First Co-production is the MALDEF Latino State of the Union Address and Roundtable which Premieres Nationally on KCET and Link TV in Early March

Burbank, CA - National independent public transmedia company KCETLink, and MALDEF, the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization, have announced a partnership to curate and produce programming that spotlights key social justice issues and cultural narratives of the U.S. Latino experience to a national audience on KCET and Link TV.

The first co-production will be the "MALDEF 2013 Latino State of the Union – The Roundtable on Law, Policy and Civil Rights" premiering on Link TV March 7 from 5-6:30 p.m. PSD/8-9:30 p.m. EST and KCET on March 8 from 8–9:30 p.m. Filmed earlier this month at the Time Warner Center in New York, NY, the program will present the address in its entirety by the Honorable Hilda L. Solis, and also feature an expert roundtable convened by MALDEF moderated by Giselle Fernandez, president of Creative World management.

"We are committed to working with MALDEF to help amplify the voices of the Latino population and show what an important role, culturally and politically, they play in the future of our country," said Bohdan Zachary, vice president, Broadcast, Syndication & Production for KCETLink. "We’re delighted to be able to present the LSOU for the first time to a national audience, and hope this, and future MALDEF projects we produce, can become a robust source for information about the Latino community across the country."

"As Latinos prepare to take on an increasingly critical role in the development of policies affecting all communities in the United States, this partnership between MALDEF and KCETLink will prove crucial to ensuring an ongoing appreciation in all sectors of the issues of greatest concern and the policy solutions to best serve a 21st century United States," stated Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF.

About the Program
The 2013 Latino State of the Union: the Roundtable on Law, Policy and Civil Rights
The Honorable Hilda L. Solis, former United States Secretary of Labor, will open the program with the 2013 Latino State of the Union keynote address in which she reflects on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, his vision for the advancement of Latinos in the U.S. economy and reinvigorating the middle class.

In her speech, Solis touches upon many critical issues facing the Latino community in the U.S. from immigration reform with a clear "pathway to citizenship," to education and job growth. "…In just over a few years, Latinos will represent well over 20 percent of the U.S. Labor force," Solis said in her speech. Noting that one in four American born Latinos drop out of high school, she called for programs that allow students to earn credentials in technical fields while also dual enrolling at a community college. This would emphasize "career choices that can sustain families," she said. She also spoke of the importance for strengthening Latino worker rights through grassroots programs given to businesses employing migrant workers.

The keynote by Solis is followed by a brief address by MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz, who speaks about the wisdom and discernment of Latino voters as the correct lesson from the historic impact of Latinos in the 2012 presidential election. He also discusses the policy expectations of Latinos with respect to issues such as immigration and education, and advises policymakers to understand that the Latino community demands real reforms that are tailored to today's America, including the large and increasing presence of Latinos.

Afterward, Giselle Fernandez moderates the 2013 Latino State of the Union roundtable; she is a Five-time Emmy® award winning journalist, producer, filmmaker, Latin media marketing entrepreneur and president of Creative World Management.

The expert panel includes Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel; Aracely Muñoz Petrich, Commissioner, Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities; and Hector Sanchez, Executive director, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement & Chair, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.

Fernandez leads a robust discussion tied to Solis’s address about such topics as immigration reform, accessible and affordable education and advanced training, and the inequities of Latino representation in higher office, given it’s the fastest growing population in the U.S.

"We have just come out of a precedent setting election where the Latino vote has made a difference in deciding our president. This shift in political clout has propelled the Latino community’s contributions to the national stage like never before," Fernandez said.

Complete Airtimes include:
Link TV (Nationally via DirecTV and DISH Networks)
March 7 at 5-6:30 p.m. PSD/8-9:30 p.m. EST
Repeating at 8-9:30 p.m. PSD/11 p.m. EST

KCET (Southern California)
March 8 at 8-9:30 PSD

For more information and additional assets, please visit

KCETLink is the new national independent public transmedia organization formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, its content is distributed nationally via satellite on DirecTV and DISH, in Southern and Central California via broadcast, as well as through various digital delivery systems. KCET and Link TV are services of KCETLink. For additional information about KCETLink productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit or

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund