Sunday, December 02, 2007

December Events to make you Hollar

Here's several events I am a part of and would love to see you all at:

1)Monday, 12/3/07-8pm
La Peña Popular Theater Performance
2)Sat. 12/8/07 Documentary Program 1, 3:00-5:00pm
The LAST WORD in the Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Festival
3)Sat. 12/8/07 Bomberos de la Bahia Fundraiser 8pm La Peña
(featuring The Puerto Rican Obituary with yours truely and Toby, Leila, Cynthia, Eric, Maceo and Gerardo)
4) Thurs 12/13/07 Lucha Libertad @ CENTRO LEGAL DE LA RAZA Dec


1)Gift of Presence
La Pena's Popular Theatre Workshop

Monday December 03, 2007
FREE! - 8pm

GIFT OF PRESENCE is ultimately a journey through the collective unconscious that explores the tension between shadow and light in all of us. An esoteric plea for peace of mind, wholeness and, of course, Love.***

2)BHLIFE 2007 - Program Schedule (subject to change)
* * * If you are interested in volunteering this year, please contact Selene at * * *

Friday, December 7th
Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center
1600 East 4th St, Los Angeles CA.


Opening Night, 7:00p.m.
Doors Open
Screening, 8:00 p.m.

Conversations II

A Man of Two Havanas
With a childhood filled with bombings and assassination attempts on her father, the filmmaker explores her relationship with him and the Cuba he left behind. Through the prism of a daughter we explore the past, the present, and the nature of social responsibility and personal sacrifice.

Reception, 10:30p.m.
With special performance by Strangely Attractive

Saturday, December 8th
CASA 0101; 2009 East 1st St. 90033

Filmmakers Luncheon 12:00-2:00pm

Doc Program 1, 3:00-5:00pm
Little Giant
Milagros: Made in Mexico follows the enterprising women of Guanajuato as they revive their economically fractured birthplace

Reception to Follow at
First Street Studios
2026 E First St Studios Los Angeles CA
Tickets for this year's festival are:
$10 General Admission
$5 Students & Boyle Heights Residents

To make your reservation please visit the Casa 0101 website at and click on the "reservations" link.

Fill in your information and write the specific program you wish to RSVP for in the input box for "Event/Class Name."

3)Bomba Night!
Bomberas de la Bahia

Saturday December 08, 2007

SAVE the DATE!...

La Pena Cultural Center
Join us in an evening of Afro-diaspora performance by local artists, performers, and musicians...

Bomberas de la Bahia;
Local female bomba collective in collaboration with Project Cimarrona...
will be performing in and hosting a performance Party
to celebrate the Holidays 'AFRO DIASPORA STYLE'!
Joining them will be guest performances to include Theater piece "the Puerto Rican Obituary" adapted by Eric Aviles, Maceo Cabrera Estevez performing an excerpt of Amor Cubano as Barbarita Perales, Movie Short by Kwesi Johnson and other Dance Performances...Don't miss out on this evening of live music, dance, and performance.

Saturday, Dec. 8th at 8pm
La Pena Cultural Center
Door: $10/$8 (seniors/students)

A comedic acto about the vicious cycle of immigration policies that affect real people and our lives.
Libros, Arte y Cultura
2501 International Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601

Friday, November 30, 2007

My film in Boyle Heights Latina Film Fest

BHLIFE 2007 Program!!
My film THE LAST WORD plays on saturday afternoon (see below). Unless I can hustle a plane ticket I'm not sure I will be able to make it because I have a commitment in the bay that night...pero vamos a ver.
Much love, Maya

* * * If you are interested in volunteering this year, please contact Selene at * * *

BHLIFE 2007 - Program Schedule (subject to change)

Friday, December 7th

Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center
1600 East 4th St, Los Angeles CA.


Opening Night, 7:00p.m.
Doors Open
Screening, 8:00 p.m.

Conversations II

A Man of Two Havanas
With a childhood filled with bombings and assassination attempts on her father, the filmmaker explores her relationship with him and the Cuba he left behind. Through the prism of a daughter we explore the past, the present, and the nature of social responsibility and personal sacrifice.

Reception, 10:30p.m.
With special performance by Strangely Attractive

Saturday, December 8th
CASA 0101; 2009 East 1st St. 90033

Filmmakers Luncheon 12:00-2:00pm

Doc Program 1, 3:00-5:00pm

Little Giant

THE LAST WORD is about LAS MANAS, a fierce women of color writing circle and spoken word crew using sisterhood to create space for voices to be heard

Milagros: Made in Mexico follows the enterprising women of Guanajuato as they revive their economically fractured birthplace

Mi Corazon Program, 6:00-8:00 pm

Broken Hearts What's worse than finding out their lives are about to end in one tragic moment, all because of a promise made to a friend?

Late Bloomer

Afuera an Argentine girl who immigrates to the United States in search of a more promising life.

Blackout 3 Latina roommates and their all American neighbor remain enclosed during a Sunday night blackout.

Tomoko's Kitchen eight neighbors who have never met, suddenly are forced to come together after an apartment security system malfunctions.

Experimental Goddess, 9:00-10:00p.m.

Perrors Sin Amor

Mitosis The usual method of cell division in clay animation.

Entrega a Tiempo

Untitled Inspired by femme fatales, film noir, feminism, and the struggle against patriarchy.

Through the Water A video poem dedicated to the Aztec goddess of water

DreaMachine Lullaby A short about the Iraq war from the viewpoint of an American child

Caracol A garden snail faces the forces of nature

Chiquita Gordita La Chicana Laundry Pictures own Toy Television

Sardoodledom Sentence

Death Penalty Movie Join Ms. Pickles and the gang as they take you on a funtastical journey through the history of the death penalty!

El Segundo (Spanish) Travel through the unconsciousness and dreams of a man that ends with his own death

Reception to Follow at
First Street Studios
2026 E First St Studios Los Angeles CA

Saturday, December 8th, at Tech Center
Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center
1600 East 4th St, Los Angeles CA.

Youth Made Program, 2:00-3:00pm

Loss of Innocence in Loisaida What happens when a young man finds out his girlfriend is the pharmacist's daughter?

My Shadows

Beauty Before Violence

Youth Workshop, 3:00-4:30pm
With Stephanie Saint Sanchez of, La Chicana Laundry Pictures

No Budget, No Problem
Cinematic Adventures Anytime Anywhere an At Any Price

To include special screening of:

Un Plato Mas Fiver Food is love but it can also be a cosmic force that
unites all Abuelitas

Death Penalty Movie

Chiquita Gordita


Sunday, December 9th
CASA 0101; 2009 East 1st St. 90033

Early Program, 1:00-2:00p.m.

Buscate un Carrito A man is attacked by an army of shopping carts in the parking lot of a mall.

Perros Sin Amor A visual exploration of an artist's inner struggle.

Red Bird an inspiring story of friendship between a young painter WWII veteran.

Tomoko's Kitchen

Doc Program 2, 3:00-5:00p.m.

Last Cry in Havana

Closing night Program, 6:00-8:00p.m.

The Passion of the Christian L'Amour

El Segundo Travel through the unconsciousness and dreams of a man that ends with his own death.

A Few Hundred Blows Life can be lonely for a misfit who never had the chance to pop a pretty girl's bubble.

La Pared defies the Mexican concept of "Macho" as it explores the nature of human instinct and the concept of cause and effect.

Brooklyn Ciccio, weighted responsibility to take care of his dying grandfather isolates his struggles with a poverty stricken environment.

Conversations II Explores the evolution of the female role in the middle class of the Latin American society.

Isabel A man is disturbed by the strange appearances of a six-year old girl.

Awards Ceremony

Reception to follow at
Eastside Luv Wine Bar y Queso

Tickets for this year's festival are:
$10 General Admission
$5 Students & Boyle Heights Residents

Saturday screenings and workshop at the Boyle Heights Technology Center: FREE

To make your reservation please visit the Casa 0101 website at and click on the "reservations" link.

Fill in your information and write the specific program you wish to RSVP for in the input box for "Event/Class Name."

