NAHJ and UTEP launch national survey of Latinos working in English- and Spanish-language news media

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and University of Texas at El Paso researchers today are launching a national survey of Latino journalists to determine the level of job satisfaction, prospects for career development and advancement, and current working conditions amid the rapid transformation of the nation’s new media. The survey is available online at

Researchers will continue to collect data through the end of December and the results of the comprehensive online survey will be presented at the NAHJ 2018 conference in Miami next summer. “We seek participation by all Latino journalists working in news media – English and Spanish, legacy and digital media,’ said UTEP professor Dr. Maria de los Angeles Flores, co-author of the study with Latino media expert Dr. Federico Subervi, and support from Zita Arocha, director of at UTEP. “It is essential to identify the obstacles that Latino journalists face daily to generate dialog within their respective organizations on effective approaches to better train, retain and promote journalists of color,” Flores added. NAHJ President Brandon Benavides said the survey will improve the organization’s ability to “comprehend, assess and map the frontier of the industry for journalists at any level in their career.”

“We have made a commitment to better equip our members with tools and resources helping them to stay ahead of the curve and to do so begins with possessing a certain basis of knowledge,” he said.

Bone marrow donor program seeks Hispanics to help save lives of Hispanics

“Wait a minute, this wont hurt at all will it?” Anthony Aguilar asks while holding a registration packet for Be The Match, a project to match donors with people who need bone marrow transplants. That’s the most common question asked, says Anita Gonzales Southwest representative for Be The Match, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program to help match healthy bone marrow donors with patients battling illnesses like leukemia, sickle cell anemia, or other life threatening blood diseases. Gonzales explains that the registration process doesn’t require needles

“It’s the most simple and painless process really,” Gonzales says. “Its a simple saliva sample. It’s a sterile medical swab, you take it and run along the inside of you’re cheek, up and down ten times, put it in the registration envelope, and just like that the process is done.”

The story of Wise Latina

Wise Latina International was established in 2010 and is a non-profit organization serving the international border area of the City of El Paso, the State of Texas, New Mexico and our international neighbors of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. It has a 15-member board of local and national Latinas.  Here is a slide show about the founding, mission and makeup of the organization.

Latinas rise from history to raise voices against domestic violence

EL PASO – Chocolates and romance may be typical fare for a traditional Valentine’s Day, but not at Café Mayapán where the words of strong Latinas were served up on Feb. 14 in a series of performances to raise awareness against domestic violence. About 100 people attended the event, Tonantzín Rising, a part of the national One Billion Rising movement, sponsored locally by Wise Latina International and La Mujer Obrera. The event, in its third year, included traditional music, dance, and portrayals of famous Latinas, such La Malinche and Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz among others. “We renamed it Tonantzín Rising because to us we are people of the Earth, and Tonantzín is mother Earth,” said Cemelli De Aztlan, one of the coordinators of the event.

Ken Salazar resigns; President’s cabinet is devoid of Hispanics

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar is resigning from President Obama’s Cabinet and will return home to Colorado by the end of March. His impending departure, announced Jan. 16, follows that of Secretary of Labor Hilda Solís, who returned to her native California Jan. 23. Their decisions leave President Obama’s Cabinet bare of Hispanics.

Reies Lopez Tijerina and José Ángel Gutiérrez at Mercado Mayapán celebrate 40 years of La Raza Unida. (Courtesy of Dennis Bixler- Marquez)

The Raza Unida Party returns to ‘la lucha,’ calling for Hispanic unity in the 2012 elections

EL PASO – La Raza Unida Party gathered here in the same city where its first convention took place 40 years ago calling for Hispanics to unify with renewed vigor at a time when their vote is of critical importance in the 2012 presidential elections. “The question is how we control our destiny,” said José Ángel Gutiérrez, 68, a founding member of the party, a lawyer and a longtime leading Chicano activist. The roots of the Raza Unida Party, created to organize and empower new generations of Hispanics, date to the late 1960’s when Hispanics students at Crystal City Texas High School were excluded from some of the extracurricular activities. The discrimination led to student protests and walkouts. Gutierrez soon found himself advising them.

‘TENNderCare’ offers health care for uninsured children

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — Although free health care is available to all children, Hispanics are the least likely of all children in the United States to receive it. One reason may be that they tend to be healthier. But another could be that language barriers and lack of transportation lead parents who don’t speak English to avoid waiting rooms.

Juanita Luevanos’ two children, who were born in the United States, qualified for TENNderCare, a state-funded health care plan for children 21 and younger that provides physicals, immunizations, hospital visits, specialty care and more. The program offers a free checkup each year for children ages 3 to 20.

Diabetes affects thousands in El Paso, but the Diabetes Association is on their side

EL PASO — Health is an issue people push aside until it finally becomes an issue and the main health issue in this border city is diabetes. El Paso has long been considered one of the unhealthiest cities in the entire country, ranking as high as number one in obesity by Men’s Fitness magazine in 2009. Diabetes is at the forefront of chronic ailments here and obesity is one of many risk factors for this disease. Ethnicity also plays a role. Hispanics, Native Americans, African Americans, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans are at higher risk.

Proposed Texas education cuts imperil Latino students’ future

Impending massive budget reductions in flat-broke Texas are about to slam education’s door on its Latino youth, who at 2.34 million now comprise about half of its public school students. Experts and community advocates across the state agree on the danger it portents to the state’s economic future as well. Once among the nation’s wealthiest, the Lone Star State has become the Loan Starved State. It is grappling with a budget shortfall somewhere between $15 billion and $27 billion. The proposed solution by Gov. Rick Perry, with traction offered by conservatives within the GOP-controlled legislature, targets the schools.

The Chicano Movement — alive and evolving

EL PASO, Texas — El Movimiento, also known as the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, was the empowerment of Mexican Americans in the 60s and 70s. Almost a half century later, Chicanos, Latinos and Hispanics continue to fight a struggle, but at times it does not have the same clout as it once did. “There were several arenas that took on a voice back in the late 60’s and early 70’s,” said Benjamín Sáenz, department chair for Creative Writing. “There was a literary movement that involved many writers, mostly poets…and then there was a purely political movement.”

Sáenz, a writer and professor at UTEP, said he was very much involved in the fight and highly political during those times. “We move forward all these years—after the civil rights movement and we talk about the Chicano Movement, but there is no movement per se.