Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Manuel, in creating icons, has become one

The Los Angeles Times profiles Manuel, Nashville's Mexican-American tailor whose designs are featured in a current exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

"Manuel - who uses only one name - has been outfitting tough men in sparkly outfits for 50 years. After immigrating from Mexico in the mid-1950s, he had a hand in creating cultural icons such as the black-clad Johnny Cash and the Grateful Dead's skull-and-rose design."

Monday, December 27, 2004

Integration programs at Conexion Americas flourish in 2004

The Nashville Business Journal reviews the multiple programs run by Conexion Americas in 2004 to promote integration of the Hispanic community in Nashville. The non-profit conducts cultural competency training, housing education and loan services, business education and networking, language classes, research, and other services.

"These days, the nonprofit's staffers are grappling with their success as they handle dozens of petitions from organizations and companies for help with the Hispanic community."

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Integrated Hispanic/North American Christmas at Crievewood Baptist

The Tennessean highlights alternative Christmas celebrations, including Crievewood Baptist's multicultural service:

"Participants in the international Latino ministry at Crievewood Baptist Church attend a Christmas Eve service with the 'North American' congregants, then celebrate with rituals from their own culture - a late dinner, stories, Bible readings and prayer, pastor David Carabajal said."

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Foreign language in Williamson County elementary schools expands in 2004 but is still under review

The Tennessean reports that Williamson County schools added foreign language instruction to the third, fourth and fifth grades this year. Budget constraints mean the program is under continued scrutiny, and officials wonder if foreign language instruction is "effective" at the elementary level.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Manuel exhibit at Frist highlights Mexico-influenced Western fashion

The City Paper reports that clothing designer Manuel Arturo Jose Cuevas Martinez is featured in a new exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts entitled Manuel: Star Spangled Couture. The designer is based in Nashville but grew up in Mexico.

"His take on Western wear is a kaleidoscope of classic details as well as symbols from Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures and Mexican religious life."

Frist Center Current Exhibitions

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Antioch First Baptist Church starts Spanish-language congregation

The Tennessean reports that Antioch First Baptist Church will house a new Hispanic congregation called Centro Familiar Cristiano. The church services will be led by Chuy Avila in Spanish but will be targeted to second-generation, bilingual, Hispanic residents of Antioch.

"'We're a flagship church in Antioch, Antioch First Baptist, and it sends a good message to churches in the Antioch area.'"

-pastor Sim Hassler, Antioch First Baptist Church

Monday, December 13, 2004

Cheekwood includes Las Posadas in multicultural holiday celebration

December celebration at Cheekwood highlights diverse holiday traditions, including the Hispanic tradition Las Posadas, in which figures from a nativity scene are taken from house to house for the nine days prior to Christmas, and on Christmas day the baby Jesus is laid in a manger.

"'When we do the nativity scene, we blow it way out of proportion,' said Maitane Zuloaga Tidwell, president of Inclusive Communications. 'In some houses, it can be as large as a room. … It's our way to make sure everyone in the community is involved in the celebration.'"

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Cuban refugees celebrate Nashville Christmas

Catholic Charities has been helping Cuban refugees since 1962; this year Cubans were among the 200 refugees who came to Nashville. Catholic Charities receives free space, food, drink and decoration from the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel for an annual holiday celebration for the refugees.

"'I am so grateful to Catholic Charities,' [Sudan native William] Dok said. 'They have helped me and my family find a place to live and give us clothes to wear. God has given them the strength to support refugees, and to me, this is a sign of love.'"

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Homebuying Hispanics and language students reaping benefits of Conexion Americas programs

The Nashville Business Journal reports on the success of two Conexion Americas programs: Puertas Abiertas (Open Doors) and Language Exchange. Over 40 Hispanic families have become homeowners as a result of Puertas Abiertas. Language Exchange pairs English speakers and Spanish speakers for language and cultural exchange.

"'Local organizations such as Conexión Américas have worked hard to make Nashville a place where cultural differences do not isolate and divide people,' says Vera Kutzinski, director of the Center for the Americas at Vanderbilt University."

Monday, December 6, 2004

Nashville NAACP President frames Hispanics as threat to black identity, status

Nashville NAACP President Sonnye Dixon: "You can't forget about race. ... I think the problem with us as blacks is if we don't continue to talk about it, particularly with the growing number of Hispanics and other immigrants, we're going to be lost. And the things particularly addressed to our type of cultural sensitivity will be grouped all in the whole. ... [W]e fought for 50 years and we're going to have all the advantages go to persons who are Hispanic."

Friday, December 3, 2004

Nashville Hispanic Chamber launches continuing education event, December focus is law enforcement

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) kicks off LatINforma, a monthly series of educational sessions to keep the Hispanic/Latino community better informed.

The first session will take place on Monday, December 6, from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Chamber offices inside Harding Mall, 4050 Nolensville Pike, Suite 211.

These sessions are free and open to the public.

Representatives from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Communications, Metro Nashville Police ‘El Protector’ Program and Tennessee Department of Safety will meet with the Hispanic/Latino community in an informal and personal level to educate, interact and inform about the different roles each of these agencies play in our community.

In many Hispanic countries the Police are not only responsible for law enforcement, their roles go as far as issuing passports, driver’s licenses, and IDs and even dealing with civil warrants. Therefore there is a significant need to inform the Hispanic/Latino community about the differences in everyday life with hopes that this knowledge will prevent any confusion that could result in unintentionally breaking the law.

LatINforma is a spin-off of the community collaborative that started in November 2003 with a partnership between NAHCC and Scarritt-Bennett Center, to bring Diversity in Dialogue Study Circles to south Nashville’s Hispanic/Latino community. With the support of the Metro Human Relations Commission two listening forums to foster relationships and understanding between law enforcement and Hispanics/Latinos were conducted at Glencliff High School in February and April 2004. Other organizations involved in the collaborative were Hispanic Link Consulting, La Noticia Spanish Newspaper, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods, and Metro Nashville Police Department.

“It’s apparent that the growth of the Hispanic population in our area is best defined as overwhelming, and it creates a need to rapidly assimilate at many different levels. Obtaining information is crucial and troublesome for Hispanics. LatINforma is an initiative designed to help in this process. Our Chamber is picking up where the listening forums and study circles left off; we are taking responsibility by continuing our initial goal of providing our growing Hispanic/Latino community with the necessary tools to better interact in our city”, said Yuri Cunza, President of the NAHCC.

Topics to be discussed in future sessions include:

* Metro Codes and Health Departments

* Metro Water Services and Stormwater

* Metro Public Schools

* Metro Fire Department

* Metro Nashville Police ‘El Protector’ Program

* Metro Human Relations Commission

* Scarritt-Bennett Center’s Diversity in Dialogue Study Circles

* Youth/Child programs

* Financial Planning

* Auto, Home, and Life Insurance

* Domestic Violence

NAHCC’s LatINforma is supported and endorsed by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Hispanic Link Consulting, La Noticia Spanish Newspaper, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods, Metro Human Relations Commission, Metro Nashville Police Department and Scarritt-Bennett Center.

For further information please contact Gabriela Coto at 615-568-3652, or Diana Holland at 615-585-9884,, LatINforma Program Coordinators and Board Members with the NAHCC.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Free children's book program will include bilingual books

A statewide program to give a free book, every month, to every child under 5 years old in Tennessee will include books in English and Spanish. Funded by private and public funds, the program is not yet in place in Nashville.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Nashville preschoolers are learning Spanish

Parents are pushing preschools to include Spanish in the curriculum, and many are responding. A dozen or so Metro preschools offer Spanish, but the cost of hiring foreign language teachers keeps Spanish out of most Nashville public elementary schools, according to Beckie Gibson, foreign language coordinator for Metro schools. Venezuela native Ana Pasarella is in high demand in schools and homes across town for Spanish instruction to children.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Young teen birth rate is higher for Hispanics than whites, Tennessee has one of highest birth rates

Tennessee's birthrate for teenage mothers age 10-14 has declined in the last decade, but Tennessee's rate is still among the nation's highest. Hispanic and black teenages have "significantly" higher birthrate than whites.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hispanic higher education enrollment at record high in Tennessee

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission reports record-high Hispanic enrollment at Tennessee's public higher education institutions. Overall enrollment is also at an all-time high.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Latest edition of Spanish-language telephone directory is released

75,000 copies of Enlace Latino have been distributed to businesses and households. The directory also includes "survival" how-to guides for new residents.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Domestic Violence Unit is recruiting Spanish-speaking counselors, officers

The Domestic Violence Unit of the Metro Nashville Police Department is recruiting Spanish-speaking counselors and police officers in an effort to reach the Hispanic population. At a Vanderbilt University domestic violence forum, Dr. Yoli Redero, visiting assistant clinical professor of law, noted the decreased likelihood of Hispanic women to report domestic violence, and the decreased likelihood that those who do report domestic violence will pursue the incarceration of their husband.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Statewide immigrant rights conference convenes Saturday

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) hosts its Annual Convention on Saturday, November 20th, from 10am to 5pm at Scarritt-Bennett Center, in Nashville, TN, to give immigrant and refugee leaders the opportunity to meet and develop a policy agenda on issues that affect their communities. Last year's Convention was the largest gathering of immigrant and refugee leaders in Tennessee history, and this year's convention promises to be almost twice as big.

