Latino students are rapidly increasing in this Tennessee county and it’s fueling a racist rhetoric

While the county’s more than 366,000 residents largely identify as White and about 7.4% identified as Hispanic or Latino in the 2020 Census, their presence has pushed a community with a dark racial history to face the inequalities that persist and adapt to a new normal that goes beyond the fractured Black-White paradigm that has characterized the South for a long time.

Although there are ongoing efforts by the city and school officials to better serve Latino families, the demographic shift has also come with reminders of how heavily divided this region is and the fact that many Latinos live afraid of authorities because of their current or past immigration status.

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A North Carolina Farmer Was Accused of Abusing His Workers. Then Big Tobacco Backed His Election.

Cornell Watson for Mother Jones and TBIJ

Tobacco-picking is is often done by migrant Latino workers, both H-2A and undocumented. They can face abuse and exploitation from when they are recruited in Mexico, before they even set foot on US soil. But they are essential to the economic stability of North Carolina, providing a steady supply of labour for agricultural jobs that can’t be filled by Americans.

Tobacco is a labor-intensive crop. It begins life in a greenhouse before being transplanted into the soil. It grows to a few feet tall and you often start by only picking the leaves at the base of the stem, which has to be done by hand. The early-morning dew makes it give off a greasy chemical smell and the tar slowly turns your gloves black. The nicotine in tobacco keeps smokers hooked, but for workers in the fields who are exposed to nicotine day in, day out, it can cause “green tobacco sickness”—a condition that leads to headaches, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. A day off is a welcome respite.

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Why Latino people are on the front lines of climate change

“Latino communities from Texas to California to Puerto Rico are the hardest hit when these climate-induced disasters occur,” says Michael Méndez, who studies climate policy and environmental justice at the University of California Irvine. “They absolutely have a real world connection to our changing climate.”

Latinos in the U.S. are more likely than non-Hispanic Whites to experience heat waves, powerful hurricanes, sea level rise and floods, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Fiesta de Otoño 2022

The City of Bloomington invites community members and visitors to Fiesta del Otoño (Fall Festival) on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15. This free, family-friendly celebration will be held in conjunction with the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market at Showers Plaza in front of City Hall (401 N. Morton St.). Free parking is available in the Morton Street parking garage and in several lots nearby (please see map below).

The theme of Fiesta del Otoño 2019 is “Trabajando juntos por Nuestra Comunidad,” which translates to “Working Together for Our Community.” The event will feature educational opportunities and entertainment that showcase Hispanic cultures, including a performance by Mariachi Zelaya, a stroll by Latinx Greek organizations, and a community performance of “Jarabe Tapatio,” a traditional Mexican dance. Nearby, a dance competition will give visitors the chance to show off their own moves in salsa, merengue, cumbia, bachata, and other genres. In a kids’ zone, children and families can learn how to make traditional Latin American crafts, play loteria (Mexican bingo), and more.

“As a Latina, I know how important it is to strengthen bonds in our community. Working together will make our community and our nation stronger,” said City of Bloomington Latino Outreach Coordinator Josefa Luce. “During National Hispanic Heritage Month we want to recognize the contributions and influence made in our community and country by the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrate our heritage and culture through our commitment to family, our strong work ethic, and service to our community.”

Fiesta del Otoño is a partnership between the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department and Gamma Phi Omega, the first Latina-oriented sorority founded at Indiana University.

A complete list of the City’s Hispanic Heritage Month programming is available here. Information about additional programming is available through IU’s La Casa Latino Cultural Center and El Central Comunal Latino.

For additional information about Fiesta del Otoño, please contact Latino Outreach Coordinator Josefa Luce at lucej@bloomington.in.gov or by phone at 812-349-3860.

Free Internet for lower income folks / Internet gratis para personas de bajos ingresos

There is a government program Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that both AT&T and Comcast participate in. For eligible households, this program will give a $30 credit. Plus there is an option for getting an additional line for phone, tablet, etc.
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An even better program is Internet Essentials. Which provides basic cable for at $9.95 or even free $0.00) after providing documentation for SNAP, Medicaid, housing assistance or Free Lunch and book program at MCCSC.

