Category Archives: Hispanic/Latino/Latina

President Obama Signs Executive Order On Education and Hispanics

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by Luis Miranda

En Español.

President Barack Obama signs the Executive Order on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as Javier Garcia looks on during an East Room event at the White House October 19, 2010 in Washington, DC. The executive order placed a high priority on issues ranging from early childhood learning to higher education for the Hispanic community. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)


In a ceremony in the East Room today, President Obama will sign an Executive Order to renew and enhance the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics so that it better serves communities across the country by engaging them in the process of improving the education of Latino students, who represent 1 of every 5 students in our nation’s schools.

The new Executive Order is based on feedback gathered by the Initiative in more than 100 community conversations across the country with experts in education, community leaders from more than 30 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from comments from more than 10,000 Americans on how to develop real solutions to the challenges confronting the Hispanic community in education.

The signing ceremony follows a National Education Summit and Call to Action hosted by the U.S. Department of Education that began on Monday and brought together experts and community leaders from around the country on issues ranging from early childhood learning to higher education.

The President has now signed the Executive Order, read it in full.

President Barack Obama talks with Javier Garcia of Brownsville, Tex., in the Green Room of the White House before the two of them entered the East Room for the signing ceremony of the Executive Order for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans Oct. 19, 2010. Javier introduced the President at the event. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Filed under Change, Education, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Pres. Barack Obama, Students, Uncategorized

The Obama’s Attend the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 33rd Annual Award Gala

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama (L) and first lady Michelle Obama kiss at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 33rd Annual Awards Gala at the Washington Convention Center September 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama spoke at the event that Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actress Eva Longoria Parker were also scheduled to attend. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images North America)

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First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks At Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

“You Don’t Have to Throw Abuela’s Cookbook Out the Window”

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Conference in Washington. September 14, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


First Lady Michelle Obama delivered remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) today. For more than 30 years, CHCI has been working to develop the next generation of leaders for the future of the Hispanic community and the country as a whole through scholarships, fellowships, and career programs.

She discussed the need for forward-looking organizations like CHCI to address the challenges of tomorrow, particularly the challenge of childhood obesity in America. An issue important to Mrs. Obama, not just as First Lady, but as a mother.

Now, we all know this is a serious problem in every single community in this country. But like with so many of the other challenges we face today, communities of colors have been hit especially hard. Nearly two in five Hispanic children are overweight or obese. And this isn’t just teenagers or school-age kids that we’re talking about. Believe it or not, the obesity rate among Hispanic preschoolers is higher than their white or African American peers.

And we all know what this means for their overall health. We all know the links between obesity and cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

But we also know that childhood obesity is not a stand-alone problem. We know that it is bound up in just about every other issue that we face. It is about health care. It’s about education, economic opportunity. It’s about how our food is processed, and how our cities are designed, how our children spend each day in school. It’s about the restaurants where we eat, and the grocery stores where we shop, and the decisions we make for our children every single day: decisions about how much time they spend with TV and video games, as opposed to running around outside; decisions about what they eat, how much of it, and how often. So we all have a stake in this problem. And we all have a role in finding a solution.

That’s why the First Lady launched Let’s Move!, a nationwide campaign to solve the problem of childhood obesity in a generation and she asked for CHCI’s help in solving it. From working to sign up schools for the Healthier US Schools Challenge to encouraging kids to enroll in the 6-week President’s Active Lifestyle Awards program, there are countless ways to make an impact. And one way is by starting at home.

It’s about families making manageable changes that fit with their budgets and schedules, with their needs and with their tastes. And that might be something as simple as going for regular walks with your kids or maybe turning off the TV and turning on the radio and dancing a little bit in the living room until you break a sweat. (Laughter.) That counts.

Small things like cutting back on portion sizes or replacing soda with water or just putting some more fruits and vegetables on the table, all of this can add up over time and make a big difference in the lives of our kids. And, believe me, you don’t have to throw Abuela’s cookbook out the window. (Laughter and applause.)

There is a role for those time-honored family recipes, but it’s about moderation. It’s about doing our best to monitor what our kids are consuming. How many snacks are they eating? How many sodas are they drinking? Has dessert become an all-the-time food instead of just a once-in-a-while treat? It’s about being proactive, about going to the doctor and getting our kids screened for obesity.

But most of all, it’s about doing something. There are countless ways for us to start making a difference. The key is to start now, because when it comes to our children’s health and happiness, when it comes to their future, we don’t have a moment to waste. And if anyone knows what it takes to make real change in this country, it’s all of you. It’s what you’ve been doing for nearly 35 years.

In closing, the First Lady touched on the core mission of the organization and the health of our nation’s kids:

Now I remember hearing that when you all started the Hispanic Caucus back in 1976, the Speaker of the House joked that the first meeting could be held in a phone booth, because back then you had just five members. And now, you have 23. (Applause.) CHCI’s first class of fellows was all of four strong. And today, there are more than 5,000 students that have benefited from your educational services and your leadership development programs.

