2021 Impact Awards Honors Tessa Thompson, Salma Hayek & More

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres
Art by Stephany Torres
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Some of the world’s best and brightest Latine talent were honored this past Sunday (December 5) at the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s (NHMC) 24th annual Impact Awards. NHMC is a non-profit organization that “builds bridges, creates opportunities, resources, and connects Latinx talent with the entertainment industry.”

This year’s ceremony honored actresses Salma Hayek, Tessa Thompson, and Rosie Pérez, playwright Matthew López and educational leader Monica Lozano, who is the president of the San Francisco-based College Futures Foundation. The ceremony was hosted by actor Mario López. NHMC President and CEO Brenda Castillo kicked off the evening by explaining how the work of her organization goes beyond the Hollywood movie set.

“We’re working together with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to eliminate online hate and disinformation, while advocating for programs that close the digital divide for our children in marginalized communities,” Castillo said. “We will continue to fight for Latinx representation from Hollywood to the White House because we know that the power of representation truly does matter.”

During her acceptance speech for Outstanding Performance in a TV Series (The Flight Attendant), Pérez discussed the importance of equal representation in media and entertainment. “These awards recognize the activism and screenwork of prominent members of the Hollywood Latino community and provide a space for us as Latinos to celebrate our work and make sure our stories are being told and our artists are being recognized,” she said.

Thompson, who received an award for Outstanding Performance in a Film (Passing), shared with viewers how she was able to overcome the initial self-doubt she experienced when she became an actress. “I remember the moment I saw projections of myself on screen, seeing a character that you can identify with that looks, feels and sounds like you is so impactful,” she said. “It validates your own experience and makes you feel less lonely. I think it’s deeply important that when we talk about representation that the folks being represented have the ability to tell their own stories.”

Watch the entire National Hispanic Media Coalition’s (NHMC) 24th annual Impact Awards below.