TIRRC is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are viewed as positive contributors to the state.

Keynote speaker--Omar Jadwat, staff counsel at the National ACLU Immigrants Rights Project based in New York, will discuss "The Rights of Immigrants and Refugees in a Post-September 11th World." Mr. Jadwat is the son of immigrants from Korea and South Africa, graduating from NYU Law School and serving as law clerk to U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl. His practice at the Immigrants' Rights Project includes litigation relating to recent changes in immigration enforcement.

Cultural Celebration--From 6-9 in the evening, the TIRRC will host a Cultural Celebration at Belmont University's Massey Dining Hall, open to the public. We expect over 200 guests, who will enjoy a multicultural entertainment program, a silent auction, and exciting food from around the globe. $15 at the door ($10 in advance, children 10 & under free). Entertainers include Serenatta (Romantic Latin Ensemble), El Grupo Hispano America (Latin American Dance), Bara Jawad (Middle Eastern Oud Music), Kala Nivendanam (Bharatanatyam South Indian Dance), and Djembefole (West African Percussion). Food will be provided from Siete Mares, House of Kabab, Gold Star Farmer's Market, International Market, and Gye-Nyame Restaurant.

More information at TIRRC's website

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Aurora Bakery adds cafe, international menu

Popular Aurora Bakery adds cafe, wider international menu to already popular Mexican and Central American bread and pastry selection.

3725 Nolensville Pk. 837-1933

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Hispanic economic power continues to rise

The Conference Board says that there were 6 million Hispanic families in the U.S. in 1990, more than 10 million today, and there will be 13.5 million Hispanic families in the U.S. in 2010, with $670 billion in purchasing power. Camilo Cruz, founder of Latino Institute for Development, Education & Responsibility, says the Hispanic market's current purchasing power is $200 billion. Cruz was the speaker at the recent launch of Conexion Americas' "Avance" small business program.

Some estimates put the Hispanic population in Nashville at 200,000.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Low-income and ESL students fall short of federal education goals

Testing of Middle Tennessee students reveals low income and ESL students fall short of No Child Left Behind benchmarks. Ed Gray, assistant superintendent for instruction at Bedford County, points to an increase there in the Hispanic population from 1% to 12% of the student body in the last nine years.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Mexican restaurants are caught violating overtime laws

The U.S. Labor Department has cracked down on Mexican restaurants in Tennessee, according to its district director Carol Merchant. Las Palmas in Nashville failed to pay overtime to 85 employees from March to October 2002, and has since paid over $130,000 in back wages. Las Palmas accountant Dennis Greeno said that the tradition in Mexico is to pay restaurant workers a flat rate for six days' work, and that even without time-and-a-half pay for overtime, all workers were paid more than minimum wage. The Las Palmas restaurant business started in 1990 with one location and has since grown to 12 locations with more than 400 employees. Las Palmas is not the only Mexican restaurant in the state under investigation.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Hispanics at 3.2% of statewide public school population; ESL students at 2.1%

There were 911,735 public school students in Tennessee last year, according to the 2004 Tennessee Report Card. Hispanic students made up 3.2% of that total. English as a Second Language students made up 2.1%, up from 1.4% in 2001.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

2004 election increased Hispanic political clout

The U.S. Senate will have its first Hispanics since the mid-1970s: Colorado Democrat Ken Salazar and Florida Republican Mel Martinez. The House of Representatives also gained two Hispanic members. John Ashcroft's resignation on election day left the Attorney General position open for the nomination of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Is Tennessee bad for Hispanic infants?

Tennessee infant mortality and fetal-infant mortality rates are among the worst in the nation. In 2001 and 2002, Tennessee's infant mortality rates were 8.7 and 9.4 per 1,000 live births, when the national rates were 6.8 and 7.0. Using data from the three years since numbers for Hispanics have been kept, Dr. Theodora Pinnock, director for Maternal and Child Health for the Tennessee Department of Health, believes that first-generation Hispanic immigrant infants do better, with the mortality rate getting worse for later generation Hispanic infants.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Rage reviews Salvadoran restaurant Las Americas

Las Americas 4715 Nolensville Road 315-8888 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Review describes affordable Salvadoran specialties: pupusas, chile colorado, carne deshebrada, ceviche tostada, mojarra, sopa de mariscos, and pozole.

Monday, November 8, 2004

Mexican consulate attracts hundreds for latest I.D. drive

Mexico's Atlanta consulate came to Nashville and processed approximately 900 applications for the matricula consular, a form of identification developed by Mexico for its citizens living abroad.

Matricula Consular fact sheet

Friday, November 5, 2004

Salsa En Nashville plays the Frist tonight

Salsa En Nashville, led by Al DeLory since 1998, has recently earned high praise as a world-class Latin band from New York music critic Max Salazar and French music journalist Luc DeLanoy. Salsa En Nashville plays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. tonight at Frist Fridays, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Tennessee Aquarium and Chattanooga Police are learning Spanish

Kathleen Meehan Coop, the Tennessee Aquarium's grant coordinator, says the purpose of teaching employees Spanish is to provide Hispanic visitors the same experience as the facility's English-speaking visitors. Captain Mike Williams of the Chattanooga Police Department said that officers need basic, or "street level" Spanish.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

United Methodist panel finds "institutional racism" at School of Theology

Retirement of former Iliff School of Theology president David Maldonado Junior was due to "institutional racism," according to a review panel of the United Methodist Church. Maldonado was the Denver school's first Hispanic president and served for four years in that capacity.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Hispanic vote has yet to realize its purported power

Hispanics are fastest-growing minority in the nation; Hispanics have the fastest growth rate of new voter registrations and total votes cast; but Hispanic still have the lowest voter turnout.

Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, a Hispanic thinktank, says that only 1/6 of Hispanic population in U.S. is registered to vote (1/3 are below voting age, 1/3 are not citizens, and only half of remaining 1/3 are registered to vote).

Monday, November 1, 2004

Conexion Americas launches Spanish-language business education series

Conexion Americas' new Spanish-language "Avance" program targets Spanish-speaking business owners with a year-round education and networking series, building on existing entrepreneur classes held at Belmont University.

Free launch event is November 4, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Jack C. Massey building at Belmont University.


Friday, October 29, 2004

Nashville artists celebrate Dia de los Muertos

Plowhaus Artists' Cooperative conducts Dia de los Muertos adults' and children's artist workshops and artists' reception (Trick or Treaters invited) on Saturday, October 30, and themed exhibit running October 30 - November 28


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Marketing tip: network outside your ethnic group

"Profit Sherpa" Betsy Jones advocates attending different ethnic communities' chambers of commerce, marketing beyond your own group - meet new people, demonstrate interest, and stand out among your peers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

PanAfrica conference to address HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic community

PanAfrica Conference to be held at Millenium Maxwell House Hotel October 28 - October 30

"A Roadmap to Ameliorating the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean"

Speakers include Joseph O'Neill, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy; Charles DeBose Director, Office of Health and HIV/AIDS, Africare; and Henry J. Heimlich, M.D, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver, who is researching new treatments for AIDS.

One of the conference topics is the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic community.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Cuba Cafe opens to rave Tennessean review

Lechon asado, pan con bistec, ropa vieja, empanada, croqueta, papas rellenas, pudin de pan, tres leches cake

4683 Trousdale Drive

11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday

Monday, October 25, 2004

Cheekwood hosts Dia de los Muertos Halloween event

Fifth annual El Dia de Los Muertos

"A day of celebration where families of all cultures enjoy learning about Latin American traditions"

Hands-on art activities, dance performances, live music, Mexican Market Place

All activities are bilingual

11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, October 30, 2004

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

Friday, October 22, 2004

In time of sorrow, Hispanics count on Shelbyville funeral director David Feldhaus

Shelbyville funeral director David Feldhaus provides sensitive and affordable service to Hispanics whose needs include payment plans and burial outside the U.S.

Feldhaus is the only Shelbyville funeral director who regularly serves all races.

Bedford County's largest minority is the Hispanic community, at 10% of the population. In 2002, only 4 Hispanics were among the county's 394 deaths.

Most of the Hispanic deaths are young victims of accidents.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Meharry develops cultural guide for health care providers

Meharry Medical College has developed the Cultural Competence in Cancer Care booklet in a project with Baylor hospital in Houston.

North Nashville's Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center is using the guide; treats large minority population including Hispanics.

