Get to know these Latinx NBA stars

You may have noticed something missing as you enjoy the NBA playoffs: Latinos on the court. Just 2% of NBA players are Latino, so while we pressure the NBA to have more of our own playing the game, here are some Latinx players you can cheer on…

Al Horford was born and grew up in the Dominican Republic. He plays center for the Boston Celtics. His father, Tito Horford, was also an NBA player drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2007, and is a 5-time NBA All-Star. Al is married to Amelia Vega, a model and actress and the first Dominican woman to be crowned Miss Universe.

 

Jose Juan “JJ” Barea is from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and plays point guard for the Dallas Mavericks. He is only the sixth Puerto Rican to play for the NBA.

Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, let JJ use the team plane to deliver supplies to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

 

Ángel Delgado is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and plays center for the Los Angeles Clippers. He was ‘Rookie of the Year’ 2014-2015 and won the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for the 2017-2018 season.

 

Robin and Brook Lopez are identical twins born to a Cuban father and American mother, and grew up in California. Both played for the Stanford University basketball team, Brook as power forward and Robin as center. Now Robin, plays center for the Chicago Bulls and Brook is also center for the Milwaukee Bucks.

 

As the NBA finals come to an end, let’s root for all the Latinx players representing out there, and hope more of them are on the court next season.

These Latinx books ‘get’ you

There is something essential about reading a book 📚 that resonates with your own life experiences. Some, like these, are written by autores who understand the nuances often ignored by mainstream literature.

 

Let’s start with “The Rhythm of Success” 📖 where Emilio Estefan shares details about how he left Cuba and used his immigrant experience to help him create a mega-successful music career in the U.S.

He and his wife Gloria Estefan built a music empire and are a source of inspiration for all immigrants.

 

In “Signs Preceding the End of the World”  Yuri Herrera dives into the back-and-forth transition between homeland and new country, and how a person transforms as a result. This is a familiar experience for many immigrant and first-generation Latinxs in the U.S.

If Cuba is your interest, we recommend you read “Take Me With You” 📖 a memoir by Carlos Frías about a Cuban-American who gets in touch with his roots after going on assignment to cover Fidel Castro’s illness.

 

Reading enriches your life, but getting a hold of a book that ‘gets’ your experience is like having someone enter your mind and read your thoughts.

Visit your nearest bookstore or library for one of these inspirational reads.

 

Latino fatalities at the hands of brown cops

Black Lives Matters has brought to the forefront the real dangers black males face when interacting with police. But did you know that Latino males are twice as likely to die at the hands of Latino police?

You read that right.

 

 

The fact that our hombres run increased danger at the hands of police of color in diverse communities is tragic and infuriating to say the least.

 

So what’s going on?

It’s not a simple black or white answer. It includes many factors such as crime rate, unemployment rate, high school dropout statistics, education levels, and population of a community.

 

 

Researchers say there isn’t sufficient data to prove whether Latino policemen purposely target Latino males, but we need to find an answer and solution to this problem.

 

The study shows that income inequality and racial segregation increase chances of police homicide for Latino males and more Latino officers mean a higher chance of Latino male fatalities.

Open dialogue and police sensitivity training would go a long way in ensuring healthier interactions among our brown and black males and law enforcement. We need to work together to nip this atrocious trend.

 

Fear of deportation is leading some to their death


PHOTO BY JILL REPLOGLE

We live in a climate of fear, that’s not a question.

And for many Latinxs who are not in this country legally, the fear of deportation is constant and potent.

Like José Jimenez,  whose father was too afraid to go to the doctor even after the signs of melanoma appeared on his face. The elder Jimenez had to be convinced by his family to see Dr. J. Luis Bautista, who guards patients against la migra.

Many Latinx immigrants ignore health signs, or rely on home remedies that don’t work.

So much so, that many even put off medical emergencies.


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Take Julia Rojas, who ignored piercing pain in her lower abdomen and spent the day drinking hot water with mint leaves, as if it was a tummy ache that would be soothed.

The pain forced her to seek help, and doctors immediately removed her gallbladder.

Some immigrants rely on home remedies to treat diabetes, high blood pressure and other illnesses that need immediate care.

Doctors report seeing patients for the first time with advanced cancers, or feet that are necrotic and have to be amputated.


