Latinos Doing Their Thing
In October 2009 I received an invitation to participate in a march to protest the gun violence in Chicago. The march, organized by Rob Ruiz, was a reaction to the shooting of a teenager in a night club and the night club’s decision to open its doors for a popular concert, just one day following the shooting. A decision that sparked outrage, as well as debate
The morning of the march, while checking Facebook, I saw Rob’s status and learned that no one had shown up to march with him. A lot of people, probably most, would let that stop them, but it didn’t deter Rob; on he marched, alone. That determination,that drive to change the world is what makes Rob a perfect example of a Latino Doing Their Thing.
Marching for peace isn’t all that makes Rob someone everyone should know. I had the opportunity to talk to Rob about his community involvement, as well as his many entrepreneurial endeavors.
Aside from your one-man march, tell me how you’re involved in the community.
“I speak to the youth in my neighborhood that I feel are at risk for drugs and gangs regarding the importance of family, integrity, and making money legally. When the gang bangers decide to tag up our neighborhood with graffiti, I’m usually the one painting over it.”
In 2001 I decided to create my first business, Ambassador Entertainment, Inc., a production company for film and music. As a kid I was fascinated by movies and stage plays and knew that I would one day be involved in the process. A.E.I. is in the process of producing its first musical entitled Paseo Boricua: The Musical, set to open in the Spring/Summer of 2011.
Writing has also been a lifelong passion so I formed Ransom Letter Publishing in 2007. The first novel, Urban Caesar, will hit the streets in the Summer of 2011. That same year I created my 3rd business, La Belle Promenade, Inc., a pet-care service. On May 5th 2010 I opened my 4th business, The Original Sancocho T-Shirt & Hat Co, with a great debut at the Fiestas Puertorriqueñas selling out our entire stock.
What advice would you give to others looking to do similar things?
Get rid of the idea of “never give up.” Never marry an idea to the point where you waste your money, youth, drive, and creativity trying to make it work. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t mean you failed, it simply means that the idea is not right for you. Expect rejection and prepare for it. Every idea has a market. It is up to you to develop a system to exploit that market and make it your own. Last but not least, surround yourself with positive people.
Get to know more about Rob on his Facebook page.