El Chicano

What can the census do for my community?

By Myra Miranda, Regional Census Campaign Manager, NALEO Educational Fund When the subject of community empowerment comes up, participating in the decennial census is often overlooked. Despite flying under the radar, however, the census can empower our communities in a multitude of ways.  In addition to being a constitutional mandate, participation in the census guarantees us a better future for the next 10 years. San Bernardino County is home to many hardworking families who crave a more desirable quality of life and a community where younger generations can thrive. In 2010, just over 65 percent of San Bernardino residents self-responded in the Census, which means that more than 30 percent of its population risked an inaccurate count that threatened access to hundreds of billions of dollars annually in federal funding for the community. In 2020, we have the opportunity to secure a better future for our cities, communities and children.  Every year, the federal government distributes more than $1.5 trillion dollars to states, counties and cities, which they base on available census data. If we do not do our part by participating, the census data…

Aguilar Provisions to Allow Dreamers to Work in Congress, Increase Staff Diversity Pass Appropriations Committee

The House Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2021 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill out of committee on July 10. The funding bill includes several key provisions offered by Rep. Pete Aguilar. The first would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to be eligible for employment in Congressional offices. The second increases funding for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the third provides funding to pay congressional interns, ensuring internship opportunities are not only available to those who can afford to work in an unpaid position. “For too long, Congress and congressional staffs have not been representative of the diversity of the communities we serve – these provisions would help change that. By giving Dreamers the chance to serve the communities they call home, ensuring people of color have resources within Congress through an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and removing the economic barriers that prevent so many young people from pursuing internships, we can help diversify the voices involved in the legislative process to better reflect the diversity of the American people. I’m grateful my colleagues agreed and we were able to…

IE Census Count reaches 60%, en route to a complete count

The Inland Empire is on track to surpass the 2010 self-response rates and secure equitable funding and representation for Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Despite the fact that the 2020 Census self-response period began the same week COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, local partners have been unwavering in their commitment to seeing the Inland Empire counted. The Census IE table, facilitated by the Inland Empire Community Foundation, has ushered the region towards this 60% benchmark and charts a path towards a complete count of all Inland Empire residents.  The Inland Empire is home to some of the hardest to count communities that have been hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic and continue to work and sustain. Key highlights for Census Count in the Inland Empire: Over 50% of the hard to count census tracts in the IE have been counted. Trusted messengers from non-profit organizations continue to do outreach to educate and motivate communities to fill out the census through phone banking, social media, food bank distributions, and local car parades. 161,575 of IE residents have pledged to fill out the census 700 trusted messengers from HTC communities…

San Bernardino city schools to reopen August 3 with distance learning

The San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved the re-opening of the school year on August 3 in a distance learning model in light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases countywide. The decision was made primarily with the safety of students, staff and the community in mind. At a later date students will return to campus to connect with educators in a limited capacity only when and if the County Department of Public Health and the board deem it safe to do so; a date has not been determined due to the fluid nature of the coronavirus. Safety protocols such as sufficient face coverings, PPEs, face shields, and hand sanitizers will be in place at each school site before students will be allowed to return. Extended distance learning will be offered to interested families who prefer their child(ren) stay home. Education Trailer Bill AB77 stipulates that school districts offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible, but distance learning may be offered as a result of an order or guidance from a state public health officer or a local public…

KVCR-TV to recognize high school graduates on TV, encourages community participation

Empire PBS, KVCR-TV is calling upon parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts & uncles to recognize their high school graduates on TV. The High School Senior 2020 project is a community service initiative to recognize high school seniors and provide them with the recognition they deserve, amid COVID-19. “This is completely free…all you need to do is submit the student’s name and high school, a senior photo and a congratulatory statement. We are producing one-minute spots, featuring five seniors in each spot,” said Lillian Vasquez, Empire PBS marketing coordinator. The TV station anticipates airing spots for an entire month, beginning on July 20, with a deadline to submit on July 15. “Currently, we have 45 students that are participating, but our goal is to highlight up to 200 high school graduates,” continued Vasquez. The initiative was generated by Vasquez who says she feels that high school seniors were robbed of a complete graduation experience. “We are going to acknowledge them for their hard work and success. Many organizations are helping to make sure these students feel important and appreciated. One of those organizations that we would like…

