Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Day in the Life of Hispanic Nashville, courtesy of The Tennessean

The Tennessean
dispatched a group of journalists to open a window into the lives of the Hispanic men, women, and children of Nashville. Two articles by Danica Wright Booth covered especially overarching topics: The Top 10 Things Hispanic Nashville Wants the Rest of Us to Know and A Tour of Hispanic Nashville with the Director of Conexion Americas.

Some of the other highlights of the series:

Health Care Hispanic patients welcomed by bilingual staff at Saint Thomas health clinic on Edmonson Pike, which provides health care to the undocumented. Story by Lea Ann Overstreet.

Education St. Cecilia and St. Edwards schools invite Hispanic newcomers to Catholic education. Story by Pam Sherborne.

Sports Caribbean passion for baseball brings four Hispanic players to Sounds roster. Story by Andy Humbles.

Business Entreprenuerial spirit follows immigrants to Nashville, where both challenges and opportunities of U.S. business system await. Story by Pam Sherborne.

Education Metro Schools Director Pedro Garcia forms Spanish-speaking parents advocacy group. Story by Suzanne Normand Blackwood.

Fashion Hispanic wedding shop entrepreneur does steady business beyond Hispanic consumers. Story by Danica Wright Booth.

Education Puerto Rican professor starts Hispanic cultural center at Austin Peay. Story by Danica Wright Booth.

Education Nashville churches offer transition with English classes and cultural education. Story by Jeannine F. Hunter.

Education Metro School statistics: 8,150 of 71,800 Metro students in grades K-12 are Hispanic (up from 508 of 70,200 ten years ago); 77% of Hispanic 3rd, 5th, and 8th graders scored proficient in advanced in mathematics, up from 71% in 2004 and 65% in 2003 (for high-schoolers, the number was 65% in 2005, 59% in 2004, and 48% in 2003; 76% of Hispanic 3rd, 5th, and 8th graders scored proficient in reading/language, up from 69% in 2004 and 63% in 2003 (for high-schoolers, the number was 86% in 2005, 79% in 2004, and 86% in 2003). Story by Pam Sherborne.

Business Venezuelan UT Martin grad returns to Tennessee. Story by Danica Wright Booth.

Manuel Fonseca becomes second Hispanic captain to be promoted to district chief in the Nashville Fire Department.

Note: Due to the comprehensiveness of this Tennessean series, this story will remain at the top of longer than the typical one-day period.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Diversity of national and local opinion about action on May 1 and beyond

Hispanic residents of the U.S. have differing opinions about how immigration issues should be confronted, and that difference of opinion has sparked a dialog about the proper way for immigrants and their supporters to express themselves. This story on NPR and this Reuters story touch on those differences among people who share common goals.

The current focus of the discussion is the national movement scheduled for May 1, the focus of which is to make a statement by taking Hispanics temporarily out of the U.S. economy. Whether such a statement will be heard and whether there will be backlash are issues being discussed both nationally and locally. Two local opinions on this subject are below.

update 4/29/06:The Tennessean in this story further reports on local disagreement with the May 1 movement.

By Patricia Nalini Paiva:

As we will undoubtedly all agree, the decision about what to do on May 1st is not a decision easy to come by. Just as “Americans” have presented so many different views on how to approach immigrants, especially undocumented ones, Hispanics also have so many varied positions based on their personal history, work background and experience. My hope is that this day can be a springboard for more dialogue among all groups. Too much has been unsaid for too many years, and whatever the end result is, we must work for better understanding among all peoples –especially as to why someone thinks they way he does.

I began leading discussions with my own employees and they are very grateful to have the chance to speak their opinions and their heart. It has been a great learning experience for them to hear other points of view. I also have tried to show them the need to educate themselves on all perspectives -- their own, those favorable to their thinking and those in opposition to their thinking. They are getting a better understanding of the complexity and difficulty of resolving this issue on a national level. An added dimension has been the fact that I also have a refugee from Iraq, one from Iran, a North Carolinian and a Salvadorian who was born here, as part of our team. We are appreciating our differences with new respect and understanding.

On May 1st, my business will be open, but I am allowing the opportunity for my employees, myself and anyone in the community, to come and participate in further discussions on all aspects of immigrants and their historic role in building the United States. Again, it will just be a beginning for encouraging people to continue thinking and trying to educate their neighbors for better understanding among all cultures here in Nashville.

We will hopefully begin the discussions at 11am.

