Monday, March 28, 2011

Luis J. Rodriguez Speaks Up for the Youth

Author of Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. and founder of community cultural center and independent press, Tia Chuchas, Luis J. Rodriguez, wrote an opinion piece, Opinion: Arizona Teacher's Letter is Sleepy Lagoon All Over Again, comparing Arizona and the latest political focus on the gang and immigration "problem" to Sleepy Lagoon and the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. What touched me most was Rodriguez's reminder that those the politicians target are those we should protect: our youth.

"In fact, in my work among the most gang-ridden neighborhoods in this country and elsewhere I’ve found that the majority of youth are not in gangs. And those that are usually join them when they are poor in material matters as well as cultural and spiritual ones...I’m convinced we can solve the economic mess we’re in by drawing on our common hopes, common aims, and common energies—and not at the expense of the most vulnerable or easily targeted among us."

This sentiment made me think of the DREAMers and of Father Boyle, author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, and his Homeboys. You can now help Father Boyle and his effort to make "jobs not jails" by heading into your local Ralphs to purchase their chips and salsa.
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

We need to continue to find positive alternatives like these to help our community and our children find a safe place in this country because they deserve that much, they deserve our support.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Georgetown University Writes Dangerously in Immigrant America

If I had the money (and the time off from work), I would fly to Washington D.C. next week to attend Geogetown's symposium, Writing Dangerously in Immigrant America. This two day event on April 5th and 6th will will host an all-star list of socially conscience writers including Domincan-American superstar and author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz, Haitian-American author of Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat, L.A. Times columnist, Hector Tobar, and columnist and author of Murder City: Ciudad Ju├írez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields, Charles Bowden. "The themes across the symposium’s sessions will focus primarily on the vexed relationships between the U.S., its emerging immigrant-diasporic communities, and the specific American regions they mostly represent: the Caribbean, Central America, and the U.S./Mexico borderlands."

If you are in or around D.C. and are able to attend this event, I would love to see your cheat notes, or hear your thoughts.