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Journalism instructor speaks about stereotypes of Latinx culture

Sep 23, 2019

Posted in: News

Robertson School instructor Vivian Medina-Messner (right) is introduced by Kim Green, assistant director of VCU's Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Robertson School instructor Vivian Medina-Messner delivered a talk on "Dispelling Myths: Latinx Stereotypes in the U.S. Media" during Hispanic Heritage Month at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) on Friday. In her speech, Medina-Messner gave an overview of the long history of stereotypes about the Latinx community and asked her audience to create change and new narratives.  

“I think it’s important to have these conversations and create spaces where we break down all these stereotypes and we break down all these negative narratives,” Media-Messner said in an interview with radio station VPM after the event. “Because we’re experiencing a lot of constructed fear. Fear about immigrants, fear of the other ... and as an educator, that’s what I want to change.”

Medina-Messner, who is an instructor in the Robertson School's journalism sequence and currently teaches its "Diversity in the Media" class, provided her audience with a long list of successful members of the Lantinx community, who have made major contributions to U.S. society. Next month, Medina-Messner will moderate a Robertson School Speaker Series event, which will focus on the impact that diversity and inclusion initiatives are having on business and society. 

“I think it’s important to understand that the Latinx community in the U.S. is prominent. That we have contributed to constructing the U.S. as well, throughout history in different areas,” said Medina-Messner in the interview with VPM. "I think it’s important as journalists that we tell the stories of the different communities ... the different Latinx communities, and their contributions to the U.S.”

Please read a story on the event and listen to the interview on the website of VPM.