Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Comedy of Jade Estaban Estrada in Nashville on Wednesday

The Nashville City Paper reports that Jade Esteban Estrada will perform as part of Nashville Pride 2005 on Wednesday.

"Jade Esteban Estrada - The Latin comedian featured on HBO and Comedy Central performs to celebrate Nashville Pride 2005, 8 and 10 p.m., Blu, 1713 Church St. Info: 650-6736. $15"

From Estrada's web site:

Jade Esteban Estrada debuts ICONS: The Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 1 in Nashville.

Blu Nightclub
Nashville, Tennessee
8:00 P.M. and 10:15 P.M.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Tickets: $10 in advance/$15 at the door
For information/reservations call: http://www.nashvillepride.org

Monday, May 30, 2005

Mexican citizens die fighting for U.S.

"At least 22 Mexican citizens have died fighting for United States in two years of war in Iraq, among 63 immigrants who have been killed there; total of 41,000 permanent resident aliens are in US armed forces, 3,639 of them from Mexico; many Mexicans see armed service as fast track to American citizenship."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Brentwood will host International Dinner June 7

The City of Brentwood International Board announced its 15th Annual International Dinner, to be held Tuesday, June 7, 2005, at 6:30 p.m. This announcement was sent to the public:

The Community Is Cordially Invited to Attend
15th Annual International Dinner

Tuesday - June 7, 2005 - 6:30 p.m.
Tennessee Baptist Children's Home Campus
1310 Franklin Road - Brentwood, TN
(on left - one half mile south of Concord Road)

Each family please bring a dish to share serving 10 meat, vegetable or salad

Casual or Cultural Origin Attire
- International Entertainment -

Hosted by City of Brentwood International Board
Questions - call City Hall at 371-0060

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Las Cazuelas Mexican Grill comes to Nolensville Road

The Tennessean reports that a new restaurant called Las Cazuelas Mexican Grill is opening at 4114 Nolensville Road, near the intersection of Harding Place, and will set itself apart with its seafood menu.

"In addition to the typical enchiladas and burritos that can be found at many Mexican restaurants, the menu offerings include roasted pork shanks, oysters on the half shell and pina cantamar, a dish featuring pineapple stuffed with seafood."

Las Cazuelas is owned by Jose Gutierrez, who also owns the La Terraza Restaurant.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Department of Justice orders Ceja Enterprises out of immigration business

Nashville "notario" Ceja Enterprises, Inc. has recently received notice from the Department of Justice that it must pull out of the immigration business. According to a May 11 cease and desist letter, Ceja Enterprises has been misrepresenting that it is authorized to represent expatriates before the various federal immigration agencies. The letter advises that "any further attempts to represent individuals before these agencies will be a violation of federal regulations."

According to the letter, the federal regulation that authorizes groups to represent individuals in immigration proceedings is 8 C.F.R. 292.2(a) and is available to recognized non-profit religious, charitable, social service, or similar organizations established in the United States which charge only nominal fees and have adequate knowledge, information, and experience in the area of immigration and nationality law. The letter states that Ceja Enterprises, Inc. is not a recognized organization pursuant to that regulation.

The letter was sent to Ceja Enterprises' principal Carmen Ceja by Jennifer J. Barnes, Bar Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice. Copies of the letter went to Tom Davis, Memphis Immigration Court Administrator; Rachel McCarthy, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security; and Nashville attorney Sean Lewis. Mr. Lewis is one of a group of Nashville attorneys targeting the unauthorized practice of law by notarios.

This is Ceja's second recent run-in with federal law enforcement. The Nashville Business Journal reported last month that Ceja Enterprises was under a criminal investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

You Have the Power holds child sexual abuse awareness program for Hispanics

The Tennessean reports that You Have the Power organized a program in Clarksville for Hispanics to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.

"Held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Clarksville, the forum drew about 40 people, many of them couples with children."

"The event was organized by You Have the Power, a nonprofit victim-rights organization in Nashville founded by Tennessee first lady Andrea Conte."

"Shame and guilt combined with the fear of being deported prevent many Hispanic families from talking about child sexual abuse occurring in their home, which can prolong the abuse and the psychological damage to the child, those who work with victims and their families said yesterday."

"Many Hispanic immigrants are surprised to learn that sexual abuse of children is considered a serious crime in this country, said Vanessa Saenz, a Nashville attorney. While not accepted in Hispanic cultures, child sex abuse is widely viewed as a private matter for families, she said."

