Oxnard College has tapped Hollywood award-winning writer-director Rick Najera as Artistic Development Director for the third consecutive season of the Oxnard College Institute for Latino Performing Arts. The season will kick off its 2015-2016 Latino Thought Makers Series on Wednesday, August 26 with actor/director Enrique Castillo (NCIS, Weeds, Deja Vu) and actress Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane, The Event, Shameless). “We are thrilled that Rick Najera, one of the most influential Latinos in Hollywood, has joined us to develop and host another season of Latino Thought Makers,” said vice president of academic affairs and student learning, Ken Sherwood. Rick Najera is a writer-director-producer-speaker and author working in all forms of entertainment. Currently, Najera is a staff writer on Hulu’s hugely popular show, East Los High and director of the CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase for the 11th consecutive year which has developed more breakout television and film stars in the industry than any other network today under his tutelage. Najera also speaks nationwide on a variety of topical issues including themes from his memoir, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood. The Latino Thought Makers Series is an important initiative designed to engage, educate and entertain students of Oxnard College, the city of Oxnard and greater Ventura County communities. All performances are free (unless otherwise noted) and open to the public. The successful series has showcased the careers of the most prominent Latinos in Hollywood including actors Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, the family of Cesar Chavez, the creator and cast of Hulu’s East Los High and more.

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