Jorge Rivas

Jorge Rivas
Jorge Rivas Multimedia Editor / Pop Culture Blogger
Los Angeles, CA

Jorge Rivas is multimedia editor and pop culture blogger for A firm believer in the power of visual communications to inform and move people into action, Jorge uses multimedia presentations to help readers build stronger connections to stories. Jorge has covered the public housing crisis in a post-Katrina New Orleans, the effects of deportation on families, and brought live images of the President Obama's inauguration to readers.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jorge started in broadcast as an intern at the age of 16 and since worked in the entertainment industry and on international advertising campaigns. Jorge received his B.A. in Raza Studies from San Francisco State University where he studied immigration, healthcare perspectives and the interrelationship of culture, community, and the internet. Prior to joining Applied Research Center (ARC) and in 2005, Rivas worked on a living wage campaign in Brooklyn, NY through the Minority Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP).

Jorge uses his media and ethnic studies background to deconstruct representation of people of color in pop culture, illustrating how pop culture can shape opinions, perceptions and even public policy. Jorge's work has appeared on,, Racialicious, The Root, Alternet, and Feministing.

Check out Jorge's media appearances here.

Follow Jorge on Twitter at @thisisjorge.

Sarah Palin and Fox News Knock Out LL Cool J

by Jorge Rivas on March 31 2010, 2:21PM

According to Fox News, Sarah Palin’s new show was created to share “American stories.” The commercials promoting the first show suggests that Palin interviews country musician Toby Keith; John F. Welch Jr., the former chairman of General Electric; and…

Topics: Media

A Few Tools to Help Make Sense of Healthcare Reform

by Jorge Rivas on March 29 2010, 1:52PM

President Obama is set to finalize the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” tomorrow when he signs a 153-page bill of “corrections” to the measure he signed last week. With all the updates and misinformation, it’s almost impossible to keep…

Topics: Health

Who Was That Cute Kid at The Health Care Bill Signing?

by Jorge Rivas on March 23 2010, 1:37PM

His name is Marcelas Owens, and he’s eleven years old. Tifanny Owens, Marcelas’ mother, died of pulmonary hypertension in 2007 because she didn’t have access to medical care. Marcelas and his grandmother Gina have been sharing her story ever since…

Topics: Health

ACORN Set To Close Operations by April 1st

by Jorge Rivas on March 22 2010, 8:04PM

The nation’s largest grassroots community organization made up of low- and moderate-income people across the country is set to close at the end of the month. In an organizational statement released today, ACORN said their Board met on Sunday March…


The Moment Obama Learned Healthcare Reform Bill Passed [PICTURE]

by Jorge Rivas on March 22 2010, 1:01PM

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. Sit…

Topics: Health

Obama’s Address to Immigration Rally [VIDEO]

by Jorge Rivas on March 22 2010, 11:02AM

Obama’s recorded message for Sunday’s immigration rally was very clear: “I pledge to do everything in my power to forge a bipartisan consensus on this issue this year.” But for many immigrants that have been following the immigration debate,…

Topics: Immigration

Scenes from ‘March of America’ Immigration Rally [VIDEO]

by Jorge Rivas on March 21 2010, 5:56PM

Rep. Yvette Clark (D-N.Y.), Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) and AFL- CIO Vice President Arlene Holt-Baker speak at March for America rally. Carlos Saavedra, organizer with United We Dreams (Dream Act) talks about the youth movement in immigration reform organizing….