I have helped several families enroll with this program.

It is easier to do this when you start service or at the end of your agreed contract (1-2 years).

I attached a brochure for this program with Comcast Xfinity.

This is NOT TV. But only for cable, to get wireless, so school kids and you can interact with school, etc.

The families are able to watch TV, many different free channels using wireless and Roku (or Amazon Fire, etc).

Internet gratis

Hispanic and Latinx immigrants finds uncertain welcome in Hoosier state

A notable example, in May 2011, was Indiana Senate Bill 590, which granted police officers permission to ask for proof of legal status under “reasonable suspicion,” according to LegiScan, a national data service. According to an article published by Indiana Public Media, the bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Mike Delph, who was in office from 2005 to 2018, said the bill was inspired by already-existing standards of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I believe, to most people in Indiana, if you cannot speak the English language and you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, you’re probably not lawfully in the country,” Delph said, per the 2011 article.

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Support our community efforts to help asylum seekers, refugees and other displaced migrants

A wonderful music performance group, the Chasqui Quartet has organized a concert tour that includes  Bloomington, Franklin TN and Nashville TN. 

Following a successful Colorado residency in 2021, Chasqui Quartet presents “Journeys,” a musical trek crossing centuries and continents. Music of Florence Price, Franz Josef Haydn, and Gabriela Lena Frank depicts travel on foot and on horseback, up mountains and into the spiritual realm. 

Playing together since 2019, Chasqui Quartet is known for their commitment to the storytelling power of music, creating immersive concert experiences rooted in local communities and causes.     Several of the members are very active and well known in our community.   

This group is very supportive of our community efforts to help asylum seekers, refugees and other displaced migrants, and they are donating a portion of the proceeds from this tour to the Bloomington Refugee Support Network.      

The concert in Bloomington is 5/31/2022, at 7pm at the First United Church. 
Please review the attached poster as well as a press document detailing their concert and locations. 

Thanks to the First United Church for hosting this event.   
Please share with your friends and family, and I hope you can join us being part of this spectacular musical journey. 
Please come and celebrate this musical journey.  Tuesday May 31,  7pm.  First United Church, 2420 E 3rd St, Bloomington, IN 47401

Reducing Immigration Harms America’s Economy 

Donald Trump’s immigration policies were harmful to America’s long-term economic future. That becomes clearer as one compares the Trump administration’s actions to the projected increase in the number of immigrants under recently introduced immigration legislation. The U.S. Citizenship Act, developed by the Biden administration, would aid long-term economic growth by increasing the number of legal immigrants by 28%. In contrast, Trump administration policies would have cut legal immigration in half. The immigration policy path America chooses in the long-term will make a significant impact on economic growth and future labor force growth, of which immigrants are a vital part.

Read Forbes article here

and Insider article ”immigration would help curb both inflation and the labor shortage”

About 6 million U.S. adults identify as Afro-Latino

Afro-Latino identity is a distinct one, with deep roots in colonial Latin America. As a result, it can often exist alongside a person’s Hispanic, racial or national origin identities. The life experiences of Afro-Latinos are shaped by race, skin tone and other factors, in ways that differ from other Hispanics. And though most Afro-Latinos identify as Hispanic or Latino, not all do so, according to new Pew Research Center estimates based on a survey of U.S. adults conducted from November 2019 to June 2020.

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Immigrants Detained In Indiana Jail Sue County And Federal Governments For Illegally Relying On ICE Contract

Four people detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Clay County Jail in Indiana filed a federal lawsuit today exposing how the county’s government has illegally used revenue from its ICE contract to award raises to county employees and pay for operations and capital improvements at unrelated county facilities, while leaving immigrants to suffer in the jail’s inhumane conditions. The lawsuit also details how the federal government’s immigration inspections system has turned a blind eye to unsanitary conditions and human suffering inside the jail.

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