Latino Literacy Now

Latino Literacy Now

Latino Literacy Now, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, was founded to promote literacy in the community in all forms: educational, financial, reading, health, and community awareness. Since 1997, when Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler co-founded Latino Literacy Now, over a million people have been impacted by the organization’s five program areas:

Movie Awards




Latino Reads

Speakers Bureau

Award Programs

The Int’l Latino Book Awards since 1998 has grown to being the largest Latino Cultural Awards in the USA. With the 2017 honorees 2,404 authors and publishers have been honored including all the best known Latino authors within the USA, Latin America, and around the world. Since it’s founding we’ve have numerous high profile winners including Roldofo Acuña, Lalo Alcaraz, Isabel Allende, Rudy Anaya, Mary Andrade, Denise Chávez, Henry Cisneros, Paulo Coelho, Dr. Camilo Cruz, Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, Alma Flor Ada, Reyna Grande, Oscar Hijuelos, Oscar de la Hoya, Josefina López, Cheech Marin, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Pablo Neruda, Ana Nogles, José Luis Orozco, Jorge Ramos, Jenni Rivera, Luis Rodriguez, Carlos Santana, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Ray Suarez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Alisa Valdes, Cecilia Velástegui, and Victor Villaseñor. Plus it has proven to be an appropriate launching pad for that next generation of authors that are either self published or with smaller publishing houses. With the 2017 ILBA Awards we had 196 judges.

Further, since 2010, we’ve done the Latino Books into Movies Awards that has honored 89 books as appropriate for being made into a TV show or movie in 16 different categories. The are judged by directors, producers, screenwriters, and other entertainment professionals.

Latino Book & Family Festivals

Our first programs in 1997, and 61 Festivals have been held since then in eight markets around the USA. Festivals have been held in: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Bernardino, and San Diego. Combined attendance is 900,000+.

Education Programs

Our Latino & American Indian Scholarship Directory efforts, begun in 1996, have been used by nearly 200,000 students, educators, and organizations.

Changing the Face of Education is a new program addressing the dramatic under representation of Latinos within the teaching profession.

The goal of Education Begins in the Home, founded in 2015, is improving the literacy level of elementary school-aged youth in North County San Diego by providing FREE books. Targets K-3 grade Latino students to make the most impact.

Membership Programs

In 2015 we created the fast growing Int’l Society of Latino Authors. In 1980 around 300 books were published in the USA with a Latino author. This year Latinos will publish 25,000 to 30,000 books. After decades of being on the fringe of mainstream publishing, we strongly feel that the time has come for books BY and ABOUT Latinos to finally get the attention that we deserve. The fastest way for this to happen is for us to work together and present a united front.

We have Award Winning Author Tour booths at around 20 book, education, Latino, and community events annually. Over 500 authors have participated since 2014.

Content Development Programs

Latino Reads is a podcast series featuring interviews with Award Winning Authors from the Int’l Latino Book Awards. Over 200 authors have been interviewed. Finally in the 21st Century the DIVERSITY of the United States is being seen for the strength it brings to our country.

The Empowering Speakers Bureau brings companies, events, schools and libraries easy access to unique voices, quality personalities, experts in their field, inspiring authors, and caring leaders.