Where arts and diversity meet
Imagine the United States being the only home you’d ever known, but it was still illegal for you to live here.
For one of the students I interviewed in my enterprise story this week, “Worries persist over the Latino population leading the way in growth, falling behind in education” this is a daily reality.
Andrea Torres, like so many other students, was brought here as a child because, as she tells it, her parents wanted her to have a better life and access to better education.
Instead of exploring the debate over immigration, or whether undocumented students take spots from U.S.-born students, I attempted to simply explore the barriers Latino students face from their perspective.
Here’s more information on resources for Latino students used in my article:
1. College Bound Scholarship
This scholarship provides college tuition in Washington for low-income seventh and eighth grade students. To be eligible, they must sign a pledge by June 30 of their eighth grade year, which promises they will graduate from high school, demonstrate good citizenship, and seek admission to a college or university. Family income will be re-checked and college admission confirmed after the student graduates from high school.
2. House Bill (HB) 1079
This allows students who have lived in Washington State for three years to pay in-state tuition rates. To qualify, students must have: earned a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) from a Washington State high school; lived in Washington State for three years prior to receiving a high school diploma or GED, and lived continually in Washington since earning the high school diploma or GED, and can meet college or university admission requirements expected of all other students.
Depending, on what college you are applying to, do a search on the university’s page to see if they have an HB 1079 page. Here is Washington State University’s information, for example.
3. The Dream Act
The DREAM Act is a federal bill in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 1751) and the Senate (S. 729) that would grant certain undocumented students temporary legal residency and would allow them to work towards permanent legal residency. Passage of policies such as those contained in the DREAM Act is a logical next step for students, given passage of HB 1079 in 2003, which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at our state colleges and universities. The problem remains, however, even with college degrees, the valuable contributions that these high achieving students will make cannot fully be realized until they’re granted legal residency.
Learn more at Latino/a Educational Achievement Project, http://www.leapwa.org/ep/dream.asp.
4. Impulso Escolar Latino de Bellevue
Campaña Quetzal, Seattle
A coalition of parent, youth, individuals, educators, and organizations committed to unleashing the academic and personal potential of each Latino student and eliminating the academic achievement gap.
Learn more at, http://www.campanaquetzal.com/.
It’s been an eclectic week.
On Saturday, I baked kosher Passover desserts to go along with my grandmother’s Seder dinner.
On Sunday, I bowed and chanted at Tacoma Buddhist Temple for their Hanamatsuri service. This commemorates Buddha’s birth with offerings of fragrant flowers, fruit and sweet tea. Later, we hung around with the congregation, eating sashimi salad and spam musubi’s. Considering the home-style cooking, my grandpa was in his element.
That night, I contemplated the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, who was resurrected on Easter day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the two-hour drive to Easter dinner at The Boy’s parents house.
Tonight, in a belated Passover Seder, my family and I celebrated Jews’ exodus from Egypt. We talked about how grateful we are for our freedom, as there are many people in this world who live in oppression.
Often when you’re mixed-race, so are your traditions and the multiple meanings of spring.
Social activist; writer of poems, novels, plays and columns; artsy and diversity-oriented – Langston Hughes was my kind of guy.
That’s why the words “ninth annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival” caught my eye when the press release swopped into my inbox. The festival, April 14-22, will feature the work of independent African American directors and is led by Jacqueline Moscou, director of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center and the acclaimed “Black Nativity” Christmas show.
This year, the event is dedicated to the late Charles Rolland (Moscou’s husband), the former Democratic Party chairman and civil rights activist who helped elect Norm Rice as Seattle’s first African-American mayor.
The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center is located at 104 17th Ave. S Seattle.
By Gabrielle Nomura | Photos courtesy of Seattle Opera
With a brilliant tenor, opera singer Andrew Stenson has the voice to play the hero. But, as an American who was adopted from South Korea as a baby, he has to work hard not to be typecast.
Whether it’s Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese or Hawaiian – whenever someone’s ancestral pie is mixed with a slice of Asia, I instantly feel at home with him or her.
That’s why I had a blast making “Hapa Stories” – a short film made in collaboration with Sunny Wonder Media and The City of Bellevue’s Cultural Diversity Department where I got to try my hand at moving from print journalism to broadcast, interviewing people, writing a script and being a host to introduce the film.
Stay tuned to see the finished version on YouTube in the coming weeks.
We “hapas,” mixed-race Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders, can relate to each other. We know what it’s like, to not simply be a person of color, but one of colors: from constantly getting the question, “What are you?” to the advantages of getting to celebrate both eastern and western holidays.