Patricia Nalini Paiva
Intercultural Resource Specialist
Owner and General Manager
Aurora Bakery & Cafe
3725 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
Tel: 615.837.1933 / Fax: 615.837.1922

By Juan Canedo:

I personally do not agree with the May 1st action, and I and other community members suggest an alternative strategy. These are my reasons:

It is not a good idea to ask people to jeopardize their jobs.

If some members of our community lose their jobs, it will be really hard for them to get another one. And most importantly; if legislation is passed in congress to legalize undocumented immigrants, the main requirement will be to have a job at the time of applying for change of status.

I believe that it is unfair for people to lose the opportunity to be "legal" just because some people decided that the May 1st action must take place regardless of the consequences for the immigrant community.

The May 1st action does not allow members of other communities, such as the progressive or other immigrant groups to solidarize with that action, since none of those community members will miss a day of work. Will an American who does not work for a progressive nonprofit miss his or her work that day? I don't think so.

The intention of this so called "One Day Without Hispanics" is to show the American society how important is the immigrant work force in the country's economic. Therefore, the absence of Hispanic workers would people finally realize that is real. However, with these letters to request permission from employers, many employers are allowing some Hispanic workers to miss work on May 1st. Nevertheless, these employers are hiring temporary employees to keep their industries or business running. In other words, the effect of their absence will not be felt. Does it make sense? The rationale for this national day of action has completely lost its essence.

An economic boycott is a good idea because it does not jeapordize anyone's jobs. However, Monday is not a good day to do it because most people go shopping on the weekend.

This is what I propose based on my conversation with some people in the community:

We just want to have an economic boycott starting on Friday, 27 through Sunday 30. Consequently, first, the jobs of undocumented immigrants will not be jeopardized, secondly, people like you (American citizen, "documented" immigrant, African-American, etc.) immigrant and other communities could be part of this solidarity process, and finally, it will be easy to quantify the economic impact of immigrants and their allies by not paying the sales tax for 3 or 4 days.

Please spread the word about this alternative action on May 1st in your communities.

Juan Canedo

Tennessee participation in May 1 event estimated to number 4,500

The Tennessean reports in this article that local organizers estimate 4,500 Tennesseans will support the "Day Without An Immigrant" event on May 1, and that some employers are already showing support.

"Some local businesses have decided to support their employees who wish to participate by letting them use vacation, sick or personal days."

"'We are shuffling our schedules around a bit and trying to accommodate as many people as we can,' said David Latture, general manager at the Embassy Suites Nashville South at Cool Springs. 'We are trying to be proactive, and we want to be supportive. It's a good cause.'"

"'It's no different than MLK Day. We have a lot of employees that want that day off. We work with them too. We want to be sensitive to our staff. They do a good job for us, and we want to be supportive of them.'"

Aurora Bakery and Cafe on Nolensville Road will not only be open on May 1 but will host a public dialogue on all aspects of immigrants at 11:00 a.m., on the basis that not even the Hispanic community is unanimous in its opinions but that a nonjudgmental dialogue will promote intercultural understanding in Nashville.

The Tennessean article says that the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce does not endorse the event. The Chamber's statement is as follows:

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC), issues the following statement from its President Yuri Cunza, in response to the planned May 1st National Day of Economic Action:

“As a Hispanic business organization representing the interests of our Hispanic business community, we actively pursue opportunities for the advancement and economic growth of our members. Facing the imminent National Day of Economic Action on May 1st, the Chamber is understandably concerned about any adverse impact that it may have on a variety of Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses that play a key role in the growth and development of our local and national economy. The NAHCC is concerned about workers and students missing work and school respectively. We believe any concerted effort by Latino activists should not jeopardize any potential worker’s job status and/or student attendance.

While we do not, therefore, officially endorse any action which would harm our members, we do understand and sympathize with some of the frustration that led to the idea of the National Day of Economic Action. Much of this is a reaction to the passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Sensenbrenner immigration bill (H.R. 4437). This outrageous legislation, if passed into law, would criminalize (a) spouses who fall in love with and marry undocumented immigrants, (b) landlords who rent or otherwise furnish room and board to undocumented immigrants, (c) churches and other charitable organizations that provide any assistance whatever to undocumented immigrants, and (d) hospitals, doctors, and clinics that render medical assistance to undocumented workers, even if the workers pay for the medical care. This legislation reeks of racism and jingoism which will result in racial profiling and other abuse of Latinos in this country, many of whom are citizens or legal permanent residents.

We recognize and celebrate the importance and value of our Hispanic workers, entrepreneurs, and Hispanic businesses, vital to the economic growth and security of the U.S. Immigrants are powerful consumers who contribute billions to the nation’s economy. Hispanic spending power currently stands at $750 billion and will reach $1 trillion by 2010. Hispanic disposable income has risen 29 percent since 2001, a rate that is fully twice that of the U.S. population as a whole.

