Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Support your Latina artist and play writer. If you are in the new York City area check out Death of A Dream. A Prolific play about domestic violence

Nancy Genova's The Death of a Dream written by a survivor of domestic violence Nancy Genova doesn't just focus on the violence in relationships but explores why victims stay. The play offers rare insights into the lives of couples where co-dependency, passion and obsessions overlap. Too quickly society has judged victims rather than viewing the situation from the victim's view. The play will be directed by Frank Perez Obie award winning director of El Cano (Repertorio Espanol). The story centers around three women from different lifestyles and professions who become victims of different forms of violence at the hands of different men.

The Death of a Dream examines how victims justify their perpetrators actions. It also describes the lives of men who grow up and victimize women. The play discusses; self-perceptions, economic status, gender roles, crisis with gender identification and the long lasting effect that the impact of trauma has on people's lives.

The four hour Latino in America documentary with CNN”s Soledad O’Brien is set to air this week. I had the pleasure of attending a prescreening at El Museo De Barrio in New York City this past Saturday (10-17-09). O’Brien was on hand for a Q & A session along with a 45 minute prescreening of the documentary. What I found fascinating is that a lot of people told the correspondent that the prescreening highlighted immigrations as dominate, “Latino Issue.” There were a lot of audience members critiquing the screen both good and bad. One person said that it doesn’t do justice for “us” Latinos. The panel discussion lead by Frances Negron-Muntaner, Director of the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University asked O’Brien, “What’s different about Latinos in America and Black in America?” The response was quick and savvy, she says Black in America has more a historical feel to it, Latino in America is introducing you to people’s stories.” One person in the audience said really so does that mean that Latinos don’t have history here in the U.S? Another point that I thought was interesting is whether this documentary is showcasing the Latino population a victims? She disagrees says once the full-length is show that the viewers will see that it’s not showing Latinos as victims but of working with the opportunities and obstacles put inform of them. “This shows immigration as our number one issues and I don’t think that is correct. O’Brien response saying that she feels it’s more of an “identity” issue that’s showcased in the piece. When she went on to explain it made sense to where you see several different stories where Latinos are assimilating and cultivating their culture. It sounds easy to do, but if you think about it interracial marriage is becoming more popular, so can that mean that the face of Latinos is changing as we know it? Identity as an issue. Take the time if you are a Latino bore and raised here or had crossed the border when you were five. What do you consider yourself and American first and Mexican second or are you a Mexican –American?

Checkout Latinos in America Wednesday and Thursday night on CNN at 9 PM eastern.

We want to know what your opinion was on the four hour long documentary
e-mial you comments to

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chicago, IL ---Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University in Chicago researched the transfer of real-world divisions to Facebook and MySpace.
``Existing social divisions translate online,'' said the associate professor in the Communications Studies Department. ``These sites are mainly used for hanging out with people you already know.''

Hargittai's research found there a difference by race, ethnicity and parental education in the United States as to who uses Facebook versus MySpace.

Hispanic students, for example, are more likely to use MySpace because that's where ``their friends hang out.''
Facebook, it seems, is for the more upwardly mobile. ``It's about who you know, what you're doing, where do you go, where were you on your holiday,'' said Shirley Steinberg, an expert in media literacy and popular culture at McGill University.

``Just the use of the words 'status update' has a middle-class implication.'' MySpace doesn't do any of that, said Steinberg, associate professor at McGill's Department of Integrated Studies in Education. ``Just the title, `MySpace,' itself implies that it's personal.''

She says MySpace users generally tend to be in their early teens up to the age of about 22, and the site is known for attracting musicians and artists and for letting its users be creative.

The same divisions don't exist in Canada, but that's more because MySpace has such a low profile north of the border.

``We are a Facebook country,'' said Rhonda McEwen, who teaches in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto and specializes in new media and the information practices of young people.

It may be because Canadian academics who travelled to the United States started using Facebook and immigrants who came to large Canadian cities also were Facebook users, McEwen suggests. But by the time Canada caught on to social networking, MySpace was more for teenagers and not seen as serious.

Everyone from teens to grandparents in Canada uses Facebook, she says.
``The younger teens here don't know MySpace. They don't even recognize the term, which is really surprising to me, given how big it is in the United States.''

