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Posted inEquity

COLUMN: Ode to first Chicanos

When I was born in the mid-1960s, I inherited six siblings. Two of them self-identified as Chicanos. They were the  first to do so in my family. I was young, but I remember the clothes. The signs touting “Chicano Power” and “Brown Power.” The emblems of fists and fists raised in the air. The rallies for justice. The marches, walk-outs and sit-ins. I remember the feeling of being protected by the Brown Berets when I attended a rally or march.

Posted inJustice

COMMENTARY: As violence soars in Mexico, we need to do more

I recently returned to the U.S. after spending 14 months in Mexico. At first, the excitement of being back after 22 years in America made me overlook the dangers of being there. While I grew concerned about my safety over time, nothing out of the ordinary happened to me for months. But that changed a week before I returned to the States. August 9th was a normal day at my parents’ house in Irapuato. At 7:30 p.m., a loud explosion interrupted one of our usual long evening chats. An armed command attacked and burned to ashes a convenience store located two-and-a-half blocks from us. That night, drug cartel members set fire to 25 convenience stores, cars and trucks in Guanajuato and Jalisco.

Posted inCulture

COMMENTARY: Lessons on Mexican Independence Day from a professor

As a history professor, my dreams of wealth and rock n’ roll fame in young adulthood evaporated long ago. But just before this Mexican Independence Day on September 16, my professional moments sparkle, to use an un-academic term. Being a former Mexican American GED student in cholo garb, these moments of enlightenment – for me and my students – are about as priceless as any such moments of a respective jale. It’s my time to teach about Mexican Independence (which is not Cinco de Mayo).

Posted inEducation, Opinion

COLUMN: Half of Latinos may soon see their student debt forgiven

Among undergraduate students who began in 2012 (the latest data available), 51% of Latino students borrowed to pay for their undergraduate or graduate education, according to Excelencia in Education.

The initial $10,000 of federal student loan forgiveness will allow about half of all Latino borrowers to have their entire debt forgiven, according to Excelencia.