Our mission is to support and advance the growth of our membership, providing the leadership that will create the best possible environment in which Hispanics can operate a business while enhancing the region, to serve as a bridge for the advancement, development, and integration of our growing Hispanic businesses and community at large.

It is a difficult time in history for Latinos nationwide. The same immigration system which has been a defining feature of America’s history is now broken. Instead of channels to secure legal immigration, we live in a system that has fostered a black market of growing immigrant populations, often leading to the exploitation of undocumented workers. Passage of comprehensive immigration reform will empower many of those people that now live in the shadows to come forward and express their desire to comply with the laws and continue serving as a contributing force to America and its people.

In the proposed May 1st activities, we respect the people’s rights to express their views on the immigration issue that has led to the many nationwide demonstrations. We recognize the bigger picture that this issue represents to many people, their families and ultimately to the entire American economy. As a chamber representing the interest of Hispanic-owned businesses, we care about business success; the bottom line for a business is important, but it is no more important than the rights of those working for our bottom line.

We continue our support for an immigration reform that should be guided by the following principles:

Strengthening our borders, by adopting a nondiscriminatory and effective program based on humanitarian principles.

Protecting our economy and our nation’s small businesses by recognizing the significant contribution that immigrants make to the business community

Providing for a strong, accountable guest worker program that allows undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and continue to contribute to the prosperity of the country and that creates an effective pathway to legal residence and citizenship for our nation’s immigrants.

Ensuring that every student is able to gain access to a quality post-secondary education

Protecting family unity as the cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy.

We strongly encourage those who plan on participating in the May 1st activities to communicate with their employers about any planned economic action. In times when Congress is considering the passage of a comprehensive immigration bill, we should all be sensitive to the impact that our actions may have on our economy and on Congress. The business community has had a significant positive effect to bring about comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, and we do not want to see the Latino community unintentionally punish our friends who are making legislative process possible. Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses would be affected alike if a negative immigration bill is passed.

The growth of our economy is in the hands of those who work to build a better country. Let’s not forget that every one of us (except the American Indian) are descendants of immigrants.

The time has come for us to join efforts in support of comprehensive legislation that rewards work, reunites families, enforces the law, and protects national security, while respecting the rights of U.S.-born and immigrant workers.

It is in the heart of America to uphold the principles of freedom, justice and democracy for all. We too believe. SI SE PUEDE! ”

Thursday, April 27, 2006

April Milonga tonight April 27, Tango by Moonlight May 13

April "Milonga"
(Argentine Tango Dance/Social Gathering)

Thursday, April 27, 2006
7:00 to 9:00 pm
Ibiza Night Club (
Tango by Moonlight
Saturday, May 13, 2006, 7 to 10 pm
Centennial Park, Event Shelter (FREE!!!)
For more information, contact Diana Holland at, or visit

Nashville groups work with employers for May 1 walk-out

Nashville's Conexion Americas and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition have been in contact with employers in advance of the May 1 grassroots movement alternatively called a "Day Without an Immigrant," a "National Day of Action," and the "Great American Boycott." The concept is that immigrants and their allies will not participate in the economy on May 1, in an effort to bring light to the contributions of immigrants to the economy and the systematic injustice built into current immigration laws. The May 1 event and earlier waves of protests nationwide were sparked in part by harsh Congressional immigration proposals.

David Lubell of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition had this to say, followed by a copy of TIRRC's sample letter to employees:

In regards to the events of May 1 in Nashville, many Latino workers will be staying home from work, and many Latino consumers will not be buying anything on that day. This is a decision that has arisen organically from within the community. A work stoppage has been called for on the national level, and that call has resonated deeply with workers here. Undocumented workers have felt powerless for a long time, and I believe the idea of a work stoppage has resonated because it gives workers an opportunity to express themselves by taking away the thing they are most valued for in the U.S. - their labor.

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition has had many meetings over the last few weeks with immigrant workers, and at every meeting workers have told us the same thing: "We want to participate in the national work stoppage on May 1." TIRRC never called for a work-stoppage, but once it became clear that it was going to happen, our volunteers decided the most important thing to do was to make sure it was done in a responsible, well-organized manner. It is for that reason that we are holding several community meetings over the next few days. At these meetings we will be trying to educate workers about the risks of not working on May 1st (the largest risk of course is losing their jobs), and the best way to approach their employer if they plan to participate in the work stoppage.

