Sunday, October 23, 2016


Want to vote and need a Ride in Texas? If so, this page is for you.
Thanks to my cousin, Bibi Lobo, for sharing.


Texas buses, taxis and rideshare services, in more than 20
communities, are offering free or discounted rides to and from polling
locations. They are working independently, and generously, towards
this important community service.

Texas appears to be mobilizing more rides and transit companies than
any other state in the country.

A powerful informal network of Texans are mobilizing to inspire our
citizens to do their civic duty while honoring the soldiers who have
sacrificed to protect this core freedom.

For any community to have free rides to the polls it may not take much
more than a few folks to make the request to their local Bus, Taxi and
Rideshare companies.

“This service benefits everyone in the community; especially those who
might not have the means of transportation to go vote. We are
investing in our voters and therefore investing in the community, We
want to recognize and reward participants with a free ride to exercise
their right to vote,”

Plan days ahead and double check info. Give yourself time if your poll
is usually busy. Give yourself even more time if you have a special

Bring your voter registration card and a photo ID if you have one. If
you don't have one, check a box on the form indicating why you don't
and be given a ballot if you can identify yourself with non-photo
identification that has to have your name and address on it. It's in
this Handy Dandy Guide:…/HandyDandy-2016-TX-GE-new-voter-IDs%…


Here are the Texas groups offering free rides to the polls.

Mariette Hummel | Communications Specialist
Rides Oct 24 and Nov 8.
-Press releases
-Information to Travis County
-Clerk for use on their web/social media
-Facebook and Twitter posts
-Sending info to community groups we work with
-Interior signage in buses
-Passenger notice in buses
-Head sign on buses Oct. 24 and Nov. 8

Kelly Coughlin
Early voting from October 24 through November 4 can grab a free ride
with a valid voter registration card.

Customer Information
Free rides provided on Election Day
Paratransit reservations can be made online or by phone. Fare is $3
cash, Personal Attendants ride for free. Paratransit Reservations:
214-515-7272; paratransit.
DART reduced fare* is $2.50 for a day pass and $1.25 for two hour
pass. Reduced fare is only applicable if you have proper form of ID.

Fort Worth Transportation Authority
Shawn M. Donaghy - Chief Operating Officer and Vice President

Free rides provided on Election Day and two weeks of early voting
METRO is in the process of finalizing plans for offering free rides to
the polls on the one Saturday of early voting, October 29th and on
Election day, November 8th. Voters will need to show their voter
registration card to board our buses and rail. They will be able to
call our customer service line at 713-635-4000 for any questions..
Jerome Gray
Vice President & Senior Press Officer
Direct line: 713-739-4011

Leroy Alloway
Free rides provided on Election Day.
website link –
-email or phone number to provide online for voters who need a ride to
the polls to call? Customer Service – 210.362.2020 can answer
questions regarding our service and Ride VIA to Vote / for VIAtrans
riders they will need to reserve a ride as they normally would
-The “Ride VIA to Vote” initiative will provide complimentary public
transportation throughout the VIA service area for customers
presenting a valid voter registration card to the bus or van operator
when boarding on Election Day. This includes regular bus service and
VIAtrans paratransit service. Registered VIAtrans customers must
schedule their trip in accordance with VIAtrans policies and

SAN MARCOS - CARTS - Capital Area Rural Transportation System
Reduced fares on Election Day. The cost to travel in the county on the
interurban is $2. On the THE BUS (San Marcos Municipal Bus Route) it
is $1 one way.
No reservation is required except if you are using the country bus.
Contact: 512-478-7433
Counties covered: Bastrop, Caldwell, Lee, Burnet, Fayette, Travis,
Blanco, Hays, Williamson

Possibly has free rides on Election Day. Wheelchair accessible. It is
a $2 fee for in town transit. Monday-Friday 7 AM to 6 PM. Must
schedule ride 24 hours in advance.
Counties Covered: Medina, Kerr, Kendall, Karnes, Comal, Atascosa,
Guadalupe, Gillespie, Frio, Fannin,Wilson

713-368-RIDE (7433)
For people for whom public transportation is either unavailable or
inaccessible. A curb-to-curb subsidized program that allows eligible
customers and participating agencies to purchase transportation
services at a significant discount. The customer/agency pays 50% of
the total trip cost.


