Mexicano, Chicano, or Pocho. Who am I?

I didn’t start to question my identity until my first year of college. Before that I thought I was an American citizen attending kindergarten in Ciudad Juarez. Then in third grade I realized that I was Mexican when I crossed the border to attend Houston Elementary School in El Paso. The first day of school a classmate asked me in Spanish – not English – why I was wearing black polished shoes. I remember I looked around and saw that all the other boys and girls were wearing sporty tennis shoes.

We are who we are, and all we could be

MIMBRES, N.M. — We like to label people outside ourselves and our inner circle of family and friends in neat, non-overlapping categories. This is an us v. them exercise. In order to accomplish our goal, we have to ignore the fluidity and subtlety of identity. We crash through all sorts of logic gates, mixing skin color or other visible personal characteristics with birthplace, language, religion, education and social class, citizenship. Fine distinctions are unnecessary when we are busy lumping people.


NPR to launch initiative on race, ethnicity and culture with $1.5 million grant from Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Six-person news team forming this fall; will develop distinctive voice and lead conversations on-air, online

By Anna Christopher

Las Vegas, N.V. – Today at the UNITY 2012 Convention, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced it will award NPR a $1.5 million grant to launch a major journalism initiative to deepen coverage of race, ethnicity and culture, and to capture the issues that define an increasingly diverse America. With this expansive effort, NPR will produce compelling stories and present new voices and conversations online and on-air, staffed by a six-person team. “This new team and defined area of coverage will empower NPR to cover news and issues across the U.S. more fully, delivering on our promise for NPR to look and sound like America,” said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of NPR. “CPB’s forward-thinking commitment to diversity challenges public media to do more, and to do better, and we accept that challenge wholeheartedly.”

Once assembled, this team of six journalists will deliver a steady flow of distinctive coverage on every platform. Reporting will magnify the range of existing efforts across NPR and its Member Stations to cover and discuss race, ethnicity and culture.