Meet Jesse Garcia, Infórmate DFW’s founding editorial director. Serving before day one of the magazine to 2011, he was instrumental in establishing its vision, mission and content strategy to promote and encourage the Hispanic community’s advancement. A communications professional deeply involved in the Dallas community at the time the magazine was developing its concept, Garcia saw an untapped market hungry for Latino voices and inspirational stories. That’s why the coverage he recommended 10 years ago remains relevant to date and continues shaping IDFW’s success.
Here, the Brownsville native gives his take on IDFW and the importance of highlighting Latino victories.
Infórmate DFW: Where are you at now?
Jesse Garcia: I’m a writer/editor for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. The department promotes job creation and economic growth, and my office works on independent oversight of programs and operations.
IDFW: What motivated you to get involved with the magazine?
JG: After years of organizing in the community, I saw a need for positive stories on Latino leaders. Thanks to our skilled workforce, our community was responsible for the growth in Texas, from the population boom to the building of infrastructure. We needed this recognition for our youth — they were growing up with no positive reinforcement in Texas schoolbooks, which shun anything Mexican-American
This lack of Latino coverage in newspapers, television and radio falls in line with what the rest of the country is experiencing. In a 2014 study, … the American Press Institute found that only 33 percent of Hispanics felt the media accurately reflected their community. Local media needs to do a better a job. If they cannot, we have to create a new model.
Luckily, I got that opportunity. One fateful day in 2009, I met Silvia Villarreal (IDFW publisher) in the West End to discuss an idea about a magazine. We started writing our own stories — focusing on our leaders in business, education, politics and media. It was beautiful to see folks come together to support this new venture and trusting us with their stories.
IDFW: How has IDFW played into your life and/or career, and what did you like most about it?
JG: I want to thank Infórmate DFW for allowing me the opportunity to share my views with the North Texas Latino community and giving me a platform to engage with great leaders. Not that many young Latinos get the opportunity to write cover stories for a quarterly magazine and help shape content in every page — Silvia afforded me that awesome responsibility. I will always be grateful for her vote of confidence.
My favorite part was interviewing people who shared their inspiring journeys, professional successes and challenges. They helped shape me as a leader and my professional career. I pay homage to Infórmate DFW and continue its mission with my weekly podcast, www.JesseGarciaShow.com, which interviews Latino leaders in Washington and across the country about the great work they are doing to lift our Latino community. I want to keep telling our stories, just as Infórmate DFW has done beautifully this past decade.