Edward K. Kargbo
President & CMO
(O) 512-434-7781 : (C) 512-784-3239

*AUSTIN Yellow Cab
Debbie Taylor <>

*HOUSTON Yellow Cab
Melissa McGehee <>

Kenny Chiem <>


PASADENA. Yellow Cab


Joe Deshotel

Free rides to polls on Election Day and two week early voting period
We will post a link on our homepage that allows them to schedule their ride.
Blake Litton

TEXAS - UBER (TX not Austin)
Uber has a new program, Voterdrive, that allows people to receive and
offer subsidized rides to the polls, only on election day. Available
many places in Texas, except Austin.

VoterDrive will provide voters with a free ride to and from their
polling location (up to $10 per ride) by requesting and scheduling a
ride through the website. Voters can sign up to request
a ride to the polls at
Available in Houston, Lubbock, Midland, San Antonio, Abilene,
Amarillo, Beaumont, Killeen, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Waco, El Paso, Tyler

Wayne Turner

Gavin Washburn (Ride Fare)
Founder - Director of Marketing



We provide free transportation to our senior clients who requested a
ride to the polls.
Serita Lacasse
Executive Director (Local News) ( Regional Information)

Elgin does provide transportation to the polls to enrolled clients as
long as it's setup in advance.
Erin Heine
Executive Director
Drive a Senior ~ Elgin
PO Box 1368
Elgin, TX 78621

Drive a Senior Northwest (www.driveasenior provides
rides anywhere a registered client requests, but need a 1-week notice
to put it on our schedule (all our clients know this and many have
already scheduled their ride to vote). If someone needs a ride who is
not a client, we would have to have at least a week to get them signed
up, then another week for the ride request...and they need to fit our
qualifications (age 60 or over, live in our service area, mobile - not
in a wheelchair) to get that process started.
Carla Young
Executive Director
Drive a Senior Northwest - a Faith in Action Program
10633 Lake Creek Parkway
Austin 78750

AUSTIN Senior Transportation is grant funded (Department of Disability
and Aging/Capital Area Council of Governments) that require rider
eligibility requirements with for individuals to qualify for the
program; the grant employees (drivers) are only allowed to be used for
grant programming eligible rides.
Tiffany M. Cabin, MS, CPRP
Division Manager - Centralized Program
Austin Parks and Recreation Department
200 South Lamar
Austin, Texas 78704

AUSTIN’S CAPITAL CITY SENIOR VILLAGE volunteers will drive their
members to polls, also.

Enterprising individuals might consider using their local Craig's List
to match rides and riders.


If you are a person who requires transportation assistance to your
polling place and you have a disability, it is encouraged for you to
use your usual means of transportation. Most urban transit systems
have their version of a paratransit system. Contact your local
paratransit and make a reservation ahead of time for a ride to your
polling site. If you are in a more rural setting, there are several
agencies and transportation services in the below stated list that may
be of assistance to you. Most of these services will cost a small fee
or may be covered by Medicaid. It is encouraged to contact these
companies and reserve a ride as well.
If there are rideshares in your area (Uber, Lyft, etc.) this could be
another transportation option, but it is strongly suggested to call
ahead and see if they have accessible cars if that is something you
require. Cab companies are required to be ADA compliant.
Also consider contacting your local independent living center to see
if they have some resources to offer. You may also consider dialing
411 and asking the operator if there are transportation resources in
your area.
If you should experience any kind of discrimination when trying to get
transportation assistance, or if someone will only offer you a ride if
you vote for a particular candidate please contact the Disability
Rights Texas Voter Hotline at 1-888-796-VOTE (8683).