Monday, May 23, 2005

Networks form for Hispanic professionals and Spanish speakers

Two new Nashville groups meet in person once a month: Spanish language learners (the Nashville Spanish Group) and the growing network of professionals with Hispanic backgrounds (the Nashville Hispanic Professionals Group). The Spanish language group had an recent meeting on May 19; the group of Hispanic Professionals will meet again in early June. For more information about joining or participating, visit http://spanishnashville.blogspot.com or http://hpnashville.blogspot.com.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Tango in Centennial Park on Saturday

The Nashville City Paper reports on Tango by Moonlight, an event this Saturday night at Centennial Park. The Tango Nashville group sent out this invitation:

Tango by Moonlight

Saturday, May 21

7:00 to 10 pm

Centennial Park, Event Shelter


Come out and enjoy a MAGICAL NIGHT with Tango Nashville's Troupe, featuring...


live Tango music by Los Tangueros and Serenatta Romantic Latin Ensemble


live dance performances and an Argentine Tango lesson by guest instructor Clifton Chow from Boston Tango and MariaPia De Pasquale.


complimentary Argentine "empanadas" appetizer sampling


door prizes


interactive Tango games too!

Bring your packed dinner and relax under a full lit moon with friends and family!


For more information contact:

Diana Holland

Producer & Executive Director

Tango Nashville




Thursday, May 19, 2005

Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council connects minority firms with big business

The Nashville City Paper covered the recent awards ceremony of the Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council.

"The [Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council] matches its 250 minority supplier members, which are certified to be at least 51 percent owned by African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans or Asian-Americans, with 145 corporate members that wish to buy goods and services from minority-owned businesses."

"Since its inception in 1980, the TMSDC has helped minority businesses generate about $10.1 billion in contracts."

"In celebration of that success, about 400 people attended its 13th annual Impact Awards black-tie gala last month at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel, where the group honored corporations and minority businesses that foster economic development."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Hispanic business diversity meeting today

The Tennessee Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce present, “Industry Diversity-Embracing the World,” as part of a first-time joint effort to present an exceptional cultural awareness opportunity for the Tennessee area business community.

This groundbreaking meeting will take place on May 18th at 11:30 AM at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center and will provide attendees with a unique networking and learning opportunity on an array of critical issues facing today’s meetings and events culture. Several areas to explore are: linguistic challenges, Latin business practices, advertising, Hispanic client base growth opportunities, the demographic shift in the Hispanic population in the United States and the impact and challenges both the Hispanic and English speaking communities encounter doing business with each other. This meeting will create an opportunity to begin to scrape the surface of this vast and important subject while having a lot of cultural fun doing it! The cost for the luncheon and program is $25. To RSVP, please email: info@tnmpi.org.

"We are excited to be partnering with the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on this meeting,” said T. Clark Miller, president of the Tennessee Chapter of MPI. “It is important that we address many cultures as the world gets smaller through better communication. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from the leaders of Nashville's Hispanic community and understand how we can come together to make the meetings and hospitality industry stronger.”

The need is great to broaden the diversity of the meetings and events community. With the information shared at this meeting, that crucial need to link diverse communities together will be on the right path to accomplishing just that.

Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President, Yuri Cunza comments, "I value the initiative of taking steps towards becoming more familiar with the many different communities that are now a part of Nashville's newest cultural landscape. Becoming aware of the similarities and differences allows us to create a bond despite customs and language barriers."

As Tennessee's Meeting Planner of the Year, MPI's Education Committee Member and Board Member of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Kasakevics, CMP, commented, "I am very proud to have been the liaison that brought these very important communities together. Being both Caucasian and Latin, it has always been a personal goal of mine to bridge the gap between the two cultures I come from, so this is an accomplishment for me both personally and professionally.""

MPI, the world’s largest association for the $102.3 billion meeting and event industry, is committed to positioning meetings and events as a key strategic component of an organization's success. The 200-plus member of the Tennessee chapter of MPI, established in 1985, empowers its members to increase their strategic value with education, professional development and business growth opportunities. The cost for this luncheon and program is $25. To RSVP, please email: info@tnmpi.org.

Argentine Ambassor visits Nashville tomorrow

The Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce sent out this announcement regarding a luncheon featuring Argentina's ambassador to the United States.

