WHO IS LAVINIA LIMON: MEET THE CEO OF THE U.S. COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

photo source FOX NEWS LATINO

Lavinia Limón has dedicated her career to helping people in trouble, especially immigrants, and is today president and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

“The USCRI, a citizens’ committee in Washington that tries to influence immigrant and refugee policies, recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding, and our responsibilities are to work on behalf of undocumented children who come alone to this country, the victims of human trafficking and refugees from all over the world,” Limón told Efe.

photo source USCRI

“In the 1980s I was executive director of the International Institute of Los Angeles, and after the immigration reform law was enacted in 1986, founded together with other organizations the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, CHIRLA,” she said.

Born March 5, 1950, in Compton, California, Limón is the daughter of a Mexican-American father and a mother of German descent. She graduated in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lavinia Limon, President and chief executive of the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants photo source Friends of Refugees website

“After studying sociology I realized that my passion is to work with people and help them secure a better life,” Limón said. At the start of her career, she began working with refugees from the Vietnam war and then “I went to serve overseas helping people in Thailand, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, among other countries,” she recalled.

During the administration of President Bill Clinton, Limón was director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement where she developed programs that helped people in shelters get jobs so they could fully integrate themselves into American life.

Limón said she has personally experienced having what she knows and is capable of doing underestimated because of stereotypes about Hispanics.

“But what I do is, when people don’t consider me capable of doing certain tasks, I do them anyway and surprise them,” Limón said. “I’ve never argued with anyone who thinks in stereotypes, but what I do is show them they’re wrong,” she said.

Read more: Fox News Latino

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“TO SELENA WITH LOVE” IS HOW CHRIS REMEMBERS HIS TEJANO STAR & SELENA GOMEZ SINGS “BIDI BIDI BOM BOM”

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

CLIPS OF SELENA’S “DREAMING OF YOU” AND HER LAST CONCERT IN HOUSTON, TX ARE POSTED THROUGHOUT THIS POST


The new book “To Selena, With Love” reveals intimate details about the late Tejano star’s life, but the book’s author – her widower, Chris Perez – doesn’t consider it a “tell-all” kind of book.
“I thought it should be honest, with dignity. I knew there would be things that would make me feel uncomfortable, but I think I wrote the book with respect,” Perez, 42, said in a recent interview.

SELENA’S LAST CONCERT – PART 1 OF 7 – SHE’S INTRODUCED

Perez says the book, released Tuesday, allows him to share his memories of Selena Quintanilla, who was shot and killed on March 31, 1995, two weeks shy of her 24th birthday. The Mexican-American singer was a sensation in the Tejano world with hits such as “Como la flor,” “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” and “El chico del apartamento 512.” She was on the verge of crossing over when she was killed by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club.

SELENA’S CONCERT PART 2 OF 7- AMOR PROHIBIDO

“When Selena died, I suppressed the memories, I boxed them away in order to cope. When I decided to write the book, I opened the box and put it all out. It was a beautiful process. It  was a good thing to revisit and I can’t say I fell in love again because I never stopped loving her,” he said.

SELENA’S CONCERT PART 3 OF 7 – TECHNO CUMBIA

Perez met Selena when he became the lead guitarist for Selena y Los Dinos. It was a band formed by Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., and also featured her siblings Suzette and A.B. Quintanilla.

SELENA’S LAST CONCERT PART 4 OF 7 – NO ME QUEDA MAS

Perez confesses that he feels remorse for not protecting his wife. He wonders if things would have been different had he told someone that Selena told him days before her death that Saldivar had shown her a gun. Perez also addresses rumors, including one that Selena was pregnant at the time of her death (she wasn’t).

SELENA’S LAST CONCERT PART 5 OF 7 – BIDI BIDI BOM BOM

The first part of the book talks about their secret love. Their romance started behind her father’s back, as depicted in the 1997 movie starring Jennifer Lopez, “Selena.” Selena’s father was opposed to their relationship and accused Perez of being with his daughter only for her money. Selena’s father only accepted Perez after the couple eloped in 1992. Perez describes his father-in-law as an admirable person whom he still loves and respects. “We had our differences but I love him and respect him like my own father. As a matter of fact, I just went to his studio the other day and I took my kids to see him. We’re still a family,” he said.

SELENA’S LAST CONCERT PART 6 OF 7 – EL CHICO DEL APARTAMENTO 512

 Perez says that music was really a “business” for Selena; her real passion was fashion. “I have pads and pads of sketches,” he said. “Most of the clothes she wore were her own designs.” After Selena’s death, the guitarist, who lives in San Antonio, struggled to cope with his loss but eventually moved on. He formed The Chris Perez Band, which won a Grammy in 1999. He also married Venessa Villanueva in 2001 and the couple had two kids, but they divorced a few years later.

SELENA’S LAST CONCERT PART 7 OF 7 – COMO LA FLOR – WE LOVE YOU SELENA

Selena Gomez named after the late Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla, who has been gone for 17 years.

The Disney princess tackled the Mexican pop legend Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”—but can her cover hold a candle to the original? “I’m keeping her name alive,” she said proudly. The new Selena featuring Selena duet, “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” from Enamorada de Ti, the upcoming album honoring Quintanilla and boasting other collabos with Samo from Mexican rock band Camila (“Amor Prohibido”), Cristian Castro (“Como La Flor”), Juan Magán (“Enamorada De Ti”), and Don Omar (“Fotos y Recuerdos”).
Selena Gomez tells Abraham Quintanilla, “I’m extremely honored that you thought of me for this. The 73 year old patriarch responded, “I know it’s going to be un éxito.” Enamorada de Ti drops April 3.