Migrant workers pick sweet potatoes at a farm in VA. Photo: USDA by Lance Cheung.

In June we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month because immigrants built this country, and continue to help our society function. Immigrants deserve the peace of mind to seek the health care they need. We must demand humane treatment of all Latinxs, enough is enough!

A hero doctor for our farmworkers


John M. Glionna / Kaiser Health News

Long before he owned two clinics and had people looking up to him, he was a boy picking fruit  in the fields with his parents instead of enjoying the freedom of summertime. He knew how it felt to not have anything, not even the money to seek medical help.

 


LA Times photo

That’s why, when Dr. J. Luis Bautista reached medical school, he promised himself that he’d never turn away farmworkers just because they didn’t have money.

He’s kept that promise, since most of the 30,000 annual office visits in his Fresno, California clinics happen to be farmworkers. Many are undocumented and don’t have insurance or money. For them, getting yearly exams or preventative medical care was not an option.


John M. Glionna / Kaiser Health News

Dr. Bautista’s start in life, as one of 10 siblings in a poor family of laborers, led him to create a sanctuary for immigrants. In his clinics, patients don’t have to fear federal immigration authorities. In fact, the staff has steps in place in the event the offices are raided by la migra.

 

We never say no to patients,’ he says. He’s used the old world barter system, and some patients have paid him with onions, crafts they’ve made, eggs and even live chickens!

 

This compassionate physician also created Bautista Foundation, a nonprofit to help low-income farm families with food, clothing and scholarships so their kids can attend college.


Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

The world is much brighter with Dr. Bautista in it, especially for our farmworkers!

 

Latinxs live longer, healthier lives. What’s our secret?

When we hear about the health of Latinxs, it tends to be negative. We hear about higher rates of diabetes and heart disease than our non-Latinx counterparts.


catering-by-design.com

 

But a new study shows that despite being more economically disadvantaged and having less access to resources, we are actually living longer and healthier lives 🤗 Talk about defying expectations!

The findings credit this to a number of factors including our connection to our comunidad  🤝 familia  👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 our deep laughter 😂 and perhaps even to our food that we tend to cook from scratch.


U Conn Today/Getty Images

Researchers call this the ‘Latino health paradox’ because the negative impact is not so bad for us. Even when Latinxs have poor socioeconomic and psychosocial circumstances that lead to worse health and earlier deaths for other groups, Latinxs have longer life expectancies.

The study also found that Latina mothers laugh more than other moms because they engage in deeper, daily conversations. This could be attributed to Latinas living in close proximity to family and friends, having joyful and polite personalities, and avoiding negative interactions.

Their social behavior comes naturally and extends beyond the immediate family.

 


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We still have more to learn, but in the meantime, keep on doing what makes you happy by interacting with your seres queridos since that will help you live a long, satisfying life.

Rejoice! The Dream Act is almost a reality!

Amigos rejoice 🎉 More than 2 million undocumented immigrants may finally have a path to citizenship 🙌🏽 thanks to passage of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019.

 


Young Latinxs show support of the Dream Act./latimes.com

 

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill in June, to create a pathway to citizenship 🇺🇸for Dreamers (unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children) and recipients of Temporary Protected Status (people whose countries are suffering from conflict, disasters or unsafe conditions).


Rally in support of the Dream Act./CBSNews.com

It was a historical moment for Latinxs, immigrants, and their allies alike throughout the country. Cheers erupted in the House chambers as the bill received the necessary votes to pass and soon were joined by a chorus of people chanting  📣“Yes, we can!”.

Seven Republicans voted in favor of the bill, joining 230 Democrats who supported it (a record!).


Dreamers are here to stay./uspolitics.10ztalk.com

 

Millions of dreamers, whose status has remained in limbo for years, received this news with excitement and renewed hope. So did the 340,000 T.P.S. recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and other countries. Several versions of the bill have been proposed in Congress, without success.

Passage of this bill is pending final confirmation from the Senate and eventually the Supreme Court, but all signs indicate dreamers are here to stay … Just as they always said!

Let’s hope this bill becomes a reality and we can do the right thing for our Dreamers. It’s about time this country embraces its immigrant roots fully.

 

After almost 5 years in foster care, 6 Latinx kids are adopted, together!


