Diversity Headlines

A Monk During Peacetime

Hyphen Blog - 11 hours 19 min ago

How studying kung-fu helped Ari Laurel think about her activism and identity, and ultimately helped her move on to the next chapter of her life.

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500 ‘Young African Leaders’ to Meet With Obama

New America Media - 11 hours 31 min ago
 With 60 percent of Africa's population under the age of 35, young people stand to play as important a role in their respective nations' success on the continent as anywhere else in the world.On Monday, 500 such young people, who... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Hilton Als Speaks of 'Ghosts in Sunlight' to Graduating Class

Colorlines - 11 hours 59 min ago
Hilton Als Speaks of 'Ghosts in Sunlight' to Graduating Class

Hilton Als, essayist and longtime theater critic at The New Yorker, gave the commencement speech to this year's graduates at Columbia's School of the Arts. He manages to perfectly capture hope and loss as he experienced it as a student there during the dawn of the AIDS pandemic:

I wonder if you, like me, feel, just now, like a ghost in the sunlight, awash in memories as your life shifts from student to professional, and your professors become your colleagues. I'll pull rank now--but just for a moment--and say that my ghosts are probably older than yours. I mean almost Madonna old, and her 1980s music is there in my reminiscences along with so much more as I recall that the majority of my ghosts became just that during the AIDS crisis, which I first read about while I was a student at Columbia--in 1981 or so. I met those now gone boys at Columbia some time before I met you. In memory they wear what they wore then: Oxford button-downs, and they smoke and gossip in the sun that always makes the steps of Low Library--the very steps you've sat on yourself--look like a sketch in a dream. Tomorrow was faraway then. And then it wasn't.

Read more at the New York Review of Books

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Human Rights Commission Calls for Seattle to Divest from Corporations that Profit on Immmigrant Detention

New America Media - 12 hours 48 min ago
 Earlier this month, the Seattle Human Rights Commission passed a resolution calling on the city to divest from corporations that profit from immigrant detention.The commission said that at least two of the city’s three fund accounts have assets that are... International Examiner http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Maxine Hong Kingston to Receive the National Medal of Arts at the White House

New America Media - 12 hours 56 min ago
 WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 22, 2014) — On Monday afternoon, July 28, 2014, President Obama will award the 2013 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room. The First Lady will also attend.Maxine... AA Press http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

PBS Explores Gender, Fashion and 'the Right to be Handsome'

Colorlines - 13 hours 45 min ago

A new segment by PBS' Ivette Feliciano explores how and why clothing for gender non-conforming people is on the rise.

(h/t PBS)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

ICE Detains Pregnant Women Against Its Own Policy

Colorlines - 15 hours 18 min ago

According to its own policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, only detains pregnant women if they pose a public safety threat--but new evidence illustrates the practice is quite common.

Over at Fusion, Cristina Costantini found that at 559 pregnant women have been detained by ICE in just six facilities since 2012, and there's no reason to believe they meet ICE's own policy for holding expecting mothers. At least 14 women suffered miscarriages while in detention in 2012. According to Fusion's estimate, up to 57 pregnant immigrant women are being detained per day.

Read more over at Fusion

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Robin D.G. Kelley on Palestine: 'A Level of Racist Violence I've Never Seen'

Colorlines - 16 hours 21 min ago
 'A Level of Racist Violence I've Never Seen'

Back in 2012, UCLA professor and public intellectual Robin D.G. Kelley did an interview with Mondoweiss, a website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, about his experience as part of a U.S. delegation to Palestine. His comments offer some perspective on how even in time so-called peace, violence and destruction in the region are commonplace.

We went to Hebron, and visited and talked to Palestinian merchants, and witnessed a level of racist violence that I hadn't even seen growing up as a black person here in the States (laughs), I have to say, and I've been beat by the cops. The level of racist violence from the settlers is kind of astounding. We visited Aida refugee camp just north of Bethlehem, and we went to Bethlehem as well. On my own, I went to Nablus and visited the Balata refugee camp. We also went to Haifa, and we met with a group of Palestinian-Israeli scholars and intellectuals to talk about the boycott.

