Category Archives: Members in the news

More Violence Against the Women of Juarez

By Nicole Guidotti-Hernandez, from the blog of Ms. Magazine …

Before I finished my Ph.D., I worked in the cosmetics industry for ten years as a makeup artist for Lauder Corp, which owns such prestige brands as Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown and MAC. The cosmetics industry is often a place where Chicanas and Latinas work their way through school, and I was one of them.

Knowing what I know about the industry and who works in it–and knowing that MAC, in particular, markets to women of color a makeup line that caters to their skin tones with multiple pigments–I am appalled by the lack of social awareness that spawned the Rodarte/MAC collaboration that resulted in the “Juarez-inspired” cosmetics line, with colors such as “Juarez,” “factory” and “ghost town”.

While MAC back-peddled and apologized for its “unfortunate choice of names” and promised to donate a portion of its proceeds from the cosmetics to the people of Juarez, their initial decision to go forward with it signifies the lack of awareness about violence against women that have characterized the Juarez situation for the last 10 years. It seems that the Rodarte designers and MAC have more consciousness about protecting animals from harm in testing products than they do about the human lives lost daily in the war zone that is the city of Juarez. It’s hip to personify death in cosmetic colors rather than engage a bleak and violent reality.

Let me explain. Since taking office in 2005, Mexican President Felipe Calderón has escalated the war against drug cartels, and Juarez has been a loci of retaliatory violence between federal police, the Mexican military, U.S. DEA agents, and drug cartels. The violence from the drug war has become so bad that border dwellers from Mexico have been seeking asylum on the U.S. side because their families and businesses have been threatened.

Essay continues at Ms. Magazine Blog…

Chicana/o Studies PhD program at UCLA!

A Chicana/o Studies Ph.D. Program will be opening soon at UCLA. Under the leadership of Alicia Gaspar de Alba, current Chair of the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, the proposal for a combined MA/PhD degree program was approved by the University of California System on June 1, 2010.

UCLA will now be the second university in the world to offer a Ph.D. Program that focuses on Chicana/o Studies. The first PhD program in Chicana/o Studies was established at U.C. Santa Barbara in 2005. Michigan State University has a PhD in Chicano/Latino Studies. UCLA now joins their ranks, and will begin accepting applications in Fall 2010. We will admit our first cohort of graduate students in Fall 2011. Only students whose objective is the PhD (we will have no stand-alone MA, in other words), will be admitted. For more information about the program requirements, see our departmental webpage: http://www.chavez.ucla.edu.

Si Se Puede!
Alicia

MALCSista Sandy Soto heckled at graduation about SB1070

If you can help circulate this, we’d sure appreciate it…. what folks in Arizona are up against….

Prof. Sandy K. Soto at University of Arizona COSBS graduation gets heckled for asking for civil discourse around SB1070. She’s getting the usual hatemail, and calls for her firing…..we’re asking folks to read about it  - read more here

And please email President Shelton to support her  at robert.shelton@arizona.edu

Teatro Chicana Honored with PopCulture prize

Teatro Chicana: A Collective Memoir and Selected Plays
Edited by Laura E. Garcia, Sandra M. Gutierrez, and Felicitas Nuñezteatrochicana

This collection has been awarded the Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Edited Volume in Women’s Studies in Popular and American Culture in 2008. This award is given by the Popular Culture/American Culture Association. The first print run paperback  of “Teatro Chicana” has sold out. University of Texas Press is reprinting.

As reviewed by Monica Teresa Ortiz at Feminist Review:
(also see this review at La Bloga)

Co-Editor Sandra M. Gutiérrez writes in her entry: “As far as the Teatro de las Chicanas was concerned, what we lacked in theatrical training and sophistication, we more than made up for with ganas and deter-mination.”  There is no better way to summarize this book than that. The editors put together a wide range of memoirs from Xicanas in the first part of the book and then have actos in the second half. Although Teatro Chicana covers an important and sometimes ignored aspect of the growing Chicano literary field, the strength of the book is in the memoirs – a gutsy group of recollections about the influence of theater on various contributing Xicana writers. Continue reading

Ward Churchill fired by Colorado regents

“I want to be clear,” said Tom Mayer, a CU-Boulder sociology professor. “This is a political fight with academic camoflage.  “I believe the people who voted (to dismiss Churchill) are the same people who would have voted against Socrates, Galilleo … and anyone else wth an unpopular point of view.”
Lane said the only surprise of the afternoon was Regent Cindy Carlisle’s lone dissenting vote against the motion to fire Churchill.

