Diversity Headlines

The Moment a Clueless Cleveland Baseball Fan Met a Native Man

Colorlines - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 23:59
The Moment a Clueless Cleveland Baseball Fan Met a Native Man

Cleveland's professional baseball team is one of the many American sports franchises still hopelessly clinging to a racist team name, the Cleveland Indians. The team's fans sometimes sport head dresses and face paint in an effort to celebrate the team's mascot. Which leads to awkward enounters like the one above.

(h/t Cleveland Frowns)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Quejas por falta de explicación de estándares escolares en LAUSD

New America Media - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 23:02
EnglishPadres latinos opinan que el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD), el más grande en California, no ha hecho lo suficiente para explicar los nuevos estándares escolares comunes (Common Core) a la comunidad.A muchos les preocupa que esto les... Esmeralda Fabián?? http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

April Lit: "Projector" by Cathy Linh Che

Hyphen Blog - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 22:54

For April's lit feature, we're happy to feature Cathy Linh Che's "Projector" -- a heartbreaking, tense poem that captures a child's helplessness.

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Categories: Diversity Headlines

New York Governor Drops Prison Education Plan

Colorlines - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 22:35
New York Governor Drops Prison Education Plan

Just six weeks after announcing the plan before a gathering of black and Latino lawmakers, New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, last week dropped a plan to publicly fund college classes at 10 prisons. Nationwide, only about a dozen privately funded prison education programs have survived the past two decades. There were 350 up until 1994 when the Clinton administration and Congress cut Pell grants to inmates. 

The prison education setback in New York is significant. It comes amidst a growing bipartisan effort to reform federal and state prisons, as well as president Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative for boys and young men of color. But in this new environment of possibility for prison reform, there still appears to be insufficient political support from directly affected communities of color and their sending-cities for scaling back mass incarceration. Nationwide, nearly a million men and women reenter society annually from federal and state prisons. Education programs like the Bard Prison Initiative have been shown to reduce the rate of recidivism, which in New York, is 40 percent.

New York's prison population, the vast majority of which come from downstate, is 49.2 percent African American, 24 percent Latino and 24.1 percent white. Prisons are located in upstate New York, in largely Republican and majority white counties. Political resistance to Cuomo's plan came from the Republican-controlled state senate. But popular pushback appears to have settled on the unfairness of providing a free education to prison inmates while law-abiding citizens struggle to pay for college.

It's not clear whether the 10 prisons initially selected for the prison education program were minimum or maximum security facilities or a combination of both. New York currently spends $60,000 a year to incarcerate one person. It costs about $5,000 a year for a year of college education for an inmate. 

(h/t The New York Times)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Gentrification Report: Black and Latino Displacement Is Remaking the Bay Area

Colorlines - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 20:56
 Black and Latino Displacement Is Remaking the Bay Area

A new report from San Francisco-based community advocacy group Causa Justa::Just Cause released today details just how deeply gentrification is reshaping San Francisco and Oakland. In a sweeping report detailing the economic, social and even public health impacts of gentrification, Causa Justa::Just Cause hits back at the narrative of the seeming inevitability about gentrification. Rather, the authors of "Development Without Displacement" argue, gentrification is the outgrowth of public disinvestment in marginalized communities and years of unjust economic development policies.

In 2011 median rental prices in Oakland neighborhoods in late stages of gentrification surpassed rental housing prices in even Oakland's historically affluent neighborhoods like the Oakland Hills. Between 1990 and 2011, median rental housing prices in San Francisco neighborhoods in the late stages of gentrification increased 40 percent. What's more, the rental price increases and housing crisis have fueled the displacement of blacks and Latinos from both cities.

Between 1990 and 2011 the proportion of black residents in all Oakland neighborhoods fell by nearly 40 percent. Perhaps more stunning, black homeowners were about half of north Oakland's homeowners in 1990. By 2011 they were just 25 percent of the neighborhood's homeowners. In San Francisco's Mission district, the historically Latino neighborhood has lost over 1,000 Latino families and seen an influx of 2,900 white households, the report authors write.

