07.11.10 Domingo Newsbytes

07.11.10 Domingo Newsbytes

In the last week I’ve had a few folks tell me that “summer is over”. How can I have missed summer? This can’t possibly be true, summer isn’t over. It reminded me that we need to be in the “now” to truly enjoy summer. It also dawned on me that between presentations, emails, texts,  phone calls and Facebook I haven’t been doing anything fun. Like most hyper-busy Latinas we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our work and family life.

So, I decided to be spontaneous and I went to the “Memory of Fire” concert over at the Pritzker Pavillion. There is nothing like the sound of an outdoor orchestra accompanied by a staged reading by some of Chicago’s best Latino actors. It was great to take advantage of this free concert and relax.

I also indulged in a complimentary iced coffee and pan con mantequilla over at Cafecito and lunched with a Latina leader at Catedral Café in Little Village. It reminded me that none of these things matter if we don’t take advantage of all these summer moments.

With this in mind, remember to squeeze in some relaxation time and enjoy the moment before summer really is over.  That said I invite you to join us for the next 3rd Monday Proyecto Latina reading series where Cristina Correa takes the spotlight, get the full scoop here.

Are you a Latina blogger? Well if you are the folks over at LATISM would love to pick your brain. There are over 71 million active blogs online and Latinas are one of the fastest growing demographics and are traditionally undercounted (surprise, surprise). According to LATISM’s Chair and Founder, Ana Roca-Castro, the aim in conducting the survey is to provide visibility to the Latinas in this arena while providing valuable comprehensive information to the corporations who are interested in reaching this highly coveted market. “One of the highest priorities at LATISM. Take the survey today!

This week Comedy Central’s Steven Colbert volunteers to be the fourth American to become a farm worker through the United Farm Workers of America’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign. We can’t wait to see Colbert’s report back of his experience in the fields picking vegetables and fruits.

An organization doing wonderful work is The Immigrant Archive Project. I came across their site and was fascinated at all of the stories they have by immigrants. The organization is dedicated to preserving the life stories of Latino immigrants to shed light on their hopes, dreams and struggles.

With no immigration reform on the horizon many families are bearing the brunt of broken system primarily immigrant women. Last month, the Immigration Policy Center published a report, Reforming America’s Immigration Laws: A Woman’s Struggle”

The focus of the report is on the abuse, assault and exploitation these women can face from traffickers, employers, law enforcement since they are less likely to call police because of their immigration status and these crimes go unreported. The report also gives recommendations of what policy makers in D.C. can be doing to solve this problem.

Andrea Echeverri, lead singer of the Colombian band Aterciopelados gave Alt.Latino her list of women that ROCK in Spanish!  Her list includes everyone from Mercedes Sosa to Juana Molina. Check out the complete list…

Also, there will be a Public Hearing on Comcast-NBC Universal merger. You might be asking what this has to do with you. This merger is going to hit Chicago hard both Comcast and NBC have a history of sidelining independent producers and media makers. Jean Prewitt, of the Independent Film and Television Alliance, testified that the Comcast merger is about “the very future of creative life, cultural expression, and the free exchange of ideas.” She wrote, “This merger places at risk the opportunities for diverse, original and independent programming to reach the public through traditional media and new platforms.” The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has come out strongly against this merger–their statement is here.

Held Tuesday, July 13, 2010, from 1:00-8:00 p.m., public comments from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at  Northwestern University Law School  – Thorne Auditorium, 375 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL.

07.19.10 Cristina's flash fiction and more

07.19.10 Cristina's flash fiction and more

Our third Monday Proyecto Latina feature for July is Cristina Correa, writer, poet and fierce wordsmith. Held at the lovely Cafe Catedral in Little Village. Bring your chismes and come ready for the open mic. Get the full scoop below and plan to join us.

Date: Monday, July 19, 2010
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Cafe Catedral, 2500 S. Christiana, Chicago, Il

Cristina Correa is a working artist in the city of Chicago.  Most recently, she has been published in Latina Voices, Say What Magazine, Ghost Factory Magazine and participated in a poetic and visual exhibition entitled Convergence.  She graduated from the Columbia College Fiction Writing Department as an Alexandroff Community Scholar.  She has taught creative writing and advocated for the empowerment of young people in the Chicago Public Schools and various community organizations since 2004.  Her chapbook  This is the year was published by Watch the Steps Press.

Proyecto Latina venue sponsor for July 2010.

06.27.10 Domingo Newsbytes

06.27.10 Domingo Newsbytes

This week I had an opportunity to attend the US Social Forum in Detroit and was able to attend many social justice workshops ranging from media, environment and immigration. The picture above is of a stained glass Native American image in one of the buildings I wandered into.

After one of the workshops at Wayne State University I crossed the street to the Detroit Institute of Art to see the Diego Rivera Mural. I felt like I was back in Mexico City seeing this mural and walked away feeling thankful to be able to see this mural in Detroit.

In another workshop I also had the opportunity to meet the moms and students over at Voz Mob who are doing incredible work mobilizing community and telling their story using cell phones. At that same workshop I got to meet Desi Burrell from the Media Mobilizing Project. I was super excited to hear about her Spanish language radio show and how she is taking the lead in creating a radio show for women in Philadelphia. Being in Detroit reinforced the importance of making sure we tell our stories with this in mind I’ve come back to Chicago inspired, full of energy and ready to crank Proyecto Latina up a notch.

While I was unable to attend this month’s Proyecto Latina at Cafe Catedral featuring Alicia Tellez Vega, I heard it was a wonderful success. Thank you for coming out and supporting!

We are also very excited that Sandra Posadas (Proyecto Latina April Feature) is going to be part of the Beast Women productions show. Read more…

Also, Sandra Trevino did a nice write up on Proyecto Latina on her blog for Enchufate called “Making Mondays Marvelous” Read more…

Here is this week’s Domingo Newsbytes:

10-year old Katherine Figueroa, who cried as she asked the Members of Congress assembled, “Please tell President Obama to stop putting parents in jail, all they want is a better life for their kids.” Latinas went to Congress this week to speak up and against the new Arizona law and the impact it is having on women and children.

Wanted: Latino Doctors, According to the Association of American Medical Colleges there aren’t enough Latino doctors in the U.S. to keep up with the growing Latino population. Latinos make up only 6% of students coming out of medical schools.

A new study by Chiara Sabina, Ph.D. and Dr. Carlos Cuevas on sexual assault among Latinas has been released with some interesting finds on sexual assault on Latinas in our communities. You can also download a copy of the report for an in-depth look at this issue.

On a local note I did come across the Chicago Tribune review by Nina Metz on Teatro Luna’s Generic Latina. What did you think of the show? Feel free to share your thoughts with Nina in the Trib’s comment section. I think it’s more important than ever for Latinas to be part of conversations happening in mainstream media and collectively amplify our voices. Also, if you haven’t checked out the Teatro Luna show go and support Latinas in the arts.

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.