Molly Broadway, LMSW
Training and Technical Specialist for Voting Rights
Disability Rights Texas | 2222 W. Braker Ln. | Austin, TX 78758
512.407.2725 direct | 512.323.0902 fax | 512.454.4816 main |
888.796.8683 voter rights hotline |

Important articles:

Corpus Christi Buses offer free rides to the polls…/ccrta-encourag…

Warren Buffet offers rides to the polls


With general questions, additions and corrections about this voting
service contact: Paul Silver

For the most recent update of this information go to:…/1M6DqxjWM5nglALz9p4lusiJT3I…/edit…

My thoughts on "Another Victory for Mexican-American Studies in San Antonio" by Angela Valenzuela

This story by San Antonio educator, writer, and activist, Léo Treviño, is about the exercise of political power and how it makes a difference.  Just like the highly contested struggle against the racist textbook by Jaime Riddle and Valarie Angle currently underway, this story is also about the San Antonio Mexican American community exerting its political power. 

Note:  While I was originally concerned about this report using the Mexican flag on its cover as a way to possibly send a mixed message and stoke nativist fears, I grew less concerned when I looked up the Rivard Report that published this out of San Antonio.  Whereas nativist and some colonized Mexican Americans themselves could still scream about this, the intention appears otherwise. Good.  Now I can move on.

There is much to learn from this story about Mexican American Studies (MAS) that recently came under fire in the Alamo Community College District (ACCD) that you can read more about here.  This struggle for MAS simultaneously underscores community struggles for inclusion in the curriculum, as well as the larger politics of education that are required in order for political minorities—beyond the imperative for curricular inclusion that demographic growth would seem to imply—to achieve substantial voice and presence in the college-level, curriculum.

As with any group and as captured in this piece, the Mexican American experience is so vast that it expands far beyond its traditional boundaries of Mexican American history and literature.  Yet, even this expansion of the curriculum requires an exertion of power with respect to the wishes and preferences of a community for whom one would think in 2016, such matters would not even be an issue.

To draw from Paolo Freire, in the best of worlds, we educate not to domesticate, but to liberate.  My own motivation for going to college was precisely this, to liberate myself and all of my instruction contributed—and continues to contribute to this.  Liberation is a process, not an end state.  We, myself included, are always embarked on de-colonizing our minds that in fact so much of the educational system through its curriculum and instruction, provides.  Sociology professor at Binghamton University, Aníbal Quijano from Peru, in fact addresses this with the concept of the "coloniality of power" (PDF en español;  PDF in English).

I'll resist going on a tangent here, but one of the reasons from the very beginning in the early 1990s when the neoliberal, charter school movement got off the ground that I never saw this as either our community's or as God's redemptive, long-awaited solution to all our problems in education, precisely because it largely left our culturally chauvinist curriculum untouched, while continuing to objectify our communities as objects to whom to administer curriculum, as opposed to communities with whom, in solidarity with its long and continuing history of struggle to forge common cause in and with our civil rights organizations, nonprofits, and community-based institutions.  Never mind their insatiable consumption of public, taxpayer dollars for private ends that "education management organizations [EMOs]" today represent as a whole...

To continue.  I further presume this liberatory disposition to be true of most"ethnic studies scholars" like myself that are differentially located throughout our colleges and universities again, depending on their own respective histories of struggle for inclusion as follows:  African American Studies, Jewish American, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Puerto Rican/Boricua Studies, Asian-American, Women and Gender Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, and so on.  

The historical accounts, theoretical frameworks, core concepts, and guiding research questions that they provide help move us to challenge beyond the system of instruction that is currently wedded at the K12 level to a prescriptive and scripted curricula such as that appearing in Common Core or in existing state standards that either ignore or are largely dismissive of the scholarship, knowledge, and frameworks emanating from these fields.  And even when there is cognizance for at least some teachers and some administrators that are able to link up Common Core and state standards to ethnic studies content, this knowledge may be siloed to "the multicultural education" side of the school, rather than positioned centrally in terms of how school is done, period.

We are domesticated when we think that existing curricular offerings as coming from God or the invisible hand of the market.  As someone in policy who has studied the history of the inextricably intertwined aspects of curriculum and the historical politics of education, nothing could be further from the truth.

Kudos to our friends in San Antonio for moving the needle with respect to the intellectually-inspiring knowledge base and pedagogy that portends a bright future of liberated, as opposed to domesticated, individuals and communities armed with a critically conscious mindset bent on transforming systems and institutions for the betterment of society, domestic tranquility, and humanity as a whole.   

Felicidades!  Congratulations!

