IRVINE, CA — Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, announces the national release of ¡UBÍCATE! TM (Find Yourself!), the first educational short film in Spanish addressing the complex issues Latino teens face in developing healthy relationships. Funding for the national distribution of the film on Mothers' Day is provided through a donation from Verizon Wireless' signature domestic violence prevention program, HopeLine®.
The topics explored in this remarkable short-film include serious issues like: a young Latina teen who is in an abusive relationship and thinks she might be pregnant; the underlying sexism of a conflict between brother and sister in a family; the cultural divide between a Latino teen and his parents; and a teen struggling with issues at home who turns to friends with risky behavior. The film was produced by St. Paul, Minnesota-based Casa de Esperanza, a non-profit domestic violence prevention agency that conducts national training for other non-profit agencies that receive federal funds.
The Latino population has tripled in the last decade, so have the unique challenges facing Latino youth. According to Casa de Esperanza research, Latino teens have had the highest teen birth rate in the nation since 1994 at 97.4 per 1,000, nearly double the national rate of 52.3 per 1,000. The Latino high school dropout rate is 2.5 times the rate for African Americans and 3.5 times the rate for non-Latino whites.
"Verizon Wireless' support helped us produce the short film, and now the company is assisting us to create awareness about this project on a national basis," said Lupe Serrano, executive director of Casa de Esperanza. "Our aim is to expand a dialogue within the Latino community, and among Latino teens. Sending our message on a family-oriented holiday like Mothers' Day, is specially appropriate."
"Verizon Wireless is fully committed to supporting domestic violence prevention programs and related initiatives," said Oscar Madrid, Verizon Wireless' associate director- national multicultural marketing. "We believe that ¡UBÍCATE! will provide a valuable and much-needed tool for educators, non-profit agencies and the news media to address relationship issues faced by Latino teenagers and their families and provide important messages about family, peer and dating relationships."
Verizon Wireless, a leading corporate supporter of programs that help prevent domestic violence, provided $35,000 to support production of the short film and is underwriting its national distribution.
The film was developed with input from Latino teens about the issues they face - from dating violence to communicating with parents to sexism within families. Casa de Esperanza's research indicates this is the first Spanish-language film specifically geared to facilitate youth discussion on these issues.
Two-time Grammy winning band, Ozomatli, provided two songs used in the short film free of charge. Besides the music from the eclectic Los Angeles-based band, the film also contains other music relevant to Latino teens, including Reggeaton and Hip-Hop.
Limited copies of ¡UBÍCATE! are being distributed free of charge to public schools, non-profit domestic violence prevention agencies, and the news media in the United States, on a first-come, first serve basis. To receive a copy, please send your request on official letterhead to:
Casa de Esperanza:
P.O. Box 75177
St. Paul, MN 55175
Additional copies can be purchased from Casa de Esperanza. *
For more information call Casa de Esperanza at the following number: (651) 646-5553 or visit their official web site: www.casadeesperanza.org.
* NTSC format: $150 plus shipping and handling
Discounts: 5-9 copies-15%; 10+ copies-20%
**PAL format: $165 plus shipping and handling
Discounts: 5-9 copies-15%; 10+ copies-20%
Additional discounts available for Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Copies of the short film are available in DVD or VHS format.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
Verizon Wireless encourages customers who are upgrading their wireless phone to participate in its exclusive HopeLine phone-recycling program. Marking its 10th year in 2005, the national HopeLine program collects wireless phones and accessories from any wireless service provider, and then refurbishes the phones or recycles them in an environmentally friendly way. Proceeds from the HopeLine program benefit victims of domestic violence and non-profit advocacy agencies, providing essential communications tools of wireless phones and wireless services, and financial grants. Phone donations are accepted at all Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. For additional information, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Casa de Esperanza
Founded in 1982, the mission of Casa de Esperanza is to mobilize Latinas and Latino communities to end domestic violence. Originally founded as a shelter for battered Latinas, the St Paul, Minnesota based organization, now provides a wide array of services and direct support to families, community education and advocacy. Casa de Esperanza also provides national training for non-profit agencies that receive federal funding under the (1) Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program and (2) Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program. Clients can call Casa de Esperanza's 24-hour bilingual (Spanish/English) crisis line at: 651-772-1611. For more information please visit www.casadeesperanza.org.