Thursday, November 15, 2007


This is what I have been hiding out working night and day on. I'll be the cute one in the tech booth but don't talk to me before the show if you know what's good for you( or one word sentences work okay but my brain has only one channel today until Im done). It's going to be great!
Love you all and your support has meant the world to me.

The world premiere of
AMOR CUBANO: In a bottle, a tube and a small packet
Written and performed by Maceo Cabrera Estevez
Directed by Eric Aviles
Media/Technical Director-Maya Chinchilla

Two nights only!

Hecho en Califas Festival
Thursday, November 15th, 2007, 8pm
$10 in advance/$12 at door
La Peña
3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Saturday, November 17th, 2007, 8pm
$10 in advance/$10 students and seniors, $12 at door
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
2868 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
Advanced tickets:

Get yours now! Come join Maceo Cabrera Estevez as she
takes you into the world of Barbarita Perales, the
creator of Amor Cubano- the essence of all that is
Cuban in a bottle, a tube and a small packet, sold on
a late night infomercial. Amor Cubano has the power to
totally transform society as we know it and make
Americans better lovers all at the same time - will it

Using comedy, video installation and hilarious
storytelling, Amor Cubano explores what it means to be
Cuban whether you're a Miami Cuban, a Cuban, Fidel or
someone who just wants to be Cuban, and celebrates the
revolutionary power of Cuban love.

A bilingual English and Spanish play with a little bit
of Arabic. Subtitles in English and Spanish.
More info: ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Studio 17 Dia de los Muertos ART SHOW

I will be reading some poetry at this event. Come thru and bring some donations if you believe in organic community art in progress!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

SOFRITO: Music of the Word

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Come out to Sofrito this Sunday!!
Join us the 1st & 3rd Sunday of every Month
A new Open Mic Poetry/Music series
in English, Spanish, Spanglish y Lo Que Sea
(Hosted by Eric Aviles & Avotcja)
3451 International @ 35th Avenue Oakland, CA (510)533-3840 (plenty of free parking in the rear)
Sunday October 21st , 2007
3 - 4:30PM No Cover

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mapping the Mission: Between Place and Memory in San Francisco's Latina/o Arts Community

DC has been great absolutely great. I spoke in two of Ana Patricia's classes yesterday and almost lost my voice from so much beautiful central american diasporic poetic dialogue. Did you know the dominant Latino Group in DC is Salvadorans? Pupusa-Eaters heaven! But tomorrow is the day. 8am east coast time this neardy hotness is going down! MC

The American Studies Association

Scheduled Time: Sat, Oct 13 - 8:00am - 9:45am Building/Room: Philadelphia Marriott / Room 415

Session Participants:
Session Organizer: Cary Cordova (Dickinson College (PA))
Chair: Cary Cordova (Dickinson College (PA))
Panelist: Yolanda Lopez (Artist)
Panelist: Maya Chinchilla (San Francisco State University (CA))
Panelist: John Leaños (Arizona State University (AZ))
Panelist: Ana Patricia Rodriguez (University of Maryland, College Park (MD))
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To map San Francisco’s Mission District is to chart the meaning of “America Aquí.” As a pivotal site for Chicano and Latino civil rights community organizing since the 1960s, the neighborhood has served as a locus for generations of activists and artists from all parts of the Americas. As the birthplace of the widely known Galería de la Raza, the Mexican Museum, and the Mission Cultural Center, the aesthetics of the Mission have had a wide-reaching impact. Over several decades, the Mission arts scene has produced a vast array of posters, paintings, murals, films, music, multimedia projects, and performance. In the late 1990s, the rapidity of gentrification in the Mission spurred a wave of cultural production to preserve, commemorate, and historicize the meaning of the neighborhood. This roundtable panel will bring together a multigenerational mix of artists and scholars inspired by the Mission in their writing, thinking, aesthetics, activism, and practice.

All of the panelists are engaged in the use of diverse media and technologies to capture the spirit of a community in flux, but also to advocate for social change: panelist Yolanda Lopez is famous for her iconic contributions to Chicano art, from her “Self-portrait of the artist as the Virgin de Guadalupe,” to her contemporary digital murals series that mocks the trite understatement, “Women’s Work is Never Done”; panelist Rio Yañez, Lopez’s son, uses photography and animation to document the history and people of the Mission in a surreal, or “Ghetto-lomography” fashion; panelist John Jota Leaños embodies the definition of provocateur with his performances and multimedia presentations, frequently targeting the contemporary culture of surveillance and violence; panelist Maya Chinchilla is a spoken word artist and filmmaker whose work focuses on female empowerment through the arts; and both panelists Ana Patricia Rodriguez and Cary Cordova have dedicated their scholarship to documenting the many forms and twists of transnational Latino cultural production.

Our objective is to meditate on the meaning of the Mission, to explore the themes and ties that penetrate our works, and to contemplate how our creative and intellectual explorations can evolve in a place increasingly scarred by stories of physical and symbolic displacement. By bringing together different generations of scholars and artists, we will contextualize change over time, and illustrate the diverse perspectives, technologies, and methods that cross-pollinate in our work. We will contemplate the mainstream art world’s relatively recent cultivation of a “Mission School,” which both tends to displace the long trajectory of arts practices in the Mission, as well as accords the mantle of creativity to predominantly non-Latino artists. To talk about the history of art in the Mission opens the door to discussing the state of Latino and American art in the United States and the construction of Latinidad. This is a panel on the cross-currents between art and scholarship, between activism and aesthetics, between place and memory, and between the United States and the Americas.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Super Amigos y Luchando

Once again the SF International Latino Film Festival is coming up and I want to see movies movies movies! I don't have a free pass this time but here are two movies I don't want to miss:

"Super Amigos"
Five real-life comic-book superheroes champion the causes of Mexico's oppressed in Director Arturo Perez Torres'
fun documentary, Super Amigos.
With their masked wrestling costumes, they take on the causes of tenants' rights, prevention of cruelty to animals, gay rights, and environmentalism. This heart-warming documentary shows that ordinary people can muster super human powers for change.
Super Amigos will screen at multiple Bay Area locations.

November 14 at 7pm
Skyline College
3300 College Drive, San Bruno

November 14 at 7pm
College of San Mateo
1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo

November 17 at 3pm
Mission Cultural Center
2868 Mission Street, San Francisco

"Luchando" at the Mission Cultural Center, November 17
Luchando, a gritty documentary by American Director Noelle Stout, takes us behind the scenes of the gay underground in Havana. Through cinema verité footage and candid interviews, it documents the physical, psychological and emotional journeys of four queer hustlers. The camera captures their most intimate moments while revealing the fight for survival in Cuba's gay underground.
Luchando will screen at the Mission Cultural Center on November 17 at 5:30pm.

Monday, October 01, 2007

My name is Baghdad

J’ai vécu heureuse - I lived happily
Dans mes palais - in my palaces
D’or noir et de pierres précieuses - of black gold and precious stones
Le Tigre glissait - The Tigris was flowing
Sur les pavés de cristal - on crystal cobblestones
Mille califes se bousculaient - thousand caliphs lined up
Sur mes carnets de bal - on my bal lists

On m’appelait - They called me
La Cité pleine de grâce - the city full of grace
Dieu - God
Comme le temps passe - how time goes by

On m’appelait - they called me
Capitale de lumière - capital of light
Dieu - God
Que tout se perd - everything gets lost

Je m’appelle Bagdad - My name is Baghdad
Et je suis tombée - and I fell
Sous le feu des blindés - under the fire of the tanks
Sous le feu des blindés - under the fire of the tanks
Je m’appelle Bagdad - My name is Baghdad
Princesse défigurée - defaced princess
Et Shéhérazade - and Sheherazad
M’a oubliée - has forgotten me

Je vis sur mes terres - I live on my land
Comme une pauvre mendiante - as a poor begger
Sous les bulldozers - under the bulldozers
Les esprits me hantent - ghosts haunt me
Je pleure ma beauté en ruine - I weep over my beauty in ruins
Sous les pierres encore fumantes - under stones still smoldering
C’est mon âme qu’on assassine - its my soul they murder