Read more.

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Fast Food Workers Show Strength in Numbers This Weekend

Colorlines - 16 hours 24 min ago
Fast Food Workers Show Strength in Numbers This Weekend

An estimated 1,200 fast food workers are back home this Monday morning after attending their first-ever national conference this weekend in Addison, Ill., about four miles from McDonald's headquarters. The gathering dramatizes the resolve of fast food workers to escalate their campaign as well as the growth of the movement, which began with 200 workers in November 2012. Their main demands are a $15-an-hour minimum wage and the right to form a union without retaliation.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) largely funded the two-day convention and North Carolina's Moral Mondays leader Rev. William Barber III was a keynote.

Said one worker, according to The New York Times, "It's awesome to see all these people here. I'm ready to take the next step." This national conference comes after a mid-May protest forced McDonald's to close company headquarters. 

For images from this weekend's gathering, check Vice News as well as reporter Alice Speri's Tweets from the convention hall.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

NPR's Michel Martin Does Not Want You to Check Your Privilege

Colorlines - 16 hours 25 min ago
NPR's Michel Martin Does Not Want You to Check Your Privilege

As NPR's "Tell Me More" gets ready to air its last episode on August 1, host Michel Martin took to the pages of the National Journal to spell out how conversations about women in the workplace ignore race. She references Anne-Marie Slaughter's popular 2012 essay in The Atlantic "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," explores the jobs women of color have in today's workforce, and then finally lands on it's not all that useful to "check your privilege:"

Women of color have a long history of making a way out of no way, of rising out of circumstances many would consider impossible, of finding hope and purpose in the most difficult circumstances. Surely these are strengths that should be brought to bear on these issues, and surely there is a way for white women to join us in this struggle. There is a saying that is popular on some college campuses right now: Check your privilege. As I understand it, it's mainly aimed at advantaged white people who are being admonished to recognize their advantages, especially ones they take for granted. I won't presume to speak for all women of color so I will speak for myself: I don't care about that. I don't want your pity, and I can't use your guilt. I don't want my white female colleagues to "check" their privilege. I want them to use it--their networks, their assets, their relationships--to form a united front with women of color, and to help improve things for all of us.

Read more at National Journal

(h/t National Journal via BuzzFeed)

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Strikes Continue in Gaza at Start of Eid, Ebola in California and Memory Affected by Sleep Deprivation

Colorlines - 16 hours 34 min ago
Strikes Continue in Gaza at Start of Eid, Ebola in California and Memory Affected by Sleep Deprivation

Here's what I'm reading up on this morning: 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Brooklyn's MoCADA Is Asking Its Community for Help

Colorlines - 17 hours 26 min ago

Brooklyn's Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts is facing hard times. James E. Bartlett, the institution's executive director, made the following appeal this week to ask community members for support to help it stay afloat:

We've been lucky to have the support of so many fantastic foundations over the years, and we are very grateful for their ongoing commitment to cultural arts. Our funders are model philanthropists who continue to stand by our growth and innovation. But it is not enough to rely on foundations and government grants to stay afloat. We are in danger because we are a small, Black organization and wealth inequality continues to be a very real challenge in the community we serve. We operate without an endowment or major individual donors, making us vulnerable to funding cuts. If a funder decides they no longer want to support the arts (as often occurs), we have to cut free programming, or even staff. That's why we're asking you to take action now.

The museum, which was founded in 1999, has set up a fundraising page in an effort to raise the funds. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

M.C. Raka Dun Talks Hip-Hop and Immigration

Colorlines - 19 hours 1 min ago

Some of Raka Dun's (pronounced "doon") most ardent American fans can't understand what he's saying. He doesn't have the emotive mumbles of a James Brown or the fast-paced flow of a Bizzy Bone. But, as one half of the bilingual Oakland-based hip-hop duo Los Rakas, he's been on three U.S. tours that have taken him to some of the country's least diverse enclaves and he raps almost exclusively in Spanish. 