How the Census can assist our current reality

By Paola Avendano, External Affairs Associate, Center for Social Innovation – UC Riverside Given the detrimental repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Latino communities who are disproportionately vulnerable, among other minority groups, deserve to be properly represented now more than ever.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some members of racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19…Among some racial and ethnic minority groups, including non-Hispanic black persons, Hispanics and Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives, evidence points to higher rates of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 than among non-Hispanic white persons.” Many Latino working families have members who are considered essential workers and unfortunately make them vulnerable to the virus. Due to this reality, there is a high risk of essential workers bringing the virus back home where they may have numerous family members living under the same roof, making the virus more likely to spread. Yet it must be made clear that no minority group is responsible for the spread of this virus. The racial disparities have long existed even before…

CSUSB hosts first ever statewide Women of Color in Academia Symposium

By Loydie Burmah California State University’s (CSUSB) Women of Color in Academia (WOC in Academia) hosted the first CSU-wide symposium on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 to discuss the extensive, revelatory experiences of Black, Indigenous, Women of Color (BIWOC) faculty.  Created by co-chairs Dr. Nancy Acevedo-Gil, Dr. Angie Otiniano Verissimo, and Dr. Liliana Conlisk-Gallegos, the virtual academic discussion featured diverse BIWOC panelists who shared their invaluable experiences and research regarding intersectionality, representation, institutionalized heteropatriarchy, racism, and sexism.  Dr. Acevedo-Gil stated that in creation of the panel, WOC in Academia thought about “how institutions reproduce marginalization and subjugation for different intersecting identities.”  Panelists included Dr. Kimberly Griffin, Dr. Leslie D. Gonzales, Dr. Lissa D. Ramirez-Stapleton, and Dr. Yvette J. Saavedra, who shared their research and personal experiences. Dr. Otiniano Verissimo began the symposium by sharing a welcome message and thanking all panelists for their illuminative contributions, and participants for attending in solidarity.  Dr. Acevedo-Gil thanked Provost Dr. Shari McMahan’s (Provost and Vice President the Provost for Academic Affairs) consistent support. She also acknowledged her late colleague Dr. Lynne T. Diaz-Rico, Professor of Teacher Education & Foundation (TEF)…

CSUSB’s College of Arts and Letters names its outstanding students

The College of Arts and Letters at Cal State San Bernardino has named Luis Esparza, communication studies major, as its 2019-20 Outstanding Graduate Student and Brenda Flores, philosophy major, as its Outstanding Undergraduate Student.  Typically, Esparza and Flores would be honored at the college’s 2020 commencement ceremony, but the event, along with the other colleges’ commencements, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Esparza, who also received his bachelor’s degree in public relations and media studies from CSUSB, identifies as “a queer Chicano/x junior scholar who specializes in Decolonial studies, Indigenous methodologies, Indigenous pedagogical methods, Queer rural studies, Queer history, Mexican masculinities, and mass communication studies.” His thesis “Desde La Preferia De La Milpa: Testimonios of MSM de Los Ranchos y Pueblos” is centralized in the experiences of men who have sex with men (MSM) in rural parts of Mexico. Specifically, it focuses on the resistance methods MSM implement to navigate oppressive ideologies that stem from different moments in Mexican history such as the colonial era, exclusionist nation building, and homophobic revolutionary period rhetoric. Esparza, who has served as a graduate teaching associate at CSUSB, has presented his…