But for Americans, the lines are drawn and technology analyst Carmi Levy suggests no one should be surprised class division continues on the Internet because it's a mirror of society.

``The Internet is not nirvana,'' said Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at Toronto's AR Communications Inc.

MySpace was started by a group of employees at an Internet marketing company called eUniverse in California in 2003, who were following the social networking group Friendster, which also featured indie music.

Facebook was started at Harvard University a year later. Initially it spread through other universities before going global and its users are generally older. The site is now more popular worldwide than MySpace.

Canadians may not have noticed, but MySpace remains less buttoned-down than Facebook, even though it's now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which paid its founders US$580 million in 2005. Facebook has had many investors, but its CEO remains one of its founders, former Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg.

``In many cases, MySpace pages are absolutely unreadable riots of colour and font and form,'' said Levy.

``The artistic community, especially musicians, have really hung on to that and as a result have adopted MySpace as their prime platform and not Facebook.''

AP all the way

Arkansas has one of the nation's fastest growing Hispanic populations

Little Rock,AK ---Arkansas has one of the nation's fastest growing Hispanic populations and is home to an estimated 160,000 Hispanic people. Studies by the Pew Hispanic Center in 2007 concluded that about half of the state's immigrant population are living illegally in the U.S.
Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, had opposed the proposal last year because he said it would duplicate laws that are already on the books. Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor was likely to again oppose the measure if it was similar to last year's proposal.
``The governor's concern then was this would create bigger government and cost Arkansas taxpayers more money, which is two things we don't want to do,'' DeCample said.
Secure Arkansas earlier this year had opposed a measure in the Legislature that would have granted the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates at Arkansas colleges and universities. The state Senate ultimately rejected the proposal, which had also faced opposition from Beebe and the state's higher education director.


National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2009

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will present a proclamation to The Bronx HIV CARE Network/Montefiore Medical Center as part of the commemoration of the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2009

NILP--- Have you been following this?

CNN, You Can't Have It Both Ways:
It's Either Dobbs or Your Latino Future
By Roberto Lovato
Huffington Post (October 13, 2009)

On the eve of CNN's Latino in America series (LIA) -- its most important and expensive attempt to capture Latino audiences -- Latinos are of one mind about the two faces of CNN. I know this because I just spent the last two weeks traveling the country talking to Latino communities about Lou Dobbs and CNN. I got to meet some of the more than 50,000 people who, in just the last four weeks, have signed our petition at

To see this vido, click here or on the image above

What I heard among the many voices that make up the Latino United States -- Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York, Cubans in Miami, Mexicans and Salvadorans and many others in the Southwest -- was an unexpected unity and an intense concern about CNN's Latino hypocrisy: thinking that a few hours of serious reporting on Latinos by sunny Soledad O'Brien can make up for thousands of hours of anti-Latino extremism from the dark Lou Dobbs. This paradox has Latinos everywhere asking questions about CNN -- and so far we haven't gotten much in the way of answers.

One questioner was Latino media executive Jeff Valdez, who, during the Los Angeles LIA screening, pointedly asked Soledad O'Brien, "Will Latino in America include Lou Dobbs?" The answer: no. That's right, four hours about the Latino experience in the U.S., and not a word on the country's most notorious anti-immigrant, anti-Latino "news" anchor.

"What do you think Latinos should do about Lou Dobbs?" asked another member of the audience. Obrien's response -- that we should watch and support positive depictions of Latinos like those of LIA -- satisfied no one; neither do the rumors that Dobbs has started talking to Fox News about leaving CNN.

At the New York screening of LIA, an audience member asked about how CNN squares Latino in America with the hatred that shows up on Lou Dobbs show every night. Visibly irritated by having to defend CNN over Dobbs, a CNN executive answered, "I have nothing to do with Lou Dobbs. I don't confer with Lou Dobbs. He has not seen this program. My unit has no contact at all. So I don't answer that. I don't have an answer for it." This, in a nutshell, is the CNN position: when the question is about Lou Dobbs, they have no answer.

