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Archive for the ‘Civil Rights’ Category

Martí, Then and Now

In the historic center of Tampa, there is a park named for the Cuban writer and revolutionary José Martí. We recall how some of the comments he made about late 19th Century U.S. politics are still relevant.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Voxxi.

Noticiando: Peace Passage

Since poet and writer Javier Sicilia’s 24-year-old son was killed by Mexican drug cartels last year, he has worked to end the violence that has already claimed tens of thousands of victims since 2006. He is leading a Caravan for Peace from San Diego to Washington, DC to raise awareness about the victims of the drug war affecting Mexico and the U.S. We speak to Pepe Rivera, one of the organizers of the caravan.

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José -Pepe- Rivera is a coordinator of the Documentation Commission of the Movement for Peace with Justice & Dignity, where he documents victims of the war on drugs and prohibition. He is also a coordinator for the Communications Commission for Caravan for Peace. He is a documentary photographer and consultant, and he has worked for the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Mexican United Nations Association.

Car Wash Wage Theft

Big city carwash workers often work long hours for little pay with few protections from chemicals.  State prosecutors are now investigating and punishing abusive employers, and a new campaign by community organizations is encouraging workers to demand respect for their rights.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Wash New York.

Andrés Caballero has been an active contributor to Latino USA for more than a year. He holds a M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism, and a B.S. in Political Science from Notre Dame De Namur University. He covers issues that affect Latinos across the U.S., and he has also contributed to New America Media, the Hispanic Link News Service in Washington D.C., and El Tecolote in San Francisco.

Noticiando: Violence in Anaheim, California

After police shot 24-year-old Manuel Diaz while running away unarmed on July 21, neighbors in Anaheim, California began to challenge police for overuse of force.  In response, police fired weapons at the angry residents, and unleashed a dog that charged a man who was on the floor next to a woman and child on a stroller. Several people were injured. For more about what led to this confrontation, we speak to Gustavo Arellano, the editor of the alternative newspaper the OC Weekly. 

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Gustavo Arellano is editor of the OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in California. Gustavo also writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated and award-winning column. His most recent book is “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.”


What does the “papers, please” provision of SB 1070 mean for Latinos? Anthony Romero, the executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union, talks to host Maria Hinojosa and outlines how the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona immigration law SB 1070, why he considers it legalized racial profiling, as well as next steps on the community and legal fronts.

Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of Favianna Rodriguez.

Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. He took the helm of the organization just four days before the September 11, 2001 attacks.  Romero also led the ACLU in establishing the John Adams Project, a joint effort with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to assist the under-resourced military defense lawyers in the Guantánamo military commissions. Born in New York City to parents who hailed from Puerto Rico, Romero was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. He is a member of the New York Bar Association and has sat on numerous nonprofit boards.


We speak to three self-styled “dreamers” about their hopes and fears just after President Obama announced an executive order that would halt the deportations of some young undocumented people.

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Prerna Lal is a student at The George Washington University Law School. She is the co-founder of DreamActivist.Org, and she also serves as a board member for Immigration Equality, an organization that advocates for the rights of LGBT immigrants.


Mohammad Abdollahi is originally from Iran. He came to the U.S. when he was three and became undocumented after en error in his paperwork process. He is one of the founders of National Immigrant Youth Alliance. He was also arrested in 2010 while protesting for passage of the DREAM Act at the Tucson offices of Sen. John McCain.


Lizbeth Mateo is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. She grew up in Los Angeles where she went to school and became the first in her family to graduate from Cal State University, Northridge. Lizbeth is co-founder of DreamActivist California and The National Immigrant Youth Alliance – an undocumented youth-LED network of grassroots organizations, campus-based student groups and individuals committed to achieving equality for all immigrant youth, regardless of their legal status.

What’s Next?

The devil is in the details. We look into implementation and politics in the wake of Obama’s executive order allowing young people to stay and work legally in the U.S. We speak to lawyer and immigration columnist Allan Wernick about who is affected, who should apply and what to watch out for. And for a picture of the political landscape, we talk to Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and DREAMer Jose Antonio Vargas.

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Allan Wernick is a professor at Baruch College and he is the director of Citizen Now program at the City University of New York. He is a published author on U.S. immigration and citizenship issues and he is also a columnist for the New York Daily News and King Features Syndicate.


Jose Antonio Vargas is an award-winning journalist who has worked for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia News, The Washington Post and the Huffington Post. Born in the Philippines, Vargas moved to the United States at a young age. His experience as an undocumented immigrant has influenced many aspects of his work. In 2008, Vargas and his team won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. Most recently, Vargas’ story, “Not Legal, not leaving,” appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.

Vicki the Crime Fighter

For Vickie Cruz, coming out as a trans young woman in the 1960s meant learning to defend herself physically and emotionally. But with the support of her large Puerto Rican family, she used her experiences to help victims of sexual and domestic violence, earning her a Crime Victims Service Award this year from the U.S. Attorney General’s office. Von Diaz reports.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Merel van Beeren.

