The Community Coalition for Substance Abuse and Prevention, more commonly known as CoCo, was created by a group of African American and Latino activists in 1990. They wanted to build a collective for people to not feel alone, especially in light of the crack-cocaine epidemic, which largely affected and targeted people of color.
When Ayala started working at ABC News more than 20 years ago, he was the only Latino in the newsroom. Countless news assignments, dozens of awards and a teaching career later, the veteran producer turned college professor is an inspiration for the next generation of journalists of color. Today, Ayala, 43, is an award-winning news producer and an assistant professor at California State University, Long Beach.