Angela Valenzuela



#LibroTraficante @LibroTraficante @AztecMuse

#EthnicStudiesNow  #TxTABE 





Another Victory for Mexican-American Studies in San Antonio

A Mexican flag at the 19th Annual Cesar Chavez March for Justice in 2015.  Photo by Scott Ball.
Scott Ball / Rivard Report
A Mexican flag at the 19th Annual Cesar Chavez March for Justice in 2015. Photo by Scott Ball.

Despite the wide range of struggles that Mexican-American Studies (MAS) has faced since its inception in the 1960s, the academic field recently gained a significant victory that advocates and engaged Texans can be proud of.

Just last year, the Alamo Community College District (ACCD) came under fire when its board of trustees under Chancellor Bruce Leslie voted to remove majors from students’ academic records.

More recently, faculty, students, and supporters of San Antonio College (SAC) had ample reason to celebrate when the school’s new Mexican-American Studies Center opened its doors on the near-downtown campus.

Visitors entering the Chance Academic Center needed only follow the scent of burning sage through bland white hallways to a room where Linda Ximenes was blessing the future space of the MAS Program as well as attendees of the event.

Papel picado hung from the ceilings and lent color and authenticity to the purpose of the event. Bookshelves filled with books authored by writers of all ethnicities celebrated the essence of the Mexican-American experience solidifying the space as a center for academic excellence.
Son Jarocho musicians and dancers perform at the MAS center's grand opening.
Courtesy / Léo Treviño

Son Jarocho musicians and dancers perform at the MAS center’s grand opening.

After the blessing, attendees enjoyed an excerpt of a play penned by MAS program faculty member Mariano “Mono” Aguilar titled Adelita, which opens at the Josephine Theatre on Nov. 3, as well as a local group performing Son Jarocho, a regional folk music fusion of Spanish, indigenous, and African cultures that originated in the state of Veracruz in the Gulf Coast region of Mexico.

MAS Center and Program Coordinator Lisa Ramos wrote her dissertation for her Ph.D. in history on Mexican-American Civil Rights lawsuits and how the racial categorization of Mexican Americans as white affected identity politics and relationships.

“There were no real obstacles but we did have to follow procedural guidelines which takes time but once we submitted, approval followed,” Ramos said of her longtime vision coming into fruition in May.

She credited the smooth process to existing MAS programs and degrees that are offered at other ACCD campuses such as Northwest Vista, Palo Alto, and St. Phillip’s colleges. “We just followed the models from those campuses and developed the curriculum and program from there,” she explained.
Aguilar explained that a designated MAS office had not previously existed on campus. “We were all on different parts of the campus in our respective departments but getting approval for the program gave us the ability to request this space.”

He added that the only MAS courses that were offered prior to the center’s creation were Mexican-American history and Mexican-American literature. “We’re hoping to add more in the upcoming semesters,” Ramos added by laying out the order of things. “We’d received approval for the program in May, for this space in June, and the first classes began this fall semester in August.”

According to Ramos, planning and organizing for this endeavor began more than a year ago. “We’ve been working on the budget, finding people who can teach the courses, and figuring out how to get exposure (for) the course(s) through the school.”

Ramos also gave credit to Tammy Perez, who works in the Spanish department, for getting the course titles and numbers into the SAC catalog so they’re searchable. “That for us was the biggest success because when people are looking for the courses they want to take, we’re now an option.”
A list of MAS courses that can be found on the SAC catalog.
Courtesy / Léo Treviño
A list of MAS courses that can be found on the SAC catalog.

As for advertising the event and bringing attention to the center, “Mono (Aguilar) planned all the Hispanic Heritage Month events and incorporated this event into the planning,” Ramos explained.
SAC students seeking to expand their cultural base or gain insight into the Mexican-American experience in the Spring 2017 semester can look in the SAC catalog for Mexican-American History, Mexican-American Literature, and Mexican-American Politics. “We’ll be adding Mexican-American Fine Arts Appreciation in the Fall 2017 semester so hopefully that will bring in more interest than we already have.”

Ramos and her colleagues hope that that interest will extend beyond students who asked questions at the grand opening event or are already enrolled in MAS classes.