We are also trying to do everything possible to educate employers and the public at large that the purpose of the work stoppage is not to punish employers or anyone else, but instead to raise awareness in Tennessee about the indespensable economic contributions immigrants make to the economy. Many Nashvillians do not realize how much immigrants contribute to the local economy, and "a day without an immigrant" is an opportunity to do some broad education.

We have begun speaking with employer groups about May 1, and the response has been more positive than we expected. In addition to Latino businesses, there are also several "non-immigrant-owned" businesses and business groups in Nashville and in Knoxville that have said they will be closing on May 1st in a show of support.

In order to assist workers and educate employers, we have developed a letter for Latino workers to submit to their employers explaining why they want to take off from work. We are distributing this letter in English and Spanish. This letter emphasizes the idea that employers are a crucial ally in the struggle for comprehensive immigration reform, and that the work stoppage is not intended to punish them. I have attached that letter below.

Lubell also recognized that the support for a work-stoppage is not universal, even among immigrant advocates, but that all immigrant advocates can agree that legal reform is needed to respect the contributions that immigrant workers make to Tennessee.

TIRRC's letter:

Dear Employer,

I am writing to let you know that on Monday, May 1, 2006 I do not intend to come to work. Instead I plan to participate in “a day without an immigrant,” a national effort to bring attention to the undeniable importance of immigrant workers to our nation’s economy. We are asking for changes to our immigration laws which would give many immigrant workers a chance to earn legal status. We see you as an important ally in this effort, and apologize for what we know is a major inconvenience.

I have joined this effort because this past December, the House of Representatives passed a terrible bill that would make undocumented immigrants into aggravated felons and would also make anyone who works with them a criminal (HR 4437). Instead of attacking immigrants, employers, and service organizations, we want Congress to give many immigrants a chance to be here legally. I hope you understand the importance of this effort. If immigrants, businesses, churches and others who believe in the dignity of all people do not work together for comprehensive immigration reform, we all stand to lose.

Please tell your senators to stop the advancement of misguided immigration proposals, and instead to support “comprehensive immigration reform” which includes an eventual path to citizenship for hard-working immigrant families. Please help in this cause by contacting Senator Frist and Senator Alexander today, and by giving me your blessing on May 1st. Immigrants have always made this country stronger. Let’s work together to make sure this proud tradition continues.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

With all due respect,
Your employee

Conexion Americas issued the following statement and also proposed a letter for employers to distribute to their customers in regard to May 1:


Conexión Américas embraces May 1st as another national day of action in support of comprehensive immigration reform and in opposition to legislation that fails to fix our broken immigration system and criminalizes immigrant workers.

On May 1st, immigrant communities, employers, and allies across the nation will engage in a myriad of activities lifting up the contributions of immigrant workers and families. They will be calling on Congress to pass humane and workable comprehensive immigration reform through interfaith vigils, voter registration drives, community gatherings, educational events. In some cities Latino workers will be staying home from work and will not be buying anything on that day.

Conexión Américas recognizes that there is a heart-felt clamor within our community for recognition as economic contributors as workers and consumers. In solidarity with the Latino community nationwide, Conexión Américas will join this national day of action and will be closed for regular business on May 1st. Our staff is currently participating in community planning events, seeking to influence that sound and wise decisions are made regarding Mondays’ activities. Specifically we are stressing the following points:

* Children must attend a full day of school that day.
* Workers should inform and negotiate with employers by using sick, vacation or personal leave to minimize their risk of losing their employment.
* We are encouraging employers, to the extent possible, to consider supporting their employees’ participation in the Action Day. (We are making available the attached letter as a sample of how employers can articulate their position with customers & employees. Feel free to use it)

Conexión Américas will continue bringing attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform that contributes to our mission of promoting the social, economic and civic integration of Latino families into the local community.

Conexion Americas' proposed letter for businesses to send to their customers:

To our Valued Customers,

You are certainly aware of the immigration reform conversations taking place across our nation, including right here in Middle Tennessee. All sides of this debate at least agree that reform is needed. Certainly reform is imminent at the federal level, and there are many initiatives being considered by the Tennessee State legislature.

I have written and rewritten this letter in an attempt to remain politically neutral, while advocating immigration reform that is economically, socially and morally acceptable. In the end, I have decided to leave the arguments to the politicians. However, some developments cannot be so easily ignored:

On May 1, immigrant workers and their allies are planning a major day of action to ask U.S. Congress, among other measures, to grant undocumented immigrants the right to work legally in this country. All Latinos and immigrants, legal and undocumented, are being called upon to participate in local peaceful rallies and community events and to not work on that day.