Argentine Ambassador Luncheon

Please join the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in welcoming
The Honorable José Octavio Bordón
Argentine Ambassador

Radisson Hotel
2401 Music Valley Drive at McGavock
(right next to the Opryland Hotel)

May 20, 2005

This event will start promptly at 11AM.

RSVP required (by end of business day of May 18th)
Please visit our website http://www.tnhispanic.com/events.html to RSVP.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hospitals may turn down reimbursement for care of underground expatriates

The Nashville City Paper reports that Nashville hospitals aren't sure whether they want to chase federal money that requires them to interview patients about their immigration status and jump through other hoops to collect the money. The funds are designed to reimburse hospitals for emergency care of underground expatriates.

"'Hospitals don’t want to be in the immigration business,' said Jeff Prescott, spokesman for the Nashville-headquartered HCA Inc."

"Prescott said the regulations require hospitals to follow rules in requesting information from illegal aliens. Facilities then must undertake a precise reimbursement process."

"'We are evaluating the new regulations and will request clarification to determine if it is worth the cost to implement,' he said."

A Vanderbilt Hospital official said that the total money allotted to Tennessee is $1 million, of which Vanderbilt might be able to collect so small a share that the funds may not be worth pursuing.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Country music industry ponders possibility of Hispanic superstar

Billboard Radio Monitor interviews country music industry insiders on why there are no Hispanic country music superstars.

"'I suspect that the reason we haven’t had a breakout Hispanic country star yet is the same reason that Texas music remains a largely regional force,' says Smokey Rivers, APD at KPLX (the Wolf) Dallas. 'Nashville insists that music is only successful if it’s appealing to everyone from Seattle to Secaucas [N.J.]. So the time, money and tools aren’t being invested in developing someone who would have a large Hispanic or Southwest appeal. That’s too bad.'"

"'My sense of it is that there is a big void that could be filled by an artist that can touch these new potential country fans,' Rivers adds. 'Considering that 15% of the Wolf’s audience now is Hispanic, I would love to have an artist that spoke to them.'"

"Boomer Kingston, OM for KGKL-AM-FM/KKCN San Angelo, Texas, says that although Hispanic artists have faced challenges in the past, 'I do believe that an Hispanic can become a major star in this format. It will just take the right set of circumstances for that to happen, just like those circumstances that any other artist hopes will come their way.'"

Friday, May 13, 2005

Racial profiling bill goes to Bredesen for signature

The Tennessean reports that a bill requiring state troopers to track racial data and funding a study of the data has passed in both houses of the state legislature and is headed to Governor Phil Bredesen for his signature.

"Rep. Henri Brooks, D-Memphis, said the study would help prove or disprove complaints from her constituents that minorities are being unfairly stopped."

"The study proposed in the legislation will track the ethnic and racial characteristics of people stopped by highway patrol officers. Troopers will be required to note a reason for all stops, even those where no citation is issued."

"Officers will note whether each stop resulted in a citation, an arrest or a search. If a search was made, the legal basis for the search and whether any contraband was discovered or property seized would also be documented."

"A previous study of 44 law enforcement agencies in Tennessee, not including THP, was released in 2002. It found that ... officers searched Hispanics 140% more often than the state average and blacks 16% more than the state average. Evidence was seized from Hispanics and blacks more often than the state averages."

"The study's authors, however, said the data did not definitively show or refute that racial profiling was happening in Tennessee. Other factors - such as commuting patterns, tourism, demographics of universities and colleges, and the deployment of law enforcement within a city - might be at work, the study's authors said."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

New York Times explores Lebanon's "learn English or else" child custody case

The New York Times dives deeper into the child custody case in Lebanon in which Judge Barry Tatum ordered a Mexican mother to learn English or risk losing her child.

"For 11-year-old Linda Berrera Cano, life changed with the stroke of a judge's pen. Lifted out of a crowded trailer where meals might consist of nothing but tortillas, she now lives in a brick ranch house with a basketball hoop in the driveway, a swimming pool in the backyard, and her own twin bed and wooden vanity."

"She has not seen her mother [Felipe Berrera], an illiterate factory worker from Mexico who speaks only the indigenous language Mixtecan, in over a year. Instead, she calls Emily and Warren Patterson her mommy and daddy, as in, 'Look, Mommy, I can do the monkey bars.'"