According to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Latinos make up 54.82% of San Antonio’s population, 59.4% of Bexar County’s, and the percentage of bilingual people in the Greater San Antonio Area is 34.21%.

These numbers speak to the fact that the community centered around Mexican-American Studies is thriving and growing. Students who decide to take MAS classes will be able transfer earned credits to a four-year institution such as the University of Texas at San Antonio, where the Mexican-American Studies program and degree has been in place for more than two decades.

Programs like these set a precedent for a more thoroughly developed social consciousness toward Mexican-American studies and for people who are critically engaged in their future. SAC’s MAS courses offer narratives not traditionally found outside of higher education, inspire learning beyond commonly held truths and values, and prove that the Mexican-American experience not only complements existing history, but is an integral part of it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I ‘Went Back to China’ — and Felt More American than Ever By Crystal Chen

Excellent piece in Foreign Policy on racism in China by an American-born Chinese individual that had been subjected to racism in the U.S.  I often tell my students that we are fortunate in the U.S. to at least have a live, vibrant discourse on race and racism which in many ways is one of our enduring national obsessions—and appropriately so given our values and the U.S. Constitution.  What must be remembered is that the ideology of white supremacy leaves no one untouched and that it is a global phenomenon as this piece well illustrates.

Thanks to my former student, Xialin Li, deputy director at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for sharing. He said this piece reminded him of the course on race and ethnicity that he took with me at UT.


