A new Latino-centric Lancer Radio talk show seeks to raise awareness within the Latino community by discussing crucial issues such as immigration and education.
Inspired by National Public Radio’s Latino USA, David Rodriguez created and hosts Latino L.A., a podcast that focuses on the Latino experience in Los Angeles.
“I wanted to bring awareness [to] some things that not only affect me but everyone in the community,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve been in the Lancer Radio program for a while now and there hasn’t been a show or anything about Latinos since I’ve been here and I’ve pointed it out to some people. [They’ve] been on board to join me but for right now it’s just me finding people to interview and talk about some issues,” he said.
In his first episode, Rodriguez talked with Mary Mazzio, director of “Underwater Dreams,” which follows a group of Arizona high school students competing in a robotics competition who beat the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ten years ago.
“They had the potential to pursue their interest in engineering but they couldn’t because they didn’t have the papers,” said Rodriguez about the Arizona students. “And that’s something I feel the Latino community connects a lot with. I feel that immigration is really important; immigration reform, that is. [It’s] really important for Latinos.”
Over the summer, Rodriguez attended a conference by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), “the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States” according to its website.
“I went to the NCLR in July and it was a conference where they brought up a lot of these issues. Immigration came up…education got brought up a lot…and that’s something I wanted to share with the community,” he said.
Due to Rodriguez’s hectic schedule, only one episode is available for listening so far. Regardless, Rodriguez always perseveres, according to classmate and friend Gina Harris.
“Being in school, sometimes we have the tendency to…overbook ourselves a little bit, but David always comes through,” said Harris. “He’s very dedicated to the show, or whatever [project] he’s working on…he’s awesome. Anything that you ask him to do, he does it, and he does it exceptionally well.”
Upcoming episodes are still in the works, with hopes of interviewing journalist, filmmaker and Define American campaign founder Jose Antonio Vargas, an East L.A. band, Las Cafeteras, and coverage of Día de los Muertos events around Pasadena. The next two episodes are set to come out in late October.
Episode downloads are available through the show’s archive on the Lancer Radio website.