April Hernandez Castillo, Actress

April Hernandez Castillo

April Hernandez Castillo's dream became a reality when she booked her first commercial as the “Yo girl” in the Visa Check Card spot starring Yao Ming and Yogi Berra. The commercial would air for the Super Bowl and become a sports classic. She then went on to star in television shows such as; Law & Order: SVU, The following, Person of Interest, and Elementary. April garnered a recurring role on Showtime’s Dexter which she was nominated for a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble cast. April is most noted for her powerful portrayal as “Eva Benitez” in the hit movie Freedom Writers starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank. She recently worked on NBC’s popular show- New Amsterdam.

April has also graced a different stage as a public speaker. Her message of resilience, overcoming adversity, and the ability to move beyond trauma has taken April on a journey across the United States and internationally. Reaching an array of audiences from high schools, universities and conferences, she has spoken on some of the most prestigious stages starting from Harvard University, Q Conference to her biggest stage to date, TEDx.

Panel Information

Saturday, September 4

3:15 PM EST

Introduction of Artists, Stars & Transforming American Culture to Heal our Nation’s Racial and Economic Divide

Over 50 years ago, the Kerner Commission was convened by President Lyndon Johnson after protests and rebellions in over 150 American cities in the nineteen sixties. The Commission concluded that the cause of the disorders was “white racism.” In the words of the Commission, “It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens – urban and rural, white and black, Spanish surname, American Indian and every minority group.” America has still not made good the promise of democracy and, in many ways, has gone backwards when it comes to racial injustice, economic inequality and poverty. Over those 50 years we have assembled considerable evidence on what works – yet we have not implemented all of those policies because we still don't have what the Kerner Commission called “new will” from the American public. How can celebrities and social media influencers use their growing power to help create that new will to implement the change we need to heal our nation.

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