In the past year, Spanish-language content giant Univision Communications has responded to xenophobia and racism in the United States with both words and deeds, making it a natural fit for the T. Howard Foundation’s Corporate Excellence Award.
In 2017, citing ongoing political changes, Univision launched the Univision Foundation, a nonprofit looking to aid Hispanic and multicultural communities and to fund “independent journalism, innovative storytelling and digital projects advancing health, civic engagement and more.”
Univision also pledged to pay to defend its DREAMers (from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) and join lawsuits challenging efforts to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program while creating editorials and PSAs urging viewers to take action.
Univision CEO Randy Falco has spoken out against President Donald Trump’s policies and tone on racial issues and urged other corporate leaders to do the same. Falco, slated to accept the award at the foundation’s dinner, said the honor is “particularly rewarding and is a testament to the hard work and commitment of my colleagues at Univision who share my passion and devotion for advocacy and for creating access for our community.”
“As an industry, we must continue to make diversity and inclusion a strategic business imperative across the enterprise — from how we recruit and hire to how we develop products and marketing strategies and everything in between,” Falco, who will retire at the end of 2018, told Multichannel News in a statement.
He said it would be impossible for Univision to stay on the sidelines. “We work hard to deliver representative storytelling across our platforms, and to ensure that our workforce — in the boardroom and conference rooms, in front of and behind cameras and screens – reflects the diversity of the consumers we represent.”
As a go-to source for many in underrepresented communities, Falco said Univision is “committed to using our platforms to advocate for our communities.” Univision employees take pride in pushing each other forward, making sure the company “never stops advocating. Never stops informing. Never stops fighting.”
That said, Falco doesn’t believe this is just a task for media firms or companies that explicitly serve minority communities. Diverse communities are part of the soul of America, he said, and it is in everyone’s best interests for all companies to pay heed to them.
“Univision is a brand that goes beyond simply having resonance with an audience and one that actually embodies the hopes and dreams of that audience,” Falco said. “Along with important partners, such as the T. Howard Foundation, we will continue to advocate, inform and work toward increasing opportunities for more diverse representation in media.”
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Stuart Miller has been writing about television for 30 years since he first joined Variety as a staff writer. He has written about television for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Vulture and numerous other publications.