Sensitivity to cultural differences increases communication and opportunities for good care.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Racism alleged in Bordeaux landfill fight

President of Nashville NAACP chapter, Rev. Sonnye Dixon, claims "environmental racism," saying landfills are disproportionately located in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Warehouses moving away from minority neighborhoods, taking jobs with them

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says fewer minorities and women have warehousing jobs

Retail distribution centers are relocating away from urban areas with higher minority populations

Monday, October 18, 2004

Median net worth of Hispanic households slightly leads black households, widely trails whites

Pew Hispanic Center Study:

2002 median net worth of black households: $5,988

2002 median net worth of white households: $88,651

2002 median net worth of Hispanic households: $7,932

2002 median net worth of Cuban immigrants: $39,787

2002 median net worth of Central American and Carribean immigrants: $2,508

1999-2001: black and Hispanic net worth fell by 27%, white net worth grew by 2%

Low-cost cities such as Nashville are attracting more Hispanics

Friday, October 15, 2004

Colombian family featured in greenway story

Meneses family: Santiago, Sandra, and Sandra Carolina

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Review: La Hacienda Taqueria

2615 Nolensville Road


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

New Saint Thomas facility will shorten health care wait for uninsured

$3 million project

9,000 square feet

394 Harding Place

Recent caseload: 15,000 patients from 32 countries

Nancy Anness, Executive Director of Saint Thomas Community Health Centers

Paul Lindsley, Director of Saint Thomas Hospital Public Relations

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Fake license vendor jailed

Carlos F. Gonzalez, 58

Three charges of criminal simulation

$150 fake licenses sold to Hispanics

La Cucaracha comic about fake document vendors

Monday, October 11, 2004

Clarksville Chamber of Commerce sponsors Latin American culture seminar

Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce


Sponsors: U.S. Bank, Workforce Essentials, Manpower Inc.

Speaker: Jose A. De La Cruz

"Insight Into the Latin American Culture System"

Friday, October 8, 2004

Column: Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) attempts quiet nationwide facility growth; includes Chattanooga, Knoxville, Brentwood

"The agency is in the process of building similar facilities in every region of the country. One of the reasons for the low-profile office in Knoxville is that a similar facility in Chattanooga caused a neighborhood uproar. There was a building permit request for an INS office. It sounded rather benign, but Councilman Jack Benson wanted to know why the feds were building an office in an expensive part of the suburbs rather than downtown near the jail."

"Further investigation and a look at the plans revealed detention cells and a weapons room. Benson called Congressman Zach Wamp, and the lid blew off. Wamp demanded a Government Accounting Office explanation and a public hearing. The Brainerd Road site was near a residential area, a daycare center, a church and a school. The facility has been moved to a commercial/manufacturing area. That the office in Knoxville was opened in total anonymity is astounding when you consider that a new taco stand usually requires a public hearing."

"If federal authorities pay lip service to local planning regulations, it is merely a courtesy, according to Dave Hill, Knoxville COO and also still director of the Metropolitan Planning Commission. Federal law supercedes state and local in these matters. He said MPC has no record of any such facility. The city does have a building permit for the site in the name of Curtis Investments. Curtis Investments is a Dallas-based firm that is building the ICE facility in Chattanooga. Evidently, in Knoxville, they did not make the mistake of using the INS on the permit."

"In addition to the INS office in Nashville, a quick response team facility is reportedly located in Brentwood, a posh suburb south of town."

"With the formation of the new Department of Homeland Security, ICE has become the second-largest investigative agency of the U.S. government. It has 20,000 agents. Within the past year they have deported 52,000 criminals and 40,000 illegal immigrants who are not criminals."

Metro Pulse (Knoxville)

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Scam targets license seekers

"The ad in a local Spanish-language newspaper tries to draw Hispanic immigrants to a south Nashville motel with the promise they will be able to buy a driver's license good anywhere in the country."

"The operation is getting attention from both immigrant advocates and the state's chief of homeland security, but for different reasons."

"Advocates, alerted to a similar operation in Memphis, are concerned that immigrants who buy the document will forgo getting a valid Tennessee license, and ultimately either face arrest or a citation."

"Homeland security chief Maj. Gen. Jerry Humble, told about the business by The Tennessean, said he believes its claims amount to 'a scam' that could fool those asking for IDs into thinking the documents are valid."

The Tennessean

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Immigration interview cut from hospital reimbursement regulations

"Tennessee hospitals won't have to ask emergency room patients questions about their immigration status to get reimbursed for serving undocumented immigrants."

"A federal government plan that would have required such questions was scrapped last week. Hospital officials said they were pleased and relieved by the announcement, which means that Tennessee hospitals will receive $4.4 million over the next four years for providing such care, with none of those strings attached."

"State hospital officials, and those across the country, had opposed the plan to ask all indigent ER patients questions about their immigration status, saying it would deter sick patients from accessing care, potentially leading to bigger public health problems."

The Tennessean

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Hispanic buying power in Tennessee: $6.4 billion by 2008

"Tennessee's Hispanics, by far the state's fastest-growing minority population, [are] projected to have a buying power of $6.4 billion by 2008."

"For any region to consider itself successful, it must ensure that all of its citizens have opportunities to participate significantly in its economy. It is equally important that a region's government, business, educational and social leadership support those opportunities in practical ways."

"Minority Enterprise Development Week - which runs through Oct. 10 - is such a practical undertaking, one that strives to provide entrepreneurs the tools to run and grow their businesses more effectively. Several of the MEDWeek events are being organized by the Nashville Minority Business Center."

Nashville Business Journal

Monday, October 4, 2004

Nashville Ballet expects long-term "win" from Argentina cultural exchange

Paul Vasterling, artistic director of the Nashville Ballet, recently returned from a three-month stay in Argentina.

"Vasterling, who traveled to the South American country on a Fulbright Scholarship, worked with a contemporary dance company in Buenos Aires, taught at a private school of movement called Arte y Cultura and worked with Ballet Estable del Teatro Colon, a more formal ballet academy."

"Vasterling was also able to recruit three young dancers who will come to Nashville next summer and formalize plans for a Nashville Ballet Argentinean tour next October. Any time Nashville organizations make international connections, he said, it's good for the image of the entire city."

"Vasterling also met a number of choreographers 'just dying to come up here and work,' he said. 'And that's the kind of thing that's happening. It's truly an exchange. There may not be immediate gratification for our audiences, but there will be long term. We all win.'"

The Tennessean

Friday, October 1, 2004

Spiritual leaders reach across racial lines in Franklin's Gathering

"Five years ago, the pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church said he hoped to see a little bit of heaven at the first Gathering, an event promoting racial and denominational reconciliation."

"About 150 church leaders and lay members of varying denominations and races are now involved in the group, said Russell Hardeman, who is organizing the music for this year's Gathering. About 50 or so meet weekly to pray and get to know one another."

"Past speakers have included three Franklin pastors. Hewitt Sawyers spoke about growing up in Franklin as an African-American. Jose Duran of La Casa De Mi Padre talked about Hispanic experiences, and Scott Roley of Christ Community Church described his previous insensitivity to black churches and his eventual partnership with Denson as two of the founding members of Empty Hands."

The Tennessean

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Hispanics are largest minority group in 24 Tennessee counties; statewide population at 2%

"In 24 Tennessee counties, the largest minority is no longer African-American. It's Hispanic."

"In Sevier County, for example, where 97.6% of residents are white, Hispanics, at 1.5% of the population, outnumber blacks at 0.6% of the population by more than 2-1, but both minorities have a small presence."

"South of Nashville, Bedford County is home to a greater percentage of Hispanic residents than anywhere else in the state - 10% - while African-Americans are 8% of the population."

"Tennessee overall remains 2% Hispanic, 17% black and 81% white, according to Census estimates released today."

The Tennessean

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

No injunction in federal suit against driving certificates

"[Federal judge Todd] Campbell ruled against a preliminary injunction to discontinue production of the certificates and allow those with these certificates to once again apply for a Tennessee driver's license."

"Campbell wrote that the court 'is not persuaded that the injury rises to the level of a constitutional violation.'"

"'Under the amendments to the Tennessee statute, such a person is still eligible to receive a drivers' certificate, and therefore, is able to lawfully operate a motor vehicle just like those individuals who hold a drivers' license. Thus, no right is infringed,' wrote Campbell. 'The fact that the state could have made other rational decisions, for instance allowing no driving privileges at all for illegal aliens, does not make the current law irrational.'"

"'We tried to find some middle ground here and so far it is working in the state,' [Governor] Bredesen said of the new law. 'I'm pleased that a federal judge would agree that it is a reasonable compromise between the rights of individuals, albeit illegal aliens, in some cases, and the needs of our state and our nation.'"

