Friday, April 28, 2006

Get your terms correct

NAHJ Urges News Media to Stop Using Dehumanizing Terms When Covering Immigration
Calls for stopping the use of illegals as a noun, curbing the phrase illegal alien
Media Contact:

Joseph Torres (202) 662-7143; Daniela Montalvo (202) 662-7152

Washington, D.C. -- As protesters march in the streets and debate intensifies in Congress over how to fix the nations immigration laws, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists calls on our nations news media to use accurate terminology in its coverage of immigration and to stop dehumanizing undocumented immigrants.

NAHJ is concerned with the increasing use of pejorative terms to describe the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. NAHJ is particularly troubled with the growing trend of the news media to use the word illegals as a noun, shorthand for "illegal aliens". Using the word in this way is grammatically incorrect and crosses the line by criminalizing the person, not the action they are purported to have committed. NAHJ calls on the media to never use illegals in headlines.

Shortening the term in this way also stereotypes undocumented people who are in the United States as having committed a crime. Under current U.S. immigration law, being an undocumented immigrant is not a crime, it is a civil violation. Furthermore, an estimated 40 percent of all undocumented people living in the U.S. are visa overstayers, meaning they did not illegally cross the U.S. border.

In addition, the association 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, a 2,300-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. The following are excerpts for some of the terms prevalent in the current news coverage:


A word used by the U.S. government to describe a foreign-born person who is not a citizen by naturalization or parentage. People who enter the United States legally are called resident aliens and they carry alien registration cards also known as "green cards," because they used to be green.

While Webster's first definition of the term "alien" is in accordance with the government's interpretation, the dictionary also includes other, darker, meanings for the word, such as a non-terrestrial being," "strange," "not belonging to one," "adverse," "hostile." And the Encyclopedia Britannica points out that "in early times, the tendency was to look upon the alien as an enemy and to treat him as a criminal or an outlaw." It is not surprising then that in 1798, in anticipation of a possible war with France, the U.S. Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which restricted "aliens" and curtailed press freedoms. By 1800 the laws had been repealed or had expired but they still cast a negative shadow over the word.

In modern times, with science-fiction growing in popularity, "alien" has come to mean a creature from outer space, and is considered pejorative by most immigrants.

Illegal alien

Avoid. Alternative terms are "undocumented worker," or "undocumented immigrant." The pertinent federal agencies use this term for individuals who do not have documents to show they can legally visit, work or live here. Many find the term offensive and dehumanizing because it criminalizes the person rather than the actual act of illegally entering or residing in the United States. The term does not give an accurate description of a person's conditional U.S. status, but rather demeans an individual by describing them as an alien. At the 1994 Unity convention, the four minority journalism groups NAHJ, Asian American Journalists Association, Native American Journalists Association and National Association of Black Journalists issued the following statement on this term: "Except in direct quotations, do not use the phrase illegal alien or the word alien, in copy or in headlines, to refer to citizens of a foreign country who have come to the U.S. with no documents to show that they are legally entitled to visit, work or live here. Such terms are considered pejorative not only by those to whom they are applied but by many people of the same ethnic and national backgrounds who are in the U.S. legally."

Illegal immigrant

While many national news outlets use the term "illegal immigrant," this handbook calls for the discussion and re-evaluation of its use. Instead of using illegal immigrant, alternative labels recommended are "undocumented worker" or "undocumented immigrant." Illegal immigrant is a term used to describe the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here. People who are undocumented according to federal authorities do not have the proper visas to be in the United States legally. Many enter the country illegally, but a large number of this group initially had valid visas, but did not return to their native countries when their visas expired. Some former students fall into the latter category. The term criminalizes the person rather than the actual act of illegally entering or residing in the United States without federal documents. Terms such as illegal alien or illegal immigrant can often be used pejoratively in common parlance and can pack a powerful emotional wallop for those on the receiving end. Instead, use undocumented immigrant or undocumented worker, both of which are terms that convey the same descriptive information without carrying the psychological baggage. Avoid using illegal(s) as a noun.


Avoid. Alternative terms are "undocumented immigrant" or "undocumented worker." This term has been used to describe the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here. The term criminalizes the person rather than the actual act of illegally entering, residing in the U.S. without documents.