Rocky Mountain News

or AP story here

Student activists fast for Calif & Federal DREAM Act

Professor Julia Curry of San Jose State University, and NACCS are asking folks to join in supporting and encouraging the young courageous students who have been fasting throughout the state to bring attention to the California Dream Act –SB 65 and to the federal Dream Act–which would enable them to continue their education, practice their professions, and eventually gain legal status in the United States.

Through this effort, students urge US Senators and the US Representatives to support the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. This act would enable and motivate more than 60,000 students who graduate each year to attend an institution of higher education and utilize their degrees once graduated. If the DREAM Act becomes enacted, undocumented students who entered the US as minors will have the opportunity to a documented status upon maintaining good moral character and completing a college degree or service in the US military.

SF bay area students began fasting Monday morning, July 2 in front of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s office Monday, July 2 through Thursday, July 5th. The Southern California fasters arrived Wednesday night at 10 p.m. and fasted with our students on Thursday until closure at noon. From there the Caravan continued on to San Francisco where they camped in front of Nancy Pelosi’s office through Monday, July 9th.

Supporters and press conference speakers included Prof. Curry, Mark Silverman from the National Immigration Law Center, representatives from SIREN, Richard Hobbs, representatives from CHIRLA, SAHE, Hermandad and local immigrant students.

California SB 65 was presented on July 3rd so it is imperative that we act now. Please fax letters of support directly to Senator Cedillo at 916-327-8817.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
635 North First Street, Suite B
San Jose, Ca 95112

Nancy Pelosi
450 Golden Gate Avenue, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Attached are an information/support sheet (pdf) and also an endorsement form if you wish to sign on. For more information, contact Julia Curry at prof.curry@gmail.com.

On the Supreme Court and race….

The Applied Research Center is dismayed by today’s decision from the United States Supreme Court (pdf file) to overturn lower court rulings allowing the districts of Seattle, Washington and Louisville, Kentucky to use race in making school assignments. This decision is especially disappointing, given that the majority of the Court affirmed race as an important factor to consider in educational equity and school integration. For more than half a century, the moral compass of 1954′s Brown v. Board of Education has guided our nation toward integration and equal treatment. The Court’s conservative bloc has led us backwards.

The 5-4 decision included Justices Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the majority opinion, said that schools should use factors other than race to achieve racial inclusion. Roberts wrote: “[In Brown] it was not the inequality of facilities but the fact of legally separating children based on race on which the Court relied to find a constitutional violation.”

This is a disingenuous use of Brown against desegregation efforts. As they were 50 years ago, racial segregation and unequal facilities remain closely linked. In California, for example, a state that ranks number one in school segregation among Blacks and Latinos, 75 percent of high school seniors of color will not complete the courses they need to enroll in the state’s public colleges.

Brown has been relentlessly attacked by its opponents for five decades. As they worked to repeal and rewrite the mandate through constant legal and legislative challenges, segregation has been on the rise. Schools are now more segregated than they were 30 years ago. The need for race-explicit integration programs is as urgent now as ever.

We appreciate the dissenting opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote that the majority opinion “reverses course and reaches the wrong conclusion. In doing so, it distorts precedent, it misapplies the relevant constitutional principles, it announces legal rules that will obstruct efforts by state and local governments to deal effectively with the growing resegregation of public schools, it threatens to substitute for present calm a disruptive round of race-related litigation.” We also note that Justice Anthony Kennedy, although he joined the majority, validated the idea that race can be a factor if used narrowly to ensure integrated schools.

Racial segregation in schools results from discrimination against people of color in housing and employment. Sharply divided living and working conditions produce similarly divided educational systems. It is folly to accept the majority’s assertion that a situation created through highly calculated social engineering can somehow be reversed through spontaneous individual choices about where to send one’s child to school.

The strength of Brown was its insistence on explicitly confronting race as a critical factor shaping access to quality education. The conservative justices have corroded this critical tool. Although the nation’s highest court may be divided on this issue, communities, school administrators, and elected officials must rededicate themselves to addressing the discriminatory policies that continue to leave students of color separate and unequal.

Dolores Huerta: “Rebelde for the Cause”

…After more than 50 years of fighting for what she and Chavez called La Causa (the cause), Huerta shows no signs of fatigue or cynicism. At one moment she speaks with the wisdom and affections of a grandmother (she has 11 children, 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren), and in the next with the fury of a warrior still on a lifelong mission.

Recently, she has been traveling the country, speaking at marches and $100-a-plate dinners on behalf of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. In These Times caught up with Huerta on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus where she spoke at a conference about the immigration movement in Chicago.

Article continues at In These Times online magazine (http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3125/)