Nashville City Paper, Tennessean

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Nashville Scene dining guide features 14 Hispanic and Tex-Mex restaurants

"Coco Loco offers a dining experience as close to perfect as anyone could ask for. 4600 Nolensville Rd. 781-9050. Open daily for dining 11 am-10 pm, with club hours until 3 am Tues.-Sat. $$-$$$"

"Birria—steam-cooked goat in a stew served with corn tortillas and hot sauce—may be an acquired taste, but it's the specialty at Las Chivas. 4021 Nolensville Pk. 831-3595. Hours: 10:30 am-10 pm Mon.-Fri.; 8 am-9:30 pm Sat.-Sun. $-$$"

"Delivered steaming-hot off the grill, Dona Rosa's pupusas resemble more a stuffed pancake than a dumpling, but don't skimp on the filling, or the tangy slaw on the side. Parked in the lot of Zack's ExpressMart, 5101 Nolensville Road. Hours: 9 am-10 pm Mon.-Thurs.; 9 am-7:30 pm Fri.; 6-10 pm Sat.; and 7 am-10 pm Sun. $"

Other restaurants reviewed: Chez Jose, El Inca, Honduras Restaurant, La Hacienda Taqueria, La Paz, Las Americas Taqueria & Pupuseria, La Terraza, Qdoba, Rosepepper Cantina & Mexican Grill, San Antonio Taco Co., Super Pollo

Nashville Scene

Monday, September 27, 2004

New Saint Thomas facility will nearly triple size of Hispanic-focused clinic

"Saint Thomas Health Services expects to break ground soon on a $3 million clinic aimed at serving Nashville's growing Hispanic community."

"The 9,000-square-foot stand-alone building is to be located at Nolensville Pike near the Harding Place intersection. Construction is to begin immediately following the ground breaking Sept. 30. Completion of the project is expected in spring 2005."

"The existing 3,500-square-foot clinic was opened in December 2001 after a thorough study by the hospital to determine the level and type of needs of Nashville's multicultural population, said Greg Pope, vice president of Saint Thomas' philanthropic foundation."

"Saint Thomas considers the facility to be an 'outreach clinic designed to meet the multiple needs of new immigrants locating in Nashville,' particularly Hispanics, said Nancy Anness, executive director of community health centers for the hospital. Patients of Hispanic ethnicity make up about 85 percent of the existing clinic's patient volume."

Nashville City Paper

Friday, September 24, 2004

Federal judge hears discrimination challenge to certificate of driving law

"An attorney representing Hispanics in Tennessee said Thursday in federal court that the state’s new driver’s license laws are discriminatory against legal and illegal aliens and should be struck down."

"'Troopers divided people because of their nationality and the way they looked and the color of their skin,' said [Attorney Jerry] Gonzalez. 'It sends chills up my back thinking how black people were treated in the 1960s.'"

"State attorney Mike Meyers said the new law 'does not target any group.' Following Sept. 11, he said the driver's license was one of the main ways terrorists were able to legally move around the United States, and Tennessee was just looking for a 'protective means to prevent abuse of licenses.'"

"'The government thinks it can run a flag up the pole, call it homeland security and everybody will bow down and nobody will know what they're doing,' Gonzalez told the judge Thursday."

"Federal Judge Todd Campbell said he would make a ruling as early as next week."

Nashville City Paper, Williamson County Review AppealWKRN

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Doing Business with the Hispanic Market seminar October 5

"Join us for this informative seminar on doing business with the Hispanic community. Learn from local experts: understanding cultural issues, immigration opportunities with regard to hiring, and how to market correctly to this growing demographic."

"Presentor/panelists include: Jose Gonzalez, Conexion Americas; Mabel Arroyo, Stites & Harbison; Marcela Gomez, Hispanic Marketing Group; Wynne James, Stites & Harbison"

"Tuesday, October 5, 2004; 8:00 - 11:30 a.m."

"Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, 2120 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203"

Nashville Business Journal, Hispanic Nashville Calendar*

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

First Hispanic Festival of Clarksville this Saturday

"Saturday will be a celebration of Latino music, food and dance during the first Hispanic Festival of Clarksville."

"The event, at the Havana Cafe on Fort Campbell Boulevard, invites all people who enjoy cultures from Spanish-speaking countries. It also is designed as a forum for education and meeting new friends."

"The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Montgomery County has a population of 141,064 residents, with close to 8,000 residents of Hispanic or Latino origin."

"'I think it's much higher, more like 12,000,' said [Austin Peay State University Spanish professor Ramon] Magrans, who takes into account the many migrant Hispanic workers who come to Tennessee and Kentucky for service, construction and agricultural jobs."

"The Hispanic Festival will be from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, at the Havana Cafe, 2463 Fort Campbell Blvd. (near Gate 1)"

"For information, call Angel Natal at 980-4391.", Hispanic Nashville Calendar*

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Yuri Cunza is elected President of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

"The new president of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wants its members to use their resources to help others."

"Yuri Cunza recently was elected to preside over the chamber, housed in offices at Harding Mall."

"Cunza, publisher and editor of La Noticia Spanish language newspaper, has been on the board for a year."

The Tennessean

Monday, September 20, 2004

Editorial: "Contrived" Hispanic Heritage Month fails to tell true story

"With all of this historic reality, it seems a little silly to be focusing on 'Hispanic Heritage Month,' with its contrived messages to honor all things Latin."

"A more productive plan would be to ratchet the love down a few notches and spread it more equitably and honestly through the other 10 months as well."

"The numbers have long been in and most everyone has caught on. Hispanics are the largest racial or ethnic minority with more than 38 million people and have a buying power of $540 billion."

"Look for lots of advertising that includes olive-hued girls dancing in ribbon-trimmed, folkloric dresses. Never mind few people actually wear such outfits, except on a stage."

"The full story about Latinos' presence in America is much more complicated than diatribes about legal and illegal immigration."

"There are 1.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, hard-working people who most likely are no one's gardener or roofer."

"The majority of Latinos in the United States speak English."

"Still, the bulk of discussion about Latinos seems to revolve around those who wear the dreaded 'illegal' label."

"The most inflamed estimates put the number of people illegally living in the United States at 10 million. Not all are Hispanic, maybe only 60 percent."

"That leaves 32 million Latinos who are legally here, most of whom were born in the United States - every bit as American as those who can join the Daughters of the American Revolution."

Houston Chronicle

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Language is greater barrier to health care in the South than elsewhere

"Limited English skills and the lack of Spanish-speaking health workers have prevented many Hispanic patients from seeking appropriate medical care, according to a survey released Friday by the National Council of La Raza."

"The reluctance of Hispanics to seek or even trust the health care system in the South is similar to that in other parts of the country, experts say. But the difference in the South is that the Hispanic population has exploded so quickly that health services have yet to catch up."

"In Georgia, Hispanics were nearly 2 percent of the population in 1990 and grew to more than 5 percent by 2000. Atlanta's Hispanic population has grown 30 percent and Nashville's has grown by 21 percent during the same period, the organization said."

"The survey, which interviewed Hispanic residents and health providers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee--the states with the largest recent growth of Hispanics--found that Hispanic communities have very limited sources of health information."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Friday, September 17, 2004

United Methodist leaders sound alarm: racial profiling is "out of control"

"A report that 32 million people have been victims of

racial profiling practices since September 2001 should move United Methodist

churches to speak out on injustices against racial and religious minorities,

according to two denomination leaders."

"The unlawful use of race in police, immigration, and airport security

procedures has expanded since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on

America, and threatens to affect an estimated 87 million people in the United

States, according to the report by Amnesty International USA. The report,

'Threat and Humiliation: Racial Profiling, Domestic Security and Human Rights

in the United States,' was released at a press conference Sept. 13 at the

National Press Club."

"'During our research, we collected testimony from Native Americans who were

profiled going to and from religious ceremonies, Hispanics who were profiled

while in the sanctity of their homes, African Americans who were profiled

walking down the street, and a Boy Scout, who happens to be Muslim,

constantly being subjected to airport searches,' said Benjamin Todd Jealous,

director of Amnesty International USA's Domestic Human Rights Program."

"The Rev. Chester Jones, top staff executive of the United Methodist

Commission on Religion and Race, said the sheer number of people reporting

that they've been racially profiled 'is out of control for any nation.'"

"'The church should weep over the national use of racial profiling against

such a large population of the nation,' Jones said."

United Methodist News Service

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Toast to Mexican Independence Day tonight at La Terraza

"Join the brand new Board of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) as they kick off Hispanic Heritage Month."

"Thursday, September 16, 5:30pm - 7:30 pm, La Terraza Mexican Restaurant, 5751 Nolensville Road, Nashville, 37211, 615-835-0106"

"Free for NAHCC members, $5 for non-members"

Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Latin American foreign policy and Latino communication styles: topics at Vanderbilt during Hispanic Heritage Month

"Terrorizing the Poor: U.S. Foreign Policy in Latin America"

Father Roy Bourgeois, political activist

School of the Americas Watch

Thursday, 30 September 2004 

Benton Chapel, 7:00 p.m.

Sponsors:  Divinity School and Office of the University Chaplain and Affiliated Ministries

"Te Conozco Bacalao: Differences in Communication Styles Between Latinos and European Americans"

William Cruz, President, TCB Consulting

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

4:30 p.m.

Principal Sponsor:  Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students

Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies, Vanderbilt Association of Hispanic Students

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Belcourt hosts compelling cross-border drama Maria Full of Grace

"In an Entertainment Weekly interview, director Joshua Marston said that in making Maria Full of Grace, his intention was 'to confront stereotypes.' And the film does that, in a fashion. But this portrayal of a Colombian teenager who becomes a drug mule is exhilarating for being so much more than that. The film doesn't have a pedagogic feel; it doesn't seem to be teaching A Lesson About the Real Face of the Colombian People."