"The Mission right now is in chaos with evictions," Causa Justa member Cecilia Alvarado says in the report. "There is also nowhere to go. The units available are for people who earn $6,000 to $7,000 more than I do per month--not for middle-class or working-class families, which had always been the status of the Mission--families with kids." Indeed, to longtime residents of the historically Latino neighborhood in San Francisco, the Mission is a new and strange place these days. 

The report also includes policy recommendations to slow and reverse gentrification, ranging from housing protections to equitable economic development in all communities. The underlying message is that displacement is a choice, not an inevitability. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Black and Latino Displacement Remaking Bay Area

New America Media - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 20:33
A new report from San Francisco-based community advocacy group Causa Justa:Just Cause released today details just how deeply gentrification is reshaping San Francisco and Oakland. In a sweeping report detailing the economic, social and even public health impacts of gentrification,... Colorlines http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

UCSB Riot, Walters to Leave The View and Moondust Gear

Colorlines - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 18:28
UCSB Riot, Walters to Leave The View and Moondust Gear Here's some of what I'm reading up on today:   
  • We're getting close to a blood test that will detect early and later stages of cancers. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

The State of Children of Color in the U.S.

Colorlines - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:55
The State of Children of Color in the U.S.

African-American children face "crisis-level" barriers to success. Asian and Pacific Islander children followed by whites are best positioned to meet most of the 12 indicators selected to communicate a child's likelihood of becoming, "middle class by middle age." And similar to African-American children, Latino and Native American children also face greater hurdles beginning at birth. That's according to a new, comprehensive report that, where data was available, went beyond the standard broad racial groupings to look at a child's lifetime opportunity by region, tribe, or family's country of descent.

For example, children of Southeast Asian descent (Hmong, Cambodian, Vietnamese) faced greater challenges than those of Indian, Chinese or Filipino descent. Among African-American children, those living in the southeastern U.S. were least likely overall to become middle class because the report says, of a legacy of "institutional discrimination that still plague[s] the region." Children in Choctaw households fare better economically than those in Apache households. And children of Mexican and Central American descent had to surmount bigger obstacles than those born into Cuban and South American households.

The report, Race for Results, is a first for the Annie Casey Foundation, long recognized for producing the massive state-by-state Kids Count data trove. Race for Results recommends race- and ethnicity-targeted investments (especially for boys and men of color) and greater data collection.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

The Known Unknowns of Obamacare's Racial Justice Impact

Colorlines - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:39
The Known Unknowns of Obamacare's Racial Justice Impact

Today's the day. As of midnight, if you've not enrolled in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act (or asked for a special extension), you'll have to wait until 2015 to buy coverage on the law's exchanges. Medicaid enrollment continues all year.

The Obama administration has already declared the tumultous enrollment process of the past six months a success. After the rocky start of healthcare.gov, the Congressional Budget Office estimated 6 million people would enroll in private plans this year. Last week, the White House announced it had hit that number. That's an important political victory for the administration, to be sure. But health policy wonks across the ideological spectrum agree the number doesn't say much useful about the overall effort to fix our health care system. It doesn't answer any of at least three crucial questions.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

The Neglected Heroines of 'César Chávez'

Colorlines - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 15:35
The Neglected Heroines of 'César Chávez'

Today would have been the late Mexican American labor leader César Chávez's 87th birthday, and over the weekend the biopic "César Chávez: An American Hero" premiered nationwide. Directed by Diego Luna, the film stars Michael Peña in the title role, America Ferrera as his wife Helen, Rosario Dawson as union organizer Dolores Huerta, and John Malkovich as a grape grower loathe to negotiating with his employees.

Some have argued that the film indulges in hero worship and elides Chávez's personal flaws that hindered the United Farm Workers union's lasting success. Yet this truth lies outside the scope of the film, which focuses on the union's beginnings in the 1960s and Chávez's rise to international recognition. What the film does not indulge in, but should, are the stories of the women beside the man. In a myriad of ways, it was women who built the farmworker movement around Chávez, sustained it, and continue to lead its modern incarnation today.

