May 05, 2014

Behind the Scenes: Voto Latino Power Summit NYC 2014 (Part 2)


Remember Behind the Scenes Part 1? It's time for the long-awaited Part 2!

The conference started out on Friday with an opening reception at John Jay.

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Team photo!
Our President & CEO (María Teresa Kumar) spoke, along with our Co-Founder & Chairwoman (Rosario Dawson), and our Artist Coalition Co-Chair (Wilmer Valderrama). It was especially neat to listen to the celebrities speak. We didn't prepare talking points for them for the reception, but they spoke from the heart, and their passion for the cause was clear to everyone in the room. I was so impressed with their commitment and their leadership. It really is an honor to work with such dedicated folks.

In fact, one of the highlights for me, was an impromptu PSA we made with Wilmer. We had a few extra minutes with him and our videographer, and my boss pulled me aside and wanted to quickly write up a script for a PSA for one of our campaigns! We went with #TrendUrVoice, since it's our biggest voter registration campaign this year. I quickly typed up a script and gave it to Wilmer for approval.

He made one or two minor tweaks on my MacBook and decided he was good with it. Then he said, "Hey, why don't we just make the video on the laptop?" Our VP of Digital thought it was a good idea, since it would give the video a more "organic" feel. Then Wilmer thought, "Hey, why don't I just record it on my iPhone and send it to you guys?" And then the scene below ensued.

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Selfie-style filming didn't really work, so Tadao, Wilmer's bodyman held the iPhone, while Avery and Steve held up a #TrendUrVoice tablecloth (ie- makeshift backdrop), and Wilmer gave us his spiel.

It was fun to see how excited he got to make a video encouraging young people to register to vote. And I loved that we put this whole thing together on the fly! (I'll share the video later in the campaign cycle. :) Promise!)

Along with our breakfast, lunch, and evening plenaries (featuring awesome speakers like... Maria Hinojosa, Arianna Huffington, etc.), we had three sessions of workshops on Saturday. I got to moderate one of them!

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We had an awesome discussion about how to use Media to Impact Change. My panelists were amazing, we had really good audience questions, and we even had a great article written about us!

Another highlight for me was getting to prep talking points/speeches and coordinate media. There's just something reeeeeally satisfying about watching you've helped prepare, deliver really great remarks or give an awesome interview/speech.

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The evening ended with a networking reception + book signing with Arianna Huffington (everyone got copies of her new book, Thrive) and a conversation with Arianna, Rosario, and María Teresa.


And a few shots from the evening plenary:

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OK, but reeeeeally, the night ended with this (a lot of clean-up and packing):

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Team photo!
We did it! (photo from MT)
and this (teriyaki chicken!):

Team dinner!
photo cred: our waiter, via Jimmy's phone
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One Power Summit down, three to go. Hasta la próxima!

Professional photos from VL photographer | iPhone photos by me

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