Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) recently announced “Latinos Are Essential,” a new series of short films that premiered Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
Commissioned by LPB, the shorts chronicle the stories of Latinos during the COVID-19 pandemic and showcase the work of dedicated “essential workers” — health care providers, teachers, food service workers, retail clerks and others — who have kept our country going while caring for their own families. These films not only profile extraordinary people; they provide an invaluable snapshot of life during an unprecedented year in our nation’s history. “Latinos Are Essential” will be available for streaming on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV and Chromecast.
In addition, PBS and LPB invite the public to contribute to the project by creating their own essential worker portraits and posting them on social media using the hashtags #Esenciales and #LatinosAreEssential.
During the last six months, Latinos have been on the pandemic’s frontlines, providing essential services to Americans from all walks of life. Many do jobs that can’t be done from home. Many are DREAMers, working as nurses, doctors, therapists and researchers, fighting the pandemic but living in the shadow of deportation. These essential workers are at greater risk of contracting the virus.
“While this year has been devastating, it has also given us a chance to reflect on all the work that our community does to keep Americans safe, fed and comfortable,” says Sandie Viquez Pedlow, LPB Executive Director. “We wanted to honor these extraordinary people while also providing emerging Latinx filmmakers with work, empowering them to tell the stories of essential workers in their communities. These short films provide a glimpse into the lives of people often unseen but so deserving of our recognition and gratitude.”
“PBS Digital Studios is excited to partner with Latino Public Broadcasting to bring ‘Latinos Are Essential’ to the PBS Voices YouTube Channel,” said Brandon Arolfo, Head of PBS Digital Studios. “The channel’s mission is to document our shared human journey and we are proud to use our platform to shine a spotlight on the essential workers who are at the heart of this country.”