At (BUSINESS NAME), we are particularly sensitive to this issue. (Many, Nearly half , Several) of our employees are (Hispanic/immigrants). These are the people who day in and day out make this business possible.

We are supporting this national day of action and allowing, without repercussion, our immigrant employees to miss work on Monday May 1. This will inevitably affect our ability to serve our customers that day and we recognize this will present an inconvenience to you. I invite you to use this as an opportunity to educate ourselves and reflect on our reliance on the contributions of immigrant workers to our business and our daily lives.

We will also “feel the pain” of this disruption to our business on May 1st. I will make myself available to you on Monday and will try to help in any way I can. Of course, you will not be billed for work you do not receive.

Please don’t hesitate to call me at ________________ with your concerns or comments.





* All employees are W-2 wage earning employees and all pay taxes.
* All employees are fully covered by worker’s compensation insurance.
* State and federal unemployment taxes are paid for all employees, and therefore all are eligible for unemployment benefits.
* All employees have provided documentation that attests to their authorization to work in the U.S.
* All employees have undergone a criminal background check.
* Starting wages for a (BUSINESS NAME) employee is $__.00 per hour.
* Federal minimum wage is $5.15
* All (BUSINESS NAME) employees share in the same benefits program.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Morocco and U.S. soccer teams face off in Nashville exhibition May 23

According to this story on Fox Sports, the U.S. men's soccer team will play a friendly exhibition game against Morocco in the Nashville Coliseum on May 23. The Coliseum was built with the idea of accomodating soccer games and has seen on average one international soccer game every year or two since it was completed in 1999. Tickets for the exhibition game will be sold in the lower bowl at various levels of pricing and also in a limited area of the luxury suites.

The game will be one of the last chances for fans to see the U.S. team in action before it heads to the World Cup in Germany in June. The U.S. men are currently ranked fourth in the world.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Spanish album on wish list of Dove Award-nominated Ana Laura Chavez

The Brownsville Herald reports that Ana Laura Chavez is recording a second album in English but hopes to make a Spanish-language album soon.

“Spanish is my first language. I want to be able to sing my songs to my Spanish-speaking relatives,” she told the Brownsville Herald.

Ana Laura won a recording contract in 2004 (story here) from Brentwood's Provident Label Group after the young bilingual singer won a Christian Music Talent Search. She was nominated and featured prominently in the Gospel Music Association's televised 2006 Dove Awards. The GMA is based in Nashville.

Ana Laura's official web site is

Mistakes in immigration enforcement threaten health and freedom of U.S. citizens, legal immigrants

The Tennessean reports in this article that poor and elderly U.S. citizens may be improperly excluded from TennCare as a result of new I.D. requirements related to immigration.

"Glenda Shearon, assistant DHS commissioner for Adult and Family Services, believes few illegal immigrants are receiving TennCare."

"'It has not been an issue,' Shearon said. 'This is an extra burden that will bear little positive results or change. The reality is it could hurt people who are really entitled to these benefits.'"

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports in this story that "Temple Black, a spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in New Orleans ... said he didn't know how many of those picked up in the Memphis area were actually without legal documentation or what was happening with those workers."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Clarksville hosts International Streetfest at Rivers and Spires Festival, April 21-22

APRIL 21: RIVERS AND SPIRES FESTIVAL'S INTERNATIONAL STREETFEST, historic downtown Clarksville. International StreetFest will be located on Legion Street, and groups will perform starting Friday, April 21 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Friday night, African- American groups will be represented through song and dance. Dr. Ben Tankard - a gospel jazz performer - will be featured on Friday evening. On Saturday, the following acts will take place: Cultural dances from India, Korea, Guam, New Zealand, The Philippines and Hawaii, Japanese Martial Arts show, Afinke – Hispanic Salsa band. 931-647-2331 ext. 227

This street will come alive with sounds of various cultural groups. Come experience the cultural diversity of the Clarksville community and shake your booty to the sounds of countries around the world.

First Missionary Baptist Church of Clarksville will offer,"Mosaic Worship of The King" sponsored by the Emmanuel Outreach Service Organization and the Emmanuel Family Life Center 303 Fairview Lane, The website

Complete Schedule



5:00 PM The First Missionary Baptist Church UNITY CHOIR, PRAISE, DANCE TEAM and WORSHIP BAND
5:45 PM Mistress of Ceremony - Comedian SIMONE JAMES
6:00 PM The APSU Voices of Triumph
6:30 PM The FMBC Daughters of Hul (praise dancers)
6:45 PM Mistress of Ceremony - Comedian SIMONE JAMES
7:00 PM Christian recording Artist - GRETA MANNING
8:00 PM Renown and Internationally known Christian recording artist BEN TANKARD.