Inland Empire Future Leaders Program holds virtual conference to empower youth

The year 2020 marks the start of a new decade and it signals change. More and more parents of Latinx high school students want their children to succeed and they seek the help of role models in their communities to aid their children to go to college. Inland Empire Future Leaders Program (IEFLP) offers leadership development, cultural pride, and educational awareness to Latinx eighth- and ninth-grade students from schools representing San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. Photo Karino Camacho: Guest speaker Rep. Pete Aguilar shares his story and successes after attending IEFL in 1993. This past week, IEFLP held its 36th Annual conference via an online program. Over 100 Latinx eighth- and ninth-grade students and 60 volunteer staff participated in the online conference. The traditional conference was transformed into a three-day online experience to prioritize student and staff public health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. R.C. Heredia, an alumnus of Colton High School, UCLA, and Pepperdine Univ. and chair of the IEFLP Board of Directors shares, “The IEFLP Board of Directors made the wise decision that, while it would have been justified…

First female K-9 joins San Bernardino Police Department

A three-year-old Belgian Malinois named Bella was welcomed into the San Bernardino Police Department on June 1. “Bella began a 3-week training program on June 1 and on June 19 she graduated and immediately went into the field,” said Sergeant John Echevarria, San Bernardino Police Department. Bella’s first evening on the job was met with much excitement as she assisted in a stop where she immediately located cocaine and recovered funds. “In the three-week training program K-9 Bella and her handler completed the state-required 120 hours narcotic detection training course, participated in exercises where she was introduced to scents and odors such as cocaine, meth, heroine, and marijuana. In the exercises, we will hide the scents in a building or a vehicle, she’ll then run the entire obstacle, she alerts her handler when she locates the drugs and then she’s rewarded,” continued Echevarria. Bella is the first female K-9 the department has ever purchased and Echevarria shared that agencies tend to purchase males due to cost. “The primary reason why agencies do not purchase female K-9’s as often as male K-9’s is due to cost.…

American Red Cross recognizes local volunteers

On Tuesday, June 23, the American Red Cross San Bernardino Chapter recognized several volunteers throughout the county.  Traditionally, the Red Cross honors volunteers during a recognition ceremony banquet.  However, this year in keeping with the COVID-19 safety guidelines and social distancing, San Bernardino County Red Cross Executive, staff members, and volunteers formed a parade of vehicles that drove right up to each recipient’s home. Recipients were instructed to meet the parade of cars at their front yard with family and friends.  All participants were instructed to keep a social distance and use face coverings at all times.  As the procession of cars approached the residences, drivers and passengers would approach on foot, staying a safe distance from the home.  At most residences, volunteers would cheer and carry signs, and many would dance to music provided from a loudspeaker.  John Caviness received the “Volunteer of the Year” award for his service as a Logistics Lead for the San Bernardino County Chapter of the Red Cross. San Bernardino Red Cross Chapter’s Executive Director Yevette Baysinger presented each of the recipients a glass award trophy in recognition and…

CSUSB receives 3 Department of Defense cybersecurity scholarships

Three students in the Cal State San Bernardino cybersecurity program will receive full scholarships in the fall from the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program (DoD CySp), which seeks to recruit the nation’s top cyber talent to help protect the nation against threats on information systems and networks. “These scholarships are a tribute to the accomplishments and great work of our students. The DoD CySp program is one of the most competitive and prestigious in the nation, with anywhere between 50-100 yearly participants,” said Tony Coulson, director of the CSUSB Cybersecurity Center and a professor of information and decision sciences in the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration. “The three CSUSB students receiving the scholarships were chosen from a national pool similar to a National Football League draft and were among the top picks for their agencies.”  Nationally, the DoD CySp program received 571 student applications this year and made 115 new scholarship offers of which 108 students accepted, Coulson said. There were 78 returning students for a total of 186 students this year, he said.  Congressman Pete Aguilar, (D-CA) long a supporter and proponent of the CSUSB Cybersecurity program, said, “I…

