Tú Tienes el Poder: Defeat Disinformation in Your Community
Studies show that misleading content surges online during election seasons; many also reveal that not all online mis/disinformation is addressed in equal measure. Spanish-language political disinformation, especially, goes under-regulated and ignored, free to spread like wildfire on social media despite the continued growth of the Spanish-speaking voting bloc in the United States. Facebook alone missed 70% of the Spanish-language disinformation on its platform after the 2020 election cycle–but we can use this knowledge to empower and prepare Spanish-language voters in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections with the skills to recognize and stop misinformation online and in-person. Join PEN America and the Venezuelan American Caucus for a virtual workshop, offered in Spanish and English, on defending against the disenfranchising impact of disinformation.
During this session, we’ll take a holistic approach to stemming the spread of Spanish-language mis/disinformation, which includes skills for navigating difficult conversations with those who believe it. In this 90-minute workshop, we will cover the following:
- Definition refresher: What is the difference between misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation, again?
- How to communicate with family and friends who believe misinformation without sacrificing your own mental health
- A day in the life of a lie: The way misinformation moves and morphs between countries and social media platforms, closed messaging apps, and radio shows
- The psychology: How false content hacks our brains through confirmation bias, fear, and more
- Disinformation does not exist in a vacuum: Recognizing the importance of historical and cultural contexts that are often used against targeted audiences
- Strategies for uplifting credible, culturally attuned, in-language news and information quickly with messaging that doesn’t polarize or alienate
- Communication strategies for expressing the value of media literacy as a leader and trusted messenger in your community
Live Spanish-Language Interpretation
This conversation will be offered in English or Spanish via live Zoom interpretation – please be sure to download the Zoom app in advance to access the interpretation option. Thank you to our interpreters, Ernest Niño-Murcia and Yvette Citizen.
Adelys Ferro is a Venezuelan-American executive leader with more than 10 years of experience in humanitarian and community work. Former Executive Director of the Center of Democracy and Development in the Americas (CDDA) and IQLatino, she is an expert at managing, organizing, supervising, and executing processes and projects, skilled at leading multi- functional, multicultural and virtual teams, managing complex projects, and building solid relationships with key stakeholders. For more than a decade, Adelys has been actively involved with several Venezuelan Civil Society Organizations (Primeros Auxilios UCV, Primeros Auxilios LUZ, Primeros Auxilios UCLA, Cuatro por Venezuela Foundation, Ayuda Humanitaria Venezuela, Hazlo Hoy VE, Snacks4Heroes). She is also an Activist and an Advocate for immigrants and healthcare (ACA) in the U.S. Adelys is a member of Moms Demand Action and Change The Ref organizations.
Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell was the first South American-born immigrant ever elected to Congress and is now Senior Advisor at Giffords. Debbie immigrated to the United States at the age of 14 with her mother and three sisters. When she was 24, Debbie’s father was murdered, which led her to dedicate her life to advocating for commonsense gun reform. Debbie was elected to Florida’s 26th Congressional District in 2018. In Congress, she focused on foreign affairs, education, healthcare policy, environmental sustainability, and gun violence prevention. She sat on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security and served as Vice-Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, where she led efforts to pass the first gun safety legislation in 25 years. Debbie came to Congress with more than 20 years of experience at the FIU College of Medicine, FIU College of Health & Urban Affairs, FIU College of Social Work, Justice and Public Affairs, and Miami-Dade College, as well as experience at nonprofits providing social services, education, and environmental sustainability.
Guy Mentel is the President of Global Americans. Guy writes and speaks extensively about U.S.-Latin America relations and hemispheric affairs. He plays a leading role in developing Global Americans’ agenda, programs, publications, and events, and frequently briefs congressional staff and other international observers about U.S. policy toward the region. Prior to joining Global Americans, Guy held multiple positions in the United States Senate, working primarily on Western Hemisphere policy, immigration policy, and judiciary issues. Guy has extensive campaign experience; he worked on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and, in 2017, he co-founded a political action group that has endorsed and campaigned for candidates all across the country. Guy has worked on immigration policy and Latin America policy for four high-profile campaigns in the years since.
Andrea Cristina Mercado, Executive Director of Florida Rising, leads scaled civic engagement programs, and strategic campaigns that center Black and brown communities. Florida Rising is the result of the merger of New Florida Majority and Organize Florida. Under her leadership New Florida Majority registered over 150,000 Floridians to vote. The daughter of immigrants from South America, who made South Florida home, Andrea has been organizing in communities of color and immigrant communities for twenty years, she helped build Mujeres Unidas y Activas in the San Francisco Bay Area. Andrea is one of the co-founders of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and led the California Domestic Worker Coalition, a statewide effort to include domestic workers in labor laws, which successfully passed Domestic Worker Bill of Rights Legislation in 2013, seven states have now passed similar legislation. She went on to lead nationally recognized campaigns for immigrant and worker rights such as We Belong Together, and the 100 women 100 mile pilgrimage for migrant dignity. She is a graduate of Brown University, Fulbright Scholar and Emily’s list awardee, recently named best South Florida Activist by the Miami New Times.
Samuel Vilchez Santiago is a Venezuelan-American civil and equal rights advocate focusing on immigration reform, voting rights, and equal access to education. His recent work experience includes being the Equal Rights Manager at ActBlue, a non-profit digital platform that helps candidates and organizations raise funds through small-dollar donations, as well as the Florida Campaign Manager at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella coalition of national civil rights organizations. He also recently served as an Orange County Charter Review Commissioner in Florida, being the youngest person to be nominated and serve in a local government commission. Samuel is a graduate of Princeton University, where he majored in Politics with concentrations in Latin American Studies, American Studies and Spanish. He is currently seeking a Master of Public Policy at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government. He is a recipient of President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award, the US Congressional Youth Award, and an Eisenhower Fellowship Global Scholar.
Tamoa Calzadilla, Managing Editor of Factchequeado. Former director of elDetector, Univision Noticias fact-checking platform. She has led live digital-TV fact-checking coverage, and alliances with other media, organizations and universities to combat disinformation that mainly affects latinos. Pulitzer Prize Finalist for the collaborative work #FinCenfiles (2021) on corrupt Venezuelan politicians and international banking acting as leader for the the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). She was also part of the investigative team of the Panama Papers (ICIJ, 2016). She has been appointed Honoris Causa María Moors Cabot from Columbia University, and distinguished with the Gabriel García Márquez Honors and IPYS AWARD for Best Research, together with the team she led in Venezuela, in 2014. She’s also winner of the Ipys/Transparency International award for best coverage of corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Liz Lebrón is the research manager for the Latino Anti-Disinformation Lab (LADLab), a joint project between Voto Latino and Media Matters for America. Liz drives the lab’s research into disinformation campaigns that target the Latino community and threaten its access to the ballot box. Liz began her research career in corporate communications, where she worked with Fortune 500 companies and Forbes Global 2000 firms, before working in higher education while earning graduate degrees in communications and political science. Prior to joining Voto Latino, Liz served as the voter outreach manager for Pinellas County, Florida, where she led the transition from in-person to virtual voter engagement during the 2020 election cycle.