Similar to reporting about a person's race, mentioning that a person is a first-generation immigrant could be used to provide readers or viewers with background information, but the relevancy of using the term should be made apparent in the story. Also, the status of undocumented workers should be discussed between source, reporter and editors because of the risk of deportation.

Undocumented immigrant

Preferred term to "illegal immigrant," "illegal(s)" and "illegal alien." This term describes the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here. Some Latinos say this term more accurately describes people who are in the United States illegally because the word points out that they are undocumented, but does not dehumanize them in the manner that such terms as aliens and illegals do.

Undocumented worker

Preferred term to "illegal alien," "illegal immigrant," or "illegal(s)." This term describes the immigration status of people who do not have the federal documentation to show they are legally entitled to work, visit or live here.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Las Manas in Chambana-ILLI-NoiZE

our stay here in Illi-NOIZE and our performance Friday night was OFF THE HOOK FOR SHEEEEZEEE. We wrote some cute little numbers that especially the oakland peeps would be able to groove on. Cruz and Genevieve did an awesome tribute to Oakland, Anayvette and I did a tribute to lonjas (thats love handles for the spanishly challenged) and Anayvette and Genevieve did a piece about Gentrification . All went off TIGHT-like. The audience was so great and so appreciative! WE LOVE IlliNOIZE!!! We love Champaign-Urbana (also known as Chambana)!!! Pictures soon to come.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Spend the Night with Las Manas-Illinois

Pass the word and let us know of anything interesting to do in Chicago!

A Spoken Word Event Sponsored by CRC:

"Many Truths and Many Voices: Spend the night with Las Manas"
Cruz, Maya, Anayvette and Genevieve

Friday, April 21, 2006

801 S. Lincoln
Champaign, Illinois

7 PM

"Las Manas", short for las hermanas or the sisters, is a diverse all
female spoken word performance collective and sister circle. The
members of Las Manas, which include Rosa Gonzalez, Cruz Grimaldo, Maya
Chinchilla, Gina Amato, Marisa Castuera, Sasha Dobos-Czarnocha,
Genevieve Debose, Susie Lundy and Anayvette Martinez, originally came
together in 2004 to cultivate a fierce feminine voice and sense of
sisterhood within the Bay Area spoken word scene. These Bay Area
funkdafied divas re-construct revolution on the daily through words,
actions,street-corners, classrooms and bedrooms.

The group believes
that there are "many truths and many voices."

Their performance style is characterized by a mixture of theater,
spoken word and dance centered around themes of sexuality, motherhood,
queerness and the relationship between first and third world women. Las
Manas was created out of the need for these women to find a supportive
space to nurture their creative spirits.

Individually these women are accomplished in their own right but as Las Manas they are able to take their creativity to new heights using sisterhood and storytelling to
inspire collaborative pieces that delves in pain, injustice, love,
family, community, and identity to conjure up a potent potion to fend
off the plague of self sabotage. Most recently they have performend at
the San Francisco Hip Hop theatre festival (2005), Hecho en Califas
Tour(2005), Teatro Luna and Galeria de La Raza, as well as cafes, schools,
taquerias and pupuserias all across da' Bay.

The event is paid for, in part, by the Student Cultural Programming Fee
and Student Affairs Program Coordinating Council. Other co-sponsors
include Gamma Phi Omega and Critical Research Collaborative.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 23 mass mobilization


12:00 M - Gather at Dolores Park (18th St. and Dolores St.)

2:00 PM - March to SF Federal Building (Golden Gate Ave.
and Polk St.)

Community organizations, labor, students, and faith-based
groups are
organizing the Bay Area's largest mobilization for
immigrant rights on
Sunday, April 23. Join us and bring your friends and

Contact: Sheila Chung, Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition,


The next event on the fight against fascist anti-immigrant
will be on Sunday April the 23rd.

This will be the first massive march in Northern California
on a Weekend.

There will be another huge march on May 1st, but many
people won't be
able to attend that one, so this is the chance for
everybody to show
their support for ALL IMMIGRANTS!

We hope to meet you all at the corner of 18th & Dolores St.
at noon.

Please make copies and distribute the included flyers.






El proximo evento en la lucha contra la legislacion
anti-inmigrante sera
una masiva marcha en San Francisco, el domingo 23 de abril.

Esta es la primera gran marcha en el Norte de California en
fin de
semana por lo que les pedimos que distribuyan esta
informacion lo mas
ampliamente posible.