On m’appelait - they called me
Capitale de lumière - capital of light
Dieu - God
Que tout se perd - everything gets lost

Je m’appelle Bagdad - My name is Baghdad
Et je suis tombée - and I fell
Sous le feu des blindés - under the fire of the tanks
Sous le feu des blindés - under the fire of the tanks
Je m’appelle Bagdad - My name is Baghdad
Princesse défigurée - defaced princess
Et Shéhérazade - and Sheherazad
M’a oubliée - has forgotten me

Mes contes des mille et une nuits - My thousands and one nights stories
N’intéressent plus personne - don't interest anybody anymore
Ils ont tout détruit - they destroyed everything

Je m’appelle Bagdad - My name is Baghdad
Et je suis tombée - and I fell
Sous le feu des blindés - under the fire of the tanks
Sous le feu des blindés - under the fire of the tanks
Je m’appelle Bagdad - My name is Baghdad
Princesse défigurée - defaced princess
Et Shéhérazade - and Sheherazad
M’a oubliée - has forgotten me

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hipster Olympics

Chapinas Unidas

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Chapinas Unidas
Date: Sep 27, 2007 11:23 AM

Looking for you !

Soon after C.U. organized its first event in March of 2007 where four womyn gave amazing testimony of their survival and strength, we did a radio interview with an all womyn radio program in Guatemala City. The radio show, Mujeres al Aire/Voces de Mujeres, received many phone calls with people wanting to hear more about Los Angeles. The truth is, with so many family members that have immigrated, many times to L.A., people in Guatemala wanted a connection to the city. And so Mujeres Abriendo Caminos developed.

CU and MAC began to work together in March of 2007. It has been 6 months, and since the beginning it has been clear that more womyn's voices need to be heard. From L.A. to Guate and beyond, MAC has been hosting our own radio segment every wednesday morning live from the Chapinas Unidas Office in Mac Arthur Park.

Past stories include:
- Interview with parents, students and principal of Charter School Semillas del Pueblo
- Yolanda Santuario and the Sanctuary Movement
- Aydee, a woman whose mother was deported 40 years ago retells her story of growing up in L.A. with her mom only as close as Tijuana.
- Interview with students from the Week long hunger strike with college students demanding immigrant rights from congress
- Interview with two 16 yr old mujeres and their experience within MS 13.

There are many womyn's stories that go untold. Chapinas Unidas and Mujeres Abriendo Caminos has been committed to tell stories of strength, survival, realities, imagination, and inspiration. Would you be interested in helping to capture these stories and have a space, an outlet where others can listen to them via RADIO ?

We need radio journalists so we can tell even more stories. Pondered at the thought before ? Not to sure what it looks like but you're open to learning ?

Radio Broadcasting
Hosting and Interviewing
Radio Production
Using Media to tell our stories...

With history lived daily, and endless possibilities, the stories to be told are infinite.

Interested? Have Questions? A Story ?
or send us a message.

Even if youre not based in L.A., technology exists to bring our voices together.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jena 6: We Protest


We protest

We protest because the boys of Jena 6 and their families need to know they are not alone.

We protest because the Jena travesty is not about a nooses that were hung on a now-felled tree, but the noose of injustice that remains around the neck of Black America.

We protest because few people know "state-sponsored terrorism" like Blackfolk.

We protest because Jena is not a rural Southern town, it is a state of mind -- not from the 1950s, but of the here and now in every American town, suburb and city from South to North and sea to shining sea.

We protest because Jena exemplifies with such brutal clarity the racialization of crime in our society.

We protest because what happened in Jena is worthy of substantive national attention and action and OJ's most recent transgression is not.

We protest because the media we trust most are the media we control -- directly or indirectly -- traditional and digital alike.

We protest because society at-large needs to know that the American Dream will remain just that -- a dream -- without aggressively committing to the fight for racial justice long after Jena fades from the far too few headlines it has received compared to much lesser matters.

We protest because so often the Black accused are guilty before proven innocent, and the White accused (a la the Duke LaCross angels) so often are given the benefit of the doubt and relevant facts about their backgrounds are omitted to conform to the racial mythologies that serve the status quo.

We protest because we are moved to do so, not because any charismatic leader told us to do so.

We protest because we are following our our consciences, not polls.

We protest because we know that leaders do not draw crowds, crowds attract (more) leaders.

We protest because "we are the leaders we have been waiting for".

We protest because we know that large groups of organized Black people help disabuse our fellow Americans of any faulty notions of mass complacency in our communities.

We protest because we draw strength and comfort from the fact that just by showing up in unity behind the most humane and reasonable of missions represents one of the greatest perceived threats to so-called peace and the safety of the privileged and their property.

We protest because we believe in Frederick Douglass' salient words that "power concedes nothing without a demand" -- especially from an equal or greater power.

We protest because we believe that power, in the words of Dr. King, is "the ability to achieve purpose".

We protest because we believe that our leaders are not who corporate media say our leaders are, but those who speak up, stand up and organize when it is often inconvenient and unpopular to do so.

We protest because we know that this is an inter-generational struggle led by Blackfolk and inclusive of all who stand for justice irrespective of hue or heritage.

We protest because we believe -- and history has shown us -- that everyone has a role in the struggle for long-term social change.

We believe that "we" is whomever sees reflected in these words something that affirms or inspires them to act for the common good.

We protest not to beg, implore or seek permission or validation from those who fear us or abuse our trust, but to symbolize the work we have already done thus far and will continue to do when all the camera crews have left the scene to follow OJ or Paris Hilton.

We protest in peace for justice because America still knows neither, and the ghosts of Selma abound with every needless incarceration of our youth.

We protest on behalf of our boys and girls who have become society's poster-children for criminality and dysfunction because it is in our centuries-old tradition to resist all forces that have sought to cage our spirit, from the Middle Passage to Hurricane Katrina.

We protest because if not now, then when?

Chris Rabb on Friday, September 21, 2007

In the past

Two workshops I would have liked to take but just found out about today:

Sunday, 9/23: 12:00-1:30 pm
Blogging 101 with Glenda Bautista
KSW's space180, 180 Capp Street (btwn. 16th and 17th ), 3rd floor

Come explore D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) online publishing. This workshop will explain how weblogs (or "blogs") work and will also explore different content types and genres, as well as their impact on today's media landscape. It will also offer practical technical advice and the necessary steps to set up, create, and maintain your blog.

Make your very own blog (writing), photoblog (photographs), podcast (audio), or videoblog/vlog (video) --- or learn how to make a blog of with mixed media. Any artist of any medium make a site quickly and easily, using free tools to post dynamic content on the web.

Learn how you can expose your work to a broader audience. Start a conversation, find your online voice, work with basic blogging techniques and methods, build and audience and community, figure out how to mine up similar content you like on the web, understand how online traffic and search engines work --- these topics and many more will be covered in this workshop.

A laptop is suggested, but not required. No technical expertise is necessary.

Sunday, 9/23: 2:00-3:00 pm
Community Development through Community Art with Rene Yung
KSW's space180, 180 Capp Street (btwn. 16th and 17th ), 3rd floor

Community-based practice has a long-standing history in the arts, but current funding shortages and socio-political crises pose critical challenges to the field. How do we respond as a cultural community? How do we innovate new ways to deploy cultural practices as agents for social change?

This workshop is for cultural workers in all disciplines—visual, literary, theater, performance, media arts, as well as for community organizations and funders. We will discuss central issues to community cultural practice, including objectives, logistics, and ethics, and brainstorm about collaborations and approaches to build critical mass for new community strategies.

Requirements: Bring notebook and pen, a social issue that you feel is important to you to address, and your definition of “community.”