"Those subtexts are probably there, all right, but they stay buried. The focus of the film is entirely on the title character: a pregnant teen who leaves her job in a rose factory after a dispute with her boss. From there, she begins a harrowing journey to the streets of New York's Colombian section, where she is expected to deliver a swallowed cache of narcotics. But things go wrong with Maria's ability to keep the rubber-coated drug pellets inside her. The film works as a drug-smuggling procedural as her situation worsens."

"Catalina Sandino Moreno is perfect, a word I don't use casually, as Maria. It's hard to describe what's so good about her because it's like trying to pin down someone's breathing. She's a bit like Scarlett Johansson in that her greatest virtue is her assurance, her ability to just 'be' on camera - convincing you that she's being caught in the act, rather than Acting. The other performances in Maria Full of Grace are also small naturalistic gems, particularly Patricia Rae as Carla, the woman whose family hosts Maria for a time once she reaches New York (and who serves as a possible image of Maria's future)."

"Maria Full of Grace was honored with the Audience Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and two awards at the 54th Berlin International Film Festival: Catalina Sandino Moreno shared the Silver Bear for Best Actress with Charlize Theron of Monster, and the film won the Alfred Bauer Prize for Best First Feature for director Joshua Marston."

Nashville Scene, The Belcourt Theatre

Monday, September 13, 2004

Nashville churches diversify, multiply by teaching English

"The Wednesday-night English-as-a-second-language lessons at West End Church of Christ are among a growing number of such classes - called 'language missions' by many churches - that are drawing more and more recent immigrants into church basements and meeting rooms across Nashville."

"Hickory Grove Presbyterian pastor Mike Graham said he hoped the classes would be a way for his small congregation of 80-90 to expand and include more of the area's Hispanic community."

"'We're not a picture of all tribes, tongues and nations working together. We don't want to be just an Anglo church.'"

"More than half of all immigrants ages 5 and older in Middle Tennessee speak little or no English, according to the U.S. Census. Those immigrants have fueled a growing demand for English classes. More than 6,000 students enrolled in Metro adult ESL classes last year alone."

"More than two dozen new Southern Baptist 'language congregations' - non-English-speaking churches - open in Tennessee each year, and some start as offshoots of ESL programs, said Tim Hill of the Tennessee Baptist Convention."

"More than 100 churches responded to Hill's last survey of ESL programs, and Hill estimates there are twice that many Tennessee Southern Baptist churches offering some kind of regular English lessons to immigrants."

The Tennessean

Friday, September 10, 2004

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 - October 15, 2004

"In 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim a week in September as National Hispanic Heritage Week. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15-Oct. 15). During this month, America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries — Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively."

"The estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2003, is 39.9 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest race or ethnic minority. Hispanics constitute 13.7 percent of the nation’s total population. (This estimate does not include the 3.9 million residents of Puerto Rico.)"

"Forty percent (40%) of the Hispanic population was foreign-born in 2002. Among the foreign-born Hispanic population that year, 52 percent entered the United States between 1990 and 2002."

"The number of Latino veterans of the U.S. armed forces numbers 1.1 million. About 63,000 Hispanic-origin people were on active duty in 2002 in the United States."

U.S. Census Bureau

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Hispanic children are more likely to be overweight than their non-Hispanic peers

"Another new study on obesity in young people points to the fact that daily physical education in schools should be mandatory."

"Government figures show that about 15 percent of students in our nation's schools are overweight."

"The American Heart Association has found that 11.9 percent of Caucasian boys and 12 percent of Caucasian girls ages 6-11 are overweight. The figures are worse for blacks, where 17.6 percent of boys and 22.1 percent of girls are overweight in that age group. And the statistics are even worse for Hispanic children, with 27.3 percent of boys and 19.6 percent of girls overweight."

Nashville City Paper

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

State universities struggle to meet court-ordered diversity goals

"Actions taken to increase diversity among institutions of higher education in Tennessee as ordered under the Geier Consent Decree may need more time to bear fruit."

"Signed in 2001, the consent decree prescribes a five-year plan to integrate the state’s colleges and universities as well as increase overall enrollment."

"A committee of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) heard reports Tuesday that said much progress has been made in instigating more racial balance among its colleges and universities, but that undergraduate enrollment numbers are slow to reflect the efforts."

"'I think you will find this is one of the most important and pressing issues of the board at this time,' Geier Committee Chair Buddy Bowers said."

"[Atlanta attorney and] Geier court monitor Carlos Gonzalez urged them to remember the values of Geier when searching for a new TSU president."

"'It is essential that you find a president who is committed to …the outreach for non-traditional students,' Gonzalez said. 'Diversity benefits everyone.'"

Nashville City Paper

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Mercy Children's Clinic treats Hispanic children without health insurance

"When 2-year-old Mariana Garcia got a hacking cough, mother Ana Cruz knew where she could take her and it wouldn't matter that they are uninsured and don't speak English - Mercy Children's Clinic."

"The faith-based pediatric healthcare ministry treats children from birth to 18 years of age and encourages care for those without insurance or who are enrolled in TennCare. It's treated more than 4,500 children with help in great part to runners and walkers each year at the Franklin Classic."

"'It's very important because the children get treatment,' Cruz said with the help of Veronica Cropper, the clinic's Hispanic Patient Advocate."

The Tennessean

Friday, September 3, 2004

Hispanic AIDS charity benefits from controversial Frist fundraiser in NYC

"Senate Republican leader Bill Frist turned over six $500,000 checks to organizations battling AIDS on Wednesday and defended his fund-raising efforts that resulted in the $3 million."

"'The supporters (who donated money) got absolutely nothing but the satisfaction of knowing they save lives, now and in the future,' he said."

"The six charities receiving the $500,000 checks [include] Esperanza USA: Pledge of Hope, described in World of Hope materials as an anti-AIDS initiative established by 'one of the largest Hispanic faith-based community development corporations.'"

"Wednesday night Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was able to raise unlimited money from undisclosed sources by staging an outdoor concert at Rockefeller Center as a charity fund-raiser for the fight against AIDS."

"Some of the major AIDS activists disapprove, even though a percentage of proceeds will go to AIDS charities."

"Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, an organization dedicated to improving social conditions in Africa, said such events were 'a way of giving tax deductions to people who are simply trying to buy access to power.'"

Scripps Howard News Service,

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce strengthens network in Clarksville

"The Clarksville Chamber of Commerce is forming a partnership with the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber."

"Last week, the Hispanic Chamber announced plans to expand into Montgomery County."

"'This is going to be very good, not only for our existing members, but also for the growth of our local business community,' says Christy Batts, executive director of the Clarksville chamber. 'Our focus is to help this organization hit the ground running. We have made a proposal that would initially create a Hispanic chamber as a division of our own chamber.'"

Nashville Business Journal

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

East Tennessee nonprofits release Hispanic resource directory

"Knoxville's Promise and Alianza Del Pueblo, a nonprofit, grassroots organization, have created a free, bilingual resource directory for members of East Tennessee's Hispanic community."

"Directorio Bilingue de Recursos Para la Comunidad Hispana del Este de Tennessee is designed to help Spanish-speaking people find child-care, educational, senior services, immigration information, health-care and other organizations."

"Copies also can be obtained from Knoxville's Promise, 865-523-2775, or Alianza Del Pueblo, 865-573-2254."


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

English Language Learner program reaches above-average exit rate

"Roughly 23 percent of Metro students for whom English is a second language acquired the skills necessary to exit the district’s English Language Learner (ELL) program last year, a number which is more than double the amount districts typically expect to achieve in a year, according to the director of Metro’s ELL program, Sayra Hughes."

"Exiting the ELL program means that students have become fluent enough in English to be successful in school without special assistance."

"'Usually in a district you shoot for 10 percent in a year,' Hughes said."

"An upcoming open house will have a translator in every classroom to make sure that parents not fluent in English will get the same vital information as the rest of the parents."

Metro schools have "more than 200 ELL teachers."

Nashville City Paper

Friday, August 27, 2004

Environmental advocacy and international flair mix in "Global Stir Fry"

"International food, music and dance will be part of a ''Global Stir Fry'' on Saturday at the 'eARTh Food Park,' an outdoor site operated by the nonprofit organization EarthMatters Tennessee in Nashville."

