Everyone knows that we are in trouble. The university graduation statistics suggest that there will be a downturn in enrollment. Just as in previous cycles, silver bullets are being proposed. It is natural that we have different opinions. However, this is nothing new. When educators — or let’s say administrators — propose solutions, they are generally based on the legislature, giving them more money so they can adopt a new program that appears to put them at the cutting edge. At the California State University, Northridge (CSUN), the last silver bullet was impaction — a bone to the sciences. It…

An Open (Short) Letter to the Los Angeles Times Editor(s) on ‘Chicano’ and Identity by Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones (dated June 9, 2019)

“¡Viva Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones!,” watercolor on paper, Salomón Huerta, 2021.

The reporter Dorany Pineda and the “‘Chicano’ and the fight for identity” column (06/03/19) signal its concern for a Chicano identity debate and its historical context while promoting its argument by pseudo historicizing; that is, a biased and slanted presentation of selected aspects and quotations. Pineda claims “facts” should be forthright about these sources inspirational to her/him. …

Dr. Álvaro Huerta. From Tijuana to East Los Angeles to Academia: Life Lessons from a Scholar.” TEDxCPP, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (April 27, 2017)

Lessons for Success in Higher Education and Beyond

As I reflect on my early undergraduate years at UCLA, where I entered as a first-generation math major from the notorious Ramona Gardens public housing project (or Big Hazard projects) in East Los Angeles, I’m still surprised (more like shocked!) that I graduated. While I excelled in mathematics, I wasn’t prepared in reading and writing at the university level. It didn’t help that I prioritized my student activism (e.g., being a MEChista) over my studies.

Four Ways to Support Latinas/os during the Pandemic and Beyond

Jaime Aleman (far left), Álvaro Huerta, Ph.D. (far right); photo by Ed Carreón (2019); As a former community activist, Dr. Huerta co-founded the Association of Latin American Gardeners of Los Angeles (ALAGLA) with Adrian Alvarez, Jaime Aleman, Antonia Montes and others.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only devastated the U.S. economy, healthcare system and educational way of learning, it has also exposed or exasperated the racial and class inequalities in the formal economy (and informal economy). (The informal economy is also known as the unregulated economy, among other terms.) While it’s true that pandemic has impacted all citizens and residents, it’s especially true that Latinas/os and other racialized groups continue to contract and die from COVID-19 at higher rates compared to Whites. On December 10, 2020, the Center for Disease Control…

The White Nationalist Barbarians Storm the Gate(s) of the U.S. Capitol

Cartoon appears courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz & Andrews McMeel Syndication / laloalcaraz.com/2021-calendar

The white nationalist barbarians, aided and abetted by their Führer — President Donald J. Trump — stormed and entered the gate(s) at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. The seditionists include those who brazenly entered the so-called people’s house,[1]responsible for death, destruction and mayhem, along with their snowflake leader who suckered them to do so from afar, lying that he would be there with them!

For the record, the proverbial gate was previously stormed and entered, legally tainted by gross irregularities and interferences, with the 2016 election…

In Memory of the Legendary Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones: Chicano Scholar, Educator, Activist, and Poet

“Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones,” oil on canvas, Salomón Huerta (2018)

“Anti-Mexicanism is a form of nativism practiced by colonialists and their inheritors.”

Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones (2017)

Tuesday, November 11, 2020 — marks one of the saddest days of my life. On this day, we — the Mexican people on both sides of la frontera and our allies — lost a legend with the passing of Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones (JGQ).

We lost one of the greatest intellectuals not only in the Americas, but also the world. The fact that JGQ was born a Mexican in el…

Five Quick Tips for Biden to Beat Trump in the 2nd Presidential Debate and Beyond

Five: Since former Vice President Joe Biden needs key swing states, like Philadelphia, to defeat President Donald Trump bigly on November 3, 2020, he needs to campaign like he’s losing. Since he needs to campaign like an underdog, he should be campaigning daily! While it’s great to have Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Mayor Pete Buttigiegmake the case against Trump, Biden needs to show more stamina. Maybe Biden should ask Trump for some steroids?

Memories from East L.A.’s Public Housing Projects: “Do the Hustle”

“Petty Hustling,” SalomónHuerta (2008)

While growing up in East Los Angeles’ Ramona Gardens public housing project or Big Hazard projects, I was a petty hustler. Throughout my youth, I dreamed of pursuing one of three divergent professions: (1) professional thief, like Jesse James; (2) famous Chicano mathematician, like Sir Isaac Newton; or (3) stand-up comedian, like Richard Pryor. While I eventually became a community activist-turned-professor, I fondly recall my petty hustling days.

Evel Knievel

While living in Hollywood with my extended Mexican family, my cousin Jose showed me the art of stealing. “Always be…

An Ethnic Studies Victory in California: ¡Si, Se Puede!

By Antonia Montes (08.29.20), 50th Anniversary of Chicano Moratorium in E.L.A.

On August 7, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1460 (ethnic studies bill) by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). Focusing on the California State University (CSU) system, this new law, “[c]ommencing with students graduating in the 2024–25 academic year,” requires all undergraduate students to take a 3-unit ethnic studies course for graduation. It usually takes 120 for a degree. This law supersedes a relentless attempt by CSU Chancellor Timothy White (and like-minded individuals/forces) to defeat AB 1460 at the nation’s largest system of higher education, where the majority of CSU…

Message to Emerging Race, Ethnicity and Politics (REP) Scholars During Turbulent and Uncertain Times by Dr. Tony Affigne

Dear Race, Ethnicity and Politics Colleagues:

The future is indeed fraught with uncertainty, and it’s clear the structure of academia will change dramatically. Many of those changes were already underway, but have been exacerbated by the COVD-19 pandemic of 2020. …

Alvaro Huerta, Ph.D.

Dr. Álvaro Huerta is a Religion and Public Life Organizing Fellow at Harvard University and an Assoc. Professor at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

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