October 10, 2011
Contact:
Emerson Brown, NPR


   

NPR NEWS SERIES EXPLORES BICULTURAL LIVES OF LATINOS

WEEKLONG "TWO LANGUAGES, MANY VOICES: LATINOS IN THE U.S." BEGINS TODAY ON MORNING EDITION

As millions celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR's Morning Edition looks to the future of the evolving cultural identity of Latinos in the U.S., and the many ways the segment of the population is shaping society. The weeklong series "Two Languages, Many Voices: Latinos in the U.S." focuses on the younger generation of Hispanic Americans that is bicultural and often bilingual, and how this blending of cultures is influencing the mainstream. The six-part series from Morning Edition airs today, Monday October 10 through October 17.

"Two Languages, Many Voices: Latinos in the U.S." explores how two distinctly different cultures can profoundly affect the other through stories examining changes in city development, business marketing, language education, religion and entertainment. All of the reports in the series will also be available online at npr.org, along with exclusive multimedia content that will include photographs, an interactive census map showing how the Latino population has changed in the country and a timeline of Latinos' impact on pop culture. All of the reports and content will be archived at this series page at npr.org: www.npr.org/series/141162599/two-languages-many-voices-latinos-in-the-u-s

NOTE: The following schedule of broadcast dates is tentative and subject to change. All pieces air on Morning Edition; to locate stations and broadcast times, visit www.npr.org/stations All material will be available at NPR.org.

Monday, October 10
NPR's David Schaper visits West Liberty, Iowa, the first majority minority town in the state. Over the last three or four decades, Mexican immigrants have moved to this town of 3,000 to work in a turkey processing plant. Many stayed and put down roots, while new immigrants continue to arrive. Now, West Liberty has a strong Latin culture and dual language programs in its public schools - both of which have begun to attract new families from other areas of the state.

Tuesday, October 11
Beer brewers are anxious to market their products to Latinos, who spend more money on beer than other types of alcohol. NPR reporter Elizabeth Blair looks at different ways advertisers are trying to reach the demographic by examining recent bilingual marketing efforts by Tecate, MillerCoors, Corona Light and Modelo.

Wednesday, October 12
Reporter Alex Schmidt visits a three-generational bilingual family where everyone has the same technology - but their access to the Internet, and how useful it is to them, depends on how well they speak English. People with Internet access but limited English may not find many websites useful and this can have very big implications for things like job hunting.

Thursday, October 13
Martin Luther King, Jr. famously referenced the notion that 11:00 on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. Religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty finds that may be changing in the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal Christian denomination which is now 30 percent Latino. In just a few years, one Assemblies church in Chicago has grown from a congregation of dozens of families, to thousands. More than half are Latino, the rest are African-American, Anglo, and Asian. The church also offers Spanish, English, and bilingual services.

Friday, October 14
Coral Way Elementary School in Miami has the nation's oldest bilingual immersion program. It began in the 1960s to help Cuban exiles assimilate as fast as possible: learning English and giving up Spanish. Today, the program focuses on helping kids become fluent in both languages. Education correspondent Claudio Sanchez looks into why more schools haven't adopted the bilingual immersion model.

Monday, October 17 Hollywood legend Rita Moreno and comedian/actor John Leguizamo are both currently performing autobiographical one-person shows. They represent two generations of Latinos in American entertainment, and span an era of Latinos portraying Hollywood's image of Hispanic culture for a mostly Anglo audience, to Latinos interpreting their own bicultural experiences for diverse audiences. Correspondent Mandalit del Barco reports on this entertainment evolution.