"The event, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., will include prize giveaways and games like the 'endangered species spelling bee' and introductions to foreign languages and composting. WFSK disc jockey Sipho Dumasane will be on hand for the event, which is sponsored by the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The park is one block south of Sevier Park on the corner of Lealand and Gale lanes."


see also EarthMatters Tennessee

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Political pandering to Hispanics sparks parody by Nashville-based Spanish instruction series

"A new CD offers famous and infamous American political phrases in Spanish. English-Spanish Campaign Audio Flash Cards sounds like a typical lesson from a high school language lab. We hear 'I Am Not a Crook' in Spanish and 'Lock Box.'"


see also English-Spanish Campaign Audio Flash Cards, Kerry web site in Spanish, Bush web site in Spanish, Hispanic vote-courting stories on Yahoo! News

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Nashville Scene college guide sizes up Nashville's Mexican food

"La Paz in Green Hills has tasty Mexican food at average prices. Las Palmas is also a favorite Mexican restaurant for college kids, but its popularity is due to the cheap prices, not the quality of the food. Try the fajitas and get a pitcher of margaritas. In Murfreesboro, try La Siesta or Camino Royal for Mexican, Marina's for Italian. La Hacienda on Nolensville Road is the real thing; 80 percent of the clients are actually Hispanic. Can't make up your mind? Drive up and down Nolensville Road and survey the options of Mediterranean, Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian and everything in-between."

Nashville Scene

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

NASCAR detours through Mexico City to build Hispanic fan base

"NASCAR is heading south of the border next year. It has scheduled a Busch Series race March 6 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course in Mexico City."

"[Nashville Superspeedway General Manager Clif]f Hawks understands the move from a business standpoint. There are approximately 38.8 million Hispanics in the United States, and they currently represent 9 percent of NASCAR's fan base."

"Hawks notes the booming Hispanic population in Nashville and says, 'Having NASCAR racing in Mexico will attract a lot of these folks to our sport. The marketing possibilities are very exciting. Again, my only reservation is that if all of this eventually leads to a Nextel Cup race going to Mexico that's not good for our track here.'"

The Tennessean

Monday, August 23, 2004

Nashville-raised English professor publishes essay compilation on the complexities of interracial friendships

"In the introduction to Some of My Best Friends: Writings on Interracial Friendships, editor Emily Bernard writes about her experiences growing up in Nashville as a black bourgeois kid with mostly white friends. Born in 1967, she found herself maintaining a difficult balance between her integrated world and the life lessons of her parents, particularly those of her mother."

"'All 16 of the essays in this book reflect people - black, white, Hispanic, Asian - doing just that, finding their way through interracial friendships. Bernard has pondered this phenomenon for most of her life. 'Which ingredients make interracial friendships possible?' she writes. 'Which factors destroy them? At what point does unintentional racial ungainliness become willful racial insensitivity? What do other people do at those moments when racial difference rears its head uncomfortably?'"

"Not all the essays, however, are about successful interactions, and if Bernard had had her way, there would have been even more of these. 'One group I was interested in hearing from was white male conservatives,' she says. 'I was really disappointed not to successfully convince any of the numbers of them I wrote to, to participate.' Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, Sandra Guzman, a journalist, writes of her exclusively non-white circle of friends in 'Gringo Reservations.' It is a choice borne out of a lifetime of unpleasant experiences with the white girls across the street and with her freshman-year roommates. She writes: 'One should not have to walk on eggshells among friends, I think. One should not have to translate one's essence, either.'"

Nashville Scene

Friday, August 20, 2004

PBS features special programming for Hispanic Heritage Month

"In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15-October 15, 2004 - PBS brings the vibrant talents of Latino actors, actresses and producers into viewers' homes. With broadcast premieres and encore presentations, animation, drama, history, art and music, PBS has something with a little Latin flavor for everyone."

"Latino artists across the United States take center stage in a groundbreaking six-part television event VISIONES: LATINO ARTS and CULTURE, premiering Sunday, September 5 and airing Sundays through October 10, 2004, 10:30-11:00 p.m. ET."

"Kids will find a new place to watch and learn weekday afternoons with the new daily animated series MAYA and MIGUEL. Lively and colorful, MAYA and MIGUEL chronicles the adventures, and sometimes misadventures, of 10-year-old twins Maya and Miguel Santos, and features their family, friends and a richly diverse neighborhood. The programs present culture and language learning as fun, relevant and rewarding for all children, with a special emphasis on the Latino population."

"Sure to keep everyone on their feet is the music and beats from the PUERTO RICO JAZZFEST 2003 (September, 2004, check local listings). This year's festival features performances by Berkley professor William Cepeda, Makoto Ozone, Paquito D'Rivera, Claudia Acuña and Chick Corea."

"And rounding out the month is the conclusion of the encore presentation of the the Emmy(R) award-nominated miniseries AMERICAN FAMILY — JOURNEY OF DREAMS. This compelling epic interweaves the Gonzalez family's courageous escape from the Mexican Revolution to seek a better life in America with the sacrifices the family made in the 1990s to send their first-born son to medical school and the consequences of those sacrifices as seen through the war in Iraq."

"Throughout the months of September and October PBS offers a wide variety of encore presentations of award-winning documentaries and acclaimed specials. Please check local listings for airdates and times of the following programs: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE "Zoot Suit Riots", BEYOND THE BORDER, COME AND TAKE IT DAY, FLAMENCO: THE PASSION OF SPANISH DANCE, INDEPENDENT LENS "Foto-Novelas: Junkyard Saints and Broken Sky", P.O.V. "90 Miles", and STEALING HOME: THE CASE OF CONTEMPORARY CUBAN BASEBALL."

Hispanic Business

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Minority business leaders and state officials mine business opportunities at Tennessee Minority Business Development Conference

"Representatives from top corporations in the state and government agencies are meeting with minority-owned businesses this week at the 24th annual Tennessee Minority Business Development Conference to build stronger alliances and create business."

"'The goal of TMSDC is to get minority businesses past the gatekeepers of corporations so opportunity can become a reality,' said Jacquelyn Lutie, consultant for TMSDC. 'Our conference strives to put everyone together under one roof so all the players can network face to face.'"

"TMSDC has 142 corporations working with 226 minority-owned businesses in the state."

Nashville City Paper

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Hispanic children cited in Hamblen County tax crunch; County Commissioner suggests segregation

Hamblen County "has the largest school system in the Lakeway Area and more migrant students than any county in the state."

"The schools have more and more Hispanic students every year. While some aid is available to teach these children, it is primarily a local responsibility."

"Putting all the Hispanic children into one school, as County Commissioner Tom Lowe suggested, is not only unworkable but illegal, school officials said."

"Faced with an expected 250-300 more students and costly mandates from the state, the county school board approved a budget they said was lean but would be adequate for the schools' needs."

Citizen Tribune

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

New York Times: Hispanic gangs follow rural jobs

"Gangs have been a fixture of urban life in the United States for more than 150 years, making their presence known in inner-city ghettos and poor immigrant neighborhoods ever since the Irish settled the Five Points district of New York. But as Carter and other small-town cops in America have discovered over the past few years, gangs are no longer just a big-city problem."

"Gang activity has traditionally been a function of immigration and labor-migration patterns. Today, with those patterns changing -- with unskilled jobs shifting from cities to rural regions, with sprawl pushing suburbs and exurbs deeper into the countryside -- gangs are cropping up in unexpected places: tiny counties and quaint villages, farming communities and cookie-cutter developments, small towns and tourist resorts. In Toombs County, Ga., for instance, 10 Hispanic gangs roam an area marked by cotton, tobacco and onion fields, according to Art Villegas, who tracks gang activity there for the sheriff's office."

"The blue-collar jobs that do not require much training or fluency in English are increasingly found in the countryside. Thanks in part to the explosive growth of the fast-food industry and the huge agro-conglomerates that service it, giant food factories now dot pastoral America. The plants actively recruit south of the border and in poor Hispanic neighborhoods on both coasts of the United States, drawing legions of immigrants to places barely big enough to register on state maps."

The New York Times

Monday, August 16, 2004

Vanderbilt "separatist" professor Virginia Abernethy assumes national advisory role for Arizona anti-immigration group

"A woman who says she believes in the separation of the races is the new national voice of Protect Arizona Now, drawing harsh criticism from activists who call her a 'white supremacist' - and splintering the political group’s own rank and file."

"Virginia Abernethy, a 69-year-old professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., has been appointed chairwoman of the national advisory board for PAN, a political group trying to stop illegal immigration. Reached by telephone, Abernethy said she considers herself a 'separatist,' not a supremacist."

"'I'm in favor of separatism - and that's different than supremacy,' Abernethy said. 'Groups tend to self-segregate. I know that I'm not a supremacist. I know that ethnic groups are more comfortable with their own kind.' PAN has gathered enough signatures to get Proposition 200 on the Nov. 2 ballot. If passed, Proposition 200 would require proof of citizenship to register to vote, require voters to show identification and force government officials to ask individuals if they are legal residents before offering public benefits."

East Valley Tribune Online

Friday, August 13, 2004

Athens (Tennessee) celebrates second Downtown Fiesta

"After a successful debut last year, organizers of the Athens Downtown Fiesta are making plans for the second Hispanic/International street party, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25."

"The Downtown Fiesta is modeled after similar annual events in larger cities celebrating Hispanic culture. According to a letter promoting the Fiesta, the event was conceived as an opportunity for the coming together of our area’s Hispanic population, the traditional local community and students at Tennessee Wesleyan College."

"For more information about the Downtown Fiesta, call Laura LeNoir at 746-0699 or Alicia Mora at 744-9535."