I ‘Went Back to China’ — and Felt More American than Ever

I ‘Went Back to China’ — and Felt More American than Ever
On Oct. 9, New York Times metro reporter Michael Luo revealed that he and his family had been subject to a racist outburst on the streets of New York City’s posh Upper East Side. Readers, especially of Asian descent, were quick to volunteer their own stories in the aftermath, showing that while racism against Asians is not always in the U.S. public eye, it is widespread. I’d like to address this article to the woman who told the U.S.-born Luo and, to all those who may have harbored similar sentiments at one point or another — to “go back to China.”
My parents left China in the wake of Mao’s Cultural Revolution to seek refuge in American higher education in the 1970s, eventually becoming entrepreneurs. I was born in Ohio, raised in Nebraska and California, and attended Yale University in Connecticut. Six years before that woman on the streets of New York told Luo to go back to China, I had already done so. After graduating college, I moved to Hong Kong, a port city that has been the West’s gateway to China since the mid-1800s.
I believed the city, a place brutalized and molded by colonial forces before its return to China in 1997, was somehow like me: an East-meets-West pastiche. I also believed that Hong Kong, more multicultural, global, and outward-looking than any mainland city, was likely to be the most racially enlightened. But over six years of living and working there, I would learn just how racially progressive the United States was by comparison. It’s not just because anyone can speak up and defend themselves, but because doing so is embedded in our culture.
Growing up in Nebraska, I was “ching-chong’d” in school and asked why my eyes were so small. Later on, popular kids would compel me to do their homework with overtures of friendship, only to ignore me at recess. Even in relatively liberal California, I was bullied and shut out by the girls in my all-white Girl Scout troupe. My early life in white, Christian America impressed upon me the notion that my real friends, my real home, was where my parents had left it — back in China.
In college, I devoted myself to the notion. I holed myself up exclusively in Asian cultural clubs and worked to beef up my half-hearted, lisping Mandarin Chinese. I took classes in Chinese philosophy, sociology, and politics. Internships in Beijing and Shanghai and travels around the Mainland gave me a glimpse of what my new home would be like. After graduation, I secured a job in Hong Kong.
My mother, who had moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong to the United States, was distraught. “Why do you want to go back there?”
But much, I insisted, had changed. The mainland wasn’t the Mao-era hot mess she’d left behind; the 2008 Beijing Olympics painted a glorious image of a new Middle Kingdom, and Lehman Brothers’ collapse that same summer foretold an ominous future for the United States. Out in the dizzying economic rise of the Wild Wild East, opportunities abounded for those willing to work in a globalizing China, particularly in Hong Kong, which billed itself as “Asia’s World City” and was also deepening ties with the mainland.
What I didn’t tell my mother was that my desire to leave was primarily motivated by the possibility of escaping the unfriendly U.S. racial climate. In Asia, I wouldn’t have to deal with being “Asian.” I wouldn’t be a minority, much less a model one. For once, I was certain, my race wouldn’t matter.
I moved to Hong Kong in 2010 to work for a multinational education company and cast myself with a privileged lot of expatriates, huayi — ethnic Chinese who have grown up abroad. It was deeply comforting to be surrounded by people who looked like me. And because I spoke perfect English and had attended an Ivy League university, my social currency in status-conscious Hong Kong went further than most. I was not just able to “blend in” — I was privileged. I was heard, respected, and invited to glittering parties. Those first years in Hong Kong were beautiful, and easy.
But eventually, my conscience began to gnaw at me. At work, invisible walls divided colleagues by skin color. White managers who had worked all their lives in Asia sometimes looked surprised when I spoke up in perfect English to volunteer my opinion — a small thing, but revealing. A few seats away from my desk sat Filipino colleagues, often ignored or greeted with terse, awkward smiles when they tried to make conversation. I saw a Pakistani colleague of mine held at arm’s length during team happy hours, lonesome with his glass of wine while his colleagues buzzed around him. A Sri Lankan friend of mine working in investment banking cried when she was passed over for a raise once again.
The city’s thorny relationship with race was even more obvious outside of work. I remember dining with an Indian companion and being thoroughly ignored by the waitstaff, even beyond the standards of usually brusque Hong Kong service. Locals regularly complained to me about being paid less than their expat counterparts. And on the city’s streets, images of hapa women, men, and babies — half-white, half-Asian — were featured prominently on billboard ads, the city’s aspiration to whiteness hiding in plain sight.
Hong Kong is also home to hundreds of thousands of Filipino and Indonesian domestic helpers — 320,000, as of 2013. On Sundays, their day off, Hong Kong’s otherwise mostly hidden domestic helpers swarm public parks, much to the chagrin of locals who I’d hear complain of what they saw as their parks being “overrun.” Helpers who have served Hong Kong families loyally for decades cannot become permanent residents, dependent instead on a work visa that could be stripped from them at any moment. The 2016 Global Slavery Index compiled by Australia-based NGO Walk Free Foundation, which tracks government action on forced labor, human trafficking, and other conditions of modern slavery, ranked Hong Kong’s government in the bottom 5 percent worldwide. Reports surface regularly about domestic workers being beaten or sexually abused by their employers. These people served me cocktails, cooked the food I ate, bussed my plates without a sound, painted my nails, massaged me, and cleaned my apartment. “That’s just capitalism,” my erudite friends would say, but I couldn’t shake the truth that my privilege floated on cheap Southeast Asian labor and the diminished social position they occupied.
With each year that passed, I became increasingly aware of the morally fragile foundations of the lifestyle I enjoyed. I had believed that spiriting myself to Hong Kong would mean that I wouldn’t have to face racial discrimination anymore. Bewitched by the possibility of transcending the racial totem pole, I only later realized that I had merely relocated to the top, and the view wasn’t what I expected. Being brought up in the United States meant my standards for racial equality were forged in a culture built around the dissent, dialogue, and disruption that the First Amendment vouchsafes.
It was only after six years in Hong Kong that I began to understand why people leave their countries to come to the United States, and why it’s so difficult to repatriate. You can’t unlearn what you’ve learned or unsee what you’ve seen. Neither could I unlearn the promises of equality that I’d repeated every time I took the Pledge of Allegiance.
I had been running away for a long time. I had run away from being a “victim” of American racism to become part of the perpetrating class in Hong Kong. I had hid from the yellow face in the mirror and pretended, with my perfect English and my elite education, that I was someone else. I had tried to “go back to China,” only to find myself more American than I’d realized. But I’m not running away anymore. I’ve found that my “home” isn’t limited to a physical place. It’s not in Hong Kong, China, or the United States. It’s in the people I love and the work that needs doing. It’s in the values I hold that grow and change over time.
So, to all those who have ever wanted people like me to “go back” to China: My home is on a bridge as short as a hyphen and as wide as the Pacific Ocean. My home is an in-between place, as it is for all Americans who remember their roots, their history,  and the journey that got them here. My home is a compromise; a discussion; a negotiation.
With you.

