LINCOLN – A photograph submitted by the Nebraska Latino American Commission (NLAC) in Lincoln has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the 2013 Affiliate Photo Contest presented by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
NLCR is the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States with a network of nearly 300 affiliated organizations, of which NLAC is one of two affiliates in Nebraska. The Annual Affiliate Photo Contest provides NCLR with an opportunity to showcase the efforts and impact the affiliates bring to the community.
“We are excited to be a finalist for the photo contest, and proud that our work is being showcased nationally with NCLR,” said NLAC Executive Director Dr. Arturo Spindola.
After an internal review process, the Commission’s photograph was chosen as a finalist from a record-setting amount of submissions nationwide. The photograph is of Emily Hernandez, a junior attending Lincoln East High School, proudly singing the national anthem at the 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month State Commemoration held at the Capitol Building on October 4, 2013. Hernandez is an enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Nebraska and is of Mexican descent. She was representing three nations at the Commemoration: the Ioway nation, the United States of America and the nation of Mexico.
“Our photo is different in that it shows cross-cultural bridging and multiculturalism. We have a young Nebraska student who is giving back to her community by volunteering her time and talent by singing the national anthem. We believe that this image is an accurate and positive reflection of the United States of America and Nebraska,” said Dr. Spindola.
Photo that is the finalist in the NCLR Contest.
Hernandez’s pride in her multiculturalism is reflected in the photo, says Bethany Schmidt, the Commemoration volunteer who took the photograph.
“I think the photo shows pride,” said Schmidt. “I think the photo represents the pride and excitement of the whole Latino community.”
Schmidt, 21, is a Political Science and Journalism student attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL). She currently works as a designer for the Daily Nebraskan, the UNL student newspaper, and as a page layout designer for the Clear Water Express Evening News newspaper. She volunteered to take photographs for the Commemoration while working as an intern at the Nebraska Indian Affairs Commission, which is located next door to NLAC.
“I am really excited. I really liked that photo and I’m glad Emily is recognized as well,” said Schmidt. “It was a lot of fun, when I cover events it’s really standard but this one was lively. Emily was singing so beautifully and she’s so passionate about her heritage.”
As a finalist, NLAC will compete for one of two grand prize packages, which include a ticket on Southwest Airlines, a ticket to the 2014 NCLR Capital Awards in Washington, DC, and a free Android Phone.
“We are not the only ones who will benefit from this Contest,” said Dr. Spindola. “Emily has been a positive role model for young people for years and we are proud that she is being recognized nationally, she deserves it. We are also happy that this honor is an opportunity to help the aspiring career of a UNL student who took photographs at the event, and are grateful to our friends at the Indian Affairs Commission for introducing us to both Emily and Bethany.”
Schmidt expects to graduate in May 2014 and plans to pursue a career in a human rights field with a focus on indigenous rights. If the photo wins, she will use the award for her portfolio and resume.
The winner will be selected by popular vote on the NCLR website. The public can vote everyday for the contest until Dec. 22, 2013. The winning image will be used in NCLR promotional materials and their website.
Please visit http://www.nclr.org/index.php/nclr_affiliates/program-entry/affiliate_photo_contest/ to vote.
NET Television presents a special segment of "Nebraska Stories" on Dia de los Muertos celebrated in Nebraska. Dia de los Muertos is, above all, a celebration of life. Come with us to the Sheldon Museum of Art and the Bancroft Gallery in South Omaha as we look death in the eye with humor, music, dancing—and art.
NLAC collaborated with NET to help bring the special segment to the public, "Nebraska Stories" available in its entirety below:
The 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month State Commemoration took place on Friday, October 4, at the Capitol Building in Lincoln, Neb.
The Commemoration, hosted by the Nebraska Latino American Commission (NLAC) and sponsored by McDonald’s, Southeast Community College, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, began with a ceremony in the Capitol second floor Rotunda at 3:30 p.m. where instrumental Latin music performed by Marcos y Sabor of Omaha welcomed an audience of 200 people.
First Lady Sally Ganem presented the Proclamation signed by Governor Dave Heineman observing Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month in Nebraska. Carl Eskridge, Lincoln City Council Chair, gave the Welcome to the audience and Opening Remarks were provided by Roger Garcia, Executive Director of El Centro de las Americas in Lincoln. Seven Nebraska students, two organizations and two community leaders were honored at this year’s Commemoration. NLAC Director Dr. Lazaro Spindola served as emcee.
To learn more, click here.
To view all photos, visit the Commission's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NLACommission.