Welcome to Messi Madness aka my son's third birthday. I was a year behind in posting last year's pictures, so this year I am getting on it right away.My little man is absolutely crazy about soccer and of course Lionel Messi. He runs through our home yelling "Mama soy Messi y mi hermano es Neymar Jr." When we asked him what theme he wanted for his birthday he had many ideas. But in the end he narrowed it down to FC Barcelona and Frida Kahlo. While we didn't end up with the Frida theme this year, he did insist on leaving the Frida Kahlo painting up in the kitchen so that everyone the party would see it.Some of the highlights of the party included: a chocolate fondant soccer ball cake, royal icing soccer jersey and soccer ball cookies, chocolate soccer ball lollipops, lots of FCB diecuts (made on the Cricut Explore), chocolate covered Oreos with soccer toppers, a FCB fruit platter, and of course FCB gear for the whole family.My little boy delighted that we FINALLY allowed him to eat a royal icing cookie.The desert table.The chocolate fondant soccer ball cake.Chocolate soccer ball lollipops.Royal icing cookies.Our family in full FC Barcelona gear.The epic FCB fruit platter made by my dear friend Lamia.Custom plates for the birthday boy.Our awesome photographer also wore FCB gear.Chocolate soccer balls.I wish I had more time to decorate the porch, but with two small children I had to pick my "battles" and decided to focus my energy on the inside. However my wonderful papi made the impossible happen and somehow magically jerry rigged this flag into place. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the DELICIOUS tacos from Cafe Catedral- hands down the best party food ever.And of course my little Messi periodically stopped partying and got in some serious kicks.Stay tuned for photos of my second son's first birthday coming in August. This will be our second Elmo themed birthday, as my first son also celebrated his first birthday in Elmo style.Photos by Nick Cartwright
I had the privilege of interviewing DREAM activist and community leader Tanya Cabrera for New Futuro. Check out this video with Cabrera detailing the educational rights of undocumented students, and share the full article with any interested students.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHkUJ8ZVZG8&w=480&h=270]
UPDATE: Due to tech difficulties, we will be re-airing last week's Spanish interview with Doña Catalina, Guatemalan community activist and leader. Our interview with Tanya, Maria, and Taylor will be airing next week 7/22.Learn about college opportunities for undocumented students on today's Poco a Poco radio show. We interviewed Tanya Cabrera, the Associate Director of Minority Outreach and Undocumented Student Liaison at IIT and IIT student leaders Maria Gonzalez and Taylor Hayes.Maria Gonzalez, a brilliant sociology major and undocumented student leader, shares her experiences transferring from a Harold Washington, a Chicago City College, to the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she received an almost a full ride to college. Maria discovered that while private institutions may not blatantly say "this funding is for undocumented students" they are not dependent on state funding, so their requirements are often such that you do not need to fill out a FAFSA to be considered. She encourages students to seek out these resources.This interview covers every thing from: talking to your family, talking to your counselor, finding funding sources for college, supporting your child, the Dream Act, and being and ally to the movement. Tune into today 7/15 to Poco a Poco at 1:30 CST on http://wluw.org or for those folks in Chicago, you can listen on the radio on WLUW 88.7 FM.
Is being half-Jewish, like being half-pregnant? Yes.Intrigued? Want to hear more?I have the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Half Jewish?" The Heirs of Intermarriage conference at Northwestern University, which runs from 4/20-4/22. My Friday night talk will center around the construction and the perpetuation of fractured cultural identities. On Saturday my dear friend Yoni Sarason, aka The St. Lou Jew, aka Midwest Director of Birthright Next, will be speaking on a panel with Dan Libenson, moderated by Denise Handlarski. Come check out the conference. Meet some lefty Jews. Learn and mingle.Register here.