Consider this one of the byproducts of America's broken immigration system. Raka Dun, 26, came to the United States from Panama when he was 14 and only began rapping when a family friend urged him to write down how he felt. He spent the next 12 years without papers trying to get a performing career off the ground, but he was unable to travel to Spanish-speaking countries.

Long before the harrowing tales of unaccompanied Central American minors began to flood the U.S. media, Raka Dun shuttled between relatives' homes in Bay Area suburbs before finally landing  in the care of his Spanish teacher at Oakland High School. He and his rap partner, Rico, managed to channel their own experiences into two serendipitously timed videos on childhood migration. In the first, "Sueño Americano" we meet a protagonist played by Dun who's found himself in prison facing the death penalty. In the second, "Chica de mi Corazon" we learn about learn them backstory of a poor boy growing up in Panama who leaves in search of his mother, who has already left for the states. Both are tracks from their major-label debut album from Universal Latino, "El Negrito Dun Dun & Ricardo." Their music is a politically fused blend of hip-hop, reggaeton and dancehall that's put them on stage alongside the likes of Erykah Badu, Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg.

I spoke with Raka Dun by phone about how his music is influenced by his politics and vice versa.

Tell me about how you guys formed Los Rakas.

We were just rapping individually and then, through youth programs, I did a song called "Mi Barrio" and put Rico on it. Then we did "Bounce" and we'd perform the two songs together and people would ask us all the time if we were a group. So we tried it. We got booked in L.A. for this event called the Hood Games--a skateboarding event--and they were like, "We want you guys together." We thought we'd give it a try.

We went to L.A. and were coming up with names. My cousin said Los Rakas and we started laughing. Los Rakas in Panama would be controversial; they would call people from the hood rakas in a negative way. A yayo is someone from the upper class who dresses nice and looks nice, so a lot of people from the 'hood would try to be yayos. When we heard Los Rakas we liked it because we could show that being from the 'hood wasn't a negative thing.  

How did the idea for the immigration series come about?

I was undocumented for 12 years, so basically on that song I was just venting about how I thought life in the United States would be compared to how it is in reality, especially as a young black man from Panama. In the videos, I was showing the different emotions that young people go through. I wanted to showcase what can happen when you're a frustrated young person who's living in the U.S. while undocumented. But I also wanted to show that frustrated youth can make the right decisions because if they decide to sell drugs or rob people, there are consequences.

The second part of the video is "Chica de mi Corazon," which is talking about my mother. A lot of people who leave their countries never get the chance to see their moms or their families or their countries again. I just wanted to bring that emotion into the video. In "Soy Americano" [the protagonist] goes to jail and faces lethal injection, but this part of the video was demonstrating what happened before all of that. He's in jail remembering his mother, his country, the things he'll never get to see again.

Were you in Oakland? San Francisco? Did you move around?

I was in Oakland and wound up living with my Spanish teacher from Oakland High and her husband. When I was with them I started learning about the Black Panthers and Malcolm X and all that. I was really grateful to live with them for a couple of years because they taught me a lot. They're the reason why Los Rakas are Los Rakas now.

Tell me a little bit more about growing up in the Bay. Theres's not a big Panamanian community there. Can you tell me a little about how you developed your identity in the Bay, as an Afro-Latino? 

When I was in high school I would kick it with all the Mexican cats. I would kick it with American black people and folks of other races, but mainly Mexicans because they're the ones who spoke my language. And then I met up with my cousin, with Ricardo and my other cousin and I started kicking it with them all the time.

Everyone's talking about unaccompanied minors crossing the border. It's a really big political issue now. What do you think is the power of your music to interject in the policy talk that's happening?

