06.06.10 Domingo Newsbytes

06.06.10 Domingo Newsbytes

I was born, raised, and continue to reside in Little Village, I recall that fifteen years ago, June meant the end of school, warm summer days to sit on front steps of my home and join my friends to take endless strolls on 26th street.  The days were long and I spent long stretches watching daytime soaps and reading books, managed somehow to keep myself out of trouble when there was so little to keep me occupied.  I remember thinking, there had to be something more, its something I probably wrote into the journal I kept, because I filled a lot of my time writing  diary entries and fiction stories in wire-bound notebooks.  As a teen, I didn’t have a community of writers, I didn’t know it was something I was missing, but many years later when I finally found them I rejoiced.

That said,  I can’t tell you how excited I am that we have another opportunity to have our Proyecto Latina, third Monday reading series on home turf.  When Cafe Catedral agreed to be our venue sponsor and our feature, Alicia Tellez Vega happen to mention she lived nearby–I knew it was meant to be.  Its on Monday, June 21st, we posted the full event details here, earlier this week.  Make sure you mark your calendar and plan to join us.

My Proyecto Latina partners in crime are doing amazing stuff:

-Coya Paz made her debut as Vocalo’s new commentator on race, pop culture, and the media this past Thursday.  She’s scheduled to air weekly, you can tune into 89.5 FM to listen.  As soon as her spots become linkable we will make sure to share as well.

-Diana Pando is moderating the From Newsletter to Newspaper panel at the upcoming Making Media Connections conference.

-This week Thelma Uranga photographed Alicia Tellez Vega, (photo posted above) and she also shared news that El Stitch y Bitch, will be creating an altar for Dia de los Muertos at the National Museum of Mexican Art next fall. I’m also excited to be co-teaching with Thelma this summer, the ASM program, Tejer y Poder at Pros Arts Studios.

And beyond our immediate microcosm the news included the following this week:

Violence against women: sometimes its obvious, as is the case for 21 year-old Peruvian girl, Stephany Flores, and sometimes its damage is a little harder to determine, Debrahlee Lorenzana gets fired for speaking up against sexual harrassment–her male colleagues were not made accountable when they couldn’t resist her “distracting” beauty.

Latinas delay doctor visits because we are kinda finnicky, not only do we prefer alternative therapies, and we seem to have a low tolerance to experiences we deem as “discrimination in a clinical setting” but we have prefer the doctor that looks and talks like us.

Sonia Sotomayor,  is posing tough questions of the Miranda ruling that proves that, “America’s, she’s got your back.  Wish we could say the same for BP, according to Jesse Jackson, BP wants to drill in Lake Michigan despite the trouble its having cleaning up its current mess.  Last I checked oil is drifting to the Florida panhandle, and there’s nothing like pictures to make reality sink in.

06.21.10: Alicia's Dulce Palabras

06.21.10: Alicia's Dulce Palabras

The third Monday in June is going to be extra sweet for Proyecto Latina. We are featuring Alicia Tellez Vega from La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word ensemble and we are taking our reading series back into Little Village, we are being hosted at the lovely Cafe Catedral. Get the full scoop below and plan to join us.

Date: Monday, June 21, 2010
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Cafe Catedral, 2500 S. Christiana, Chicago, Il

Alicia Tellez Vega of La Dulce Palabra is the Proyecto Latina feature for June 2010.

Alicia Tellez Vega was raised on the southwest side of Chicago and comes from a large Mexican family. She uses her creative energy to express her sexuality, inner conflicts and sensuality through words and dramatic performances. As a advocate for youth, she also uses her writings and performances to release the negative energy that is can often be carried internally from working with young trauma victims. She is currently a member of La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word Ensemble, board member of Amigas Latinas and the Youth Program Director at Center on Halsted.

Reading will include Identity Crisis, a monologue about the struggles to give identity to the unnamed female zone. I will also be reading sections from Las Dulces Palabras, Volume 1, a self published collection of original writings from La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word Ensemble.

Proyecto Latina venue sponsor for June 2010.

05.09.10 Domingo Newsbytes

05.09.10 Domingo Newsbytes

Last night was The Great Collaboration: creative justice roundtable and celebration benefit.  What an amazing vibe, we met  an army of enlightened creatives, there was a scrumptious spread of food, and it was a great honor to be included in the talent line-up.  We brought the chisme box with us and got a head-start on chisme’s for May’s Proyecto Latina.

SPEAK UP & SPEAK OUT! is our theme for this month’s Proyecto Latina, which is only a week away on Monday, May 17th. Speaking up and the importance of sharing our opinions was a discussion that came up between members of the Proyecto Latina family recently, when we thought about how to respond to the Arizona law.  We have invited some special guests to join us that evening and will be featuring our community’s collective voice–you are invited to chime in.

This week we spotlighted two women that are doing an exceptional job of speaking up through virtual platforms: Cindy Mosqueda is the author of her blog Loteria Chicana and Monique Frausto is the creator of the online directory Blogs by Latinas.   Check out our interviews with them and let us know what you think.

Its also mother’s day this weekend. Did you know that our generation of mujeres is mixing it up a little? So, the next time familia inquires about when you plan to have that baby, calm their fears and let them know that according to a study by the Pew Research Center there are distinct shifts in the U.S. mommy demographic.  While there is a significant jump in the number of Latina mommy’s–13% increase since 1990– more women from all race/ethnic categories are waiting until their late thirties and early forties for a stork delivery.  Something else to consider if you are of child-bearing age, a different study finds that Latinas are at a higher risk for gestational diabetes.

Cultural attitudes about sex also place Latinas at high risk for something else, over 15 years ago Claudia Moreno was asked to create an HIV prevention intervention program for Latinas.  And something else we kinda already know about, but feel its worth repeating: poor Latina and Black women obtain abortions at a disproportionate level.

Kinda leaves you wondering: What is the real status of Latinas’ health today? A May 10th event in Pilsen, that is also open to the public, and sponsored by the Chicago Foundation for Women and Mujeres Latinas en Accion will tackle that question.

Have a great week!