See, now those are results, right? That’s the kind of real impact that you have had, and can have, on this nation and on our children. And that’s the core mission of this organization, to give our children opportunities that we never dreamed of for ourselves. And that’s why all of you have organized. It’s why you’ve marched. It’s why you stood up and spoke out and refused to back down, no matter what kind of odds you faced.

And I don’t think any one in this room — or any of your parents or grandparents — fought so hard for so long only to see a future where the greatest threat to our children is their own health.

But the good news is, is that we can do something about this. This is one of those problems that’s in our hand. The solution to this problem is right within our grasp, but only if we reach for it, and only if we work for it and fight for it, only if we once again summon that urgency that has spurred us forward, generation after generation, seeking something better for our children.

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Official Arrival of Mexican President Felipe Calderón and First Lady Margarita Zavala

Posted by: Audiegrl

Today, the President and Mrs. Obama welcomed President Calderón of Mexico and Mrs. Zavala to the White House. In remarks at the official arrival ceremony, the President emphasized what can be accomplished by working together and how this visit will advance the partnership between our countries even further:

Together, we can help create jobs and prosperity for our people. We can ensure that our common border is secure, modern and efficient, including immigration that is orderly and safe. We can stand firm, and deepen our cooperation, against the drug cartels that threaten our people. And given Mexico’s global leadership, we can stand together for the opportunity and security of all people, in our hemisphere and beyond.

Finally, Mr. President, your visit speaks to a truth of our time — in North America and the world. In the 21st century, we are defined not by our borders, but by our bonds. So I say to you and to the Mexican people, let us stand together. Let us face the future together. Let’s us work together. Trabajemos juntos.

Following the ceremony on the South Lawn, the President is holding a joint press conference with President Calderón in the Rose Garden. In the evening, the President and the First Lady will attend the State Dinner with President Calderón and Mrs. Zavala, joined by the Vice President and Dr. Biden in the East Room of the White House.

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Filed under Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Mexico, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Vice-President Joe Biden

Arizona Immigration Law Boycott Could Cost Phoenix $90 Million

Posted by: BuellBoy

AP~A city official says Phoenix could possibly lose hotel and convention center business worth about $90 million over the next five years because of fallout from Arizona’s new immigration law.

The law has attracted international attention as well as calls for tourists and businesses to boycott Arizona.

A deputy city manager who is monitoring the issue – David Krietor – says city and tourism officials in Phoenix have compiled a “watch list” tracking the potential fallout. The list includes four organizations that have canceled events and more than a dozen groups that have expressed concerns about the new law.

The $90 million figure represents the estimated amount of money that those groups’ members would spend in the region. Some events are scheduled to take place this year, while others are booked as far out at 2015.

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Los Suns Also Rise: Phoenix Suns Win in More Ways Than One

Posted by: BuellBoy

Written by Dave Ziran

Anyone who believes that sports can’t be an effective platform for social justice, needed only to watch last night’s game between Los Suns of Phoenix and the San Antonio Spurs. The unprecedented decision by the entire Suns organization – from owner Robert Sarver to star players Amare Stoudamire and Steve Nash – to wear uniforms blaring Los Suns and come out against Arizona’s anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1070, created a sports broadcast like no other in my lifetime. The game on TNT began with sideline reporter Marty Snider outside the arena covering a mushrooming 3,000 person civil rights march, led by Al Sharpton and Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon (both wearing Los Suns Jerseys.) Then the scene switched to the pre-game studio with host Ernie Johnson and former players Kenny “the Jet” Smith, Chris Webber, and Charles Barkley. The viewing audience then got an unexpected and bracing lesson in dissent.

Kenny Smith, like any good point guard, set up the others by saying, “I think it’s great that the team understands, the management understands and now the people of Phoenix are all rallying together at the same time.” Barkley, a long time Arizona resident and a man who once said that he was a Republican until “the Republicans lost their damn minds” chimed in saying, “The only people screwing it up are the politicians. The Governor – the interim governor I might add – J.D. Hayworth and John McCain. They’re the ones screwing this thing up. I really take my hat off to Robert Sarver and the Suns for taking a stand. You know, living in Arizona for a long time, the Hispanic community, they’re like the fabric of the cloth. They’re part of our community and any time you try to do any type of racial profiling or racial discrimination……. President Obama you’ve got to do something because these lightweight politicians in Arizona have no idea what they are doing.”

The typically blunt Barkley speaking in such terms is hardly surprising. But it was Chris Webber who upped the ante, interrupting a visibly uncomfortable Ernie Johnson with, “Public Enemy said it a long time ago. ‘By the Time I Get to Arizona.’ I’m not surprised. They didn’t even want there to be a Martin Luther King day when John McCain was in [office.]. So if you follow history you know that this is part of Arizona politics.”