Ladies and Gents, life is good. I am the Creative Director for New Futuro.New Futuro provides Latino families with fully bilingual resources and tools to get students into college and beyond! We are committed to making you an education rockstar! We will teach you how to get into the college of your dreams with money to pay for it. It's all about making the right classes at the right time, knowing the right people, and getting involved with the right groups. College is your future, so why should it be a challenge to get there? New Futuro will help you achieve your dreams through education! Read more about my #awesome creative team here.
repost of press release from www.delvalleformayor.comDel Valle envisions new youth leaders emerging from campaignFebruary 22, 2011 (CHICAGO)-- After an impassioned campaign on behalf of Chicago’s neighborhoods, Miguel del Valle pledged to keep fighting for a citywide progressive agenda.“What will be your role?” del Valle asked a crowd of supporters at his campaign’s Election Night party at Revolution Brewing restaurant. “We’ve started something here. All the young people in this room--there are future leaders here, I know that.”State Senator Iris Martinez and State Representative Cynthia Soto introduced del Valle who welcomed his wife, daughter, and three sons to the stage. The entire family worked on the campaign, from recruiting and organizing volunteers to shooting YouTube videos.“This was a grassroots effort,” Sen. Martinez said. “And it was a victory for everyone in this room.”Del Valle led citywide conversations on issues ranging from neighborhood schools to the parking meter contract. “We set the agenda,” del Valle said. “An agenda that means progress for all, not for some.” A diverse coalition rallied behind that agenda, including seniors, veterans, and high school students.Del Valle has always said that time, not his opponents, was his worst enemy during the race. Tonight, he encouraged his supporters to keep believing in the city they envisioned during the campaign.“Give it time,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight. But I have been inspired by the number of people who want change in this city. And we’re not going to get that change without organizing our neighborhoods.”Huddled around tables and on staircases, volunteers continued to discuss a citywide organizing vision for Chicago’s communities. They batted around ideas for new models to improve neighborhoods, formed new relationships, and continued to build the coalition started during del Valle’s campaign.“Chicago is ready for reform,” del Valle said. “I know that because a lot of people did not vote in this election. They feel disgusted about Chicago politics. And we have to give ‘em hope.”
Artist Statement and BioEscobar-Morales is a team comprised of Maya Escobar and Andria Morales. The two artists, based in Chicago and Philadelphia respectively, have been working together over the Internet since 2010. They produce digital media and performance art that explores the role of self-representation in visual culture and its ability to deconstruct ingrained ideological conventions. By locating their performances online where they are free from restrictions of time and place, Escobar-Morales is able to concurrently enact multiple personas while simultaneously creating a unified hybrid self.Maya Escobar was born in Chicago, IL in 1984. Andria Morales was born in 1982 in New York, NY. Escobar received a BFA from the School of the Art Institue of Chicago (2007) and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis (2009); Morales received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania (2004) and an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University (2008).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (please forward or repost)
CPS Students Campaign for Miguel del Valle, Video Goes Viral
Tuesday, February 1, 2011, Chicago – High school students may not vote, but they can still impact elections. On Sunday, January 29, students from Sullivan HS in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the northside, wrote and starred in a campaign ad for Miguel del Valle that got over 1,000 hits in the first 48 hours on YouTube and Facebook. Their message is clear, Del Valle is the candidate who will invest in public education for all students, who like them who do not go to selective enrollment or charter schools. No press outlets caught Rahm Emanuel's slip up, played twice in the video, until today when the Huffington Post picked up the story.Christina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar and Alexandra Alvarez, in order of appearance, scripted the video in a neighbors living room before filming outside their school an hour later. Their effort to mobilize their community to support Miguel del Valle has been developing ever since they went to the Mayoral debate for youth put on by Mikva Challenge last month. Inspired by del Valle and angered by the other candidates they got together with the Latino Club, and tireless sponsor Jackie Rosa.Last week they stopped by the newly opened northside office for Miguel del Valle, to learn to canvass their neighborhood.The video uses a clip from the WGN Mayoral debate in which Rahm Emanuel wrongly states that "if you take away Northside Prep and Walter Payton, the seven best performing schools are all charters". The next seven in fact, the top nine performing Chicago schools are all public. The video clearly questions anyone who would vote for a Mayor who does not care enough about the students in public school to even do his homework. Delivered with passion and confidence, the last words the students leave us ring true "you want a real school turnaround? Invest in us!".Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afonAiiMTm8Press Contacts:Carlos [email protected] @cdrosaJackie [email protected] @floreciendo_coSandi [email protected] @floreciendo_co
A group of Chicago high school students has decided to take Rahm Emanuel to task for his education policy.