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DOES NEW MEXICO HAVE ANY HISPANIC ICONS: U.S. SCHOLAR GEORGE I. SANCHEZ

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Noted US Latino scholar ‘forgotten’ in birthplace

The name George I. Sanchez has been celebrated for years among Mexican Americans in Texas and California.

This undated image provided by Cynthia Kennedy/AP shows pioneer Mexican American educator and activist George I. Sanchez standing somewhere in New Mexico before his days as a well-known advocate in Texas and California

A son of an Arizona miner, the Albuquerque-born Sanchez worked his way out of poverty as a rural public school teacher in New Mexico to become a pioneer scholar and education activist. His 1940 classic book “Forgotten People” brought attention to the plight of poor Mexican Americans in Taos.
His writings on racial segregation attracted the attention of Thurgood Marshall, the lead NAACP attorney in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case and later a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
But while a dozen or so schools in Texas and California are named in honor of Sanchez – including the School of Education building at the University of Texas where he taught for many years – not a single school in New Mexico bears his name. Few New Mexico educators or activists know much about him, according to historians and educators. No plaque exists to show his birthplace or the school where Sanchez taught. He is not listed among the state’s notable figures in New Mexico Centennial guidebooks.
In a state obsessed with its Hispanic heritage, its most celebrated Latino civil rights leader and “dean of Mexican American studies,” ironically, is seldom mentioned. His political fallout with state lawmakers in the 1930s over education reform and a divorce with his first wife, Virginia Romero, who was from a politically connected New Mexican family, diminished his stature at the time. Forty years after his death, few memories of him remain.

photo by: Christianson-Leberman Studio of Austin

He’s a forgotten man for a forgotten people,” said his granddaughter Cindy Kennedy, 48, a Santa Fe teacher.
Sanchez developed his theories on school inequalities using New Mexico’s Hispanic and Navajo populations as examples. He argued that bilingual students were discriminated against by monolingual school systems and testified in landmark court cases about the negative effects of segregation and IQ testing on Hispanic, American Indian and black children.
That work seldom comes up in present-day discussions about education reform in the state.
“It does surprise me that New Mexico doesn’t honor Sanchez,” said Carlos Blanton, a history professor at Texas A&M University, who is writing a book about the educator. “Maybe it’s because he left, and you just don’t leave New Mexico.”
Born in Albuquerque in 1906, Sanchez became a public school teacher at a small rural school in Yrisarri, N.M. just outside of Albuquerque at the age of 16. Within six years, he became superintendent of the Bernalillo County school district while taking classes at the University of New Mexico. It was this teaching experience among the children of poor Hispanic ranchers that he would later say sparked his mission to reform the state’s educational system, particularly IQ testing of Hispanics and American Indians, which he viewed as racial bias.
Eventually, Sanchez became what would be equivalent to the state’s secretary of education thanks to a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation while he also finished his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, said Blanton.
But Sanchez clashed with the state’s governor for pushing a state equalization funding formula for schools and came under fire from some lawmakers for helping with a University of New Mexico professor’s survey on racial attitudes in schools, said Blanton. The highly publicized fights resulted in the state opting not to fund a Department of Education, ultimately leaving Sanchez without a job.
“He was a boy genius but was damaged goods,” said Blanton.
Thanks to a Carnegie commission to UNM to study the education and economic conditions of the state’s Spanish-speaking population, Sanchez wrote “Forgotten People.” It didn’t romanticize New Mexico, but rather focused on a population that was slowly being pushed aside by discrimination.

This undated image provided by Cynthia Kennedy/AP shows pioneer Mexican American educator and activist George I. Sanchez sitting in one of his offices in N.M., before his days as a well-known advocate in Texas and California.

The book drew attention from the University of Texas, which eventually offered Sanchez a job. There, he wrote other books, became a national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens and corresponded with Marshall on desegregation strategy. Sanchez’s writings would be used in a number of desegregation cases leading up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case which would legally end “separate but equal” in public education. He died in 1972.
Cynthia E. Orozco, a history professor at Eastern New Mexico University, said Sanchez is not well known in New Mexico because historians haven’t paid too much attention to the state’s 20th century history, focusing instead on its Spanish colonial heritage. “Hispanics want to take pride in their heritage and that’s the least controversial option,” said Orozco.
Moises Venegas, a retired educator in Albuquerque, said bringing up Sanchez also brings up painful, unfinished business in New Mexico – namely, that of educating the state’s poor Latino population.
“I think a lot of what my grandfather talked about is still relevant today,” said Sanchez’s grandson, Mark Sprague, 58, of Austin, Texas. “I think we’d be honored if New Mexico finally recognized him.”
Kennedy, Sanchez’s granddaughter, agreed that the family would love it should New Mexico finally recognize her grandfather. But she said the family won’t actively campaign for a school name or other monument. “I’ve very proud to have him as my grandfather and I’m happy to continue his legacy as a teacher,” said Sanchez. “It’s just not like us demand something. Tata (her name for her grandfather) also didn’t seek recognition.”
However, Greg Kennedy, Cynthia’s husband, and a pastor at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Santa Fe, said it would be fitting if New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who was born in Texas, is the one to finally honor the New Mexico-born civil rights leader. “That would be the ultimate,” he said.
At George I. Sanchez Elementary in Houston, Texas, the school has a portrait of Sanchez hanging in its hallway and a few newspaper articles on the educator behind a glass case. Principal Jesus Herrera said he believes Sanchez would be proud of his school since most of the students are immigrants from Mexico and the schools ranks high in academic achievement.
Yet, Herrera was surprised to discover that Sanchez was not well-known in his home state of New Mexico.
“I didn’t even know he was from New Mexico,” said Herrera. “I was just assumed he was from Texas.”
Read more: Fresno Bee

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