It was a remarkable display and it was difficult to not think of the millions of television viewers around the country, in sports bars, restaurants, and house parties, being confronted with this kind of forthright, plainspoken language. But perhaps even more important than the support Los Suns received from protestors and broadcasters, was their play on the court. Phoenix trailed by nine at the end of the first quarter and Spurs star power forward Tim Duncan was scoring with ease. The crowd was dead and it wasn’t difficult to envision what would be said in the SportsWorld if Phoenix lost: “The political hoopla was a distraction.” “This is why sports and politics don’t mix.” “They should have been focused on the Spurs and not immigration.” And grinning smugly would have been LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson who chided the Suns yesterday saying, “If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws…. I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff.”

In other words, everyone who stands with SB 1070 would be feeling a little more joyful this morning. It would have been an echo of the time Muhammad Ali lost his first fight to Joe Frazier and all the columnists and fans who wanted to see the draft dodging Ali punished, chortled gleefully after he was knocked to the canvas. But just when we were all ready to stick a fork in the brick-laying Suns, something remarkable happened. The slick shooting, fast breaking team started to crash the boards, play ugly, and do all the dirty work that wins games. Doughy, undersized three point shooter Jared Dudley started aggressively snatching offensive rebounds like his soul had been possessed by Barkley himself, energizing the crowd and shocking his team back to life. The result was a 110-102 victory in which the run and gun Suns were held to just eight fast break points. Coach Alvin Gentry said afterward that he had never seen the team play so mentally tough.

Maybe this will be the start of a new trend where teams see the unifying benefits of going out on a political limb and taking a stand. Maybe players across the sports leagues who oppose SB 1070 will be inspired to come together in a common organization and demand Arizona cease the imposition of “Juan Crow” on the Latino population. Maybe the major sports unions, all of whom have voiced opposition to the bill, will release a joint statement saying that they will support any player or team who boycotts the state as long as SB 1070 is on the books. Maybe this is all utterly unrealistic. But it seems a hell of a lot more possible this morning than it did last night. Vivan Los Suns.

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Dave Zirin is a sports correspondent for The Nation Magazine

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host 2010 Cinco De Mayo Fiesta at White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in an event marking Cinco de Mayo in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, May 5, 2010. (Photos by REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Feliez Cinco de Mayo! At six o’clock this evening, President Obama and First Lady Michelle welcomed hundreds of guests to the Rose Garden for a celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Battle of Puebla

Battle of Puebla

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May“) is a voluntarily-observed holiday that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

On May 19th President Obama and First Lady Michelle will host a state dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderon and First Lady Margarita Zavala de Calderon during a two-day state visit to the United States.

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18th Annual National Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington


Members of the Maru Montero Dance Company perform at the Sylvan Theater near the Washington Monument during the 18th Annual National Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington Sunday, May 2, 2010.

(Photos by AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)



On Cinco de Mayo, a Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Welcoming a boisterous crowd to the Rose Garden for Cinco de Mayo, the President had a long list of people to recognize. From Mexico’s Interior Secretary, Fernando Gomez Mont, to Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, to esteemed Members of Congress, to Secretaries Solis, Napolitano, and Salazar, to Maru and the Montero Dance Company and Javier Cortes, it was a crowd more than worthy of recognition.

The President also gave a nod to “Los Suns,” the Phoenix basketball team who has made a statement by wearing jerseys in their playoff games that give a nod to American and Arizona’s diversity. The President added his own statement:

“So today reminds us that America’s diversity is America’s strength. That’s why I spoke out against the recently passed law in Arizona. (Applause.) Make no mistake, our immigration system is broken. And after so many years in which Washington has failed to meet its responsibilities, Americans are right to be frustrated, including folks along border states. But the answer isn’t to undermine fundamental principles that define us as a nation. We can’t start singling out people because of who they look like, or how they talk, or how they dress. We can’t turn law-abiding American citizens —- and law-abiding immigrants —- into subjects of suspicion and abuse. We can’t divide the American people that way. That’s not the answer. That’s not who we are as the United States of America.

And that’s why I’ve instructed my administration to closely monitor the new law in Arizona, to examine the civil rights and other implications that it may have. That’s why we have to close the door on this kind of misconceived action by meeting our obligations here in Washington.

So I want to say it again, just in case anybody is confused. The way to fix our broken immigration system is through common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.) That means responsibility from government to secure our borders, something we have done and will continue to do. It means responsibility from businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers -— they’ve got to be held accountable. It means responsibility from people who are living here illegally. They’ve got to admit that they broke the law, and pay taxes, and pay a penalty, and learn English, and get right before the law — and then get in line and earn their citizenship.

Comprehensive reform —- that’s how we’re going to solve this problem. And I know there’s been some commentary over the last week since I talked about this difficult issue: Well, is this politically smart to do? Can you get Republican votes? Look, of course, it’s going to be tough. That’s the truth. Anybody who tells you it’s going to be easy or I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn’t been paying attention how this town works. (Laughter.)

We need bipartisan support. But it can be done. And it needs to be done. So I was pleased to see a strong proposal for comprehensive reform presented in the Senate last week —- and I was pleased that it was based on a bipartisan framework. I want to begin work this year, and I want Democrats and Republicans to work with me — because we’ve got to stay true to who we are, a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”

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