February 27, 2009

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams to present a Special Five-Part Series on “We the People,” Issues Facing Hispanic Americans

Throughout the week of March 2, “NBC News With Brian Williams” will take a look at the issues facing Hispanic Americans in a new series “We The People.” The series will cover a wide-range of issues and include pieces about areas adapting to the growth of the Hispanic population, to companies who are trying to benefit from it. Additionally, there will be reports about how new immigrants are surviving during the recession, health issues among the Hispanic community, and challenges surrounding education.

Monday’s installment will introduce the series with a piece about the explosion of the Hispanic population throughout the country. Lee Cowan will profile a family in Wisconsin, to illustrate the change in landscape in the United States.

Tuesday, Carl Quintanilla will show how companies are adapting and trying to benefit by doing business with the Hispanic community. Quintanilla will report about how the Hispanic audience and consumers place a huge demand on products, information and entertainment that are culturally relevant to them.

On Wednesday, Mark Potter will look at the specific plight of first generation Hispanic immigrant families whose “American Dream” is falling apart because of the economy. A recent report by the Pew Center quantifies the numbers of Hispanics unemployed and facing foreclosure — both drastically higher than in the overall population. And the hardest hit group is foreign born workers.

Diabetes is a significant and growing health issue among the Hispanic community. On Thursday, Bob Bazell will answer why this is, and show how to educate and help manage the illness. Bazell will profile one Hispanic female doctor and activist who is developing systems to improve on community outreach.

To close the series with our “Making a Difference” report, on Friday, Natalie Morales will look at the challenges the Hispanic community faces in terms of receiving a quality education and moving on to higher education. Morales will profile Dr. Katharine Flores, a advocate who is completely dedicated to making sure minority children, especially Latino children, get a fair chance in medical school. All of their high school graduates participating in the program get into college — a great feat since Latino students have a 50 percent drop out rate in high school.

“Noticiero Telemundo” will join efforts with Nightly News to simultaneously air two of the five part series on Hispanics in America, supplemented with Spanish sound bites. The two pieces include the episode on outreach to consumer Hispanics such as the one undertaken by the Boy Scouts of America and the profile on Stanford-educated Katherine Flores who was born into a family of migrant farm workers in Fresno, California, raised by her grandparents working in the fields as a 4-year-old, and now works with Hispanic organizations to increase the role of Hispanics in the health profession.

Consumers can turn to Nightly.msnbc.com to watch the entire series, get access to valuable links and resources, and share their thoughts with other viewers. Nightly.msnbc.com will enable viewers to watch the extended and web-only interviews from the series. NBC producers will share behind the scenes reporting and insights on The Daily Nightly, the “Nightly News” blog.

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