Habra otra gran marcha pero sera dia lunes, 1ero de mayo, y
mucha gente
no esta dispuesta a dejar de trabajar ese dia, asi que esta
es la
oportunidad para que todos los que se han perdido las
acciones pasadas
participen en esta historica lucha por nuestros derechos.

Los esperamos a todos en la esquina de la calle 18 y
Dolores a las 12m.

Por favor impriman y distribuyan los volantes incluidos
se enviaran volantes revisados)


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Documentary Storytelling-WORD

So its been a productive week. I finally recovered from my month long battle with pnemonia, taking a side trip in the middle there with the help of dayquil every four hours(probably the generic version...) to Puerto Rico for the LASA conference, which then took me weeks after trying to recover, but still one of the best experiences of my life...
And I finally entered the Brazil documentary into two film festivals (with the help of my filmmaking soul mate, Rinchen's hookups).

Tonight I went to a very inspiring documentary storytelling workshop with Adrian Belic and Aron Ranen

I took a final cut pro workshop with Aron about a year ago which not only gave me a jump start on my impressive (but still sometimes slow mo) editing skills, but also just inspired me to keep at it (you know this whole documentary passion) after a frustrating experience working on someone else's project who never let me touch the computer...booooo.

I wish I could take more classes with him cause he's a really great teacher with the right amount of nutty thrown in, but lately the classes have either been during times I am working or I have to decide between "uh rent, gas or documentary class?...hmmm." And believe me sometimes you just need to take a class that isnt a semester long and gives you some practical real world knowledge to recharge your batteries.

But luckily the stars came together and I made it out to one of lower cost workshops tonight. The combination of Aron's interview questions and steering of the class with his tried and true teaching tactics and Adrian's incredible passion, mind blowing globe trotting experiences combined with a dash of some of his real world success, reinforced some things I've learned on this path, gave me some new ideas to chew on, while giving me just the little push I need right now not to give up.

I'm still working on "The Last Word". It just needs some time and maybe some fresh eyes to get it to the point where I can say "its done". But I've been a little burnt out and am not the fastest editor in the world. I miss my German editor Daniel (he went back to Germany in January) which I was lucky enough to have throughout the beginning of the process and functioned on chocolate and cookies... but I think he went mad by the end in his dungeon cutting out "ums" and "breaths" to keep it under 30 mins... Too bad I didnt think to bring a copy tonight to get some input but I just couldnt pull that together since wednesdays are my most exhausting days...
I also miss the editing experience I had with Rinchen for the Brazil doc, where, you know, she just, completed me (*tear*)
And my co-producer/crime fighter/unit production manager "La La the Lakefish" with organizing skills the stuff dreams are made of, is just trying to graduate and working on some other maybe she doesnt love me any more...(*tear, tear*)

I also met two women who are doing their own documentary work, check it out:
It was really nice to meet other folks who are just as passionate about this as I am.

I need to learn how to make some cool websites and figure out the promotion side of this documentary mad scientist journey...oh and I need to rob a bank or at least pay off a credit card so I can max it out again and get a day.

And also I'm off next week to perform at University of Illinois...worked on the structure of our performance last night with the Las Manas ladies...more on that later...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A tragedy because of the lack of support/understanding

This should not have happened. Click on the link above.


Click to play Flash animation.
Special (Flash animation - click to play)

Mark Fiore
Wed, 12 Apr 2006 17:26:06 PDT

Click to play Flash animation.
Phobia (Flash animation - click to play)

Mark Fiore
Wed, 05 Apr 2006 17:36:28 PDT

Click to play Flash animation.
Apology (Flash animation - click to play)

Mark Fiore
Wed, 29 Mar 2006 17:38:15 PST

Click to play Flash animation.
The Bush Bash (Flash animation - click to play)

Mark Fiore
Wed, 22 Mar 2006 15:48:09 PST

Click to play Flash animation.
Thank You NeoConMen! (Flash animation - click to play)

Mark Fiore
Wed, 15 Mar 2006 17:10:11 PST

Thursday, April 06, 2006

guide to applying to graduate school

Check out the hard core graduate student friend o' mine "Vanessa Au's not-so-quick-and-dirty guide to applying to grad school"
Chock full of good information. She leaves no stone unturned.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Justice for Immigrants NOW

