Saturday, February 21, 2015

Be part of a conversation with the 'New Philadelphia' — the millennials & communities of color driving the growth in our city

Join AL DÍA News Media for this unique conversation leading up to the 2015 Philadelphia Mayoral Race!

This conversation will break the wall between the candidates, the media, and the public. The mayoral candidates will converse with a selection of the city’s leading journalists in front of a diverse audience. The candidates will field questions primarily from the journalists, but also from the audience, who will submit questions for the candidates via Twitter during the event.

Featured journalists will include:
Solomon Jones (900AM WURD)
Shai Ben-Yaacov (WHYY)
Helen Ubiñas (Philadelphia Daily News)
Steve Bo-Le Yuan (Metro Chinese Weekly)
Chris Krewson (Billy Penn)
Ana Gamboa (AL DÍA News)

Moderated by AL DÍA News’ Managing Editor, Sabrina Vourvoulias

This event will highlight the lack of representation for diverse communities in Philadelphia, touching upon the disconnect between City Hall and the public.

If you’re a Philadelphian, join our audience and participate in this one-of-a-kind opportunity to let your voice be heard in front of our city’s next mayor.

This event will take place at Pipeline Philly, a multi-purpose open workspace, located across the street from City Hall.

A networking reception will take place from 5-6pm. Fruit, cheese, wine and beer will be served. The conversation will begin at 6pm.

Dynamic discussion, networking possibilities, City Hall, and the candidates: Become part of the evening that will help shape the 2015 Philadelphia mayoral race!

The following candidates have confirmed participation: Douglas Oliver, Anthony Hardy Williams, Nelson Diaz, Lynne Abraham, Jim Kenney, and Milton Street


AL DÍA News Media is a dynamic news organization based in Philadelphia, with an increasingly national scope and reach. Our multi-platform news media organization showcases the fullness of the Latino experience in the United States — fostering engagement and driving a new American narrative.

In 2014, the company relaunched its website with a focus on bilingual national content generation without sacrificing the depth of its local coverage.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ICYMI: I wrote about Latino/a Speculative fiction at (#SFWAPro)

Putting the I in Speculative: Looking at U.S. Latino/a Writers and Stories

Spanish designates the letter Y as “i-griega”—literally, the Greek i—to mark its difference from the letter I, which Spanish-speakers understand to be from the Latin even when we don’t say “i-latina” as we recite the alphabet. In choosing the title for this blog post, I reveled a bit—as only a bilingual language nerd can—in the hidden layer of significance I could give that not-so-simple I.

Until the end of July 2014, if you looked at the Wikipedia entry for “speculative fiction by writers of color” and scrolled down past the lists of African and African-American writers, Asian and Asian-American writers, etc., to the category for “Latino writers” you saw no list, just one line: “see Magical Realism.”

To add insult to injury, if you happened to click on that “see Magic Realism” link, you were taken to a list of Latin American writers of the speculative, with not a single U.S. Latino/a representative among them.

The Wikipedia entry no longer looks like it did in July, because Matthew Goodwin, a comparative literature professor and editor of the upcoming speculative fiction anthology Latino/a Rising (Restless Books, 2016), added an entry for U.S. Latino speculative fiction writers. But the omission he corrected is emblematic. The U.S. Latino/a speculative fiction writer is largely invisible to the speculative mainstream editor, publisher, reviewer and anthologist....

The thing is, to experience the tradition and sheer range of U.S. Latin@ speculative writing, you have to venture out of the usual neighborhoods and cross into the liminal borderland between genres; into the barrios of small press and website; and onto momentarily unfamiliar streets....

Let me introduce you to a few Latino/a authors whose stories you may not have read, and show you around some of the (perhaps unfamiliar) markets that have published their work.

Read the rest of the post

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dear chica, comadre, chingona, cabrona: Sci Fi, Fantasy, Speculative fiction needs you (#SFWAPro)

Photo: Pixabay

Here is what I know: You are writing. Fan fiction. Stories about ghosts and legends and shapeshifters. Vampires. Monsters. Spaceships and magical neighborhoods.

Sometimes — when I'm lucky — I get to read your words.

From those examples I know you are cabronas with enough will to crash through Sci Fi's titanium ceiling; chingonas with entries that greatly expand the vocabulary of the fantastic; comadres mixing speculative into your masa and green chile sauce, and other elements of the everyday; chicas whose stories are prompted by epic or dystopic worlds first limned by others. 

But most times, when I land on the pages of my favorite SFF magazines or leaf through the anthologies, you are not there.

You should be.

Latinas comprise 16.4 percent of the female population of the United States. There is no comparable demographic breakdown for SFF women writers, but given how rarely Latina writers are in evidence in the pages of even the most diversity-focused publications, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the percentage were in the lower single digits. 

There are strong voices that have emerged in short and long form: Kathleen AlcaláCarmen María Machado and Guadalupe García McCall (to name just three), but there aren't nearly enough chicas, comadres, chingonas and cabronas to represent us.  

You need to submit your work, even if it is only once or twice a year, okay? I know it's hard to put your work on the line, particularly with the microaggressions Latin@s sometimes experience about inclusion of Spanish and Spanglish words (and so many other aspects of our cultures and experiences), but here are a few submissions calls you might want to consider:

• Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, guest edited by C. C. Finlay and open to electronic submissions until Jan. 15.

• The Los Angeles Science Fiction One-Act Play Festival, Roswell Award for Short Fiction, open to submissions until Jan. 15

• Crossed Genres, current theme: failure, open to submissions until Jan. 31

• Unlikely Story, Issue #12 Journal of Unlikely Academia, open to submissions until March 1.

• Terraform, submission information, ongoing.

• Fantastic Stories, submission information, ongoing.

Be in evidence "off the page" as well. There are an incredible number of conventions across the nation at which, generally, Latinas are sadly underrepresented. My own favorite conventions to attend are Readercon and Arisia, but I have heard great things about WisCon and Mo*Con. Financial assistance to attend some cons is available through Con or Bust.

Keep going. Young Latinas (hell, old Latinas too) need to see themselves in stories, and as purveyors of stories. Each story is about so much more than just the story ... it also represents, to paraphrase Gina Rodriguez in her Golden Globes acceptance speech a few days ago, a culture "that wants to see themselves as heroes" — and not only in the narrative, but in crafting the narrative.

(go to approx. 1:39 to hear the section of Gina's acceptance speech that made many Latinos tear up.)

Meet some Latina writers also crafting their own narratives, here.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The 2014 story of the year: Immigration

In 2014, for a Latino news media organization — and particularly one in the Philadelphia area — there could be no more significant news story, or collective of stories, than immigration.

In January of 2014, President Obama’s new secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, took over the department which had long incurred the wrath of immigration reform advocates and activists thanks to an unprecedented deportation rate that split up families and disproportionally impacted longtime residents with no criminal backgrounds. Early in March Johnson was charged with reviewing the administration’s deportation policies.

Also in March, after an uncomfortable White House meeting between immigration advocates and the President, in which Obama famously “chided” advocates for their criticism of his administration’s policies, the venerable National Council of la Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, followed the lead of more activist organizations and publicly named President Barack Obama the "deporter in chief.” Obama and some organizations with strong ties to the Democratic party tried to push back by redirecting that “title” to Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, but they were largely unsuccessful in diverting the mounting frustration directed specifically at the administration.

In April, in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order saying that local police would no longer cooperate with ICE in holding those suspected of being undocumented immigrants without a warrant to do so....

Read the rest of this editorial here, at AL DÍA News, which you should be reading regularly anyway ;)