Cristina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar, and Alexandra Alvarez appear in a YouTube video, uploaded Sunday, entitled "Invest in Our Public Schools." The spot attacks Emanuel for his praise of the city's charter schools, and backs rival candidate Miguel del Valle for supporting neighborhood schools.
"I go to Roger C. Sullivan High School," says Henriquez. "This is not one of the schools Rahm Emanuel cares about."
The students, who wrote the script for the video, according to its description on YouTube, also point out what they describe as a factual inaccuracy in Emanuel's portrayal of the city's charters. "When you take out North Side, and you take out Walter Payton, the seven best-performing high schools are all charters."
"Someone didn't do their homework," the video says, listing the seven top schools as reported by the Chicago Tribune. None of them is a charter school.
The video says it has no connection to any candidate, and judging by the del Valle camp's reaction, they seem to be telling the truth. Spokeswoman Joanna Klonsky didn't know much about the video's origins, except to say that "we didn't orchestrate it."
Watch the students take on Rahm:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afonAiiMTm8]On January 30, 2011 Chicago Public school students and graduates (from Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood) got together to film a grass-roots/guerilla campaign ad to "tell it like it is," and support the best candidate to improve our neighborhood public schools.The footage used is filmed outside of Roger C. Sullivan High School and from WGN's January 27th mayoral debate. The stars and script writers of this ad are Sullivan HS students (in order of appearance) Cristina Henriquez, Gerardo Aguilar, and Alexandra Alvarez.On February 22, 2011 vote to improve our neighborhood schools - Miguel del Valle!http://www.delvalleformayor.comThis ad was not paid for or endorsed by any candidate or candidate's committee. Labor & love donated.Source of top seven high schools: Chicago Tribune
Camilla Fojas, Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul UniversityIf you missed the Nov 5-6, 2010 "Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies" conference or any of the keynote talks or the welcoming address, you can now download the videos here via iTunesU.
- November 5th Welcoming Remarks by DePaul's Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean Charles Suchar and conference organizers Camilla Fojas, Wei Ming Dariotis, and Laura Kina.
- November 5th Keynote Address by Andrew Jolivette "Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation"
- November 6th Keynote Address by Mary Beltran "Everywhere and Nowhere: Mediated Mixed Race and Mixed Race Critical Studies"
- November 6th Keynote Address by Louie Gong "Halfs and Have Nots"
¿Sabes una cosa? ¡A los Chicagüenses les encanta comer elotes! En el verano, puedes encontrar elotes en muchos vecindarios, especialmente en los parques.Aquí hay una colección de vídeos donde el tema principal son los elotes. Si tú tienes un vídeo de elotes, por favor compártelo aquí.Y pronto tendremos recetas saludables e interesantes de elotes en Are You My Other?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epv1oYmIX5Q][youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZb8XYAeufw][youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r887rSMq6fQ][youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viI2opape6k][youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJm5Zw76vvI]
Come join me at the 1st annual Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies, at DePaul University in Chicago, November 5-6, 2010.
The CMRS conference brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines nationwide. Recognizing that the diverse disciplines that have nurtured Mixed Race Studies have reached a watershed moment, the 2010 CMRS conference is devoted to the general theme “Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies.”Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) is the transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions of race. CMRS emphasizes the mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. CMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.
I will be presenting at the conference on November 5th in a roundtable discussion moderated by Laura Kina, on the use of arts in challenging racial ideologies. My next post will include more information on the roundtable and on my fellow panelists: Alejandro T. Acierto, Tina Ramirez, and Jonathan Reinert.
