“Thank you for bringing the Latino Thought Makers series to Oxnard College and the city of Oxnard. I thoroughly enjoyed all the special guests that appeared and my family and friends really enjoyed attending the series. Please come back next year. I truly hope the College Administration and the College District brings back the Latino Thought Makers series, along with you. This was something so special this college and this city has never experienced. I believe the students really got to experience something they will remember always. Thank you again.” -Steven Salinas
“I was so impressed when I first attended The Latino Thought Makers Series. I had never been to an event of this caliber in the community. It is a treat to have such an event as this that the people of Oxnard can attend and learn from. Rick Najera does a huge service to all viewers by curating insightful content and moderating with a comedic yet intellectual style. Thank you for bring this event to my community!” -Beth Shephard
Community Member and Oxnard Native
“On Wednesday night I had the opportunity to take my daughter and her friends to a wonderful event, ‘An Evening With Danny Trejo’. I didn’t know what I expected, I knew the girls loved him in ‘Spy Kids’, I have thoroughly enjoyed many of his movies and appearances on TV shows, but honestly, I didn’t know how the evening would pan out. Rick Najera, Writer, Producer & Director, which are just a few of his many accomplishments, has created a program called ‘Latino Thought Makers’ and if you think this series is just for Latinos you couldn’t be more wrong! The stories, the guests (Story-Tellers) the message(s) are all about family, community, education and helping out one another, his introduction talk was hilarious and thought provoking. I laughed, I applauded, I smile and I learned, I learned a lot! I thought I knew a lot about the Latino community, I have worked with Latino youth for many, many years, but Rick’s 10-15 minute introduction added so much to my understanding and appreciation of what Latinos bring to the communities we share, our country we share and our passions in life we share.
As I anxiously awaited the arrival of Danny Trejo and I realized I was enjoying the introduction as much as I was probably going to enjoy hearing Danny’s talk.
When he came out on the stage, the standing room only crowd went wild, there was such a fun, high spirited energy in the Oxnard College Performing Art Center, not a tension of fear, not a ‘Hey, I am one of the few gringos here’ none of that, there was an energy of true love and acceptance, an excitement to listen to and see an accomplished entertainer share his stories with us, not a distant group of fans, more like a family gathering, sitting around and hearing our favorite uncle tell us some wonderful stories! This was going to be a great night!
Well, Danny did not disappoint, he shined, he had us in tears from laughter, he had us in tears from some very tough times, but most of all, he had us in the palm of his hand, ‘our’ favorite uncle, sharing his stories, his warmth, his true love of life, family and us, his friends. Before you know it, our time was up and we were all left wanting more, more laughs, more inspirations, just more time with our friend. It was an amazing evening, my girls and I left the auditorium inspired and truly appreciating this man for not just entertaining us, but for being the human being he has become on his journey through life.
Thank you Danny, thank you Rick and thank you for your Latino Thought Makers Series, I cannot wait to see what is next!”
“The Latino Thought Makers Series has significantly raised Oxnard College’s profile throughout Ventura County and nationally. The opportunity for our students and our community to meet and dialog with superstars like Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, Judy Reyes, Luis Guzman, and Danny Trejo among others has been incredible. This important and unique program has made Oxnard College students and faculty very proud.” – Ken Sherwood, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Learning, Oxnard College
“It was such a pleasure to have Rick Najera and the Latino Thought Makers Series at our campus. The accolades for the event, and for the inspiring words from Rick and Edward James Olmos are pouring in on our end.” – Carol Ann Gittens, Ph.D., Santa Clara University
“Thought Makers is a powerful meeting of the minds that dares to ask the tough questions the Latino community needs to ask as well as an exploration of creative solutions. By bringing together artists, educators, activist and creative Latinos we all get to celebrate our contribution to society and the U.S.” – Josefina Lopez, 3/10/16 playwright (Real Women Have Curves) and LTM guest
“That was one incredible and memorable discussion last night, as part the Latino Thought Makers lecture series. Thanks to Rick Najera and Susie Albin-Najera — and the good folks at Oxnard College, for putting it together. Thanks to my fellow panelists, Julio Ricardo Varela & Myrka Dellanos for a lively and polite discussion. And thanks, most of all, to the audience members some of whom, I understand, drove two hours to see the fireworks!” – Ruben Navarrette, Jr., award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist and LTM guest
“I think Latino thought makers is such a great platform for Latino performers to share their experience and knowledge about the entertainment business with our aspiring youth of today! Rick Najera is a wonderful host because he asks all the right questions and engages the audience with a prepared roster of the performer’s experience. I had a great time doing it and I highly recommend my fellow performers to be a part of this important endeavor. The more wisdom being shared, the more prepared and informed our youth will be. It was definitely my way of giving back to my community.” – Lisa Vidal, actress (Being Mary Jane) and LTM guest
“Latino Thought Makers at Oxnard College is doing an awesome JOB!” – Jesse Gutierrez, editor Costa del Oro Magazine