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Adaptations and Celebrations

I've been rehearsing for the last few weeks with a beautiful crew of creatives put together by Eric Aviles who adapted "Puerto Rican Obituary" by Pedro Pietri to perform a this event today. (Wow was that ever a run on sentence.) This is the kind of collaboration I really love, solidarity with communities in resistance and talented folks who never knew how talented they could be in a different art form than what they are used to. Some in the group have never "acted" before but oh how we know that some of us just have the drama in us! It's really been a while since I worked with a director first of all who has given me the skills I need to feel prepared and supported to memorize lines. Usually I'm just berated because everyone is too busy to actually rehearse in a way that gets the memorizing done. Also it's nice to do someone's elses work once in a while cause I know I sometimes write in a way that sounds all complex and fancy on the page but really should be simplified so I can get the words out. I guess that's why I want to publish so I can see how the work stands alone without the personality on the stage.

At any rate if you get a chance check out our work at this event today. Yes I said today. Its not that cold. Go out and celebrate some independence. And if you get cold then just shake your booty cause you know its one of those kinds of events!

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The war on Schools

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

El Grito de Lares

Don't sleep! See you there!

The Bay Area's Annual Grito de Lares Celebration: We Will Not Forget!
Melissa Rivera, Aya De Leon, Rico Pabón & more

Sunday September 23, 2007
$10-$15 sliding scale - 4pm

Bay Area Boricuas Presents The Bay Area's Annual Grito de Lares Celebration: We Will Not Forget! A commemoration of Puerto Rico's struggle for independence and human rights for our people! Performances by the Bay's most talented Boricuas, including Melissa Rivera, Aya De Leon, Rico Pabón
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAnd a theatre performance by Maceo Cabrera Estevez, Laila Greene, Cynthia Renta, Gerrado Perez, Maya Chinchilla, Toby Borrero, and Eric Aviles.
Live Bomba y Plena by Cacique y Kongo.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Fair Immigration Reform Now!!!
While this act is not perfect it will provide
a chance for permanent residence and a chance for citizenship if the children of undocumented workers complete high school and pursue college or the military.

Immigration Reform will be a process of compromise. The policies we have today, which force desperate people to cross into the desert and face death, are unacceptable. They must change.

The Dream Act can be the first step towards this change. The leaders for tomorrow's change are in this group of youth. Support this act by calling your federal legislators today. If a Minute man can take the time to get out his magic marker and make a sign and then leave his home to protest, we can take the time to make a call.

Read this and then walkover to your phone and call. You better believe that the extremists on the other side are calling.



Monday, September 17, 2007

Today, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) will introduce the DREAM Act as an amendment to H.R. 1585, the Department of Defense authorization bill, which returns to the Senate floor for debate this morning. You may remember that the Department of Defense authorization bill was debated in mid-July but was pulled for reasons unrelated to the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act would provide a 6-year path to permanent residence and eventual citizenship for individuals brought to the U.S. years ago as undocumented children if they graduate from high school and continue on to college or military service.

This may be the best chance this year for the DREAM Act to become law (although most likely it will not be the last opportunity). If the amendment passes, the DREAM Act would stand an excellent chance of becoming law this year. The amendment will need 60 votes to pass.

We do not yet know when the vote will be, and it is possible that procedural obstacles could prevent one from occurring at all. But regardless, it is imperative for all DREAM Act supporters to call your Senators and click here to send an e-mail message to them today, and again tomorrow, and again every day until the vote occurs. You can find your Senators' phone numbers here.

This time, even more than the last time the amendment was set for consideration, anti-immigrant groups have come out swinging by spreading falsehoods about the DREAM Act in an attempt to inflame their base to intimidate Senators like they did in the Senate debate about immigration reform. But DREAM Act supporters are passionate too. We can and must fight back and match their intensity.



Your Senators' phone numbers are online at: /contact_information/senators _cfm.cfm

To send an e-mail message to your Senators please go to:

What else you can do:

Forward this message to every listserv and everyone you know
Post it on blogs, MySpace, Facebook, or other on-line networking tools
Call in to C-SPAN or other radio or television shows where there is some hope of a sympathetic audience (not anti-immigrant propaganda sites)

The DREAM Act in Brief:

The DREAM Act is narrowly tailored

It would apply only to individuals brought to the U.S. at least 5 years ago as children, who have grown up here, and who have remained in school and out of trouble. They could get a green card 6 years after graduating from high school if during that time they continue on to college or serve in the military.

The DREAM Act is not a "mini-amnesty"

At its core, amnesty is forgiveness for wrongdoing. That does not apply to DREAM Act students who were all brought here years ago as children. The DREAM Act rewards them for staying in school or serving our country.

The DREAM Act would benefit taxpayers

The DREAM Act would provide hope to immigrant students and lead many more of them to remain in school. As an example of the fiscal benefits of this, a RAND study showed that a 30-year-old Mexican immigrant woman who graduates from college will pay $5,300 more in taxes and cost $3,900 less in government expenses each year than if she had dropped out of high school. This amounts to an annual fiscal benefit of over $9,000 per person every year, money that can be used to pay for the education of other children. State and local taxpayers have already invested in the education of these children in elementary and secondary school and deserve to get a return on their investment.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Encuentros Intimos/Close Encounters:

Dispatches from the Queer Borderlands

Friday, September 21st at 8pm
Galeria de la Raza
$ 7
Tales of trespass, transgression and desire from immigrant and first generation queer artists

Through story, dance, and theater, Bay Area artists reveal the queer sides of immigration: the intricacies of living multiple illegalities; body memories, migrations and exile; homes remembered, lost and found; deportations, criminalization and the struggle to survive these war years

Encuentros offers an unforgettable night of performance featuring:

Justin Chin, Lamya Amir, Cherry G all ete, NaR, Farita, Emanne Bayoumi and more.
With a special comedic appearance by Maceo Cabrera Estevez


More info: or

Galería de la Raza 2857 24th St. @ Bryant San Francisco, CA 94110
Tel: 415.826.8009

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Every picture tells a story in 'Ravine'

Los Angeles History On a lowrider icecream truck.

Make sure to check out the interactive multimedia feature that
accompanies this article

The Chicano Neighborhood Chavez Ravine before the establishment of Dodger's Stadium

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Dominican Saga: Travails of an Outcast

Junot Diaz author of DROWN, cool cat whom I met at VONA voices comes out with his new book.

A Dominican Saga: Travails of an Outcast
Junot Díaz's "Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" is a
wondrous,not-so-brief first novel that is so original it
can only be described as
Mario Vargas Llosa meets "Star Trek" meets David Foster
Wallace meets Kanye West.
Newsweek REVIEW

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Montreal LASA Transmissions

Body exhaustion, forgetting to eat, meeting new people, loving the nametags, waking up too early, going to bed too late, networking, giving out my card, taking down their information, wishing I went to more panels, making good friends, the kind you want to keep around for life, sending too many text messages, using my phone as if Im not going to pay international fees, getting intellectual feedback, from people I admire, encouragement to go in school, to get a PhD or MFA or just to be me, to be a writer, Support to publish, letters of recommendation to publishers, conviviendo con nuevas compañ heart, mind and body are full of love and light.