The Emmanuel Family Life Center will have a booth set up in the area with some items for give-away as well as membership registration and promotional items for sale.

Saturday, April 22


Between Franklin and Hiter Street will become a party of many colors. Good food, music that will make your feet dance and most important of all southern hospitality with a cultural flair.

Friday, April 21 - 5:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m
Saturday, April 22 - 10:00 am- 11:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hispanic and African-American dialog in Music City; listening forum April 28

The Metro Human Relations Commission has announced a Public Listening Forum titled "Building African-American and Hispanic Relationships: Alliances and Opportunities (Economics, Resources and the Media)". It is scheduled for Friday, April 28, from 5-7pm in the Auditorium of Nashville's Downtown Public Library.

In his Tennessean column last Thursday (here), African-American columnist and editor Dwight Lewis said that a reader had complained about his apparently exclusive focus on race relations and racism, so Lewis opened up the floor for a different topic: immigration.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Franklin Chamber networking tonight, Tuesday April 18

Franklin Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Tuesday April 18 is the Franklin Area Hispanic Chamber’s monthly Networking Night. Bring 50 business cards and prepare a brief 1 minute intro on yourself or your business. All meetings are in English. You do not need to speak Spanish or know anything about the Hispanic market.

DATE: Tuesday, April 18
TIME: 5.30 PM-7:00 PM
LOCATION: Uncle Gio's Pizzeria, 6448 Nolensville Rd, Nashville
COST: $5 members (and students) $10 non-members includes

Monday, April 17, 2006

Nashville Film Festival: "To the Other Side" and "La Tacqueria" April 23

Nashville Film Festival 2006Celebrating Hispanic Filmmakers at NaFF

Sunday April 23rd - 5:30 pm
Regal Cinemas in Green Hills
3815 Green Hills Village Drive
Nashville, TN 37215 - 615-269-5910

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is hosting this event in support of the Nashville Film Festival Latino Film Series. FREE admission to a VIP Reception at the NaFF tent for members and friends of the NAHCC who have purchased a ticket to "To the Other Side" a wonderful film about immigration issues which will be screened after the reception. "To the Other Side" will be preceded by the short film "La Taquería" (The Taco Trailer - in Spanish with subtitles ) produced in Nashville. Special guests will include filmmakers, actors, and film, radio and TV industry Latino professionals.

A visually stimulating, timely film that punctures the surface of immigration. Three countries, three cultures, three different realities serve as background for the stories of three children with absent fathers. Directed by Gustavo Loza.
~Preceded by "La Taquería" Directed by Carlos Griffin

RSVP: 615-216-5737 or via e-mail at

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hispanic Nashville Datebook

The Hispanic Nashville Notebook has created a Google Calendar for upcoming events of interest to the Hispanic community in Nashville. The calendar is called the "Hispanic Nashville Datebook" and is available to Google Calendar users by searching for "Hispanic Nashville" in the Other Calendars menu on the left-hand side of Google Calendar, or through this feed.

The Hispanic Nashville Datebook is just an experiment at this point, so if you find it useful or have any comments, contact the editor.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tennessee lawmakers wade through state-level immigration proposals

A subcommittee of the Tennessee House of Representatives has killed a bill that would have imposed new immigration responsibilities on state troopers. In the Senate, a proposal to eliminate the administration of Tennessee's written driver's license exam in Spanish, Korean, and Japanese was changed so that the current translations would remain available.

Juan Canedo of the Hispanic Community Group of Tennessee (Grupo Comunitario Hispano de Tennessee) appeared before the House subcommittee warning that the state trooper proposal would lead to racial profiling. The Tennessean quoted Janice Snow Rodriguez, executive director of the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, as saying that the proposed elimination of exam translations "comes down to discrimination," because "[p]eople who are in every other way within their right to get a driver's license [would be] denied that opportunity."

Related stories:
Knoxville Sentinel

Nashville City Paper

Chattanooga Free Press

The Tennessean

Members of both political parties have warned immigration restrictionists that the integration of the legal and illegal populations requires careful assessment of immigration-related laws, and that political manipulation of the issue will do more harm than good (see stories here, here and here).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tennessean to publish "A Day in the Life of Our Hispanic and Latino Communities" April 27; ad deadline April 13

The Tennessean is planning a special section on "A Day in the Life of Our Hispanic and Latino Communities" for publication April 27. The advertising deadline is today, April 13 (advertising details here). The ad sheet references "Hispanic Nashville" but is not connected to or the Hispanic Nashville Notebook.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nashville rally mementos available

A series of mementos of the March 29 Nashville immigrant solidarity rally are now available for sale here.