Fredrico Martinez, who joined other workers in a prayer vigil, said he had worked at the factory for nine years.
Republic Windows, a Chicago company since 1965, closed it's doors on Friday, December 5, leaving 300 workers without a job, and only a 3 day notice. Under the WARN Act this is illegal, and the company must give at least 60 days notice. Workers have occupied the plant and are demanding that if the plant stays closed, they receive the wages, severance, vacation pay due them--totally $1 million.
Here are some things you can do to help:
1. Donate to the strike fund the families of the workers have to eat, pay rent and utilities, while they are occupying the plant. Donations should be sent to UE Local 1110 at 37 S. Ashland Chicago, IL 60607.
2. Bring friends to the plant to show solidarity, workers can get very de-moralized if they feel like people are just going on with their lives while they are putting themselves at such risk, so any small group of people can be very helpful to the morale. We invite you to sign our solidarity posters and visit with workers.
3. Call Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis. Say that you are a concerned member of the community who is disturbed by BoA's apparent disregard for people's livelihoods by forcing republic windows to shut down without paying people their vacation and WARN act pay. BoA just got $25 Billion from taxpayers precisely to make credit lines like the Republic Windows line work. Calls help, but so do emails and faxes to the CEO. Jobs with Justice National web site has an action email you can send to BofA.
Talks Fail to End Sit-In at Closed Factory
CHICAGO — As workers at a window-making plant here prepared to spend a fourth night in the factory they had been told to leave for good, union leaders, bankers and company owners met into the night on Monday but the meetings ended without bringing about an end to the workers’ peaceful but increasingly tense occupation of the plant.
The layoff of 250 workers last week at Republic Windows and Doors on the North Side with only three days’ warning and without pay the workers say is owed to them had, by Monday, drawn the attention of nearly every politician with a connection to this city, numerous union and workers’ rights groups and scores of ordinary people, who arrived at the plant offering families toys, food and money.
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, who met with the workers Monday morning, said the State of Illinois was suspending its business with the Bank of America, Republic Windows’ lenders, and that the Illinois Department of Labor was poised to file a complaint over the plant closing if need be. Political leaders on the Chicago City Council and in Cook County threatened similar actions. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez said he was encouraging the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice to investigate. “Families are already struggling to keep afloat,” Mr. Blagojevich said.
Workers here say they blame the operators of Republic Windows and Doors, a manufacturing company that was founded in 1965, for giving them just three days’ notice before closing last Friday, with no earlier hints to the employees that orders for vinyl windows and sliding doors had fallen off.
Late Monday, the company released a statement that indicated that it had known since at least mid-October that it intended to close the factory by January. The statement suggested that it had gone back and forth with Bank of America for more than a month, but that the bank had rejected several of its “wind down” plans as well as the company’s request for financing to pay workers’ owed vacation.
The statement also revealed that the family of Richard Gillman, once a minority shareholder who in 2006 and 2007 bought out Republic, last month formed a new window business — Echo Windows LLC. All along, workers here said they feared the owners were shutting down to reopen a cheaper operation somewhere else. A trade publication reported last week that Echo had recently bought a window manufacturing plant in Red Oak, Iowa. No one from Republic could be reached for comment.
“It is looking like reopening is exactly what happened,” said Tara Taffera, the editor and publisher of the publication, Door and Window Manufacturing magazine.
The company’s statement said it had been placed, “in the impossible position of not having the ability to further reduce fixed costs, coupled with severe constrictions in the capital debt markets and an unwillingness of the current debt holder to continue funding the operations.”
The workers here also blamed Bank of America for preventing the owners from paying its workers for already-earned vacation time and severance. Workers here said the owners told them last week that Bank of America had cut off the company’s credit line and would not allow payments.
As part of government bailout efforts for the struggling banking industry, Bank of America has received $15 billion, and is expected to receive an additional $10 billion. That fact left many workers here seething.
“Taxpayers would like to see that bailout money go toward saving jobs, not saving C.E.O.’s,” said Leah Fried, an organizer for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. “This is outrageous.” [...]