Free, Online Children's Books & Resources in Spanish and English for Parents, Teachers, and Children


Me da gusto de compartir una lista de recursos gratuitos en línea de alfabetización para los niños y niñas. Disfruta!

I am happy to share a list of free, online literacy resources for children.  Enjoy!


• Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.  .

• Interactive Stories in Spanish

• International Children's Books

Cuentos Infantiles Gratis en (free children's books in Spanish on

• Cuentos Cortos Para Niñ@s/Short Stories for Kids

• Childtopia

Tenemos muchas actividades para lectores de todas las edades y de todos los niveles de comprensión que proveen oportunidades para aprender interactuando con amigos, hermanos, y con los padres. Lo mejor es que ¡son súper divertidas!

Friday, October 21, 2016

"Diversity" on Cable News, Tokenism, and False Charity by Angela Valenzuela

Here is a critical piece from 2014 on the lack of diversity on cable news that draws on a study to which you can also link below.  I'm guessing that diversity has gotten somewhat better because of the elections although I still see a pattern, including the relative invisibility of Latin@s and Asians/Asian-Americans.  Not that African Americans aren't also under-represented, but that this invisibility is striking not only relative to the large concentrations and rates of demographic increase, but also in terms of the significant play of immigration as a central issue in the current election.  

This bias contributes to the reduction of immigration to a policy issue that not only lacks depth and a human face, but also contributes to immigrants' dehumanization, documented and undocumented alike. This is a wholly inaccurate portrait that negates injustice, violence, and exploitation that so many of them face.  

This is why so much of the work that many of us do in our communities is precisely aimed toward uplift and recovering their/our lost humanity.  And it's not just the immigrants that recover it, but oppressors and oppressive systems themselves.  

A related point.  The illusion of inclusion of the token representation of African American, Latin@, or Asian Americans here and there remains problematic and can even get cast as "false charity."  A quote from Paolo Freire's  Chapter 1 of PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSED  is in order:
This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed:to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors who oppress, exploit and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any attempt to "soften" the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their "generosity," the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well. An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this "generosity," which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source. 
True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the "rejects of life," to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands -- whether of individuals or entire peoples -- need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.
You may read the rest of the chapter here.
Diversity is not simply a "nice" thing to do.  Its absence—or token, reductive presence, as the case may be—distorts history and lived experience and is antithetical to the goals of democracy in a complex, multinational, multiracial, and multilingual world.

Angela Valenzuela

07/16/2014 11:53 am ET | Updated Jul 17, 2014

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Texas Book Festival 2016 -- Nov. 5-6, 2016 Texas State Capitol

If you have never been to the Texas Book Festival, you have truly missed out.  It takes place annually in Austin, Texas.  It is scheduled this year for Nov. 5th and 6th.

It’s free and open to the public.  It’s child friendly.  You can meet authors, buy books for all ages, listen to music, hear storytelling, and attend great panels and presentations.  For more information, go their website at:


The big $660 billion immigration issue the candidates are not talking about

It's amazing to consider what get lost when you're too busy hating or because it's simply not part of your experience or conceptual toolkit to be able to see what's right under your nose.

Some get it, but many more do not.

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The big $660 billion immigration issue the candidates are not talking about

There is a huge issue the presidential candidates are not talking about when it comes to immigration: the rise of Hispanic entrepreneurs and their influence and power in the U.S. economy.
Yet it should be on their radar.
Jordi Carbonell, owner of the Cafe Con Leche coffee shop, brings an order to customers at the shop in the Mexicantown neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, Michigan.
Bryan Mitchell | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jordi Carbonell, owner of the Cafe Con Leche coffee shop, brings an order to customers at the shop in the Mexicantown neighborhood of Southwest Detroit, Michigan.
There are now 4 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The rank and file of this entrepreneurial group keeps rising. That's because they have been starting businesses at a pace 15 times the national average over the last decade. And these firms have been a great contributor to the U.S. economy when you consider their company revenues skyrocketed by 88 percent during this period, to approximately $661 billion, the chamber reports.