Arrowhead United Way included in $15 million anonymous gift for COVID-19 efforts

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arrowhead United Way has been active in collecting funds to support community members in the regions that need dire assistance. The San Bernardino United COVID-19 Relief Fund was established and began accepting donations, as well as applications for individual assistance on March 19, 2020. The San Bernardino United COVID-19 Relief Fund was heartily supported by community partners including, SBCUSD Making Hope Happen Foundation. “Our community leaders have really stepped up to support our efforts to assist those who are facing the biggest hardships from the pandemic. Our partners are aware of the great need in our region and the California-wide donation of $15 million from an anonymous donor is going to make a huge impact on the lives in our regions,” said Gwendolyn Rodgers, Interim President & CEO of Arrowhead United Way. The anonymous donor made an impressive $15 million gift to fund a total of 30 local United Ways. All United Ways that are benefiting from the donation will be using it to help in the relief efforts for those most in need. The San Bernardino United…

San Bernardino native, Colton High graduate, returns home after 7-month deployment aboard Floating City at Sea

A 1996 Colton High School graduate, University of Incardinate Word studentand San Bernardino, California, native returned home June 16, marking the end of a seven-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman. Since departing its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia in November 2019, the aircraft carrier sailed in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Chief Petty Officer Mario Gonzales is a hospital corpsman aboard the carrier. As a hospital corpsman, Gonzales is responsible for being a clinic manager. “I am responsible for daily operations of the clinic to include the personal and professional development of the sailors in the department,” said Gonzales. “My favorite part of the job is leading and mentoring sailors and junior officers. They are the future of the Navy. Developing them both personally and professionally, there is no greater feeling than watching the success of the sailors I work for. Seeing them get promoted, completing a warfare qualification or watch standing qualification ensures that Harry S. Truman is ready to always answer the nation’s call.” Following a scheduled return from deployment in March, after operating in the U.S. 5th…

Now more than ever, an accurate Census count is needed to uplift working families

By Italia Garcia, Interim Executive Director for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ).  The coronavirus pandemic is demonstrating how crucial food and medical resources are to working class communities. Providing children with hot lunches and rendering medical attention is getting families through these difficult times, especially in communities like San Bernardino, where 28 percent of the population is struggling to make ends meet.  Census data collected every ten years influences how much funding summer lunch programs, hospitals, and emergency services receive from the federal government. It is extremely important now more than ever to have every home, every person, and every family is accurately counted in the 2020 Census. So far there are promising signs. Riverside County’s Census self-response rate is at 60 percent and San Bernardino County’s is at 59 percent. While both fall just slightly under the state’s average rate of 62 percent, the current figures indicate that coordinators and stakeholders are making inroads to ensure a complete and accurate count.  Nonetheless, there are still some factors we must continue to consider if we are to make the Census accurately…

CSUSB fraternity raises money to donate meals to hospital workers

Members of the Delta Sigma Phi Eta Beta chapter at Cal State San Bernardino raised more than $1,000 through a virtual fundraiser to buy meals for hospital workers at Dignity Health Community Hospital in San Bernardino. “We as a fraternity wanted to do something special for the hard-working frontline workers who are currently fighting COVID-19 every day,” said chapter president Adrian Valdivia.  The fraternity used the money to purchase meals from Alanbertos Mexican Food, a family-owned business in San Bernardino, said Valdivia, who graduated this month with a degree in communication studies with a concentration in public relations. The chapter arranged to buy 160 burritos as well as chips and water, Valdivia said. On June 12, at about noon, Valdivia and fellow chapter member Juan Saucedo, a senior majoring in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology who will graduate in the fall, donated the meals to the healthcare workers.  “The members of Delta Sigma Phi are very thankful to everyone who donated for this amazing cause, and we want to acknowledge all the heroes who are currently fighting this disease,” Valdivia said. “Stay strong!”…

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