Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gomez, Solano write Latino 101 for new mayor (and others)

(L-R) Marcela Gomez, Javier Solano
Starting with the tips, "We don't speak in one voice," and then continuing, "but sometimes we do," Marcela Gomez and Javier Solano appear on the Tennessean web site today with 13 tips about local Latinos for the incoming mayor of Nashville, Megan Barry. Gomez is CEO of Hispanic Marketing Group in Nashville, and Solano is vice president at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations. Gomez and Solano are President and co-Vice President, respectively, of the TN Latin American Chamber of Commerce.

Tip #9, about "Hispanic" vs. "Latino," for instance:
Neither, really. Mexican, Colombian, Cuban, American — any of these will work. Don’t hyphenate. That confuses us. And if you must use Hispanic or Latino, as we’re doing here, we think Latino is better because it’s more of a self-selected term. Don’t lose any sleep over it, though. Not a big deal.
Also, about not speaking in one voice (tip #1):
Here in Nashville, we have about 65,000 Latinos, representing more than 20 countries, five ways of saying the word “orange” in Spanish depending on where they’re from, two chambers... 
Ah, the two chambers. The Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce used to be called the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (see tip #9), and the other Hispanic chamber is the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The fact that there have been two Hispanic chambers in Nashville almost from the moment there was even one, and the frequently asked questions in town about "the" Hispanic chamber, were the subject of's own "101" page back in the day.

As for Latinos speaking in one voice, that's a reference to both the defeat of "English Only" in 2009, and the more recent cause of tuition equality. Tuition equality gets its own tip (#3). Considering this mention of a statewide legislative issue, and the likelihood that some of Gomez's and Solano's statements like "we love this country" (#11) are probably already understood – compassion for immigrants was a point of agreement between Barry and her runoff opponent – the authors are not just speaking to Barry. They're leveraging the recent election as an opportunity to speak to the city as a whole, its newly seated council, and the state leaders who govern from Nashville and read its daily paper.

The full column by Gomez and Solano is here.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Thank you for your work

Francisco Castro, working on First Tennessee Park
Detail of photo by John Partipilo / The Tennessean

Today is Labor Day. We celebrate work.

Today I am thinking of Francisco Castro's hands hard at work at First Tennessee Park, the popular new stadium of our minor-league baseball team, the Nashville Sounds. Castro was photographed by John Partipilo of The Tennessean in a feature about opening day.

My Facebook has lit up since then with photos of friends enjoying the place. Less visible are those who built it, so kudos to Partipilo and the paper for offering a glimpse.

We don't have a list of everyone who put their energy, effort, and skill into the construction of the stadium, but we do have Francisco's name. Thank you, Francisco, for your work - your labor, on behalf of a city excited about the home team's new home.

Happy Labor Day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Diana Cisneros to represent Tennessee at Miss U.S. Latina 2015

Miss Tennessee Latina 2015 Diana Cisneros
Photo by Erik Lara Photography

Diana Cisneros, named in July as this year's Miss Tennessee Latina, will be traveling to the Miss U.S. Latina pageant from August 30 through September 6 in CancĂșn, Mexico.

In a video interview with Su Programa, Cisneros mentions her social work studies at Nashville State Community College and MTSU, her arrival to Nashville six years ago from her hometown of Queens, New York, and her proud parents, who are from El Salvador.

gofundme crowdfunding page has been set up at to help Miss Cisneros with expenses related to the pageant, but as of August 20, attempts to donate are generating an error message.

Update: The crowdfunding page has been fixed.

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