The TEDx Talk: Actually, Everyone’s Not a Critic – And Why It Matters

Cristina Escobar on the TEDx stage, talking Latina Media Co

I gave a TEDx talk on the need for more diversity in film and TV criticism, telling the story of how and why Nicola Schulze and I co-founded LatinaMedia.Co. To say I was scared would be an understatement. But as Audre Lorde said, “When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision—then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” So I did a thing. Please enjoy.

The Most Gratitude

I was not alone on that stage. So, so many people supported me, first and foremost my husband Tony Andrade and kids Nayeli and Toño who dealt with me being super anxious for the three months of prep. They also served as my test audience (the four-year-old said he didn’t like it because he prefers music to talking).

I am thankful for my other early listeners, including LatinaMedia.Co co-founder Nicola Schulze, my parents Ed Escobar and Gayle Gullett, and also my colleagues Toni Gonzalez, Kathia Woods, Hector Luis Alamo, and Dr. Olivia Garcia, who all provided me with much thoughtful feedback and encouragement. Special thanks to Dr. Aileen El-Kadi, who not only gave me an invaluable early critique but also invited me into her class to practice in front of a true audience.

I want to shout out the folks who helped me with the nuts and bolts of my talk from Nicola editing my slides, to my cousin Kira Escobar styling me and helping me find Latina designers to wear, to Jim at Disney for arranging a no-cost license for the Scandal image, to Cate Werynski for coming so early to make me look glam. I appreciate you!

I am thankful for the TEDx community – both Cherry Creek and Tabby Biddle’s divine sisterhood. Thank you to Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Michael Jenet for picking a complete unknown and then guiding me and my cohort through an intensive and effective process. It was a powerful group of women you assembled and I’m so glad to have met and got to work with them, especially our trio of Michelles: Michelle Lucero, Michelle Adams, and Michelle Pruitt. And thanks to Tabby for inviting me to participate in her class and connecting me with a group of amazing women like Bianca Farmer, Priscilla Quezada, Norma Newton, Bernice Chao, and others who inspired me across our journey.

Thank you to my husband, my parents, Hector and his partner Rocio Palma, Lindsey Bernstein, Denise Zubizarreta, and Olivia and her partner Christopher Hoppe for coming to see me in person. And thank you to my mother-in-law Rose Marie Andrade for watching the kids so Tony and I could both be there. I felt supported and honored.

And lastly, a huge thank you to the entire LatinaMedia.Co community – if you have ever read, written, shared, or donated to this site, this talk happened because of and for you. Thank you, of course, to rashid shabazz of Critical Minded who has been – ahem – critical to our success. But also, our frequent contributors like Sofía Aguilar, V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi, and Monica Rodriguez.

Now it is your turn – please share this video and all that we are building at LatinaMedia.Co with your community. Help us uplift Latina and femme Latinx perspectives in media. As I said in my TEDx talk, it’ll help us get better reviews, better movies, and eventually, a more just and equitable world. Gracias.

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