I get back late tomorrow night. Today is my last day and first day of actually getting to know Montreal more than just being at a conference. I have so much to tell but more than that I have so much to do. MC

Luis J. Rodriguez @ SFSU Sept. 19 at Jack Adams Hall

Luis J. Rodriguez, activist and author of "Always Running: La Vida
Loca, Gang Days in LA," will give the keynote lunchtime address at

The SF State Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, in
partnership with the San Francisco Safe Communities Reentry Council,
is sponsoring a one-day summit: "Working Together to Support San
Franciscans After Incarceration: The Second Annual Reentry Summit" on
Sept. 19 at Jack Adams Hall.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will be on campus to give the opening
remarks. SF Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, Sheriff Michael Hennessey,
District Attorney Kamala Harris and Public Defender Jeff Adachi are
also scheduled to speak. Luis J. Rodriguez, activist and author of
"Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in LA," will give the keynote
lunchtime address on how successful reentry of the incarcerated can
reduce violence in society. RSVP by Sept. 12 to, or (415) 553-9349.
The Safe Communities Reentry Council will be hosting its second major
summit about reentry issues in San Francisco.
This summit features practical and relevant information detailing how
to improve the coordination and delivery of services for formerly
incarcerated individuals. The purpose of this event is to educate our
partners, key stakeholders and the general public about the challenges
faced by those who are reentering society after a period of
incarceration, study the current state of affairs and statistical data
concerning reentry and identify new solutions to providing better
transitional services to those who need them.
The Safe Communities Reentry Council was established in 2005 to
promote the safe and successful return of formerly incarcerated
individuals to our community by developing a comprehensive support
system that reduces violence and recidivism, and promotes public
8:30 am Registration — 9:00 am Program begins
Welcome: Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
Opening Remarks: Mayor Gavin Newsom
Summit Overview: Public Defender Jeff Adachi
Panel Moderator: JoAnn Mar, public radio producer
Plenary Panel of Criminal Justice Partners
Jeff Adachi, Public Defender • Patrick Boyd, Deputy Chief of the
Probation Department • Kamala Harris, District Attorney • Michael
Hennessey, Sheriff • Ross Mirkarimi, Supervisor • Marisela Montes,
Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Programs, CDCR • Phil Torda, Parole,
CDCR • Daniel Zurita, US Federal Probation
Lunchtime Keynote Address
Luis J. Rodriguez, speaking on reducing violence through successful
To read about Luis Rodriguez, please see
Afternoon Panel–At Home and in Communities: Decreasing the
Disproportionate Impacts of Violence and Incarceration
Panelists include: Rudy Aguilar, Parolee Services Network, Department
of Public Health • No Violence Alliance (NoVA) Project participants

Gerald Gage, Senior Ex-Offender Program • Ronald Sanders, Transitions
Clinic • Simin Shamji, Office of the Public Defender • Terese
Rodriguez and Kyle Sporleder, Project WHAT!–Community Works
Afternoon Panel –Inside and Out: Increasing Access to Appropriate
Services and Resources
Panelists include: Jason Bell, Project Rebound, SFSU • Karen Brown,
Northern California Service League • Bill Buehlman, All of Us or None
• Dan Macallair, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice • No
Alliance (NoVA) Project participants • Lisa Murphy, FREE Women
Coalition • Allyson West, California Reentry Program • Eddy Zheng,
Community Youth Center
4:00 pm Program ends
Wheelchair accessible. Please request other accommodations, such as
ASL or other language interpretation services by September 5th.
Sponsored by The California Endowment and the SF State Institute for
Civic and Community Engagement.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

renaissance woman

I've always been a renaissance woman. I have always wanted to be all and do all. Most of my endeavors have been about promoting other people, about telling stories that don't get told, about bringing attention to work, individuals and movements. I have always wanted to be a publisher, a writer, a filmmaker, a poet, a performer, a leader, an academic, a creative being that moves mountains and shakes souls with my creative works. I am all those things and sometimes do them well...but for some reason it is so hard to do those things for myself. All of these projects would seem like they are about myself but for some reason I remain unable to move the spirits in my soul for the projects that are just about me.

I am a natural collaborator a person who naturally gravitates to people with potential and wants to help develop that potential in every way. I naturally want to help and counsel and cheerlead and coach and love...But how can I break out and do for myself, the way I really need to? A very simple example is I set the goal of publishing my first solo chap book this summer. I began dilligently. Sifting through journals and typed up poems. Took an amazing writing workshop that rocked my world and melted my face off.

I had all this energy and what did I do? I directed that towards other folks, towards making an anthology of central american poets. Again its something I've always wanted to do and is about to be completed, but where am I? wheres the energy directed at editing my work and doing what I wanted to do? Well at least its not wasted energy. And please, this is not a complaint. This is just something I need to constantly work on. Of course it would be great if I was recognized for my fabulousness and the work just fell into place but these are the struggles of the fabulously misunderstood. I'll keep working at while you all work on discovering my unrecognized genius and we'll find a happy medium.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Paint your world-THIS FRIDAY!

Radio 2050-Pinta tu Propio Mundo

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Pinta tu Propio Mundo SIX

@ Galeria de la Raza

Friday, August 10, 2007 @ 8 p.m.


Lorna Dee Cervantes

Opal Palmer Adisa


Maceo Cabrera Estevez

Las Manas: Maya Chinchilla, Milta Ortiz, Cruz Grimaldo, Anayvette Martinez

Hosted by Leticia Hernandez

Featured visual artist: Chamindika
Tshirts designs and Art FOR SALE

Six years in the running, this evening of women's art and expression presents accomplished writers, risk taking performers, and cutting edge visual artists in the heart of La Misión.

2857 24th Street @ Bryant Street
$8 - $15 sliding scale/Galería members FREE

Sponsored by Poets and Writers Inc., Nicacelly, KPFA, and Global Exchange.



conceived and performed by
Eric Aviles, Maya Chinchilla, Milta Ortiz, Gerardo Perez, Marc David
Pinate, Yadira de la Riva and Nicolas Valdez.

WHERE: Galería de la Raza, 2857 24th Street @ Bryant, San Francisco

WHEN: Saturday, August 25 & Sunday, August 26 @ 8:00 p.m.

TICKETS: $8 Students & Galeria Members; $10 General Admission

INFO: (415) 826-8009,

Galeria de la Raza proudly presents the world premier of Alarma! A
postmodern myth for the apocalyptic times we find ourselves in, Alarma!

is a multidiscipline, hybrid performance blending elements of movement,

spoken word, sound and video to explore the issue of immigration in the

shadow of Western consumerism. Commissioned by Galeria de la Raza as
part of its Picturing Immigration Project – a year-long exposition of
art exhibitions, film screenings and performances inspired by the 2006
May Day immigrant's rights marches around the country – Alarma! uses
non-linear narrative techniques combined with powerful imagery and text

to go beyond the mainstream media rhetoric and reveal the underlying
relationships between rich and poor, compassion and hate, us and them,
love and fear which lie at the heart of the immigration debate.

The culmination of a 4-month performance workshop under the direction of renowned choreographer Sara Shelton Mann, Alarma! features the talents of seven envelope-pushing, Bay Area performers and videographers whose credits and past achievements are impressive. Actor/writer Eric Aviles worked extensively with well known Chicago playhouses, Steppenwolf and Goodman theaters, before relocating to the Bay Area where he has performed for Teatro Campesino and Teatro Visión. A poet and recent Masters graduate in video production and communication arts, Maya Chinchilla's video documentaries have been shown and won awards at various film festivals around the country. Milta Ortiz is slam poet/performer. In 2006 she received a commission from the Oakland Arts Commission to write and perform her one-woman show, Scatter My Red Underwear, which is set to tour nationally in 2008. Gerardo Perez is a visual artist, puppeteer, actor and videographer who has shown and performed his work extensively throughout the Bay Area. He was a member of the creative team behind the award winning public access show, Viva la Vida. Marc David Pinate is a national slam champion and has performed as an actor, poet and musician throughout the country as a member of Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word and as the front-man for the musical group, Grito Serpentino. Yadira de la Riva was a member of UC Santa Cruz's groundbreaking Rainbow Theatre and currently works for Kaiser Permanente's educational theatre program. A recent arrival from San Antonio, TX, Nicolas Valdez began playing the accordion at the age of nine. Nicolas was a member of the nationally acclaimed Teatro Animo, youth theatre company and performed with Guillermo Gomez-Peña and in a national tour of Zoot Suit with Teatro Campesino.