Such questions by and about Latinos form part of a larger dialogue that will be at the center of this week's immigration reform mobilizations as well as in CNN's LIA premiere next week. At a time when polls indicate Latinos experiencing increased levels of discrimination -- a time when hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise -- Lou Dobbs' war on immigrants and Latinos occupies a central place in the hearts and questions of Latinos. People are noticing CNN's attempt to have its Lou Dobbs cake and have Latinos eat it too.

Among the most creative and committed to bringing CNN's hypocrisy into the national dialogue about Latinos is 26-year-old Mexican immigrant Arturo Perez, an award-winning filmmaker, who just produced an inspired and inspiring video about CNN's Dobbs problem. The fantastic film was born during dinner table dialogues about Dobbs that then teenager Perez and his mother held over the course of many years. These dialogues are now taking place in thousands of bilingual households throughout the country.

"We would listen to Lou Dobbs and my mom and I would get very upset," Perez told me. "Ever since I was a teenager, I got so angry that I sent Dobbs and CNN many emails correcting his "facts" and warning them about the dangers of the kind of lies and hate he spread about Latinos. He never wrote me back. So, now I get to talk to him through my video." Latinos, it seems, are clearer than ever that, thanks to Lou Dobbs, watching CNN has become an exercise in disrespecting ourselves and denying our dignity.

Of all the questions I heard in my travels, one of them sums up the issue better than all the rest. "Does CNN really believe that they can have it both ways?" asked Guadalupe Vazquez, a Mexican immigrant living not far from CNN's headquarters in Atlanta. "They're trying to make money by reporting on us (Latinos) with this (Latino in America) show and with CNN en Espanol at the same time as they're making money off of hating us with Lou Dobbs!" exclaimed Vazquez, who I met through a community leader in Atlanta. As if speaking for the mass movement calling out Dobbs and CNN, Vazquez added, "I'll be damned if I allow them to get away with it."

Read more at:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Latin Musica!

Don't forget to tune in this October on your local PBS station. Que Viva Los Latinos!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NAHJ Urges News Media to Stop Using the Term “Illegals” When Covering Immigration

The use of “illegals” as a noun and “illegal alien” distorts coverage, dehumanizes the subjects in this important public policy debate

Media Contact: Iván Román, Executive Director, NAHJ, (202) 662-7178,

Washington, D.C. – As the heated debates over health care and immigration reform collide, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists calls on our nation’s news media to stop using the dehumanizing term “illegals” as a noun to refer to undocumented immigrants.  NAHJ has long advocated for accurate terminology in news coverage of immigration. NAHJ is concerned with the increasing use of pejorative terms like “illegals” – which is shorthand for “illegal aliens”, another term NAHJ objects to using – to describe the estimated 12 million undocumented people living in the United States.  Using “illegals” in this way is grammatically incorrect and crosses the line by dehumanizing and criminalizing the person, not the action they are purported to have committed. NAHJ calls on the media to never use “illegals” in headlines and in television news crawls.  “We continue to see ‘illegals’ used as a noun seeping from the fringes into the mainstream media, and in turn, into the mainstream political dialogue,” said NAHJ Executive Director Iván Román. “Using these terms not only distorts the debate, but it takes away their identities as individuals and human beings. When journalists do that, it’s that much easier to treat them unfairly and not give them an equal voice in the controversy.”  By incessantly using metaphors like “illegals”, the news media is not only appropriating the rhetoric used by people on a particular side of the issue, but also the implication of something criminal or worthy of suspicion. That helps to predetermine the credibility or respect given to one of the protagonists of this debate, which is not conducive to good journalism and does a disservice to the principles of fairness and neutrality.  In addition, NAHJ has always denounced the use of the degrading terms “alien” and “illegal alien” to describe undocumented immigrants because it casts them as adverse, strange beings, inhuman outsiders who come to the U.S. with questionable motivations. “Aliens” is a bureaucratic term that should be avoided unless used in a quote.  NAHJ also calls on editors and journalists to follow generally accepted guidelines regarding race and ethnicity and refrain from reporting a person’s legal status unless it is relevant to the story in question. The public in certain regions of the country have pressured news media to publish the legal status of any Latino who appears in the newspaper or on television, regardless of the story’s subject.  Doing so contributes to the growing trend of profiling Latinos as non-Americans or foreigners and using them as scapegoats for a variety of society’s ills, a tone that has become more pervasive in the public dialogue over the past few years. Few now doubt that this helps create a fertile environment for hate speech which we have seen can lead to discrimination and a growing number of hate crimes in the U.S. against Latinos.   As the U.S. tackles immigration reform in the future, NAHJ believes that responsible, fair, and non-simplistic coverage of this complex issue is in order. The words used can be part of the problem or can contribute to fair coverage and a fruitful public debate.  NAHJ, a 1,500-member organization of reporters, editors and other journalists, addresses the use of these words and phrases by the news media in its Resource Guide for Journalists. For excerpts of some of the relevant entries in the resource guide, click here, For a copy of NAHJ’s resource guide, visit

