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Rock and Roll and Resistance: A Conversation with Alejandro Escovedo

 08/11/2017 - 12:25
Alejandro Escovedo for Burn Something Beautiful by Nancy Rankin Escovedo 

Mexican-American musician and activist Alejandro Escovedo elucidates on his immigrant roots, his take on the government, his brush with death, and how the stories he feels compelled to compose transcend the genre of rock and roll. Escovedo will be strumming alongside Texan legend Joe Ely at Ardmore Music Hall on August 19th, 2017.

[OP-ED]: In his dealings with Trump, Comey was no hero

 06/12/2017 - 08:32
Former FBI Director James Comey departs a closed committee meeting which followed his much-anticipated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the FBI's investigation into the Trump administration, and its possible collusion with Russia during the campaign, in the Hart Senate office Building in Washington, DC, USA. EFE

It’s now clear that James Comey is a highly capable lawyer with only one client: James Comey.

The former FBI director may not need an attorney. But he could really use a public relations firm to help him rehabilitate his image. 

That’s because, if you paid attention to Comey’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, you know that President Trump isn’t the only person with a credibility problem.

[OP-ED]: The importance of minority teachers in our schools

 04/27/2017 - 14:30
According to a new statistical analysis by the U.S. Department of Education, even though minority teachers remain underrepresented, both the number and proportion of minority teachers in elementary and high schools grew by 104 percent between 1987-88 and 2011-12, compared with 38 percent growth in the number of white teachers.

Black teachers make a difference.

I know because I attended a prestigious college-preparatory public high school in the heart of Chicago where approximately half of the teachers were black. They included my AP Biology teacher and AP English teacher, several of my art teachers, one of my history teachers, a chemistry teacher -- and probably many more I’m forgetting in the haze of the past quarter-century.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

[OP-ED]: A Latino health-outreach program is a reminder that it’s all in the name

 02/14/2017 - 14:21
A decade ago, the hot medical news was the emerging use of “promotoras” -- Spanish-speaking Latina community volunteers who worked with medical organizations to coordinate health outreach activities in their neighborhoods -- as a cutting-edge tactic to produce better outcomes in predominantly Mexican populations suffering from obesity, diabetes and other ailments.

If culture can be used as a currency to understand and serve a community, it can also be a trap, if the culture is painted with too broad a brush. We think we “know” the so-called Hispanic community -- generalizing to certain tropes about language, love of family, deference to authority figures, etc. -- and we rarely stop to question whether our initial assessments still hold true.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

[OP-ED]: Viewing minorities as monolithic groups only exacerbates inequality

 01/31/2017 - 15:29
People along with members of the Senate and the US House. Participate at a rally in opposition to the US President's immigration ban. Donald Trump, in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. EFE

“Disaggregation” is not a word that rolls off the tongue easily. But the concept of separating a whole into its distinct parts is one that we should embrace when it comes to statistics about minorities.

The time when it was sufficient to break out data by simple race or ethnicity segments has past. Demographics and new sociological and scientific understanding about the people that make up the broad categories of black, Asian and Hispanic tell us that these labels are becoming increasingly blunt instruments when we look at public health and education policy.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda

[OP-ED]: Helping kids handle the ‘Trump Effect’ in our nation’s schools

 01/24/2017 - 14:13

In North Carolina, a high school teacher said she has “Latino students who carry their birth certificates and Social Security cards to school because they are afraid they will be deported.”
 

A new study by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy organization, says that more than two-thirds of 2,000 teachers surveyed reported students -- mainly immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims -- expressing concerns or fears about what might happen to them or their families during a Trump presidency.

Since the election, more than half of teachers have seen an increase in uncivil political discourse in their schools or classrooms, and more than one-third report having observed an increase in anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment.

Plain Text Author: 
Esther Cepeda