ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Henry Muñoz works hard to push the Latino narrative forward.
A lifelong creative and activist, Muñoz is dedicated to having the Latino voice heard.
“There needs to be conversations in the Latino community,” he says. “We have to move from crisis to recovery. Cultural understanding is incredibly important. The conversations we have today are meant to inspire the next generation.”
This is the exact reason for Muñoz’s new podcast, “The Momento.”
The podcast will see him talking to different Latinx leaders and activists about their work, and the defining moments of their lives.
The first episode features Eva Longoria. The pair talk about their long-standing partnership and the “Essential Heroes” broadcast.
On Oct. 26, the pair put together “Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event.”
It celebrated Latino culture, honored the community’s contributions to this country, and memorialized its disproportionate losses to COVID-19. Some of the guests featured were Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, José Andrés, Arturo Castro, John Leguizamo, George Lopez, Isabela Merced, Rita Moreno, Ana Navarro, Freddy Rodriguez, Wilmer Valderrama, and more.
Muñoz says each project he’s involved in is to give a platform to the Latino community.
“We need to learn to lead ourselves,” he says. “With the podcast I’m talking to leaders about who they were inspired by. How did each person decide to live their life in public service or entertainment? We have been waiting for people to lead us.”
The part-time Santa Fe resident has been busy for years.
Despite the pandemic, he’s had his hands in various projects.
In addition to the podcast and TV special, Muñoz has co-founded Latino Victory, which is a progressive political action committee working to grow Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government.
He also co-founded TheDream.US – the nation’s largest college access and success program for DREAMers.
Muñoz says for the last 10 years, there has been an effort to elevate the stories of Latinos.
“Our imprint on music has been huge,” he says. “The country recognizes the importance of the moment Latinos are having today.”
Munoz often says “demography is not destiny.”
His organizations are in place for Latinos to feel comfortable embracing their power in asking for equality and justice.
“When you have community organizations doing the work for so many years, you need to bring everybody together in a united fashion to magnify the work,” he says. “To spotlight it and put it on TV. Creating content around the movement. Quite honestly, our people need to hear this.”
Muñoz says New Mexicans understand this more than anyone in the country. He says the “The Momento” hopefully will inspire change in the Latino community.
“I hope people will listen to the podcast,” he says. “The impacts of the pandemic aren’t going to end with a vaccination. We are 18% of the population and 40% of essential workers. We know that we have the greatest challenges for colleges and WiFi. Our businesses have been hard hit and we need to continue to tell stories. That’s what the moment calls for. There’s change in the air and we will be a significant factor.”