"Ms. Berrera's situation drew wide attention and considerable outrage in October when a county judge in this town near Nashville ordered her to learn English or run the risk of 'losing any connection - legally, morally and physically - with her daughter forever.' But the case is far more nuanced than that stark command suggests, raising questions of cultural misunderstanding, good intentions and bad communication in a place that, like much of the South, is struggling to absorb rapid demographic change."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Music City Motorplex schedules improvements for Hispanic fans

The Nashville Business Journal reports that the Music City Motorplex will be making overtures to attract Hispanic race fans.

"The racetrack will be converting to bilingual signage, bilingual personnel and announcers. Also, the Motorplex will add a Spanish page to its Web site, Latino menu items to its concession fare, and bring in Hispanic drivers to compete in races."

"The initiative is being directed by Eva Melo's Latin Market Communications in Nashville."

Monday, May 9, 2005

Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce announces May 19 mixer

The Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce sent out this invitation to its May mixer:

THCC Networking Mixer

May 19

Mixer in collaboration with CABLE

Jalapeño's Restaurant
219 Largo Drive
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm.
Admission: $15

Admission will include:
one beer and a buffet, featuring nachos with cochinita (marinated roast pork), Jalapeños rellenos, quesadillas supreme, and flautas with chicken and avocado.

Please RSVP by May 16th.

Metros win season opener against Austin, fall to El Paso

Tennessean reports that the Nashville Metros won their season opener against Austin 3-2, and the Nashville City Paper reports that they lost their second game, to El Paso, by the same score.

"Some crisp passing, which indicates the team’s offense is better than last year, manifested itself when the Metros scored three goals in 15 minutes. Two were by J.P. Rodriguez, who nudged home a goal from in close, and another score by Eric Sueswind, who headed in a ball, both assisted by Stjepic."

"Next up for the Metros is their first road game, May 21 at New Orleans. It is their third of four Open Cup qualifying games."

Friday, May 6, 2005

Metros market to Hispanics, kick off soccer season tonight

The Nashville City Paper reports that the Nashville Metros kick off their season tonight.

"The Metros open their 18th soccer season, and fourth straight year in the Premier Development League (PDL), Friday night against the Austin Lightning."

"The first four games count toward a berth in the U.S. Open Cup."

"The Metros are in the PDL’s Mid-South division with Austin, El Paso, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Memphis, New Orleans and Laredo. They play 16 games with eight at home, all at Ezell Park, and eight on the road."

As promised last July, the team is marketing to Hispanics. The Tennessean reports that the club's players represent a more international fan base, and they brought to their board of directors one of Nashville's premier Hispanic marketing consultants.

"The diversity push includes Coach Obed Compean, a Mexican-American, as well as a team featuring players of six nationalities."

"'I think now that if a Mexican fan or Honduran fan or fan of any Latin American nation wants to come see a game, they'll see people they can identify with,' Renner said. 'That was one of our goals.'"

One of the Metros' long-time players, Danny "Freight Train" Devall, said that the team's play has also taken on a Latin style, according to an article in the Tennessean profiling the 32-year-old midfielder.

"The Metros added Marcela Gomez, owner of the Hispanic Marketing Group, to the franchise's board of directors. Her Nashville-based business helps advertisers target Spanish-speakers."

"A Spanish language Web site, www.nashvillemetrosfutbol.com, is under construction."

Anti-immigration summit at Opryland this weekend

The Tennessean reports that the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform ("FAIR") will host a regional summit at the Gaylord Opryland hotel this weekend. It appears from the summary of speakers on the event's web site that the theme will be immigration as a security threat. Security is one of many issues that FAIR raises to oppose what it calls "mass immigration."

Experts reject a broad anti-immigration approach toward national security. The 9/11 Commission made numerous recommendations regarding border screening but did not identify immigration in general as a threat or recommend a reduction of the number of people entering the country. Vincent Cannistraro, former director of Counterterrorism Operations and Analysis at the Central Intelligence Agency, said that the Department of Homeland Security's "Special Registration" requirements aimed at mostly Muslim men “alienated a lot of these communities, caused a great deal of fear and reinforced the tendency of immigrant communities to huddle together and not trust authorities, which works against intelligence gathering by law enforcement, particularly the FBI. ... There may very well be another clandestine al-Qaeda cell in North America, but none of these methodologies has contributed to identifying them." Special Registration has since been discontinued.