Check out the links to the right.........>

Subject: commonly used attacks against immigrants
Body: Myths vs. Facts


Immigrants pay taxes, in the form of income, property, sales, and taxes at the federal and state level. As far as income tax payments go, sources vary in their accounts, but a range of studies find that immigrants pay between $90 and $140 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. Undocumented immigrants pay income taxes as well, as evidenced by the Social Security Administration's "suspense file" (taxes that cannot be matched to workers' names and social security numbers), which grew by $20 billion between 1990 and 1998



Immigrants come to work and reunite with family members. Immigrant labor force participation is consistently higher than native-born, and immigrant workers make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force (12.4%) than they do the U.S. population (11.5%). Moreover, the ratio between immigrant use of public benefits and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently favorable to the U.S. In one estimate, immigrants earn about $240 billion a year, pay about $90 billion a year in taxes, and use about $5 billion in public benefits. In another cut of the data, immigrant tax payments total $20 to $30 billion more than the amount of government services they use.

(Source: "Questioning Immigration Policy – Can We Afford to Open Our Arms?", Friends Committee on National Legislation Document ..G-606-DOM, January 25, 1996.


In addition to the consumer spending of immigrant households, immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to U.S. federal, state, and local governments. While it is true that immigrants remit billions of dollars a year to their home countries, this is one of the most targeted and effective forms of direct foreign investment.



" IF AN IMMIGRANT THAT CAN'T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH IS TAKING YOUR JOB..YOU ARE ONE STUPID MOTHERFUCKER...." Does anyone have the right to claim a job 'belongs' to them?

The largest wave of immigration to the U.S. since the early 1900s coincided with our lowest national unemployment rate and fastest economic growth. Immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs for U.S. and foreign workers, and foreign-born students allow many U.S. graduate programs to keep their doors open. While there has been no comprehensive study done of immigrant-owned businesses, we have countless examples: in Silicon Valley, companies begun by Chinese and Indian immigrants generated more than $19.5 billion in sales and nearly 73,000 jobs in 2000.

(Source: Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore, Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Arlington, VA (Mar. 1994), p. 13.


During the 1990s, half of all new workers were foreign-born, filling gaps left by native-born workers in both the high- and low-skill ends of the spectrum. Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. As Alan Greenspan points out, 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age. That means we haven't spent a penny on their education, yet they are transplanted into our workforce and will contribute $500 billion toward our social security system over the next 20 years

(Source: Andrew Sum, Mykhaylo Trubskyy, Ishwar Khatiwada, et al., Immigrant Workers in the New England Labor Market: Implications for Workforce Development Policy, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, Prepared for the New England Regional Office, the Employment and Training Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Boston, Massachusetts, October 2002.'center%20for%20labor%20market%20studies%20at%20Northeastern%20University%20studies')


Within ten years of arrival, more than 75% of immigrants speak English well; moreover, demand for English classes at the adult level far exceeds supply. Greater than 33% of immigrants are naturalized citizens; given increased immigration in the 1990s, this figure will rise as more legal permanent residents become eligible for naturalization in the coming years. The number of immigrants naturalizing spiked sharply after two events: enactment of immigration and welfare reform laws in 1996, and the terrorist attacks in 2001.

(Source: American Immigration Lawyers Association, "Myths & Facts in the Immigration Debate", 8/14/03.,142..section4)

(Source: Simon Romero and Janet Elder, "Hispanics in the US Report Optimism" New York Times, (Aug. 6, 2003).


The percentage of the U.S. population that is foreign-born now stands at 11.5%; in the early 20th century it was approximately 15%. Similar to accusations about today's immigrants, those of 100 years ago initially often settled in mono-ethnic neighborhoods, spoke their native languages, and built up newspapers and businesses that catered to their fellow émigrés. They also experienced the same types of discrimination that today's immigrants face, and integrated within American culture at a similar rate. If we view history objectively, we remember that every new wave of immigrants has been met with suspicion and doubt and yet, ultimately, every past wave of immigrants has been vindicated and saluted.

(Source: Census Data:, )


Around 75% of today's immigrants have legal permanent (immigrant) visas; of the 25% that are undocumented, 40% overstayed temporary (non-immigrant) visas.