Sara Shelton Mann has taught, performed and created performance since 1967. A protegee of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis, she has studied dance with Erik Hawkins, Cliff Keuter, Merce Cunningham, Brynar Mehl, Andrew Harwood, and balanced her training by studying QiQong with Master Qi Yang Ma and Master Zi Sheng Wang. During the seventies, she was artistic director of the Halifax Dance Co-Op in Nova Scotia. In 1979, she formed CONTRABAND, a group of collaborative artists dedicated to the evolution of an interdisciplinary dance vision. From 1996 to 1999, Mann collaborated with MacArthur "Genius" Guillermo Gomez-Pena in a series of interdisciplinary performance installations based more in theater than in dance and toured them throughout the United States, Mexico and Europe. She has taught at such prestigious schools as Stanford University, Jacob's Pillow, san Francisco State University, Mills College, University of Colorado andNew School for Social Research in NY. She was an Artist in Residence in 1995 at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, CA; Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA; Moving Arts in K-In, Germany; and the Sacred Dance Guild in Hawaii. Sara Shelton Mann was received numerous awards including a Choreographer's Fellowship from the national Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, Emerging Choreographer award from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, and Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Art Commission and four Isadora Duncan Dance Awards to name a few.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

Whats up

Here are some events that I will be a part of that are coming up:

-Sat,July 21st "Bomba" (fundraiser for Galeria de La Raza) at Cellspace
-Sat, August 10 "Pinta tu Propio Mundo" at Galeria de la Raza : with
Lorna Dee Cervantes
Opal Palmer Adisa
Las Manas
Maceo Cabrera
Leticia Hernandez Linares
featured visual artist: Chamindika

-Tuesday, August 28 Lunada at Galeria Featuring Maya Chinchilla (thats me!) and Uchechi Kalu
By then I will have a version of my chap book to sell. I just finished a workshop with Willie Perdomo through an amazing organization called VONA Voices and I'm feelin a need to be a published poet.

And that project I've been talking about called Picturing Immigration will be on Aug 24 or 25th at a location to be determined (we'll be hammering out the details this weekend)

I hope you are all doing well. I'm finishing up some of the final details of graduate school and looking for work, working on some video projects(keep your eyes and ears open for "Mi Vida Yoga" and "Amor Cubano") and have been giving myself some time to focus on working as an artist while I work out the details of what is next.

Gloria Steinem: In Defense of the 'Chick Flick'

By Gloria Steinem, Women's Media Center
Posted on July 7, 2007, Printed on July 13, 2007

Here's a modest proposal to the young man on the plane from Los Angeles to Seattle who said of the movie that most passengers -- male and female -- voted to watch: "I don't watch chick flicks!"

So what exactly is a "chick flick?" I think you and I could probably agree that it has more dialogue than special effects, more relationships than violence, and relies for its suspense on how people live instead of how they die.

I'm not challenging your choice; I'm just questioning the term that encourages it. After all, if you think back to your school days, much of what you were assigned as great literature could have been dismissed as "chick lit." Indeed, the books you read probably only survived because they were written by famous guys.

Think about it: If Anna Karenina had been written by Leah Tolstoy, or The Scarlet Letter by Nancy Hawthorne, or Madame Bovary by Greta Flaubert, or A Doll's House by Henrietta Ibsen, or The Glass Menagerie by (a female) Tennessee Williams, would they have been hailed as universal? Suppose Shakespeare had really been The Dark Lady some people supposed. I bet most of her plays and all of her sonnets would have been dismissed as some Elizabethan version of ye olde "chick lit," only to be resurrected centuries later by stubborn feminist scholars.

Indeed, as long men are taken seriously when they write about the female half of the world -- and women aren't taken seriously when writing about themselves much less about men or male affairs -- the list of Great Authors will be more about power than about talent.

Still, I know this is not your problem. Instead, let me appeal to your self-interest as well as your sense of fairness: If the "chick flick" label helps you to avoid the movies you don't like, why is there no label to guide you to the ones you do like?

Just as there are "novelists" and then "women novelists," there are "movies" and then "chick flicks." Whoever is in power takes over the noun -- and the norm -- while the less powerful get an adjective. Thus, we read about "African American doctors" but not "European American doctors," "Hispanic leaders" but not "Anglo leaders," "gay soldiers" but not "heterosexual soldiers," and so on.

That's also why you're left with only half a guide. As usual, bias punishes everyone. Therefore I propose, as the opposite of "chick flick" and an adjective of your very own, "prick flick." Not only will it serve film critics well, but its variants will add to the literary lexicon. For example, "prick lit" could characterize a lot of fiction, from Philip Roth to Bret Easton Ellis and beyond. "True prick" could guide readers to their preferred non-fiction, from the classics of Freud to the populist works of socio-biologists and even Rush Limbaugh.

Most of all, the simple label "prick flick" could lead you easily and quickly through the thicket of televised, downloaded and theatrical releases to such attractions as:

All the movies that glorify World War II. From classics with John Wayne and Ronald Reagan, those master actors who conveyed heroism without ever leaving the back lot, to Spielberg's "Band of Brothers," in which the hero would rather die than be rescued, Hollywood has probably spent more on making movies about the war than this country spent on fighting it. After all, World War II was the last war in which this country was clearly right. Without frequent exposure to it, how are we to believe we still are?

All the movies that glorify Vietnam, bloody regional wars, and the war on terrorism. These may not be as much fun to watch -- you probably are aware that we aren't the winners here -- but they allow you to enjoy mass mayhem in, say, South Asia or Africa or the Middle East that justifies whatever this country might do.

All the movies that portray violence against women, preferably beautiful, sexy, half-naked women. These feature chainsaws and house parties for teenage guys, serial killers and sadistic rapists for ordinary male adults, plus cleverly plotted humiliations and deaths of powerful women for the well-educated misogynist.

All the movies that insist female human beings are the only animals on earth that seek out and even enjoy their own pain. From glamorized versions of prostitution to such complex plots as "Boxing Helena," a man's dream of amputating all a rebellious woman's limbs -- and then she falls in love with him -- these provide self-justification and how-to manuals for sadists.

As you can see, one simple label could guide you through diversity, and help other viewers to practice avoidance.

But if you really think about it, I'm hope-a-holic enough to think you might like to watch a chick flick after all.

Gloria Steinem travels widely as a feminist activist, organizer, writer and lecturer. She co-founded New York Magazine and Ms. Magazine where continues to serve as a consulting editor. She has been published in many magazines and newspapers here and in other countries, and is also a frequent guest commentator on radio and television.
© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Please support-This affects us all

Justice for Immigrants ACTION ALERT

Contact your Senators

Return to Immigration Reform


On Thursday, June 7, the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture (close off debate) on S. 1348, the Senate compromise immigration reform bill, 45-50 (with 60 votes needed to achieve cloture). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked Senators to vote NO on cloture. The Committee on Migration of the USCCB decided to take this position because on the night previous, Senators adopted an amendment to weaken the legalization program by removing confidentiality provisions and defeated an amendment which improved family reunification in the bill.

The removal of the confidentiality protection in the Z-visa legalization program means that applicants for the program are at risk of deportation if their application is denied, for whatever reason. The confidentiality protection ensures that an applicant to the program cannot be deported because of information given in their application regarding their immigration status. The Committee on Migration views this protection as essential to a workable program, because otherwise eligible participants will not come forward.

Another amendment, offered by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), would have moved the backlog reduction date on family reunification up to January 1. 2007. This amendment was blocked by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on a budget point of order and Senator Kyl offered another amendment which, in the view of the USCCB, harms certain families.

For those Senators who opposed cloture, consistent with the USCCB position, it is important to note that USCCB still supports the bill moving forward, provided that the confidentiality provisions and family reunification areas are improved.

It is our view that the bill will come back to the Senate floor before July 4th and that we will have the opportunity to fix these two amendments.


Please contact your Senators today and even everyday now with the following message:

You may

call your Senators local or national office.

call the general number and ask for your senators office 202-224-3121.

send a message through our website at:

Thank you,

The Justice for Immigrants Campaign

Immigration Bill

Action Alert: Give Your U.S. Representatives a Wake Up Call on CIR!

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07061267 (posted Jun. 12, 2007)"
Give your U.S. Representatives a wake up call!
Let them know that now is the time to get it right on immigration!!
Email your U.S. Representative now!

Last week the Senate effectively hit snooze on the immigration alarm when they voted against invoking cloture on debate of S. 1348. Whether or not they roll over and go back to sleep or wake up and face the music remains an open question. However, one thing is clear: it is not too late for the House to show leadership on this critical issue and propel the process forward. The House must not remain beholden to the Senate's dysfunction. It is time for the House to heed the demands of a large majority of Americans by passing comprehensive, workable immigration reform.

