Of América is brought to you by Roberto Lovato (robvato@gmail.com). Roberto Lovato is a writer and commentator at New America Media, a strategy consultant and a Co-Founder of Presente.org, the country’s pre-eminent online Latino advocacy organization, with a membership of more than 300,000 people. In March 2011, Roberto was awarded a crisis reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center and, a month later, readers of Alternet voted him one of the country’s “Most Influential Progressives” in media. His work explores the intimate link between the online and offline worlds, between storytelling and organizing and between the mediated and unmediated life. Roberto also had the opportunity to explore these links as a Senior Strategy Fellow with the Citizen Engagement Lab.

Roberto has written and spoken extensively about a number of critical issues including  climate change, national politics, immigration, Latin American politics, national security, race and race relations, and other issues. He is also a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and the Huffington Post and his work has appeared in numerous publications including the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Der Spiegel, the American Prospect, Mother Jones, Salon,  Utne Magazine, La Opinion, and other national and international media outlets. He has also appeared as either a source or commentator in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Le Monde Diplomatique and in English and Spanish language network news shows on MSNBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, Radio Bilingue, Democracy Nowand Al-Jazeera. Lovato was also featured on PBS, where he made an appearance on Bill Moyers Journal and figured prominently in the PBS documentary, ‘Latinos 08.’ Roberto’s Juan Crow article , which analyzed the system used to isolate and control immigrants, has conceptualized and popularized the term “Juan Crow,’ which can be found on banners and websites, in protests and videos and other media across the country, including mention on a segment of the Colbert Report. Roberto’s investigative story about migrant worker exploitation in post-Katrina New Orleans, Gulf Coast Slaves, contributed to a Congressional investigation.

Roberto has produced programming for NPR, Pacifica radio network and the Univision Television Network, where he helped develop and produce Hora Cero, one of that networks first documentary series about immigration in the United States.

In his capacity as consultant and strategist, Roberto specializes in developing and implementing, political and business strategies involving old and new media. He is best known for designing and leading the Basta Dobbs campaign, the successful effort to remove Lou Dobbs from CNN. His work in and with media is, in no small part, informed by his work as the business strategist and then editor & writer with New America Media. Roberto is also Co-Founder of Latinos for Internet Freedom, which advocates to keep the internet open and free from corporate control.

In the year 2000, founded the first Central American Studies Program in the United States at California State University Northridge (CASP),as part of a team that inlcuded scholars, activists and student leaders. Roberto was the first Coordinator of the CASP which began as an interdisciplinary minor and as now a thriving major. Prior to committing to writing, Lovato was the former Executive Director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Los Angeles, which was the largest immigrant rights organization in the country in the early 90’s. He led CARECEN in its historic role in the birth of the contemporary immigrant rights movement , alongside Coalition for Humane Immigrant & One Stop Immigration, as leaders in the fight against California’s Proposition 187. Roberto has also supported refugee and displaced communities in wartime El Salvador, and has the unique and dubious distinction of being harassed and pursued for his beliefs on both sides of the border.

And, lastly, one of his favorite words in any language is “conspire.” Although in English the word “conspire” means to “make secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act,” in political Spanish the word has an almost opposite meaning. “Conspirar” is closer to the Latin roots that combine con, meaning “together,” and spirare, the word for “breathing” and the origin of the word “spirit.”

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