Name: Deborah “Deb” Renteria
Homebase: Harlem, NY to Los Angeles, CA
Tu país: Mexico
Describe your professional role(s):
Co-founder of La Nueva Link & Executive Director of Inclusive Creative and Marketing Strategy at Lionsgate
What’s been your journey to your current profession?
3 words: Creativity, Healing, and Sacrifice. The moment I left my hometown of Long Beach, CA to attend UC Berkeley I knew my life was forever changed and felt I was embarking on a journey no one in my family could relate to. That took me to NYC and into the entertainment industry. I’ve leaned on my creativity and my unique perspective to build a career and carve a lane for myself in this space. I’m where I am today because of my courage to heal trauma, especially inter-generational, and to realize that I’m at my best in service of my people.
What excites and stimulates you in your career? What draws you into the work you do?
At the very least good content entertains, but at its best, content humanizes and creates empathy for people we rarely get to see. That’s why I am committed to use my seat at the table to be a gate-opener for underrepresented creatives and storytellers, especially from the Latinx community. Every small victory, every relationship I make in this industry is in service of my mission and helps keep me focused to push pa’lante!
What advice would you tell your younger self as she embarks her professional career?
You are loved, you are worthy, and you have everything you need inside of yourself already.
What did you used to believe that you now see was completely misguided?
I used to believe that I need to be consumed by anything that isn’t me! I felt for so long that I needed titles, companies, friendships, men, and cities to define me. It was misguided, and it was trauma, I now work to be free of unhealthy attachments. It’s my life’s work, but I know I’m better for it, more free to just create.
Who are people you connected with in your journey that empowered you in your career? How did they empower you?
Women and women of color. Seeing women who embraced me, never threatened, but instead nurturing my natural abilities and watering my potential has made all the difference. From my grandma in Mexico to my mother, to the first women who introduced me to Marketing and Advertising, to the ex-boss who checks-in on me once in a while, to my boss now. Simply women who I admire and who in their own way have held the door open for me.
What does Latine culture mean to you on your home turf?
Latine culture is an undeniable and inextinguishable fire to not only survive but thrive, to love (myself first), and to build worlds with my ingenuity. This is what my ancestors did, this is their legacy and my assignment.
What’s next for you?
Tackling the lack of inclusion in Hollywood. I am moving back to LA in a few days and I’m energized and hungry to really take my superpower of empathy and community building to bring Latinx and Black creatives together to build solutions to get MORE of OUR stories told. I’m SO ready! Through co-building La Nueva Link I’ve learned that there’s power in visibility, and I really want the entertainment industry to SEE us and FEEL us on their necks, because we are not letting up. I’m excited for LNL to take Hollywood.
For Las Mujeres Doin’ the Work, Latina has partnered with La Nueva Link, a digital and IRL community for Latinx creatives and media professionals in every intersection of the culture. LNL’s mission is to shift the understanding of US Latinxs from a monolith to micro-communities. They are a network fostering visibility and facilitating connections for Latinx professionals and creatives. Not only does their work empower a new generation of culture-makers, but also LNL pushes institutions to think critically about how they engage with Latinx communities.