LBI Media Inc., a Burbank-based family-owned broadcaster, launched a nationwide Latino television network this past Monday September 14.  Estrella TV will reach about 70% of the nation's Latino television households. LBI Media is the parent of Liberman Broadcasting, which owns several major-market television stations including KRCA Los Angeles.  Several other broadcasters including Hearst Television, Belo Corp. and Sunbeam Television have signed on as affiliates.  The company plans create original programming six days a week (Monday through Saturday) from mid-afternoon through prime time. It will keep 60% of the ad inventory from its affiliates.   The challenge on the table will be promoting Estrella nationwide especially because many of its affiliates are digital signals that are not established in the marketplace.  We’ll see where it goes!

Watch Out North Carolina Latinos Have Arrived

Latinos are taken over the mountains of western North Carolina, according to the US Census.  U.S. Census Bureau estimates puts the number of Latinos in the 18 counties of Western North Carolina at 31,661 in 2008 and rising. That’s up from 22,861 in 2003.  Buncombe County Public School ESL director Geneva Neeriemer said ESL student numbers have increased from 962 in 2003 to 2,125 at the end of the last school year.  The medical service is also noticing a rise in Latino population.  At the Buncombe County Health Center, Medical Director Gibbie Harris said they are seeing about a one percent increase in the number of Latino patients this over this (’09) fiscal year as in '08.  That rounds out to about 4,200 seen in '09, which is up from 4,000 a year earlier.  Experts and those in services geared towards Latinos say the total number of Latinos is likely higher than census estimates because undocumented workers often do not show up on official headcounts.  Its clear Latinos do like the mountain region, for many of the same reasons others who move here do: a good quality of life, good schools and beautiful scenery.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Next month don't forget to tune into the 2009 Alma Awards which celebrates Latino achievement in entertainment.

The star studded event will be hosted by Latino funny man George Lopez and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker.

Some of the honorees for the evening will be Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

The show will be held in Los Angels on September 18 on your local ABC station.

John Leguizamo and Rosario Dawson are set to be honored as well.

Salma will be given the Anthony Quinn Award for Industry Excellence.

Musical acts set to take the stage for the night are Pit-Bull, Nelly Furtado, Sean Kingston, Louis Fonsi and much more, wepa!

Some of the show presenters will be Adam Rodriguez, Benjamin Bratt, Michelle Rodriguez and Oscar Nunez, just to name a few.

The Alma Awards were created in 1995 by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), to promote diverse and fair portrayals of Latinos in the media.

NCLR is a national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Obama on Sotomayor

U.S. President Barack Obama says Justice Sonia Sotomayor's achievement in becoming the first Latino member of the Supreme Court is an inspiration for young and old alike.

Do I hear some "Wise Latinos" out there agreeing with our nations leader???

The School of Sotomayor?

A new Dallas elementary school could be named in honor of new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The Dallas Independent School District board will vote on August 27 on the proposal made by board member Ron Price. "I want my kids in my district to be able to go to a school named after somebody they actually know about," Price told the Dallas Morning News.

Price adds that kids need role models that they can actually see and not just read about. The board would have to waive policy that states if the person that is being honored is alive, they must be at least 70 years old. Prices states that he does not expect too much opposition from board members. Sotomayor is 55 and is the nations first Latino member of the Supreme court.