Despite being its main female characters, neither Dawson, nor Ferrera has a dramatic entrance in the film or delivers powerful dialogue, save for the depiction of Helen Chávez's arrest for shouting the prohibited Spanish term "Huelga!" (Strike!) on a picket line. The two women cross each other in scenes, sometimes exchanging a reassuring look or touch. In reality, their lives converged and diverged in interesting ways and shed light on the diversity of the Latina experience.

Though they had different upbringings, both women began working to empower Mexican-American communities as young adults. Born in Brawley, Calif., in 1928 to Mexican migrant parents, Helen Fabela began working in the fields at the age of 7. She met César in high school and married him soon after. While the two were living in San Jose, it was she who convinced César to join the grassroots Community Service Organization (CSO) led by Fred Ross. Through that leadership experience, César saw organizing farmworkers as his next calling. Helen was equally committed to civil rights and volunteered extensively for the CSO, handling administrative duties, registering voters and helping migrants obtain their citizenship.

Born only two years after Helen in Dawson, N.M., Dolores (Fernandez) Huerta experienced a more middle class adolescence and graduated from community college, a rare accomplishment for Mexican-American women in the 1950s. When a CSO chapter was founded in Stockton in 1955, Huerta registered voters, taught citizenship classes, and eventually became a paid legislative advocate for the organization in the state capitol. Rising in the organizational ranks, she met Chávez and eventually resigned from the CSO with him when the organization chose not to prioritize farmworker issues. Always flanking and advising César, Helen and Dolores had tremendous influence over him and the direction of their fledgling union.

A striking difference between the two women, however, was their respective approaches to motherhood. Both women had several children--Helen eight, Dolores 11--but while Chávez chose to make the home her focus, Huerta often left her children in the care of others for long periods of time while she directed strikes and boycotts in California and New York. This personal choice was often criticized--a common experience of other women activists throughout history who balanced politics with family--as was her forceful style at the negotiating table, which overturned white male growers' racialized and gendered assumptions. "Dolores Huerta is crazy. She is a violent woman...Mexican women are usually peaceful and calm," one grower representative remarked.

Huerta might have been perceived as the opposite of the "traditional" Mexican woman, but when one considers Chávez--who externally conformed more to the figure of the nurturing mother--one sees that she was quite disobedient and strategic herself. She was arrested four times and through her demonstrations of protest as a farmworker, wife, and mother, she brought women who might have self-identified as wives, mothers or daughters more than activists into the farmworker movement, politicizing them in a more subtle fashion. Women became the lifeblood of the union as it built its profile. Hope Lopez directed boycott activities in Philadelphia, persuading East Coast housewives to boycott stores selling non-union grapes. Jessica Govea, who began working in the fields at four and joined the UFW as a teenager, forced the union to start advocating for farmworkers' protection from harmful pesticides. She became the director of grape boycott operations in Montreal.

"César Chávez" ends on July 29, 1970, an important day in the struggle of grape workers. That same day, the UFW began its next fight against the corporate world of lettuce. Over 180 growers in California's Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys decided to evade negotiations with Chávez by signing sweetheart contracts with the Teamsters union. When Chávez arrived in the Salinas Valley, he found men and women ready to fight. Lettuce workers had organized into strike committees and freseras, women strawberry workers, had brazenly converted their company-owned labor camps into makeshift fabricas de banderas (flag factories) to sew strike flags. Women of all ages stood on picket lines, and some suffered violence at the hands of Teamsters and anti-UFW protestors. At age 18 picketer Lupe Ortiz was punched in the mouth by a man in a moving car who tore away her union flag. Other women testified of being hurt in car chases and beatings. When Chávez defied a court-ordered picketing injunction at particular lettuce ranches, 15 women chose to get arrested with him. After a judge jailed Chávez for his actions, farmworkers' wives held 24-hour vigils outside the prison and created public altars in the beds of pickup trucks adorned with images of the Virgin of Guadalupe, candles, flowers, the Mexican and American flags, and pictures of Chávez, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

Chávez only stayed a leader because he had a following, and women helped sustain that following by involving themselves and their families in the union, maintaining strikers' morale when Chávez was absent, and risking their own safety and liberty because they could imagine a greater liberty. Women were not, to use a theatrical term, "extras" in the farmworker struggle--they were principal players. Today, the laboring conditions and wages of farmworkers have largely regressed to what they were in pre-UFW days. The farmworker movement continues, and women continue to lead it by speaking out for labor, migrant, and food justice and fighting against sexual harassment and rape in the fields, gender discrimination, and pesticide use.

