Loyola University New Orleans Holds 5th Annual Fr. Carter Lecture Series
Loyola press release - February 8, 2000
Known as the "Olivier of the Latino world," Olmos is the winner of two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy for his role as Lt. Castillo in the television drama Miami Vice . He was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Jaime Escalante, the eccentric but dedicated math teacher, in the 1988 film, Stand and Deliver. Aside from his acting credits, he is known for his participation in various humanitarian efforts and played an instrumental role in the cleanup efforts after the L.A. riots, the 1993 Los Angeles earthquake, and Hurricane Andrew in Florida.
Most recently, in April of 1999, Olmos launched a nationwide multimedia project called Americanos: Latino Life in the United States, a celebration of Latino culture through photography, film, music, and the printed word. The project, designed to inspire Latino pride and to build bridges among Latinos and others, includes a five-year traveling photography exhibition, a music CD, a book of essays, photos, and commentary, and a documentary to air on HBO.
Olmos’ lecture will be titled "Celebrating Culture" and will focus on issues of multiculturalism and diversity. Olmos will speak of his own experiences as an artist and activist in the Latino community.
This lecture series honors Loyola’s longest-tenured president, the Rev. James C. Carter, S.J., who served 20 years. The series seeks to feature a speaker of national prominence whose humanity and character have enabled him or her to promote social justice in his or her life and work. Past speakers have included Susan Sarandon, Sister Helen Prejean, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Dr. Beck Weathers, and Jerry Greenfield.
Olmos was born and raised in East Los Angeles and spent several years in theatrical roles until his mesmerizing performance in the musical play Zoot Suit, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. He reprised that role for film and also appeared in Wolfen and Blade Runner. He is also popularly recognized as Lt. Castillo from the television series Miami Vice, for which he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
Aside from Stand and Deliver, Olmos has starred in such films as My Family/ Ma Familia, Slave of Dreams, The Burning Season, Selena, and the Showtime production of 12 Angry Men. In 1992, he produced, directed, and starred in the powerful feature film American Me. In 1994, he was the executive producer of the award-winning NBC documentary Lives in Hazard.
Olmos also finds time to be active in the community. He is the U.S. Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and a national spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He is also the executive director of the Lives in Hazard Educational Project, a national gang prevention program. He serves on the boards of many groups and organizations and speaks at an average of 150 institutions a year. His HBO documentary, a facet of his Americanos multimedia project, will air on the cable channel in May.