Topics: Immigration

President Obama Promises to Do “Everything in His Power” for Immigration Reform in 2010

by Jorge Rivas on March 21 2010, 4:57PM

Jason Reed / Reuters Though overshadowed by the historic debate on health care taking place nearby, local FOX news affiliate WTTG is reporting 500,000 people attended today’s immigration rally in the National Mall. Speaking by video to the crowd,…

Topics: Immigration

Blacks and Latinos Using Twitter to Sound Off, Organize [SXSW VIDEO]

by Jorge Rivas on March 19 2010, 4:02PM

While the digital divide is very real and affects low income and folks of color in negative ways, that doesn’t mean these groups aren’t engaging with emerging social media platforms like Twitter. In a presentation earlier this week at SXSW,…

Topics: Arts & Culture, /NOW

Vanessa Williams Explains Hollywood White Knight Syndrome to Barbara Walters

by Jorge Rivas on March 9 2010, 12:11PM

Wilhelmina Slater Vanessa Williams was on Barbara Walter’s “The View” yesterday and she came so close to having a teachable moment with Barbara! Williams talked about “The Blind Side” and Hollywood’s obsession with white characters saving people of color…

Topics: Media

Gabourey Sidibe on How to Awkwardly Get Your Interracial Swag on Oscar Red Carpet

Gabourey Sidibe on How to Awkwardly Get Your Interracial Swag on Oscar Red Carpet

by Jorge Rivas on March 8 2010, 10:18AM

Gabourey Sidibe lost the best actress Oscar to Sandra Bullock, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t enjoy her time at the Oscars. On a more serious Oscar note, check out Andrés Tapia’s commentary over at New America Media that looks…

Topics: Arts & Culture

Ward Connerly Questions Validity Of UCSD Agreement With Black Student Union

by Jorge Rivas on March 8 2010, 9:45AM

Last Thursday, after several days of protest, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) announced they signed an agreement with the Black Student Union (BSU) to address “diversity issues” and improve the campus climate after the recent “ghetto-themed Compton…


California Sobriety Checkpoints Prove Profitable for Cities While Bankrupting Immigrants

by Jorge Rivas on March 3 2010, 11:02AM

A new report by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley with California Watch found that in 2009 California’s sobriety checkpoints nabbed about 3,000 drunk drivers off the road but also impounded the cars of 24,000 unlicensed drivers. The…

Topics: Immigration

White House To Invest $850 Million For Black Colleges And Universities

by Jorge Rivas on March 2 2010, 11:02AM

An 8 person drumline from Virginia State University plays in the Cross Hall of the White House before an event honoring Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12232, which established a federal…

Topics: Schools & Youth

It’s Official: Race May Be Factor in Police Shootings

by Jorge Rivas on February 25 2010, 11:32AM

The most recent national analysis from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that Blacks and Latinos were nearly three times as likely as whites to be searched by police—and Blacks were almost four times as likely as whites…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Facing Race 2010 Conference - Only 5 More Days to Save an Extra $50 on Registration

by Jorge Rivas on February 17 2010, 12:20PM

Our parent organization, the Applied Research Center is hosting our annual Facing Race conference this September in Chicago. Facing Race is gathering place for organizations and individuals committed to crafting innovative strategies and building successful models for changing policy…


Homies Unidos’ Alex Sanchez Out on Bail

by Jorge Rivas on February 16 2010, 12:05PM

Nine months ago we wrote about the arrest of Alex Sanchez, one of the most respected gang intervention leaders in the country, who was arrested on federal charges of racketeering. We’re happy to report Sanchez is out on bail,…


The New Civil Rights Fight: Internet Access [Petition]

by Jorge Rivas on February 15 2010, 9:23AM

A new study looking at broadband access in the south by the Center For Social Inclusion, reports people of color are the majority in zip codes with zero access to high speed Internet. The report notes that “without high speed…


The Next Tour de France Winner Might Be Black

by Jorge Rivas on February 12 2010, 2:52PM

Last year, after 106 years of the Tour de France, we finally got to see a Black cyclist ride 2,200 miles through France. Rahsaan Bahati from South LA is one of the cycling’s brightest and fastest stars, who many…

Topics: Sports

Montel Williams is the New Face of Predatory Lending

by Jorge Rivas on February 11 2010, 1:27PM

Since his partnership with that crazy psychic Sylvia Browne didn’t work out, Montell Williams now has a new venture with “payday loans” provider Money Mutual. According to Money Mutual: “When it comes to financial assistance Montel Williams understands that people…

Topics: Economy