Send an email through Contact Congress and tell your Representative that the House must:

* Move legislation through "regular order" to ensure that the policy proposals are workable and exposed to public scrutiny, not grossly distorted by backroom political negotiations like the Senate's "grand bargain"

* Include the four key components of CIR in a workable final bill:
1. smart border and worksite enforcement
2. path to earned permanent residence for the undocumented
3. a new worker program to regulate our integrated North American labor market
4. reunification of families separated for years or decades by senseless backlogs

* Reject the four fatal flaws of the stalled Senate bill:
1. evisceration of the family-based green card categories;
2. replacement of our current employment-based immigration system with a radical, untested "merit-based" point system;
3. failure to recalibrate current green card levels to meet the demands of our economy at both ends of the skill spectrum
4. exclusion of new temporary workers from any path to permanent residence

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Security Is Focus of Revised Effort on Immigration

Security Is Focus of Revised Effort on Immigration
NY Times: June 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, June 13 — The White House and senators from both parties mapped out possible changes in a comprehensive immigration bill on Wednesday, so they could better portray it as a way to bolster national security rather than to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

The changes would include a guarantee of several billion dollars for tougher border security and law enforcement and would allow the government to take more time before granting work permits to illegal immigrants who seek legal status.

The proposals were drafted as part of an effort to recast the debate on immigration and revive the bipartisan bill, which was pulled from the Senate floor late last week. They come a day after President Bush met with senators to try to persuade those on the fence to support the measure.

As the White House shifts its tactics on the bill, immigrant rights' groups have begun their own push to move the legislation forward by emphasizing the benefits of immigration.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who was haggling with senators over possible amendments, said: "This is a national security bill. We are fixing a national security problem."

Mr. Gutierrez said the bill would eliminate a threat to national security that arises because "we have millions of people working in our country, and we don't know who they are."

Despite the proposed changes and the effort to promote the bill as part of the war on terrorism, the provision that has generated the most criticism from conservative Republicans — a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants — remains.

President Bush is expected to depict the bill as a way to secure the borders and curtail the influx of illegal immigrants in remarks Thursday to the Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade group for construction companies.

Another trade group, the National Association of Home Builders, has expressed concern about a provision of the bill that could, in some cases, hold general contractors responsible for a subcontractor's use of illegal immigrant labor.

The bill, one of President Bush's top domestic priorities, makes a commitment to border security and tougher enforcement, including a crackdown on companies that employ illegal immigrants. But in more than a dozen places, the bill says such steps are "subject to the availability of appropriations," meaning money might or might not be available.

By many accounts, the bill failed to attract enough votes because Republicans believed that the enforcement parts of the bill were too weak.

Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, a member of the small bipartisan group that wrote the bill, said Wednesday that its sponsors hoped to attract more support by passing an emergency supplemental appropriation of $3 billion to $5 billion to pay for the enforcement measures.

"President Bush seems receptive to the idea," Mr. Martinez said. Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, expressed interest in a Republican proposal to take all fees and fines collected under the bill and use the money for enforcement.

Even Democratic architects of the bill, like Senators Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Ken Salazar of Colorado, are portraying the bill as a way to restore the rule of law.

"It's a matter of our national security," Mr. Kennedy said Wednesday. "We have broken borders and a broken immigration system."

Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said the extra money could "persuade the American people and reluctant senators" to support the bill.

The 1986 immigration law looms over the current debate. Lawmakers of both parties say that law failed because Congress granted amnesty to three million illegal immigrants, but no president has vigorously enforced its prohibition on hiring illegal immigrants.

The 1986 law "resulted in a tidal wave of illegal immigration," said Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia.

More than 300 amendments to the current bill have been proposed. Leading supporters of the bill are trying to winnow those down, with the thought that the Senate might vote on a dozen proposed by Republicans and a dozen from Democrats.

Senate Republican leaders are encouraging Republican senators to agree on a finite list of amendments, so the Senate can vote on final passage of the bill.

Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the chief Republican architect of the measure, said he and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, had drafted an amendment that would "significantly tighten up enforcement."

Mr. Kyl said the proposal would alter a provision of the bill that grants "probationary benefits," including work permits, to illegal immigrants within one day after they file applications for legal status.

Conservative critics of the bill have denounced that provision, saying law enforcement agencies could never complete background checks in one day.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, is likely to get a vote on her proposal to require illegal immigrants to return to their home countries before they could obtain legal status in the United States.

That proposal is anathema to many Democrats and Hispanic groups, who say it would be unworkable. The bill already has a "touchback requirement," but it would apply only to illegal immigrants who are heads of household and seek permanent-residence visas, or green cards. Such visas would become available eight years after the bill became law, at the earliest.

By contrast, under Mrs. Hutchison's proposal, adult illegal immigrants would generally have to leave the United States within two years if they wanted to apply for legal status, in the form of "Z visas."

"My amendment would take the amnesty out of this bill," Mrs. Hutchison said. "It would say, if you are going to work in our country today or tomorrow or two years from now or 25 years from now, you will apply from outside the country to come in legally so we have control of our system."

If Congress provides additional money, some of it would be used to create an electronic system that employers would have to use to verify that employees were eligible to work in this country.

About 17,000 employers have registered to use the current voluntary verification system, but under the Senate bill, nearly six million employers could be required to do so. Under the current program, the government usually confirms within seconds that an employee is authorized to work.

But in some cases, the government does not have up-to-date information on a worker's name or citizenship. The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said it could take days or even weeks to resolve such discrepancies.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Guerilla Theater at La Peña 32nd Anniversary

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Our one act plays will be going on around 7:15pm. Be there or be square! (ITS FREE)

La Peña Celebrates its 32nd Anniversary!
!Feliz Cumpleaños La Peña!

Saturday June 09, 2007
Free! 6pm-Midnight - JL Orozco @10AM

Open house & free event featuring performances from La Peña’s students & other artists. Silent Auction w/lots of great items! Since 1975, La Peña has been an important community space that promotes social justice and cultural understanding through the arts, education and community action. Join us at our Open House as we celebrate our anniversary with performances of our talented student ensembles ranging from Mexican music to Latin American Kids Chorus to Latin Jazz to Hip Hop to Puerto Rican bomba. The Open House will also feature a silent auction - so bring your checkbook! To take a peek at auction items or place your early bid visit

You can also support La Peña’s 32nd anniversary by donating online:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

your help-sanctuary

Im trying to do some research on how different cultures, religions and belief systems through the ages have viewed sanctuary, refuge, migration, persecution and the like. I have been inspired by the sanctuary movements of the past and the new one making waves to write and put together as part of a project I am working on. I don't really have much religious "training." Anyone have any thoughts to help me gear up my creative juices or can direct me to some good sites or quotes... really anything will be of help. Thank you in advance. M
Here's a link to the project I am working on:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"TV just became really, really white again."

I watched the show a little at the beginning but I can't say I was a huge fan. I do think that it was a landmark for a Chicano to be the lead actor on a tv show. I guess now that they have Betty the feel they met their quota. Ugh. TV is such hegemonic wasteland. But it has a huge influence on our society so we can't just ignore what happens there...
George Lopez's show cancelled!!
George Lopez was told over the weekend that his show was canceled. Apparently ABC would lose money if it were picked renewed for another season. George didn't take it well. He remarked that, "TV just became really, really white again." I take it to mean that there is a loss of ethnic and racial diversity on TV. I believe the LA Times knew that too. However, they chose to paraphrase his quote and make that the headline for their story on his cancelation.

Even if you don't care about him or his show it's interesting to read all the comments people made below the article. I don't know if they actually read the article or not but the comments a lot of people made are really hostile and racist.

Check it out:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sanctuary movement debated on O'Reilly Factor and Lou Dobbs

I wish I could find some of the more balenced news reports I have seen but these do an interesting job of giving some of the pieces while still framing the debate in terms of the skewed racist views of the figure heads that call themselves newscasters...