(Source: Department of Homeland Security (


From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrol's budget increased six-fold and the number of agents stationed on our southwest border doubled to 8,500. The Border Patrol also toughened its enforcement strategy, heavily fortifying typical urban entry points and pushing migrants into dangerous desert areas, in hopes of deterring crossings. Instead, the undocumented immigrant population doubled in that timeframe, to 8 million—despite the legalization of nearly 3 million immigrants after the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. Insufficient legal avenues for immigrants to enter the U.S., compared with the number of jobs in need of workers, has significantly contributed to this current conundrum.

(Source: Immigration and Naturalization website:


No security expert since September 11th, 2001 has said that restrictive immigration measures would have prevented the terrorist attacks—instead, the key is effective use of good intelligence. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were here on legal visas. Since 9/11, the myriad of measures targeting immigrants in the name of national security have netted no terrorism prosecutions. In fact, several of these measures could have the opposite effect and actually make us less safe, as targeted communities of immigrants are afraid to come forward with information.

(Source: Associated Press/Dow Jones Newswires, "US Senate Subcommittee Hears Immigration Testimony", Oct. 17, 2001.)

(Source: Cato Institute: "Don't Blame Immigrants for Terrorism", Daniel Griswold, Assoc. Director of Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies (see:

information provided by:

Monday, April 03, 2006

Action Coalition for Media Education

Attend the Media Education Conference of the Year - ACME's CONTINENTAL SUMMIT

Facing the Media Crisis: Media Education for Reform,
Justice and Democracy
October 6-8, 2006
Burlington, Vermont

SF Women's Film Festival

Damn I wont be able to make the first night of documentaries as I will be in Illinois but it looks like a great program. So I hope to make it out when I can. M

The SFWFF 06' will take place from April 19-30, 2006 at Zeum, El Rio, SF Women's
Building, Parkway Theater and Minna Gallery.

Tickets on Sale Now HERE

We’re also very proud to co-host an 11th Annual Women of Color Film Festival program at this year’s SFWFF. WOCFF continues its commitment to premiering both promising works from novice artists and recognizing the accomplishments of award-winning filmmakers from the African, Asian, Latina, Middle Eastern and Native diasporas. The 11th Annual Women of Color Film Festival 2006 takes place on March 2-5 & 11. More information visit:

SFWFF 06' Screenings:

4/19 LGBTQ Opening Night Shorts Program at El Rio 7pm, $10

4/20 Short Films by Lise Swenson, Ang Yee Sien, Tova-Beck Friedman & Women in
Animation for Adults at SF Women's Building 7pm, $8

4/21 Young women in the Directors Chair: Short Films by Teens presented by Reelife
Movie Camp & Women of Color Shorts Program presented by Women of Color Film Festival
at SF Women's Building 7pm, $8

4/22 Women Documentary Filmmakers at SF Women's Building 8pm, $8

4/23 Short Film and Feature Presentation at Parkway Theater 5pm, $7
All is Normal co-directed by Todd Bieber/Juliana Brafa (U.S.A, 2005, 77 min) SF Premiere,
starring emerging young actress Juliana Brafa and Academy Award Nominee and Golden
Globe Winner Linda Blair (Exorcist) this edgy thriller blurs the line between reality and
one's own mental terror when Janet, a naïve college drop-out, tries to cut off from her
sadistic boyfriend. Working as a house sitter in a secluded Appalachian mountain home
she soon finds herself in a disturbing mixture of isolation, confusion, and murder.

4/27 Shorts Program & Documentary at SF Women's Building 7pm, $8
Between Midnight and the Rooster's crow directed by Nadja Drost (Canada, 2005, 66 min)
SF Premiere, Canadian oil giant En Cana is under fire for the constructions of an oil
pipeline that has becomes one of the world's most controversial mega-projects, faced
with mass-opposition in Ecuador, as well as abroad. Follow the journey of a Canadian
filmmaker as she investigates why an oil company is mired in social and environmental
controversy in the Amazon.

4/30 Women in Animation with Osnat Shurer, Producer of Pixar at Zeum 2-4pm, $7

4/30 Closing Night Screenings & Party with special guest Danny Glover presented by
SINVINO Sparkling and at 111 Minna Gallery at 9pm, $10

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sleep Now in the Fire

Just felt like posting this. Still relevant as always. Enjoy