Each year, Comité Noviembre, Puerto Rican Heritage Month, (CN), selects a person that is making a difference in this country, empowering others and shaping, not only our future as Puerto Ricans, but the future of all Americans.
CN’S 2015 SPOKESPERSON
JW Cortés, Activist and Actor, Gotham.
In an inspired maneuver by FOX, a real New York City cop is ‘transferred’ to GOTHAM’S Homicide Squad. Joining the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department) is the multi-talented JW Cortes, after battling crime on our streets for more than a decade. A Marine-combat-vet turned actor, JW is now set to face a different kind of danger as Detective Alvarez. JW still actively serves New York City – walking his beat in the iconic Grand Central Terminal – but through his performance, it’s easy to see where his main passion sits. From Brooklyn stoops via the sands of Iraq and now to our screens worldwide, JW undoubtedly brings a level of unquestionable authenticity to his new role in GOTHAM.
JW Cortes is the proud father of two boys, a lucky husband and loving owner of an American Bulldog named Blue. An avid activist, JW raises awareness and much-needed funding for various charities and organizations that include Autism Speaks (his youngest son is on the spectrum) and the Wounded Warrior Project. In partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, JW joined Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters on Stage at Madison Square Garden, helping raise almost six million dollars.
JW is probably best known for his work as a special-ops operative on the fierce NBC reality-series, “STARS EARN STRIPES.” The NYC based actor honed his craft at the world renowned William Esper Studio under the tutelage of Terry Knickerbocker. Additional film credits include: “Blue Caprice” with Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) at Sundance Film Festival, NBC’s Taxi Brooklyn (dir. Olivier Megaton), Amoral (a new web series), As Good As Dead (Andie MacDowell), Latin mega-star Yovanny Polanco’s music video “Como Funciona El Amor” and in Sarah Fimm’s latest music video “Killing Machine”, portraying a veteran struggling within the grips of PTSD.
Before joining the police department, JW served in the United States Marine Corps for nearly thirteen years attaining the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. Awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Marine of the Year.
Past CN Spokespeople
2017 Stephanie Llanes, Bertha Justice Institute Fellow, Center for Constitutional Rights, Government Misconduct Racial Justice
2016 Richard Colón, Crazy Legs, Founder, Rock Steady Crew
2015 JW Cortés, Activist and Actor, Gotham
2014 Johnny Lozada, Host, Univision’s Despierta América!
2013 Marybeth Melendez, Graduate Student, College of Staten Island, Hurricane Sandy & Volunteer
2012 Juan González, author, journalist, columnist, New York Daily News & co-host Democracy Now!
2011 Lisette Nieves, Belle Zeller Distinguished Visiting Professor in Public Policy, CUNY & Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Blue Ridge Foundation
2010 Olga Tañon Grammy Award Winner & Latin Pop Artist
2009 Jesús Omar Rivera, El Boricuazo, Historian & author
2008 Melina León, singer/entertainer
2007 Ana Ortiz, actress and co-star, Ugly Betty
2006 Daisy Martinez, Chef, Entrepreneur, and Host of Daisy Cooks,
2005 Salsa entertainer Frankie Negron
2004 Salsa sensation Tito Nieves
2003 Renown singer Danny Rivera
2002 Admiral Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, US Surgeon General Commander, USPHS
2001 NYPD Officer and tenor Daniel Rodriguez
2000 Internationally acclaimed salsa jazz artist Dave Valentin
1999 Welter weight champion of the world “Tito” Felix Trinidad
1998 Actress and AIDS activist Rosie Perez
1997 The “King of Latin Music” Tito Puente
1996 Actor Jimmy Smits
1995 Actress Lauren Velez and salsa diva India,
1994 Luis Guzman, actor and community activist
1993 Former Surgeon General of the United States Antonia Novello,
1992 Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and NYC Public School Chancellor Dr. Joseph A. Fernandez
1991 Radio talk show host Malin Falú
1990 Musician and AIDS activist Willie Colón