The mementos include clothing, posters, and mugs and feature a photograph of the thousands of marchers as they approach the steps of Legislative Plaza. The words on the print are limited to the date and place of the rally and the word "solidarity."

Thanks to Kevin Newman and also to Brittney Gilbert of WKRN-TV's Nashville Is Talking for their assistance and for donating the photo. No profits or proceeds will be collected other than by the printer,

World Cup on Nashville's TeleFutura Channel 42 in June; party at Ibiza tonight

TeleFutura, Channel 42, Nashville’s only Spanish language TV Station is excited to announce that it will broadcasting live games and highlight shows from this June’s soccer World Cup.

TeleFutura, Channel 42’s General Manager Susana Pae is delighted that the world’s biggest sporting event will be available to Nashville’s TeleFutura Channel 42 viewers. “This is a massive sporting event and so many of our viewers are soccer fans that we are very happy to be able to bring them live games, highlights and special preview programs from the World Cup in Germany.”
The soccer World Cup is the biggest televised sporting event in the World. Host nation Germany kicks off the tournament with a game against Costa Rica on June 9 and then it’s a contest for supremacy among the top 32 soccer nations in the world including the USA, Mexico, Paraguay, Brasil, Argentina, England, Portugal, Spain, Ecuador, Italy and more.

The World Cup takes place every four years and is of enormous interest to Hispanics in the USA. The 2002 World Cup Final was watched by the largest household audience share in the history of Spanish- language television. Spanish language TV’s coverage of the 2002 World Cup reached more viewers than ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 combined. The 2002 World Cup Mexico-U.S. game attracted more Hispanic viewers than all sporting events broadcast that year — including the 2002 Super Bowl and all NBA Finals games. The World Cup is quite simply the Superbowl for Hispanics.

Because of the time difference between Germany and the United States most games will take place in the morning or early in the afternoon, Nashville time. To cater for those unable to see the games during the work day, TeleFutura, Channel 42 will broadcast the best matches of the day in primetime beginning on June 9.

Channel 42 will be announcing full details of their coverage and advertising specials on April 12 at Club Ibiza where they will host their first ever World Cup soccer party for an invited audience.

Says Inga Chamberlain, General Sales Manager for TeleFutura, Channel 42. “We have teamed up with Carlos Moncayo, owner of Club Ibiza and Cezar Contreras of Deportes Americas sports store to present a soccer party- we’ll have free beer, food, soccer prizes and contests and we’ll be making some special announcements about World Cup month on TeleFutura, Channel 42. This is a wonderful advertising opportunity for businesses targeting Hispanic consumers. TeleFutura, Channel 42 is currently the only Spanish-language TV channel in Nashville accepting local commercials and we will have our biggest audiences ever for the World Cup.”

Telefutura, Channel 42 first began broadcasting in February 2004 and is the only local Spanish language TV station in Nashville. Channel 42 features first- class family entertainment programming that includes original Latin American talk shows, news briefs, variety shows, soap operas, movies, sports, and local programming. For more information about programming visit

For more information about TeleFutura, Channel 42’s World Cup plans or to request invitations to the World Cup soccer party at Club Ibiza, please contact Inga Chamberlain at:, tel. 615-255- 4139.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

April 13 Latin American Professionals networking event

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce announced a Latin American professionals networking event in its Monday Morning Report:

Chamber co-hosts Hispanic networking event
Conexion Americas will co-host the "Latin American Professionals Working in Corporate Nashville" reception with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce this Thursday, April 13, at 5 p.m. at the Chamber offices. The goal of this free event is to introduce people and families from other companies and organizations that have come from Latin America. As the number of Latin American professionals and families continues to grow in Nashville, this reception will become a catalyst for social, businesses and civic networking as well as new friendships within the Latino community in the Nashville region. For more information, contact Maitane Tidwell at

City government still tweaking taco stand laws

The Nashville City Paper reports in this article that the taco stand ban is still on the table. Also, the Metro Public Health Department is voting to drop the word "mobile" when describing food stands that have permanent utility connections.

"The Metro Public Health Department said the change is just a semantic exercise and that it will have no practical implications..."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Minority teachers wanted, says Tennessee Department of Education

The Nashville City Paper reports in this article that the Tennessee Department of Education has started a two-year program to recruit and retain minority teachers.

