We intended to highlight the 20/20 Visionaries-to-Watch featuring Christian Vera much earlier in 2020, but we found it wise to hold her story until it felt right to release.
When you think of the word vision, you almost immediately associate that word with sight, your sensory ability. It is something required to turn a thought into innovation. To have vision doesn’t specifically mean the ability to see something physically, but rather an intention or inclination to create change.
At the beginning of 2020, OBVIOUS had intentions of using our vision to create new stories, highlight new outlooks, and continue offering the cutting edge content that our viewers have grown to love over the years.
What started out as a promising new decade quickly turned into a dark age of disorder as COVID-19 became a global threat that altered all of our realities.
Amid the pandemic, the masks of American “justice” started to show themselves more clearly than ever before as an uprising from the Black Lives Matter movements called out the wrongful murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of police brutality.
One thing was sure: It clouded our vision.
There needed to be some refocusing of what matters and what messaging #TeamOBVIOUS could provide to its audience that would resonate with something optimistic and hopeful.
The world has now spent more than half of the year enduring the stress of these trying times, yet we can still look towards the people making a difference as a means of inspiration.
There’s no doubt that the individuals selected in this article showcase a tenacity and touch of creativity that has shown the potential for greatness in their lives and for others.
They’ve used their heart and motivation to strive for change and create space for new generations to learn from them.
It is with great honor that OBVIOUS Magazine presents: The 2020 Visionaries To Watch.
20/20 Visionaries: Christian Vera at RightThisMinute and The Viral Videos Show
In the age of viral videos, there’s often an overlap between actual news and trending content. How does RightThisMinute combat this in their programming?
Christian Vera: That’s an interesting question… My RightThisMinute team is tasked with finding the best viral videos worldwide, so my co-hosts and I can share the stories behind them with our viewers.
We treat each viral video with journalistic integrity while still making the show enjoyable and exciting to watch on TVs across the country and mobile devices worldwide.
Over the last nine seasons, we have become the leading experts in viral videos and trending topics. As such, we can spot a fake video when we see it and are fastidious about the content that makes it on the air. This manifests in how we connect with our audience.
They come to us because they trust us, and we provide an alternative to some of the depressing news stories they are exposed to every day. When they watch RightThisMinute, they get to have fun and forget the world’s problems even if for just a little bit.
You lead a team that reflects inclusivity. Why is it important for media outlets to include voices and faces representing the broader group of minorities in America?
Christian Vera: The United States is so wonderful because of its diversity. Unfortunately, there’s often so much misinformation about certain groups because their voices are not being widely represented.
The most obvious way to overcome that is by providing these voices with a platform to share, educate, and reshape what we think we know about them. I had a conversation about this with RTMs Executive in Charge of Production, Phil Alvidrez, and he shared with me that having a diverse cast on the show was very intentional.
He said people who love viral videos are all different, so it was a must that diverse perspectives and points of view were present at the table. As a decision-maker, he believes diversity is a must, especially for any organization that serves the public.
Most importantly, he pointed out that there are outstand- ing candidates from all backgrounds for every job, and it is necessary for media outlets to try hard to find them and not settle. I couldn’t agree more with that, and I know I have a seat at the table because they believed it was nec- essary.
Now it’s my job to make sure you enjoy a good viral video and provide my viewers with insight into my culture and people when it’s necessary to correct a misperception or further a conversation.
What words of encouragement would you give to the next generation that will follow in your footsteps?
Christian Vera: Do not give up! Embrace and celebrate who you are completely and unapologetically. Don’t be afraid to speak up and be heard… find your voice through your passions. Learn new hobbies and explore more… The financial world always suggests you diversify your portfolio.
I say diversify your life and your experiences (and also your portfolio). It’s ok not to have all the answers, but when you are unsure, ask for help and/or find a mentor.
I grew up in a traditional Mexican household, and my future role as a woman had almost been dictated for me.
Still, I also have a very American experience, and I realized early on that I wanted to take the path less traveled.
I wanted to show younger girls like me that it was ok to choose differently and dream big. That’s what fuels my fire every morning when I wake up, when I’m on set at RTM, and it’s also why I became a pilot and ride my motorcycle.
Evermore exciting is soon; I’ll be launching my fashion brand to encourage my followers to take charge of their lives, lean in, and BE BOLD.
How have you or your business had to pivot during this global pandemic?
Christian Vera: This pandemic brought production of RightThisMinute to a halt for two weeks. The team was tasked with finding a way to get back into production without putting anyone at risk.
My co-hosts and I are now filming new shows from our respective “home studios” and using a video conference platform to share videos/interact with each other.
Our editors edit stories in their homes, and then the final RTM cut is sent off for air across the country. We’ve gone a little rogue, but the essence of the show hasn’t been lost.
I think it is a testament to my friendship with my co-hosts and the amazing “Yes We Can” production team that figured out how to adapt in such an unprecedented time. It takes a village, and mine is pretty G.
Photo Credit: Randi Childs
View the entire 20/20 Visionaries List here.