Daily Post-Athenian

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Hospitals say federal immigration reimbursement might not be worth it

"Congress has approved $1 billion in federal funds to reimburse hospitals across the country in the next four years for emergency care provided to illegal immigrants."

"'The big issue is, in order to get these dollars, do we have to be policemen and report these individuals?' asked Craig Becker, president of the Tennessee Hospital Association. 'We don't believe it's our role to determine if someone is in this country legally or illegally. It's our role to take care of the patient.'"

"The CEO of Bedford County Medical Center in Shelbyville is giving consideration to the new policy. Bill Macri says his hospital spends $3 million a year to cover the costs of patients who can't pay."

"Although the hospital never asks anyone's immigration status, Macri assumes that there are illegal immigrants among the non-paying patients whom emergency room doctors treat every day. It's a fact of life in places like Shelbyville, where thousands of Hispanic workers have flocked in recent years to work in meat-packing plants, factories and on farms."

"'It would be nice to have some subsidy,' Macri said. But requiring staff to ask patients questions about their immigration status in the emergency room 'puts a significant burden on us,' adding to overworked medical personnel's jobs."

"Ultimately, he said, sick people might forgo treatment altogether."

"Tennessee's allocation is based on Department of Homeland Security's estimates of the state's undocumented immigrant population. Tennessee, with an estimated 46,000, stands to get $1.1 million each year between 2005 and 2008. California will get the largest share: $72 million each year for the estimated 2.2 million illegal immigrants in the state."

The Tennessean

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

"Coyote" headed to Nashville arrested with 15 in truck bed

"For more than two days in intense heat they sat tightly jammed into a covered six-by-ten truck bed, often without a bathroom break."

"With just hours to go, a speeding ticket put an end to the American dream for 15 illegal immigrants traveling through Kenton County."

"The group's alleged coyote or transporter, Jose Rodriguez-Ramos was pulled over for speeding while taking the Mexicans to Nashville from Phoenix, possibly for future employment. Officials said they had first come illegally from Mexico by another way."

"Rodriguez-Ramos now faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine."

"The 15 other illegal aliens will be brought back to Covington as material witnesses and will then be deported to Mexico, they will not face any charges."


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

110,000 Hispanic Catholics in Middle Tennessee diocese

"The 75,000 registered Catholics in the Nashville area today are more than double the number in 1990. In addition, there are about 110,000 Hispanic Catholics in the diocese, many of whom are not registered members because they come and go from the area, he said."

The Tennessean

Monday, August 9, 2004

Hispanic machine operator loses hand, alleges illegal employment practices

"A 17-year-old illegal immigrant recently filed a $2 million suit against a Maryville pallet company after her hand was cut off while she was working there."

"The teen's suit alleges that when she tried to get help from the company for her medical bills, she was told to 'go back to Mexico.'"

"The suit also alleged that when the company learned the defendant and other workers were illegal aliens, they continued to withhold payroll taxes, but didn't forward those taxes to the government."

The Daily Times (Maryville, TN)

Friday, August 6, 2004

Latin bands Cypress Hill and DeSol at Dancin' in the District this weekend

"The Asbury Park, N.J. group deSol features the same infectious, rousing sound and exciting mix of Latin rhythms and American pop and rock elements previously popularized by such bands as Azteca, Malo and the original Santana ensemble. But one difference between these earlier aggregations and deSol, who appears Saturday as part of Bridgestone Dancin' In The District, is this band's strong identification with Nashville, a city that's not as well known for its Latin connections as Miami, Los Angeles or New York. DeSol's Aug. 24 debut disc will be released on Curb Records, and the first single 'Spin Around' is already getting airplay on both Spanish-language and Americana radio stations."

"'We do about twenty-five to thirty percent of our songs in Spanish and the rest of them are in English,' Monterrosa said. 'This is really not that big a deal to us, but it is something that the industry as a whole always seems to be concerned about. We've done sets where we take some of the English songs and do them in Spanish, and there are others where we'll do some of the choruses or bridges in Spanish and the main melody and the hooks in English, and it never seems to bother the audiences.'"

"Los Angeles' own Cypress Hill serves up a unique brand of hip-hop that merges rap with rock, hardcore with Latin-flavored textures. Though the crew formed in 1988, this Latino group didn't become a bona fide hip-hop smash until 1991. Cypress Hill's best-known song is perhaps Insane in the Brain, which came from its 1993 album, Black Sunday."

"See deSol Saturday at Bridgestone Dancin' In the District, First Avenue and Broadway at Riverfront Park, along with Cypress Hill, Dropping Daylight and Common Ground. Tickets are $5 in advance, $8 day of the event. Gates open at 4 p.m. Call 255-3588 for information. Children ages 5 and under get in free. To purchase tickets by phone, call 1-800-594-TIXX (8499) or log onto"

Nashville City Paper, The Tennessean

Thursday, August 5, 2004

State crackdown on fake Social Security numbers hits Spanish-language bartending classes

"On a recent afternoon, three waitresses chatted in a south Nashville Mexican restaurant waiting for an alcohol safety class in Spanish to begin when special agent Michael Cawthon appeared. He asked for their Social Security cards and immigration paperwork."

"After Cawthon's visit to La Terraza restaurant on Nolensville Road, the woman whose documents were confiscated left quickly and a half-dozen other students never showed up for the class, said Veronica Torres, an instructor. Torres works for SPIRITS, one of 10 companies registered with the state to offer five-hour classes required of anyone serving drinks. Torres surmised they heard about or saw the agent in the restaurant, which had no role in the class except as its location. Class attendees work in restaurants and bars around the city, Torres said."

"SPIRITS owner Martha Marston said she has suspended the company's Spanish classes because she feels they are being singled out for enforcement efforts."

"Cawthon was responding to a tip about Torres' classes, [executive director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission Danielle] Elks said. ABC staff had found that 29 of 30 students in her recent classes had submitted fake Social Security numbers. Neither Torres nor SPIRITS is suspected of any wrongdoing, she said."

"Alcohol permits by the numbers

4,000 bartenders and waiters in the past six months sought permits to serve drinks in Nashville

800 of the applications had fake Social Security numbers

75 sets of fake documents were seized by officials in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis in the past two months

22,000 permits are issued statewide each year"

The Tennessean

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Los Lobos rides into Uptown Mix tonight

"The East Los Angeles ensemble Los Lobos has electrified music fans for more than three decades by fusing an extraordinary blend of influences and elements into a highly charged, dynamic ground sound."

"Los Lobos, who perform at the Uptown Mix tonight, have also been pioneers in spotlighting the Latin contribution to pop and rock music, frequently cutting songs (even entire discs) in Spanish and also incorporating traditional Mexican tunes and norteno (a hybrid sound blending Tex-Mex, country and polka, as well as blues and traditional Mexican music) aspects into other releases."

"Their most recent CD The Ride (Hollywood) celebrates that legacy with a series of outstanding collaborations between the group and various artists they've admired since their inception. The disc has been widely deemed to be their greatest, as well as being their most commercially potent. That's quite an achievement since they've previously done such master releases as How Will The Wolf Survive?, By The Light of the Moon, La Pistola Y El Corazon and Neighborhood."

"Los Lobos appears along with Sonia Dada tonight at the Uptown Mix, at the corner of Chet Atkins Place and 20th Ave. S., across from South Street and the Bound'ry. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10."

Nashville City Paper

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Hearing in driver certificate challenge set for September

"After a month on the books, Tennessee's new driver's license law continues to draw national attention from immigration and national security policy-makers who wonder how well it's working."

"In another month, they may get their first clear answer. A judge has set a Sept. 23 hearing date to rule on whether the law will be halted immediately while a lawsuit against it is decided."

"As of Wednesday, the state had issued 1,698 certificates, according to the state Department of Safety."

The Tennessean

Monday, August 2, 2004

Franklin brings bilingual fingerprinting station to tonight's National Night Out Against Crime

"[This] week marks the “National Night Out Against Crime,' and to kick off the event Monday night, the city of Franklin is planning a party at Pinkerton Park."

"'The mission of the night is to bring awareness to crime prevention efforts,' said Monique McCullough, the city’s Community Relations Manager."

"'We want the night to be accessible to all residents, so we will have a bilingual Spanish officer at the fingerprinting station,' McCullough said. 'For our event and in order to get a really good print, we would prefer the child be at least one year old.'"

"Activities on August 2nd at Pinkerton Park will begin at 4:00 PM. For more information or to volunteer, please call (615) 794-2103."

The Review Appeal, City of Franklin

Friday, July 30, 2004

Tennessee advocates campaign for immigrant college opportunity

"Some think the solution lies in The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM). The DREAM Act, sponsored by Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah), proposes granting a six-year conditional permanent resident status to alien minors who entered the U.S. before age 16, lived in the country at least five years and have no criminal or deportation record."

"The bill has yet to make the top of the Senate agenda, but the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) has already launched its support campaign, working with area students and activists to meet with representatives of senators Bill Frist and Lamar Alexander, and collecting a 6,000-signature petition lobbying for the bill."

