Immigration An Issue That Affects All Americans Texas Diversity Conference Outcome

The 6th Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference hosted the Hispanic/Latino Summit last Wednesday, April 7 in Rockwall, Texas. The Who’s Who on immigration, health care and other key issues gathered to discuss thei outlook on legislative actions taken by Congress and the White House.

Serving on the panel were Dr Alfredo Jimenez, Claudia Torrescano of Univision Radio and Margaret Pullés, government relations and communications advisor for Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (MATT).

“The issue of immigration must be seen as an issue that affects all Americans and not as a Latino issue,” stated Pullés in her presentation on the Outlook of Immigration Reform. Immigration reform was presented from an economic, global competitiveness and homeland security perspective. “The time to act is now so we have a system that works for business and labor, ensures safe borders with a functional entry and exit system and incentivizes legal entry into the United States. Our current system fails on all levels.” Pulles spoke on the urgency to act now due to the economic “upswing” that is in the horizon and the need to have a comprehensive system in place before the United States becomes a giant magnet for migrant workers.

The Diversity Conference concluded that immigration reform is an issue that affects all Americans. Texas Diversity Panel Director and MATT Vice-President of Community Affairs Rebecca Viagran stressed that “The Texas Diversity Conference is integral in carrying the message forward and integrating it into all sectors of business and organizations that participate.”

The Latino Summit leaders are meeting with MATT in the coming weeks to develop a strategic plan to promote the impact immigration has on all sectors, targeting what Pullés defined as “HIR” meaning Hispanics, Independents and Republicans. “It is essential that we move the argument to the center if we expect any real and tangible results,” concluded Pullés.

The Texas Diversity Council has partnered with MATT over the past 3 years to secure the dialogue on immigration reform. “We are pleased with the outcome of this year’s Summit and we look forward to our continued partnership as we all seek the same goal: The betterment of our community and equal opportunity to all.” said Ángeles Valenciano VP of Corporate Development with TXDC.

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Racing clinic held by two-time Indy 500 winner and two-time Indy Car Series Champion Al Unser Jr will benefit the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Miami Project

Al Unser Jr will launch his first racing clinic to benefit The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s “Miami Project”. On July 8th, 2010, winners of a low-unique-bid-wins auction will bring a guest to enjoy racing lesson from Al Unser Jr and dinner with the champion himself.

Auction winners will drive open-wheel race cars and learn driving tips American Racing Champion Al Jr at world-class racing facility New Jersey Motorsports Park. Winners will experience champion speeds in a supercar in a private “hot laps” session with Al Jr. Drivers Al Unser III and Miranda Throckmorton will also be on-track to assist Al Jr’s instruction.

The Al Unser Jr Charity Auction proceeds will benefit the Johns Hopkins Hospital‘s Miami Project, devoted curing paralysis. “I am very excited to hold my first driving clinic to share what I have learned in my career about driving, and at the same time raise money to help find a cure for paralyses,” said Al Jr. The auction is now online at, and is open to bidders world wide.

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Upstart Succeeds in Same Marketing Arena as Pepsi, JPMorgan Chase, Amex-NBC

When it comes to promoting not-for-profit causes and ideas that can change the world, not all companies have the mega marketing clout of the Pepsi Refresh Project, or the big-name recognition of the JPMorgan Chase $5-Million Charity Giveaway or American-Express-NBC “Shine-A-Light” campaign.

Upstart Succeeds in Same Marketing Arena as Pepsi, JPMorgan Chase, Amex-NBC

But with its “Show Us Your Goodness” charity contest, a feisty upstart snack-food maker is proving it too can play just as nimble in the marketing arena as the big guys by effectively using crowd-sourcing and social media as its tactic to connect with a whole new audience for its riceworks® brand of gourmet brown rice crisps.

The company is Snack Alliance Inc., and in less than four months, the snack maker has found success with its philanthropic campaign that invites consumers to nominate, vote and then spread the word for their favorite charitable causes. More than 2600 entries were received during the nomination period and the winning semi-finalist charities now have a chance to share $60,000 in prize money funding.

