This week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released a new report entitled “Women on the Run.” Women in Central America and Mexico are fleeing their countries in rising numbers to escape a surge in deadly, unchecked gang violence, fueling a looming refugee crisis in the Americas. Loris Guzzetta and I produced the video above for the project. You can help by sharing the video on Youtube and other stories here.
Music is by Podington Bear.
I recently visited Des Moines, Iowa and met the family and friends of Constantino Morales, who applied for political asylum in the United States. Read more here.
Written by Michelle Chen and cross posted from CultureStrike.net
At the workshop, surrounded by a small gathering of people holding colorful hand-scrawled signs, Lupe Mendez, poet and self-proclaimed “Librotraficante,” reflected on his adventure as a book smuggler of sorts. Back in 2012, when the Arizona education authorities sought to crack down on a Chicano-focused ethnic studies program in public schools, he and other activists launched a campaign to “traffic” the contraband literature—works by radical authors, poets of color, and other rebel storytellers. Now before his fellow workshop participants, Mendez held up a simple placard displaying block-print alphabet in black and blue letters. He voiced his answer to the prompt for the workshop: getting people to think about why telling stories is important.
“See the letters below?” Mendez said. “This is my ‘why’: I want to share, discover the ways to tell the stories, create the voices of color that our histories need, and to build a Librotraficante Nation.”
The participants in the workshop at the Facing Race Conference, “Stepping Up Cultural Strategy: How can Racial Justice Rise Above the Noise?” focused on building out that storyline, the “why” that activists are questing for. The theme was the core of our “cultural strategy”: “the potential of arts experiences and cultural content to shift how people feel, think, and communicate about an issue. Read more…
I’m helping produce a series of video for the Women’s Refugee Commission which is celebrating 25 years of improving the lives and protecting the rights of refugee women and children.