To tell you the truth, when I was writing those songs I wasn't thinking about trying to send a message. I was just really telling my own personal stories and [stories about] the people around me. Obviously, talking that stuff, a lot of people can relate. That's something that goes on every day in the United States. I think we fit it with speaking the truth, speaking from the heart, and people automatically gravitate to that.

How did you grow up?

At first I was in Vacaville; that's way different than Panama. My aunty lived in the suburbs and even though the living situation was way better than it was in Panama when I was one of seven kids living in one room with my father and stepmother, I wasn't feeling the vibe. There weren't too many people of color. But when I came to Oakland to visit my other aunty, I felt a little more at home.

I think my experience for the most part was cool. But the part that was not was when you graduate from high school and want to go to college but you have to get a job. That's the hard part. Even with my music, I couldn't travel to places like Mexico or Argentina. That really limited me and got me frustrated because I felt like a prisoner.

How are people receiving your music?

We were independent for seven years and just released the last album ["El Negrito Dun Dun & Ricardo"] through Universal Latino. It's a big-label release but we started in Oakland with the youth programs like Youth Speaks, Youth Movement Records, Youth Together and Youth Uprising. We really took advantage of all that. They taught us not just now to make music but also how to deal with the business side of making music. We were grinding at a young age, we were 19, 18 doing our own shows. Most of the people who came to the shows didn't even speak Spanish. We've already done three different tours in the United States. One was with Grouch and Brother Ali; it was more of a hip-hop tour. The second one was with Collie Buddz, a big reggae artist. We've been going to places in the States where people don't even speak Spanish and people are receiving the music well. They feel it more once they come see it live. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

7-Eleven Discriminates Against Its Franchisees, Claims Lawsuit

New America Media - 23 hours 23 min ago
 Three weeks before Christmas last year, Dilip and Saroj Patel had an alarming meeting with two 7-Eleven corporate officers at their Riverside, Calif., 7-Eleven franchise, which the Indian American couple had owned and operated for nearly two decades.The elderly couple... Sunita Sohrabji http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Summer Fun in the City [Photos]

Colorlines - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 04:59
Summer Fun in the City [Photos]

After a week of grisly headlines, sometimes we need to just bask in the beauty of everyday people. Few things conjure up more joy than summer. Whether it's going to the beach (when it's allowed), cooling off at the pool or dancing at a block party, we've always found ways to celebrate while the sun is shining. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and revisit the smiles, ice cream cones and swimsuits of yesteryear. 

  New York City

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Three young girls pose on Bond Street in 1974. (Danny Lyon/National Archives)

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Kids beat the heat at Koscuisko Pool on July 4, 1974. (Danny Lyon/National Archives) 

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Another scene at Koscuisko Pool in summer 1974.  (Danny Lyons/ National Archives)

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Three boys clown for the camera in Lynch Park in 1974. (Danny Lyons/National Archives) 

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Two Lynch Park-goers in 1974. (Danny Lyons/National Archives) 

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Kids play at Jacob Riis beach in 1974. (Danny Lyons/National Archives)

Chicago chicagosummer1_071414.jpg

Girls cool off with the fire hydrant in the Woodlawn section of Chicago in June 1973. (John H. White/NARA via The Atlantic)

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Participants in the Bud Billiken Day Parade along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in August of 1973.  (John H. White/NARA)

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Hundreds turn out for the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade along MLK Drive. (John H. White/NARA)

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Swimmers beat the heat on Lake Michigan in August 1973. (John H. White/NARA)

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A family enjoys a picnic at 12 Street Beach on Lake Michigan, August 1973. (John H. White/NARA)

 Los Angeles

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Verna Williams and partner at Santa Monica Beach in 1931. (Courtesy of Shades of L.A.)

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A Samoan family in Carson in 1971. (Courtesy of Shades of L.A.)

