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
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
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,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
“Anti-Mexicanism is a form of nativism practiced by colonialists and their inheritors.”
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”
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.
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!
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. …
Ten Tips for Students to Succeed in College
1)Be good and do good. While it’s great to achieve individual success, use your college education — especially once you graduate — to imagine and transform world for the better.
2)Take care of yourself. College can be a very stressful environment, especially for first-
generation students, students of color and immigrants. This includes those who relocate far from home and/or attend predominantlywhite institutions (PWIs).In order to help others, you must first help yourself. You should always take care of your mental and physical well-being. Hence, learn time-management skills, get enough sleep, exercise…
Brief Notes on Violence in the Borderland by Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
Violence is not the only way. Fortunate twisted events of fate do happen. Some unwelcome rain can encourage needed sunlight. According to official press releases from both U.S. and Mexico national administrations, drastic forceful methods and means have not thwarted violence of their criminal elements. These elements have expanded their violence onto Mexico City, but, even more tragically, have the expansion of these anti-social elements resulted in the spread of injuries and death to honest folks who are their critics or innocent bystanders and even clergy.
To add to…
Dr. Álvaro Huerta is an Associate Professor in Urban & Regional Planning and Ethnic & Women’s Studies at California State Polytechnic University.