"'Our goal is to get as many people as possible to know about these student's stories,' said David Lubell, TIRRC state coordinator."

Nashville City Paper

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Nation watches implications of Tennessee driver certificate

"'This is a disaster, potentially,' said Tyler Moran, an analyst with the National Immigration Law Center, which advocates for the rights of immigrants. 'I really think it's created a bit of a mess.'"

"For once, Moran is in agreement with state Rep. Donna Rowland, a conservative Republican from Rutherford County. Rowland said she would 'absolutely not' advise other states to follow Tennessee's lead."

"'I hope states learn from our mistakes,' she said. 'The certificate of driving will become exactly what the driver's license has become, which is a de facto national ID.'"

"Tennessee's experiment is being scrutinized by numerous states trying to balance road safety against federal immigration policy and homeland security."

L.A. Times

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Strength of Nashville Hispanic real estate market brings movement toward professional organization

"[A] group of about 50 agents, appraisers, mortgage lenders, nonprofit agencies and home inspectors met yesterday to learn how they could join the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, based in San Diego. The organization has 11,000 members in 48 states, said Moises Vela, its executive director."

"The local real estate market is booming, agents said yesterday. Nashville has a 'solid 30 to 40' real estate agents who serve Hispanic clients almost exclusively, said Rob Harvey, the outgoing president and chief executive officer of Village Real Estate."

"'Any professionals that work with Hispanics can be part of our association. The idea is to teach Hispanics to be homeowners, to realize the American dream without being taken,' said Miguel Torres, who organized yesterday's meeting and who teaches Spanish-language seminars on the home-buying process."

The Tennessean

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

ESL students thriving under reforms

"There's still work to do, but Metro is producing more of these success stories after revamping its ESL program over the past three years under coordinator Sayra Hughes."

"Community organizer Dante Roa can remember when easily explained situations often caused friction among Metro's teachers and ESL students."

"'The teachers … thought (students) were misbehaving. But the reason was that they didn't understand what was going on and they were asking some of their friends to interpret what the teacher was saying,' said Roa, a retired professor who works with Bienvenidos, a nonprofit group for new Hispanic residents."

"'I see that the schools are doing much better in trying to teach our youngsters, our Hispanic and non-English-speaking children,' Roa said."

"'The numbers speak for themselves,' Hughes said. 'Before, the students at the elementary grade levels would get 30 minutes to one hour of instruction a day. Now they're receiving 7½ hours a day. The number of exited students from year to year has completely doubled.'"

"ESL teachers aren't required to speak all of the languages of their students. Instead, they use special techniques to make English and other subjects easier to learn."

The Tennessean

Monday, July 26, 2004

Poplar Grove kindergarten meets diversity goal

"The incoming kindergarten class at Poplar Grove - which registered for classes Friday - will be the most diverse in the history of the Franklin Special School District's only year-round school."

"This year, the kindergarten class has 28% minorities, said Principal Christi Buell. That is out of a class of 100 students. Eleven percent of those students are African American, 11% are Hispanic, 3% are Asian, 3% classify themselves as other types of minorities and 72% are white."

"Last year, instead of drawing up an attendance zone for the for-choice school to get it more in line with the rest of the district's minority numbers, the school board decided to give the school two years to recruit at least 25 minority students to kindergarten. This year's numbers show that goal has been reached ahead of the deadline."

The Tennessean

Friday, July 23, 2004

Puerto Rican Sounds infielder lip reads in English and Spanish to offset hearing impairment

"The 27-year-old [Luis] Figueroa is legally deaf and has been since the age of 6, when a high fever caused nerve damage that took away about 75% of his hearing."

"He furthered his chances of moving through the ranks by learning to lip-read in two languages, English as well as his native Spanish."

"'I think Spanish is more hard,' Figueroa said. 'Because Mexican Spanish is different than in Puerto Rico, and Dominican is different than Puerto Rico. Everybody has a different word.'"

"'But in English there is only one word. So I learned English from the captions on TV.'"

"In his first season with the Sounds, he's one of the team's hottest hitters, and despite his relatively advanced age for a baseball player, Figueroa is still hopeful of someday playing his first major league game."

The Tennessean

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Metros owner aims for 'Spanglishization' of the Nashville soccer team

"As the curtain fell on the Nashville Metros 15th soccer season last Saturday, some optimistic eyes were cast to the future."

"[Metros owner/chairman Lynn Agee] said he was looking toward involving more of the Spanish community next year."

"'It’s what I call the ‘Spanglishization’ of the Metros,' he said. 'There are a number of Spanish leagues around Middle Tennessee, and we want to target them to become more of our fan base and part of our team. And I mean in all areas, from our owners, to coaches, staff, players.'"

Nashville City Paper

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Mayor Purcell hosts public outreach to immigrant community

"Mayor Bill Purcell will hold the first International Mayor's Night Out meeting 6 p.m. Thursday, at Glencliff High School, 160 Antioch Pike. Mayor Purcell and representatives from various Metro departments will meet directly with residents from Nashville's immigrant community about issues or concerns that affect their lives. The Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods is working with the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute to provide translators for residents who speak limited English. Also, residents will have access to translated brochures and pamphlets regarding various Metro services. Upon arrival, people who wish to speak with Mayor Purcell will be asked to provide their name, address and a brief description of their issue or concern. Requests to speak with Mayor Purcell will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis."

Nashville City Paper

Monday, July 19, 2004

Hundreds of driving certificates issued

"The state issued 724 driving certificates in the first 12 days they were available."

"The Tennessee Department of Safety issued nearly 4,200 traditional driver's licenses in the same period."

"Safety department spokeswoman Beth Denton said the department has worked hard to eliminate any difficulty applicants may experience visiting testing centers."

The Tennessean

Friday, July 16, 2004

Nashville food safari: Super Pollo, Las Paletas and Lichita

"As recently reported in The Tennessean, the New York-based Modern Language Association has introduced a new service on its Web site that provides maps and data about languages in the United States. The data show that in Davidson County, 51,429 residents speak a primary language other than English. (With those statistics gathered from the 2000 census, it is estimated that the actual numbers are considerably higher.)"

"English-speaking Nashvillians can experience those foreign tongues for themselves in the ethnic markets, restaurants, cafes and service centers that are popping up all over the city at a pace that has recently outdistanced even Walgreen's."

"[O]n Nolensville Road, in the space formerly occupied by Neely's BBQ (which has moved to MetroCenter), is Super Pollo, opened just this Saturday by Israel Ceja, whose mother Carmen owns and operates the tax and financial service office next door. Super Pollo, as the name suggests, is devoted to chicken, which is grilled over hickory wood and served in sandwiches or as meals. Sides include rice, beans, corn, potato salad, fries, corn and coleslaw. Francisco Alduenda, who is in charge of the kitchen, notes that everything—from salsas to tortillas—is made fresh in-house. Desserts include bread pudding, carrot cake with coconut, and rice pudding. Super Pollo, at 4023 Nolensville Road, has a large dining area and a drive-through window. It will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m."

"Las Paletas is the wildly popular Mexican popsicle store owned and operated by the fetching Paz sisters in the bustling 12 South neighborhood. A little closer to home for the hundreds of Latino immigrants living in the Nolensville Road area is Lichita. Housed in a cheerfully painted, tropical-blue-green building at 4405 Nolensville Road, the store sells paletas and nieves, the Mexican version of Italian ice. Paletas come in fruit or cream versions, and nieves are available in a half-dozen flavors. Lichita is open seven days a week, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Phone: 834-7488."

Nashville Scene

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Nashville Scene profiles advocate Jerry Gonzalez

Nashville Scene"Impassioned by an abiding distrust of authority, Gonzalez now serves as the lead lawyer in two of the most important cases in Tennessee. In August 2002, he filed the first of several lawsuits alleging that Wilson County prison guards were terrorizing inmates, breaking jaws and shooting them with stun guns. Already, four guards have pled guilty to felonies. Initially, Wilson County officials blithely dismissed Gonzalez's claims of a jail gone wild. But now the FBI is investigating the facility and may be preparing serious civil rights charges against one of the jail's former guards. Additional pleas are also expected. At the request of the U.S. Justice Department, a federal court has stayed all legal proceedings until the investigation is over. When it's all said and done, the Wilson County Jail will make Abu Ghraib look like the Opryland Hotel."

"Meanwhile, in a case where the abuse is perhaps less obvious, but no less insidious, Gonzalez filed a challenge this week to Gov. Phil Bredesen's new law that restricts aliens, even legal ones, from obtaining driver's licenses. An avid spokesperson for Hispanic rights, Gonzalez believes Tennessee discriminates against aliens who are here legally - and these are mostly Latino - for no apparent reason."

"'I think they're hypocrites, and they have a bug up their ass about illegal immigrants,' he says matter-of-factly. 'I'm not advocating illegal immigration. I'm advocating that the state of Tennessee should stay the heck out of the immigration business because they don't have a clue.'"

Nashville Scene
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