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Rick Najera’s Latino Thought Makers Series at Morton College with Mexican American actress Paulina Chávez

We are excited to bring to you Latino Thought Makers Live Interview Series Featuring Latino Innovators in Media and Entertainment moderated and hosted by award-winning writer, producer, author and comedian Rick Najera. We invite you to join the conversation and listen to the insights, stories, and perspectives on issues facing the Latino community!

Danny Trejo has developed a prolific career in the entertainment industry with a hard-earned and atypical road to success. From years of imprisonment to helping troubled youth battle drug additions, from acting to producing and now on to restaurant ventures, Trejo’s name, face and achievements are well-recognized in Hollywood and beyond. Trejo has starred in films like Machete, Machete Kills, Desperado, Heat, the From Dusk Till Dawn series, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, the Spy Kids movies, and many more. He’s had recurring roles on Sons of Anarchy, King of the Hill, Breaking Bad, and The Flash to name a few. When Trejo isn’t on screen, he’s getting his hands in other hustles, like recently expanding his Trejo’s Tacos empire in Los Angeles area, as well as Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts. Danny also plays continuous roles as a devoted father of three and an intervention counselor.

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Rick Najera is an award-winning screenwriter, actor, director, producer, sketch comedian, author, playwright, coach and national speaker with an expansive portfolio of credits in all forms of entertainment. He has received numerous industry awards for his work.

From starring in films with Sidney Poitier, George Clooney and most recently Mario Lopez, to writing sketch comedy for Jim Carrey and Jamie Foxx, Najera is best known for starring on Broadway in his award-winning, self-penned stageplay, Latinologues, directed by comedy legend Cheech Marin. Najera is only one of three Latinos to ever write and star in their own play on Broadway.

As a screenwriter, Najera has written dozens of scripts for TV, film and the stage, starting out in the industry as a staff writer on the groundbreaking urban comedy series, In Living Color, for which he wrote more than( 30 episodes). Najera went on to write for Townsend TV (10 episodes), MAD TV (47 episodes), East Los High – a Hulu original (21 episodes) and numerous TV pilots and more. He penned the feature film Nothing Like the Holidays starring Debra Messing, Alfred Molina, John Leguizamo and Luis Guzman, which won him an ALMA Award. And was nominated by Congressman Joaquin Castro to be placed in the permanent Congressional record. Najera learned from great writers like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino and Scorsese to “write what you know’ and has been a pioneer in Hollywood telling his American experience, from a Latino perspective.