Steve Anderson-McLean and Rob Anderson-McLean of Pennsylvania, adopted Carlos, 14, Guadalupe, 13, Maria, 12, Selena, 10, Nasa, 9 and Max, 7, on May 23, 2019. Courtesy of Steve Anderson-McLean

Loving couple Steve and Rob Anderson-McLean of Pittsburg happily raised two sons from a previous marriage. But when the boys reached adulthood, the dads felt like something was missing.


Steve and Rob Anderson-McLean /Courtesy of Steve Anderson-McLean.

They realized they felt a draw to expand their family and began exploring adoption. But they didn’t want to add just one child to their clan.


Courtesy Steve Anderson-McLean

Inspired after seeing a story on TV of another couple who adopted siblings because they didn’t want them torn apart, Steve and Rob decided to do the same thing.

They “instantly fell in love” with six Latinx siblings 🤗 ages 7 to 14 from Ohio: Carlos, Guadalupe, Maria, Selena, Nasa and Max. The kids had been in foster care for 1,640 days, nearly five years, after suffering abuse and neglect. And the siblings have been with the two dads ever since.


Courtesy of Steve Anderson-McLean

This inspiring story reminds us that there is still a great need for adoptive parents, particularly of male children, and children of color. The Data Center reports that nearly 26,000 Latinx kids in the U.S. await adoption. Meanwhile, the Adoption Network Law Center reports there are more males in need of adoption than female, half are over 6 years old, and Black children are less likely to be adopted. Even sadder, is the fact that 73% of adoptive parents are non-Latinx white, which means more of our gente needs to rise to the challenge and save our pequeños from further neglect and harm.

Second lease on life: Why this former Salvadoran gangster-turned-pastor helps youth

If you had told Darwin “Casey” Diaz when he was young that he would one day be a youth pastor he would have laughed you out of the room. Or worse. You see, he was once one of California’s most violent criminals.

Casey Diaz / CaseyDiaz.net

Brought to the U.S. as a toddler by his Salvadoran parents, he was a gang member at 11 years old 😮and sentenced to almost 13 years in prison by the time he was 16 for second-degree murder 😨and 57 counts of robbery 😲

Casey Diaz / Flipboard.com

He was so violent and unpredictable that he spent three years in solitary confinement at the notorious New Folsom State Prison. Ironically, that’s where he turned his life around. He became a born-again Christian while he was behind bars, and he has never looked back.

Darwin “Casey” Diaz / The Crime Report

When Diaz left prison he was nearly 24-years-old and eager to share how faith changed his life. Now, teens see him as someone they can identify with and trust. His approach has worked wonders 🤗 and at least one of his former mentees is now a youth pastor.

Casey Diaz and his book cover “The Shot Caller” / NeedandSeed.com

Diaz turned his story into the book “The Shot Caller” that he co-wrote with Mike Yorkey. The title is a reference to gang leaders who decide who lives and dies from behind prison bars.

Diaz isn’t proud of his past, but he hopes that by sharing the reality of gang culture he can help potential gang members stay far away.

Before AOC and Dolores Huerta, we had Emma Tenayuca

Did you know that before Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez there was another Latina fighting for the rights of workers?

Emma Tenayuca / American Postal Workers Union

Her name is Emma Tenayuca and history is just now starting to give her the credit she deserves. The San Antonio, Texas native grew up watching her family and neighbors struggle for basic necessities during the Great Depression, and she became an advocate for labor rights by the time she was a teenager.

Emma Tenayuca / FierceFronteriza.com

At just 21 years-old, she led the 1938 Texas Pecan Shellers’ Strike, which was largely composed of Mexican Americans who kept seeing their pay cut down despite having to work in unsafe conditions. Tenayuca single-mindedly convinced 12,000 workers the fight was worth putting their jobs on the line.

Emma Tenayuca / San Antonio Current

The workers unionized under the International Pecan Shellers Union and garnered support from 8,000 more workers, bringing the industry to a screeching halt. Despite retaliation from pecan producers that included police gassing and arrests of strikers, they agreed to arbitration 37 days after the strike began and gave the workers increased pay weeks later.

Emma Tenayuca / TexasHillCountry.com

Tenayuca is a true ‘sheroe’ in history so make sure we teach our kids about her influence.