The secondary theme of "César Chávez" is that of the father-son relationship, paralleled in the lives of Chávez and Malkovich's character. At several points various characters reference the concept of machismo and what it means to be a man protecting his dreams. If Rosario Dawson makes good on her wish to bring Dolores Huerta's life to the silver screen, how might that future "heroine" film approach themes of gender and empowerment and what it means to be a woman protecting her dreams? How can we, and when will we, start moving women's histories and activism from the margins to the center? Both in and out of Hollywood, pondering those questions would serve us well.

Lori Flores is assistant professor of history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, with a forthcoming book on the history of Mexican-Americans and the making of agricultural California.

*Post has been updated since publication. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

LA's Latino Parents 'In the Dark' About Common Core

New America Media - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:40
Image: Students attend Family Math Night at Burke Middle School near Los Angeles. Traducción al españolLOS ANGELES –Latino parents in Los Angeles say the state’s largest school district hasn’t done enough to explain Common Core to the community. Many worry the... Esmeralda Fabian http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Senior Centers’ Casino Trips Help Drive Gambling Addiction

New America Media - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 10:50
  Part 2. Read Part 1 here. BUFFALO, N.Y.--At Jewish Family Services, which provides treatment for gambling addiction, counselors see many people who are in denial, like Gina’s father, who lost his retirement savings at local casinos. The initial call... Melinda Miller http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Taking Care of Our Seniors

Hyphen Blog - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 19:01

What can we do to help improve the lives of the millions of “invisible” AAPI elderly in the U.S.?

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Foreword: Vietnam 40 Years Later

New America Media - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:15
  As the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War approaches, photographer Robert Dodge offers us a compelling new view of Vietnam, my homeland, in his new book of photography: Vietnam 40 Years Later. Below is the foreword... Andrew Lam http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=8
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Geriatric Doctor Wants ERs to Face the Holistic Music, But It’s Not Everyone

New America Media - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 10:40
 ASHLAND, Ore.--A few days after Heath Belden roasted a chicken for the first time in his life, he fell violently ill. Throwing up every few minutes, he couldn’t even hold water. The then 37-year-old stage manager for the Oregon Shakespeare... Jennifer Margulis http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Death of Activist in Vietnam, Dinh Dang Dinh

New America Media - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 17:46
 (AI) – Amnesty International has paid tribute to Dinh Dang Dinh, the Vietnamese environmental activist, blogger and former prisoner of conscience, who has died aged 50.The activist was unjustly jailed in 2011 after starting a petition against a mining project... Vietnam Right Now http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Lack of Information and Funds Keeps DACA Applications Low

New America Media - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 11:00
photo: Cynthia Tejeda talks with an immigration attorney to begin the DACA application process. (Courtesy of City of Commerce PIO)Cynthia Tejeda was both nervous and hopeful as she waited in a long line at the Mexican Consulate Office in Los... Jacqueline García http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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As Seniors Gamble for Fun, Some Find Only Trouble

New America Media - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 10:10
  Part 1. Read Part 2 here. BUFFALO, N.Y.--After skipping doctor’s appointments for months, Gina’s father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in January. That’s when she realized he had other problems, too. While helping arrange her dad’s medical care,... Melinda Miller http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Watch Maya Angelou Dance and Sing Calypso in 1957

Colorlines - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:00

It's Maya Angelou's 86th birthday, and while today provides a great opportunity to talk about her work as a celebrated black poet, it's also worth remembering the scope of her lifelong work as a singer and dancer. In this video (at about the 1: 02 mark), you can see Angelou in the 1957 film "Calypso Heat Wave."

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García Márquez Hospitalized, Obama Selfie and Hummingbirds

Colorlines - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 20:57
García Márquez Hospitalized, Obama Selfie and Hummingbirds

After a three-day retreat, here's some of what I'm reading about this morning: 

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