Forget the Dollar Amount, It’s The Thought That Counts
Sixty thousand dollars may pale against the $5 million handed out by JPMorgan Chase for its Charity Giveaway, and to the $15.6 million that Pepsi Refresh is giving away. But, for a small niche player like Snack Alliance, its philanthropic program is attracting positive consumer feedback that extends beyond the contest to the grocery shelf.

Tricia Ryan, Director of Marketing for riceworks® says her company has pretty much abandoned traditional media vehicles for marketing and replaced these with crowdsourcing tactics and social media avenues like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, which encourage users to virally promote an idea.

“We chose a charity-based program because it’s integral to our corporate marketing DNA, and we already support fundraising requests with product samples,” said Ms. Ryan. “Charities today are much more Internet-savvy, and I sense they saw participation in the program not much different than applying to a foundation for funding. With tight budgets, and under-funding for charities over the past year, the timing was right.”

Charities Embrace This New Marketing Philosophy
There’s another reason charities appear keen to embrace online charity contests like Show Us Your Goodness. It comes from the realization that a donor base can be solicited for support without the big ask for another dollar-request donation. The tough economy of the past year has been difficult for most charities, and asking for an online vote is an easy request.

Snack Alliance got traction and support not only from the charities that were nominated, but also from like-minded websites like, which shares a mutual love for gluten-free products. Riceworks® crisps are gluten-free, which is why the BeFreeForMe site promotes both the product and the contest to its followers.

For Ms. Ryan, the opportunity to dialogue with many of the nominated charities has been an enlightening experience for herself and her Company, which continues to support nonprofits as part of its marketing efforts. “Yes, we’re a marketer selling healthy snack products, but we’ve also come to realize the benefits that come from creating communication programs that help the communities we serve. It makes the day-to-day humdrum of work into something magical.”

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I-10 Sculpture Garden Gets 3 Million in Art

Three million dollars worth of monumental sculptures have been donated to The Coming King Foundation for display at a 23 acre Sculpture Prayer Garden on Interstate 10 in Kerrville, TX. The non-profit Christian arts foundation announced this week that Dallas, TX sculptor, David Broussard ( will be joining two other professional American sculptors, Beverly Paddleford ( of Lander, WY and Max Greiner, Jr. ( of Kerrville, TX by donating his work to the sculpture park, located in the Texas Hill Country.

Broussard uses carbon steel and heat from his blow torch to construct colorful, contemporary sculptures, while Paddleford and Greiner carve their realistic originals out of clay or wax, which is later cast into bronze. Together, the three artists are giving more than a dozen monumental sculptures to the Christ-honoring garden. In addition to the art, two million dollars in donations have already been spent on the world-class garden park. However, two to three million dollars are still needed to complete the entire Sculpture Prayer Garden, which is being built without debt from the donations of Christians across America.

In December of 2008, construction on the spiritual Garden was halted for 15 months due to a lawsuit filed by neighbors, who sought to stop the largest sculpture, a 77í7î contemporary cross, from being erected. However, on March 1, 2010 Judge Keith Williams of the 216th District Court in Texas approved a Settlement Agreement, which allowed the Christian arts ministry to raise ìThe Empty Crossî, a two million dollar, 70 ton, Cor-tin steel, sculpture.

The seven story, symbolic cross sculpture, when erected on a 1,930í hill, is destined to become a national landmark. It will be seen by travelers on the transcontinental interstate highway, which links Florida and California. The sculpture park is located approximately halfway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Texas garden is also at the same latitude as Israel and looks like the Holy Land. ìPilgrimsî from across the USA and world are expected to visit the free spiritual garden when finished. According to Greiner, the organizationís founder and current President: ìThis garden will be a great spiritual blessing to all, and a financial blessing to the local area. We expect it will become one of the top free tourist attractions in Texas when opened to the public.î

The Kerrville Sculpture Prayer Garden is the ìprototypeî for other evangelical Christian gardens that will be built across the USA and world for the glory of God. The Christ-honoring artwork in the garden will be diverse, as more Christian artists are invited to donate their sculptures. The second garden is being built now at Christian Family Church in Owatonna, MN on Interstate 35, just south of Minneapolis.

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