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Students celebrate the last day of school at Hoover Street School in 1976. (Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library)

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Teachers on the last day of school in 1967. (Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library)

lasummer3_071414.jpg          Miss Watts 1967 and her court wave to the crowd. (Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library )

San Franciso

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Two men hit the San Francisco streets in the 1970s. (Courtesy of Carlotta Boettcher)

sfsummer5_071414.jpgIce cream time in the 1970s. (Courtesy of Carlotta Boettcher)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Listen: Otis Brown's 'The Thought of You Part 1' Feat. Bilal

Colorlines - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 04:52
 Otis Brown's 'The Thought of You Part 1' Feat. Bilal Otis Brown III often stays in the background. A sideman and drummer for Esperanza Spaulding, he's about to release a solo album "The Thought of You" on September 23. The album features folks like Robert Glasper and Bilal. Here's "The Thought Of You Pt. 1." 

* This post has been updated.
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Behind the Beard - A New Generation of Muslim American Leaders

New America Media - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 01:20
Image: Salmon Hossein (R) at a forum held earlier this year on Muslim American youth in San Jose.When an acquaintance recently quipped that Salmon Hossein had adopted the “Taliban look” because of his newly acquired beard, it was something of... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Tita Aida - A community icon

Hyphen Blog - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 15:16

She is Tita.

Big sister in Hawaiian.

Aunt in Tagalog.

Aida is a reference to AIDS.

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Categories: Diversity Headlines

Putting the Central American Children’s Migration In Context

New America Media - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 01:30
  The dramatic surge in the number of Central American children and teenagers entering the US has created considerable concern among many in the United States. Already this year, 52,000 children have been apprehended. The latest estimates indicate that almost... Beatriz Manz http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Call for Immigrant Rights Advocates to Boycott White House Meetings

Colorlines - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 14:51
Call for Immigrant Rights Advocates to Boycott White House Meetings

President Obama met with three Central American presidents at the White House Friday afternoon to address the influx of unaccompanied child migrants. According to The Hill, Obama claims to have come to agreement with El Salvador's Salvador Sánchez Cerén, Honduras' Juan Orlando Hernández, and Guatemala's Otto Pérez Molina to "address poverty and violence" in order to stem the immigration tide. Meanwhile, the administration is still attempting to get Congress to approve a nearly $4 billion to increase detention facilities and to hire additional immigration judges to hasten the deportation of children, which seems unlikely to happen before lawmakers take off for vacation at the end of next week.

The White House has hosted several conversations and events about immigration--not just recently about child migrants, but also about the 11 million people who remain undocumented in Obama's second term. But critics charge that the people most affected by the immigration system, the undocumented themselves, aren't truly represented in Washington. In a sharp essay over at Latino Rebels, California Immigration Youth Justice Alliance member Hairo Cortes, addresses the issue, and calls for major non-profit immigrant rights advocates to boycott meetings at the White House until Obama discusses the issue with undocumented people. 

With this clear history of unwillingness to lead by taking politically risky positions, and of siding with the political interests over working class immigrant communities, I call on America's Voice, the National Council of la Raza, the National Immigration Forum, the Center for American Progress, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and all those other advocates who were unwilling to take a stand against deportations when it was most critical for them to do so, to step aside and boycott all further White House meetings until President Obama sits down with and negotiates with the undocumented immigrant day laborers, trans and queer organizers, parents, and youth who brought the proposal of Administrative Relief to the public consciousness when everyone said we should be quiet.

Mainstream advocates have long suggested that grassroots activists should quiet down about the administration's record-setting deportation numbers and concentrate instead on putting pressure on the Republican Party to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Yet it's been politically clear that the GOP won't be moving on such a bill in an election year. In response to partisan blame, Cortes makes clear that his allegiance isn't with the Democrats, but with his community.

You can read the essay, titled "Undocumented People Must Be at Negotiation Table to Achieve Substantive Relief," in its entirety over at Latino Rebels

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