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Teatro Luna

Teatro Luna marks its ninth anniversary as Chicago’s all-Latina theater company — “showcasing Latina talent/honoring Latina lives” — with a “best of” show featuring scenes from award-winning plays including “Machas,” “Quita Mitos,” “Lunatic(a)s” and “S-E-X-Oh!”  It’s Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts,  777 N. Green.

Ballet Folklorico from Back of the Yards

The Ballet Folklorico of the Back of the Yards Council celebrates its 15th anniversary this weekend with performances at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Morton East High School, 2423 S. Austin in Cicero.

With over 200 participants in groups “ranging from teenie tots to grandparents,” it’s one of the Council’s most successful programs, said Patty Flores.  Three advanced groups give public performances throughout the year and have won national championships four times. 

All the groups will be featured this weekend, presenting folkloric dance styles and music from regions across Mexico, from the mountains to the coastal areas.  Tickets cost $18 and are still available; call (773) 523-4416.

Latinos and police in DuPage County

Latino residents of DuPage County will share their stories of police abuse at a community forum this Saturday in Glendale Heights.

“We get calls every day from residents who have problems with police,” said Cristobal Cavazos of Immigrant Solidary DuPage, which is sponsoring the forum. He said that while well-established Latino communities in central DuPage cities are growing, there are still few Latino or Spanish-speaking police officers there.

An evening drive down North Avenue in Carol Stream or Lake Street in Addison or Hanover Park will often reveal Latino families whose cars have been pulled over, Cavazos said, and many times vehicles are followed while officers run computer checks to determine the ethnicity of their drivers. One recent caller reported being pulled over and warned that his vehicle sticker was expiring in a month, he said.

“The real issue is racial profiling,” said Cavazos. “I believe a lot of it is xenophobia.” Distrust and fear of police among Latinos is growing as a result, he said.

The community forum on Saturday will provide legal advice on dealing with police during traffic stops and begin the process of developing a community plan to reduce abuse.

Guests at the forum will include Rita Gonzalez, the only Latino member of the DuPage County Board; Terry Pastika of the Citizen Advocacy Center in Elmhurst; Linda Coronado of the DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform and Healther Benno from the National Center for Immigrant Justice in Chicago. It takes place Saturday, May 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Glenside Public Library, 25 E. Fullerton, Glendale Heights.

One of several new immigrants rights groups in Chicago area suburbs, Immigration Solidarity DuPage was founded to promote national immigration reform as well as equality and social justice for immigrants in DuPage County. Many complaints the group receives deal with workplace issues, particularly wage theft, Cavazos said.

Lessons of a thriving newspaper

Not all newspapers are dying, of course.  Small and medium papers (at least if they’re independent of corporate chains) are doing just fine, according to a recent survey reported at Newsosaur.  And while New American Media reports ethnic newspapers and radio stations are struggling and failing in Central California, El Diario La Prensa, New York’s Spanish-language daily, is among metropolitan ethnic outlets that are thriving. 

NPR’s On The Media talked recently with executive editor Alberto Vourvoulias, who said, “El Diario knows its readership” and “we feel that the information we provide to them is essential information that really is most effectively given through a newspaper form rather than through other media….  

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Health disparities for Blacks, Latinos

HIV/AIDS, disabetes and obesity, and mental health and substance abuse are on the agenda at the African American and Latino Health Disparities Call to Action Forum tomorrow (March 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt. 

It’s sponsored by a coalition of African American and Latino community organizations concerned about extreme health disparities effecting their communities.  They expect 500 people to attend. Dr. Carl Bell and Dr. Jose Lopez will keynote. Media info at 773-593-1345.

Latino community guide

Esther Cepeda highlights fun facts and figures from Chicago Community Trust’s new Latino Landscape: A Metro-Chicago Guide and Nonprofit Directory.  Along with data collected by Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies and the Center for Metropolitan Chicago Initiatives, it also includes a listing of nonprofits serving Latinos in the region.

Report: Housing discrimination persists

Forty years after passage of the Fair Housing Act, discrimination and segregation “still dominate the Chicago housing market,” according to the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance.

The average nonwhite household faces discrimination about half the time it searches for housing, according to a new report from CAFHA (pdf).  

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Mexico in Chicago

The National Museum of Mexican Art reports that Mayor Daley is marking Cinco de Mayo by declaring 2010 to be “The Year of Mexico in Chicago.”  NMMA originated the idea, highlighting 2010 as the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence and the 100th anniversay of the Mexican revolution.

NMMA holds its Cinco de Mayo gala on Thursday, May 8, 5:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel, with the 911 Mambo Orchestra.  Proceeds support the museum’s educational programs and two youth outreach initiatives — including Radio Arte, the winner of this year’s Studs Terkel Award from Community Media Workshop.

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        By Stephen Franklin Community Media Workshop   A 3-year-old child died on a plane from Chicago to Poland. This, Magdalena Pantelis instantly knew, was a story her readers would care about. But she needed more detail to write about it for the Polish Daily News, the nation’s oldest daily newspaper in Polish, founded Jan. […]




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