Border security solutions must focus on screening out terrorists specifically and must be implemented carefully to avoid wasting scarce resources. Experts report that hastily implemented radiation screeners at cargo ports and biohazard air monitors in major U.S. cities have cost the country billions but have been ineffective in measuring potential threats.

"'[Installation of air monitoring devices] was an expedient attempt to solve a problem,' said Philip J. Wyatt, a physicist and expert on biological weapons monitoring equipment. 'What they got is ineffective, wasteful and expensive to maintain.'"

"Counting machinery and personnel, aviation screening has cost more than $15 billion since 2001, a price that Representative John L. Mica, Republican of Florida, says has hardly been worthwhile."

"'Congress is the one that mandated this,' Mr. Mica said. 'But we should have done more research and development on the technology and put this in gradually.'"

Even beyond effective screening and technology, the best anti-terrorist measures are good strategy and diligent investigative work, according to James Jay Carafano, senior fellow for homeland security at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. "'It's always easier for terrorists to change tactics than it is for us to throw up defenses to counter them. The best strategy to deal with terrorists is to find them and get them.'"

Marsha Blackburn, Republican congresswoman whose district stretches from Germantown in the Memphis area to Brentwood in the Nashville area, and talk show host Phil Valentine will be in attendance at the FAIR event, which is "scheduled 8 a.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. The event is open to the public and costs $50. To RSVP, call Susan Tully at 608-606-0631."

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Cinco de Mayo party to be hosted by the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Yuri Cunza, Chairman of the Board of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, forwarded this invitation to the Chamber's Cinco de Mayo party this Thursday:

Join the Board of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Guest speakers will let you know "what's cooking" in this exciting and growing community.

Toast to Cinco de Mayo with a Margarita Special and listen to “Mictlan” Latin Rock at its best!

FREE appetizers, door prizes and more!!!

Thursday, May 5th., 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Jalapeños Mexican Restaurant
219 Largo Drive., Nashville, 37211

Special gifts provided by our Mixer Sponsor Sprint

FREE for NAHCC Members - Non-members: $10
Membership and renewal applications will be available at the door.

Want to know the real story about 5 de Mayo?
visit NAHCC's webpage at:

For more information call the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at:
615-332-9777 or 615-582-3757

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Middle Tennessee schools bring Spanish to the stage

The Tennessean reports that Hillsboro School, Hunters Bend Elementary, and Franklin High have been producing bilingual English/Spanish school plays.

"At Hillsboro School, students performed a dramatic piece in English and Spanish about the bombing of Guernica, Spain, and Picasso's famous painting. And at Hunters Bend Elementary, students will perform a bilingual play with the help of Franklin High students in the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica."

"Students from the Spanish Honor Society, or Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, at Franklin High have been volunteering throughout the school year to help reinforce what third-, fourth- and fifth-graders are learning in the classroom."

"Sophomore Sarah Aitken got the idea to expand the annual cultural event with a play incorporating folk stories, songs and dance. The play is 6 p.m. May 10 at Hunters Bend Elementary."

"'It was cool - you get to really act out what you're saying instead of the Spanish teacher telling you what a word is and you just repeating it back,'' said Hillsboro fifth-grader Zach Deal, who played Picasso in The Day Picasso Wept presented last month."

"[Zach's mother Lavana] Deal has seen the number of Hispanic people slowly grow in Leiper's Fork during the 17 years she's lived there. She was excited to see Zach in a school play that blended conversational Spanish in a way that the audience could contextually follow."

"'There is so much attitude still in America - that if you don't speak the language, leave - but if you care about people, then learning their language and helping them is going to be very important in helping them become Americans.'"

Monday, May 2, 2005

Coliseum may host international soccer match in July

The Tennessean reports that two professional Mexican soccer teams may play an exhibition game in Nashville in July.

"Titans Executive Vice President Don MacLachlan said odds are favorable that two professional teams from Mexico will meet in Nashville on July 15 or 17, though details have not yet been finalized."

"'We're trying to get two top-notch teams from Mexico,' he said. 'The crowd last year had a lot of Hispanics, and I would suspect it would be Hispanic-driven again. Nashville's got a great Hispanic population, and then you've also got to consider the youth soccer programs and players that would be interested in coming to a game like that.'"

"In April 2004, The Coliseum played host to an international exhibition between UAG Tecos of Mexico and the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. A crowd of more than 11,000 saw the teams play to a 1-1 tie."
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