true to their own identities. Moderator:

  • Maria Hinojosa -- Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning news anchor and reporter who covers America’s untold stories and highlights today’s critical issues. As the anchor and Executive Producer of NPR’s only Latino news and culture show Latino USA, and anchor and Executive Producer for the upcoming PBS show America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, she has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad.

    Hinojosa has received numerous awards for her work including: four Emmys; the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism; Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged; the Studs Terkel Community Media Award; the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her ground-breaking “Child Brides: Stolen Lives.”


  • Barkhad Abdi, Actor, Academy Award Nominee -- Barkhad Abdi is a Somali American actor and director. He made his debut in the 2013 film Captain Phillips, for which he received various film award nominations, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA, the latter of which he went on to win.
  • Ana Ortiz, Actress, Singer -- The talented and vibrant Ana Ortiz broke out as Hilda Suarez in ABC’s hit comedy Ugly Betty, earning both ALMA and Imagen Awards for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal as Betty’s sassy older sister. Along with her personal recognition, the show has been honored with a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, two Golden Globe awards including Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical, and another 39 wins and 66 nominations. In addition to her recurring roles on ABC’s acclaimed Boston Legal as A.D.A Holly Raines and as Anna in the FX series set in wartime Iraq Over There, Ortiz also starred in the ABC series A.U.S.A and Kristin. She is currently starring in Marc Cherry’s hit show for Lifetime entitled Devious Maids.
  • Ligiah Villalobos, Writer, Actor, Producer -- Ligiah Villalobos is the Writer and Executive Producer of the independent feature film Under the Same Moon, (La Misma Luna), released by Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company. The film was an Official Selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and became the highest sale for a Spanish-language film in the history of Sundance. Made for under $2M, the film has earned over $23M worldwide.
  • Diane Guerrero, Actress -- Diane Guerrero is a Colombian-American actress best known for the role of Maritza Ramos on the Netflix web series Orange is the New Black. Guerrero was born in New Jersey to Colombian parents and raised in Boston. As the only American-born child in her family, she remained in America when the rest of her family was deported back to Colombia when she was 14. She has had an interest in acting since a young age and took advantage of free opportunities in the neighborhood or at school. Then she attended Boston Arts Academy, which is a performing arts high school, where she was in the music department. At age 24, she decided to pursue a career in acting. Guerrero’s life experience compels her to advocate for immigration reform and is an influence that she draws upon in her acting.