Here's another video

Friday, May 04, 2007

May 1-Police Brutality

If you havent seen it yet check out the videos of police brutality from the may day marches. You have to see it to believe it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ugly Betty Questionnaire

Ugly Betty Questionnaire

All of these answers will be confidential (unless of course you choose to post it publicly here).
Where were you born?
Where do you live?
How do you identify in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, gender etc.? Please state all that apply.
Would you mind if I contacted you? What is the best way to contact you if I would like to follow up with you?

*You can refer to the show as a whole as well as the particular episode I am focusing on:
"Don't Ask Don't Tell"
Air Date: 03/22/2007

Marc, promising to help Betty with inside info for Daniel, convinces her to pretend to be his "girlfriend" when his suspicious mom, Mrs. Weiner, arrives in town. Things go from bad to worse when Mrs. Weiner invites herself to dinner at the Suarez home and Betty's whole family has to play along with the charade. Meanwhile, Daniel and Alexis struggle to work together after their mom - who actually owns Mode - names them co-editors-in-chief of the magazine.

*Be as honest and candid as you like. I want your opinion. I am definitely not judging you. I just want a sampling of opinions to create a very preliminary discussion of what audiences might be thinking about this show. There are no right or wrong answers. These are open-ended questions; feel free to answer however you like.

*Please answer as much as you can (as soon as you can too). If you would like to have a phone conversation instead please drop me an email with your phone number and the best time to call you: mediamuxerista AT yahoo DOT com

*This is a very preliminary research paper that is part of a longer comprehensive exam that I am working on in the next four weeks (but am trying to work on this part this week) so I would appreciate as much of your support you can offer.

∑ How often do you watch Ugly Betty? Do you watch when the episodes come out on TV and/ or Online or recorded such as with TiVo?

∑ Do you have any rituals when you watch Ugly Betty? (or TV in general) ( such as viewing with friends or preparations or your own added commentary etc ? Please describe.

∑ What drew you to watching the show?

∑ Do you consider yourself a fan? Why or why not?

∑ What aspects keep you watching?

∑ In your opinion what is the message or messages or themes of the show? Is that important to you in terms of being a viewer? Why or why not?

∑ Are there messages in this show that you agree or disagree with? What are they?
Please explain.

∑ Are there aspects that you feel like you reinterpret to suit your own view points? Such as?

∑ What do you like best about the show?

∑ Do you identify with any characters in particular?

∑ What do you think needs improvement or what do you absolutely hate?

∑ What do you think of the portrayal of Latinos on this show?

∑ What do you think about the portrayal of Immigrants on this show (and in particular to this episode)

∑ What do you think about the portrayal of gay characters on Ugly Betty? What are the positives or negatives or interesting aspects of some those characters or themes? What do you think about Marc’s character and the storyline pertaining to being in the closet to his mother?

∑ What do you think about the portrayal of women on this show? Any examples you’d like to share in particular?

What do you think of the shows portrayal of the fashion industry? do you think it is realistic?

∑ Who do you think watches this show? What makes you think so?

∑ Do you think this show is empowering? If yes, how so? If no why not?

∑ What do you think about how some critics have called Ugly Betty a ground breaking show and a “sly satire on class and race”? Do you think Betty is different from other offerings on TV?

∑ Is there anything else you want to add?
*Please add anything else you find interesting about this particular episode or the show in general. Any and all details or thoughts are useful.
Thank you so much for your time!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Grad School gets Ugly:I told you watching TV was homework

So I finally got my exam questions.
These are THE questions.
The ones that will make me a Master in broadcasting electronic communication arts (phew writing that tile is exhausting. I think my degree will say radio and TV...)

So I have to write two papers about 10-20 ( I think) pages for the general question and 20-40 pages for the question that was designed specifically for me. Of course of the 5 general questions that I have to choose from, one is about UGLY BETTY. (That was nice of them. Cause you know Im Latina and all...)The other questions are so blah or generic in comparison. Except there is one about the first amendment, journalists "right" to protect their sources and the Scooter Libby trial. I just saw a really interesting documentary about that on Frontline.

The only reason I am looking at that one as a back up is because at one point my chair said that I shouldnt pick a question that was similar to what my "answers" would be to my individual question. Because the whole point of the exam is to show "breadth" cause its a "comprehensive" exam. But analyzing Betty could be fun except there are things that irritate me in that show. I guess thats what part of the analysis will be about.

General question:
So the Ugly Betty question has to do with analyzing an episode and speculating on the impact the show is having on the US viewing audience looking at two "demographically different" audiences drawing on two different audience-centered theoretical frameworks. (im sure some of that is supposed to be Girl Power! and yay for Latinos on TV. I mean as much as I enjoy it when I see a positive representation there is a bit of cheese factor to this show or is that Camp...hmm maybe I can work with that...)
At least one framework already comes to mind so that is another reason I am thinking of writing to this question. The only problem is that both questions deal with representation. But maybe I can make the arguement that they do so in different ways. This one for example is tv criticism and I will be analyzing one particular show as a text. (as opposed to writing everything about the entire central american community plus media representation...)

So the specialized question for me is: A non-profit organization has hired me to help them research aspects of central american diasporic identity in hopes of launching a media campaign aimed at giving voice to members of this cultural group. (isnt this kinda funny? whys it gotta be a non-profit? ha ha)

I have to define "central american diaspora" drawing on scholarly research (of course) and theories of cultural identity to support my definition. "What particular sorts of cultural struggles do members of this diaspora face, particularily in terms of questions of media and identity?" (oh lots! my peepos be all about struggle!)

thats just part one.

Part two is I have to analyze two documentaries and two web sites that "do a good job of giving voice to some diasporic or other underrepresented group." And basically discuss the possibilities for particular groups to carve out spaces for their identities within different technological and aesthetic frames....
damn thats a lotta work to do in the next 4 weeks...I can think of one of each but not two...
oh theres more
Part 3 (yeah of just one essay I have to write)
I have to write a proposal for a documentary and or new media project that would "help further the cause of the CA diaspora" I kid you not. That is the wording in the question. que viva la causa!

There's a ton more detail but you get the idea. It sorta feels like everything and the kitchen sink (did I get that saying right?) but I guess it will be fun. You know. Comprehensively fun. Fun in the way I get all stressed out cause I work so slowly and I stop eating real food, seeing sunlight or showering unless I have to-fun.

So it was nice knowing you. If you wanna have any discussions on any of these topics thats what I'll be doing. Otherwise see you in May. I'll be in my office. (the cafe or library closest to me.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The last word

I finally uploaded a trailer for the Last word. Havent had much time to do much video but Im hoping to change that in May...Play it, rate it, comment, critque, make out with it...its less than a minute.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Segregated Blogosphere: Colorlines Article

I thought this was a facinating article about color and blogging. Check it.

The Segregated Blogosphere

Chris Rabb's life as a blogger started with an e-mail. For four years, he sent out an e-newsletter to thousands of names in his address book. The newsletter eventually became his blog, Afro-Netizen, which provided Rabb's commentaries on politics and news, with a focus on Black communities. Since then, Rabb has become one of the most outspoken voices on the racial divide in the blogosphere.

"As bloggers of color, we are such a smaller number of people than our white counterparts. That makes reaching the volume of traffic much harder, and the lack of social and financial capital also makes this harder," Rabb said.

People of color make up 40 percent of bloggers, but only 26 percent of Internet users. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's "Blogger" report, which was based on findings from their February through April 2006 tracking surveys, 11 percent of bloggers are Black, 19 percent are English-speaking Hispanic and 10 percent are some other race or ethnicity. read the rest here

Twisted beauty

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Women, Labor and Immigration Tuesday, March 27, 7-9 p.m.

"Women, Labor and Immigration" panel presentation with Teresa Carrillo, associate professor of Raza studies; Araceli Quezada, SF State alumna and professor of liberal arts at the San Francisco Art Institute; Maria Elena Guillen of the Service Employees International Union and Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; and moderators Deborah Gerson, lecturer in labor studies, and Julia Hua, assistant professor of women studies. Tuesday, March 27, 7-9 p.m., room 362 of the HSS building.