Where is the bulk of entrepreneurial activity? The Midwest is the region that has been experiencing the highest percentage of growth. It grew by more than 30 percent during the period. This is attributed to many factors, including the migration of Hispanics to the region for jobs and a low cost of living, according to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It is followed by the Pacific Northwest — California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska — which grew by 25 percent.
My hope is that the presidential candidates will recognize this key trend as part of their overall discussion on immigration policy. We need to recognize the value this ethnic minority has in creating jobs and prosperity in the United States.
An estimated 55 million Hispanics live in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and at 17 percent of the country's population, people of Hispanic origin are the country's largest ethnic or racial minority.
Projections by the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that 120 million Hispanics will compose 28.6 percent of the U.S. population by 2060.
Among those of Hispanic origin currently in the country: 64 percent are of Mexican background, followed by Puerto Ricans (9.5 percent), Cubans (3.7 percent), Salvadorans 3.7 percent, Dominicans (3.3 percent) and Guatemalans (2.4 percent). The Census Bureau found that 38.4 million (73.3 percent) speak Spanish at home and an estimated 35.2 percent are foreign-born. More than two-thirds of Hispanics (67 percent) age 16 and older are in the civilian labor force.
The growth of Hispanic-owned businesses is demonstrated in a September Biz2Credit's study of 25,000 small businesses. It included 2,000 Hispanic entrepreneurs who applied for business financing on the online platform over the past 12 months.
The study showed that the number of loan applications by Hispanic entrepreneurs made through online lending marketplace grew by 68.7 percent in the past 12 months and that Hispanic-owned companies had average annual revenues of $202,327, up from $68,540 the previous year.
Our research found that the top five states for Hispanic-owned small-business loan applications were California (23 percent), Texas (19.7 percent), New York (9 percent), Florida (8.1 percent) and Arizona (3.8 percent). All five states combined represented nearly two-thirds of loan requests by Hispanic entrepreneurs on Biz2Credit's platform, but Hispanic entrepreneurship has grown all across the country.
Meanwhile, non-Hispanic-owned companies had average annual revenues of $206,855, an increase from $70,645 in 2015, according to Biz2Credit's study of more than 25,000 small businesses, including more than 2,000 Hispanic entrepreneurs who applied for business financing on the online platform in the last year.
A major takeaway from this study is that small businesses have been performing well in the past year, and many of them are looking to expand their operations. Our analysis also revealed that the gap between non-Hispanic and Hispanic businesses is shrinking considerably.
Average net income for Hispanic businesses grew substantially in a year-to-year comparison, jumping from an average of $50,205 in 2015 to $132,693 in 2016. In comparison, non-Hispanic business owners' average annual net incomes were approximately 8 percent lower in 2016. Meanwhile, average operating expenses represented 34 percent ($69,633) of the revenue of Hispanic-owned companies, while non-Hispanic companies had average operating expenses of 41 percent ($84,700) of their revenues.
Hispanic entrepreneurs had a lower average credit score (595) than non-Hispanic business owners (608), and their companies were younger in terms of months in operation (28 months vs. 30 months) on average for all other companies. Retail trade (15.3%), accommodations/food services (13.2%) and construction (10.2%) were the three most common industries for Hispanic entrepreneurs.
The fact that the average credit score for Hispanic entrepreneurs falls below 600 is still a cause for concern, because that is a benchmark that many banks use before they even consider processing a loan request.

The champions behind this trend

So what's driving this trend? There are many reasons, among them some high-profile champions for Hispanic-owned businesses.
The SBA, led by Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, a Mexican-born immigrant, has been a driving force for a number of initiatives for Hispanic-owned companies since assuming her position. In May 2015 the agency launched a Spanish-language version of its website,, to accommodate Spanish speakers. This has enabled countless entrepreneurs who do not speak English as their primary language to enjoy the benefits that the SBA offers to entrepreneurs across the nation.
As the Hispanic population continues to grow, it is critical to make sure they receive the funding and assistance to help grow their businesses. While we are seeing a greater percentage of Hispanics enter small-business ownership, there is still room for improvement.
This is an important topic that neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton are talking about, but it should be on their radar.

—By Rohit Arora, CEO and co-founder of Biz2Credit, a leading online marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with small-business loan options.