Von Diaz is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. Her reporting focuses on immigration, Cuba, and LGBT issues. She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, GA. She is a Feet in Two Worlds fellow, and has published her work on PRI’s The World, WNYC, and New American Media.

Private Prison Riot

One guard died and twenty people were injured in a riot at a privately run immigrant prison on May 21, raising more questions about how these prisons are run. We speak to David Fathi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project for an overview on the private incarceration system.

Photo courtesy of:

Click here to download this week’s show.


David Fathi is the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project. The ACLU project challenges to conditions of confinement in prisons, jails, and other detention facilities and works to end US overreliance on incarceration. From 2007 to 2010 he was Director of the US Program at Human Rights Watch, which works to defend the rights of particularly vulnerable groups in the United States.


Florida officials are purging non-citizen voters from their rolls less than six months before the presidential elections. Does this guard the ballot for eligible voters, or is it a way to keep Latinos, Blacks and Democrats from voting? For a closer look at Florida’s most recent voter measure, we talk to Myrna Perez, the Senior Counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.

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Myrna Perez is a senior counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a legal research and advocacy organization at New York University. She also works on a variety of voting rights related issues, including redistricting, voter registration list maintenance, and access to the ballot box. Before joining the center, Ms. Pérez was the Civil Rights Fellow at Relman & Dane, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C.


The federal immigration enforcement program called Secure Communities went into effect recently in New York, and under the program, information about people arrested by local police can be turned over to U.S. Immigration and potentially lead to their deportation. We speak to Lucía Gomez-Jimenez, the executive director of La Fuente’s New York and Long Island Civic Participation Project, an organization that focuses on immigrant and workers’ rights issues.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Lucía Gomez-Jimenez is the executive director of La Fuente’s New York and Long Island Civic Participation Project, an organization that focuses on immigrant and worker rights issues. She was previously the Community Affairs representative for New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera and a Policy Fellow for the National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP) since 2009. She also served as the Assistant to the Governor for Community Affairs for Governor David Paterson of New York.

Precious Knowledge

The Mexican American Studies Program at a local high school in Tucson, Arizona helped increase the Latino graduation rate and the number of students who went to college. The recently banned program is now the subject of a new documentary, Precious Knowledge, to air next week on PBS. We speak to Eren Isabel McGinnis, the co-director of the film, and Alanna Castro, one of the students who took part in the program.

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Eren Isabel McGinnis has produced award-winning documentaries for PBS and other international media outlets for several years. She co-founded Caf Sisters Productions with Christine Fugate, an all-woman production company. She also co-founded Dos Vatos Productions with Ari Luis Palos.

Lesbian in Cuba after the revolution

After the 1959 revolution, being gay in Cuba was considered counter-revolutionary. LGBT Cubans were jailed and harassed because of their sexual identity. Hear from two lesbians talk about their life on the island since the Revolution.

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Von Diaz is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. Her reporting focuses on immigration, Cuba, and LGBT issues. She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, GA. She is a Feet in Two Worlds fellow, and has published her work on PRI’s The World, WNYC, and New American Media.

LA Beat: Covering the Riots

In 1992 Hector Tobar and Cheryl Devall covered the unrest after the Rodney King verdict from the Los Angeles streets. Both journalists discuss the racial and economic tensions in the city that sparked the unrest and how LA has changed since.

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Cheryl Devall is a senior editor for Southern California Public Radio. She’s one of several responsible for supervising, editing and planning coverage with SCPR’s accomplished radio reporting staff. Cheryl brings to the task many years’ experience as an editor at public radio’s “Marketplace” and as a reporter – including 11 years with National Public Radio and with newspapers including the San Jose Mercury News, the Chicago Tribune and the Louisville Courier-Journal

Héctor Tobar is a Los Angeles author and journalist, whose work examines the evolving and interdependent relationship between Latin America and the United States.T obar is the author of The Tattooed Soldier, a novel set in the impoverished immigrant neighborhoods of Los Angeles in the weeks before the riots, and in Guatemala during the years of military dictatorship there. In 2006, Tobar was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine.

After the Fires: Community Perspectives

Hear community leaders’ reactions and reflections on this historic event. After the destruction, cleaning and rebuilding began in Los Angeles, and many different communities rallied to rebuild.

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Yoon Hee Kim is an international tea educator, photographer, tea importer, chef and tea ceremony artist. Ms. Kim holds a B.A. from Smith College in Education with minors in Asian studies and Government, a M.A from Monterey Institute of International Studies in International Public Policy, and has done post-graduate studies in Public Administration and Business.

Joe R. Hicks, a member of the Project 21 black leadership network, is the vice president of Community Advocates, Inc. a privately-funded Los Angeles-based political think-tank.


Roberto Lovato is a writer and commentator at New America Media, a strategy consultant and a Co-Founder of, the country’s pre-eminent online Latino advocacy organization, with a membership of over 250,000 people.


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