Los Angeles, CA. - Queer and undocumented filmmaker Armando Ibañez is releasing the videos of 9 undocumented LGTQ+ activists speaking on the importance of the 2020 elections to undocumented communities as part of the #VotaJota digital campaign launched by Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement ( TQLM ) & Mijente Support Committee. In collaboration with The Center for Cultural Power, these videos were created to engage LGBTQ+ Latinx voters during the most historic election of our lifetime and will have a big impact on LGTBQ+ rights, including marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws and immigration.
Armando Ibañez is the creator of the award-winning web series Undocumented Tales and part of the inaugural cohort of the Disruptors Fellowship for emerging television writers. As a queer undocumented immigrant, Ibañez cannot vote yet he's using his art to send a message to voters from the lens of LGBTQ+ undocumented immigrants. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, 21% of LGBTQ+ people are not registered to vote and 22% of registered LGBTQ+ voters are Latinx, and 13% are Black. "Our lives are at stake and we know that this election will directly impact our lives. Undocumented LGBTQ+ activists have been at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement and you'll hear from us because while we can't vote we can influence this election," says Armando Ibañez. He wants LGBTQ+ voters to take advantage of the privilege they have to vote and how their vote has the power to create a better future that is just, equitable, and inclusive.
The Center for Cultural Power launched the Movement to the Ballot Box Campaign to commission and uplift compelling artists and storytellers to increase civic participation and mobilize a historic voter turnout. "Armando is not only an amazing artist and storyteller, he is a cultural leader that is committed to using his art to shift culture around immigration, LGBTQ+, and racial justice. The power behind this project is that the message comes from undocumented immigrants who are not able to vote and yet believe in the importance of voting so much that they are working to engage more voter participation," says Kat Evasco, Sr. Program Director at the Center for Cultural Power.
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement & Mijente Support Committee launched #VotaJota, an innovative digital campaign to get trans and queer Latinx voters to register and vote in the 2020 election cycle, focusing on Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina. Jorge Guiterrez, executive director of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, said, "Given the importance of this election, the importance of the Latinx vote but the lack of focus on trans and queer Latinx voters, I participated in these videos because I know they will help us reach trans and queer Latinx voters in Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina. The #VotaJota campaign includes those of us who are undocumented and can't vote but who are organizing during this election and who'll continue to work towards our liberation regardless of the results of the elections ."
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement works at local and national levels to achieve the collective liberation of trans, queer, and gender-nonconforming Latinxs through building community, organizing, advocacy, and education. For more information, visit our website at familiatqlm.org
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR CULTURAL POWER
The Center for Cultural Power, formerly known as CultureStrike, is an artist-of-color-led organization building the infrastructure and cultural assets to support artists and storytellers pushing for social change. We activate authentic narratives and amplify stories that shift culture toward justice and equity. Our work resides at the intersections of migration, climate chaos, and gender, racial and cultural justice. Our primary strategy is to invest directly in artists and to work in partnership with directly impacted communities. All of our work supports artists and culture-makers whose voices transform the status quo to create a more just, healthier, and more inclusive future. This includes artists of color, immigrant and undocumented artists, disabled artists, transgender artists, indigenous artists, and women artists. For additional information please visit Cultural Power.