Unlike my great-grandparents, who were forced to choose between being Japanese and being American during the World War II Internment, we hapas are lucky to live in a time where we can be both. By identifying as “hapa,” many people of Asian or Pacific Island ancestry finally have an identity that completely describes who they are, without using slices and fractions.
I am trying to reach out to as many mixed-race Asian Americans, hapas, as possible for a film I’m making with the City of Bellevue. It is a localized (Greater Seattle and Eastside) version of the hapa project, which attempts to spread awareness of the multicultural experience.
We are filming March 22nd and 23rd, five people per day.
The project will be shot in 45 minute slots, 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and so on so that we can finish by around 2:30 or 3 p.m. each day.
Please bring family photos, framed, if you have them, that help illustrate your multicultural story.
In order to participate: Please send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org indicating what day and time slot you would be available. This will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
I will be conducting interviews, Laura Adams Guy, who has done videography for PBS and the City of Bellevue will film and edit, Kevin Henry, Cultural Diversity Coordinator with the City of Bellevue, will help supervise.
Feel free to email with questions and concerns, and feel free to pass this invitation along to others. I hope you consider sharing your hapa story!
- Gabrielle Nomura
The star from one of my favorite girl-power movies, “A League of Their Own” is coming to Seattle’s Town Hall from 4-6 p.m., March 12.
The famous red-head herself, Geena Davis, will speak at an event held by Global Washington called, “How Girls Can Save the World: An Afternoon Tea with Geena Davis, Christine Grumm, and Andrea Taylor.”
This is the first in a new series of community events called “GlobalWA // Gather,” which will feature conversations with “thought leaders” (whatever that means) on how to envision and build a better world (yes!).
Our girl Geena and the rest of the speakers will talk about gender inequality and raising young girls to have self-esteem and dignity.
This Rosie the Riveter of Hollywood founded her own Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and See Jane, organizations dedicated to reducing gender stereotypes in the media and increasing roles for women in film and TV.
Pre-registration for this event has closed, but there are a limited number of walk-in spots.
Town Hall is located at 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle. For more information, go to http://townhallseattle.org/.
Come Bon Odori season each year, I eagerly await Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington‘s annual sale, where people donate vintage, Uwajimaya-like treasures to help raise money for the center. Last, year, I scored on a child’s Kimono top ($3). I wore it in my editor’s note photo for our Taiko drumming issue.
I’m happy to announce the JCCC (led, in part, by Miss Japanese America herself, Lori Matsukawa) is opening a permanent store called Hosekibako (Jewelbox). Here, you’ll find Japanese art, antiques, collectibles and household items donated from the community. Like its previous summer sale, all proceeds benefit the center’s programs and operations.
Anyone can donate and volunteer at the shop (volunteers receive a discount).
If you go:
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 511 16th Ave S, Seattle (Between Weller & King Streets just off Rainier and Jackson Streets).
For more information, email email@example.com.
Join me, in addition to Stacy Nguyen, editor of the NW Asian Weekly and Eddie Quintero, President of Washington Hispanic Media Association, as we talk in a panel discussion called “Connecting with Diverse Populations Through the Media.” Session attendees will learn how to connect with diverse communities and potential volunteers by working with the media. Media resources have significantly increased in the last decade with the expansion of radio, TV, print, podcasting and social media. Organizations that wish to recruit diverse volunteers need to learn more about communities and racial and cultural demographics. Attendees will hear from the panelists and learn creative ways to engage and interact with people from diverse backgrounds.
The event is tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., however, there will be additional events taking place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as part of the 2012 Volunteer Manager’s Summit, “Connecting the Dots.” It’s all happening at Westminster Chapel, 13646 NE 24th St., Bellevue. The event is free to attend, but RSVP is required. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. …Read the rest of this post
The Eastside’s annual Japanese festival, Aki Matsuri, is currently looking to fill its 2012 volunteer team.
The open positions are as follows:
- Logistics/setup/takedown for food booths
- Takoyaki kiosk manager
- Gyoza kiosk manager
- Sushi kiosk manager
- Assistant performing arts manager
- Venue/crowd/sound manager for puppet shows
Tom Brooke, president of the Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association, said he would especially like to fill the roles of secretary and treasurer as soon as possible.
The treasurer needs to be comfortable handling cash, and occasionally will write a few checks.
The secretary needs to be able to attend the monthly Aki Matsuri team meetings and record the meeting minutes. All meetings are 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The meetings are held at Bellevue College’s main campus in the Student Union Building and take place the following days.
The festival itself is Sept. 8-9, and volunteers must be available to help set up Sept. 7.
For more information, go to http://enma.org/, or contact Tom Brooke at email@example.com.