"The initiative is a statewide effort to involve various entities to align their current minority recruitment efforts with those of the Department of Education, according to Gwen Watson, Tennessee urban education specialist."

"On the local front, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) hired for the 2005-2006 school year more than 600 teachers, 13 percent of whom were minorities. This compares to about 500 hires for 2004-2005, 10 percent of whom were minorities."

"Currently, 47 percent of the district’s student population is minority, with 20 percent of its teaching force minority, said Kay Stafford, MNPS human resources director."

Friday, April 7, 2006

Capitol Nashville: country music needs a Hispanic star

The Washington Post reports that Capitol Nashville CEO Mike Dungan thinks the country music market is ready for a break-out Hispanic star:

"'All we need is a hero, somebody the Hispanic community would relate to and who wants to play country music and get a song on country radio,' said Mike Dungan, president and chief executive of EMI Group Plc's Capitol Nashville, home to stars like Kenny Rogers and Keith Urban."

"'The gatekeeper here has been country radio because radio programmers won't commit airtime to any artist until they are convinced that the artist is the real deal -- a 'country artist' first and foremost,' said Dungan, who believes it is imperative the record be sung in English."

"If the artist then has success, he or she can record a similar record in Spanish or blend the two languages. Dungan is convinced that American country music fans to whom Spanish is a primary language 'would love this.'"

The article cites Freddy Fender as one of the groundbreakers with a Hispanic/country profile. This year's musical reality series Nashville Star featured Hispanic contestant Melanie Torres until this week, when she was cut in the fourth episode (story here).

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Columnist from India finds hospitality in rural Tennessee

Tennessean columnist Saritha Prabhu of Clarksville paints a picture in this column of life as a newcomer in rural Tennessee.

"We learned that what newcomers usually encounter here are warmth and graciousness, that Southern hospitality can sometimes rival Indian hospitality, that when you visit with someone around these parts, you are likely to walk away with some home-grown produce or a jar of home-canned jam, that when you first move into your house, your neighbor down the hill will likely come over with muffins straight from the oven and introduce herself."

"I'd be lying if I gave the impression that everything was just hunky-dory. There were a few veiled attempts to 'save' our souls, some covert racism, but probably no more than if an American family had gone to live in an Indian town."

"In retrospect, the INS probably did us a favor — our Erin years gave us a more rounded understanding and appreciation of our adopted country. Gandhi once said, 'India lives in her villages,' and the same can probably be said of any country."

"And what we mostly saw was goodheartedness sometimes covered with a gruff manner."

"Power of Inclusion" Lunch & Lecture Hosted by CABLE May 10

Nashville CABLE has invited nationally-known speaker and author, Audra M. Bohannon, to present "The Power of Inclusion", addressing the topic of diversity, at its May, 2006 luncheon. With her expertise in human resources, training and diversity management, Ms. Bohannon will present a compelling topic that will challenge the belief that only some employees have the potential to be top contributors, and will make a case for a new inclusive model of human resource development. With an increasingly diverse workplace and the demands of a global economy, it is imperative that business professionals and civic leaders understand and embrace the new paradigm of inclusion. Effective management of a diverse workforce has bottom-line implications for life and business. This event promises to address the real issues, even the uncomfortable issues surrounding diversity. Attendees will leave with the tools to enter this new era with knowledge, power and skills.

With its nearly 30-year history of connecting professionals, CABLE boasts more than 400 members, women (and men) of all ages, ethnicities and religions. Proceeds from this fundraising event will be allocated to support CABLE’s diverse programming.

"The Power of Inclusion"
Silent Auction, Lunch & Program
featuring Audra M. Bohannon
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Nashville Downtown Hilton Hotel
Lunch and Lecture: $50/person

Tickets may be purchased online at or through the CABLE office by calling 255-7489.

Fiesta Belmont recap

The Tennessean covered Saturday's "Fiesta Belmont" in this story.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Save the Dates: Cultural Calendar April - May

Eva Melo of Latin Market Communications regularly publishes a Cultural Calendar for Middle Tennessee. Here are some of the events through May:

APRIL 30: CHILDREN'S DAY, put on by La Voz newaper. Contact Luis Moscorro for more information: 615-589-1876 or

MAY 5: CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL in Nashville, put on by La Voz newspaper. Contact Louis Moscorro for booth information. 615-589-1876 or

MAY 6: CINCO DE MAYO in Franklin, put on by Casa de Mi Padre. Contact Johnny for booth information, 615-595-9654 or

MAY 10: MOTHER'S DAY CELEBRATION, put on by La Voz newspaper. Contact Luis Moscorro for more information: 615-589-1876 or

EVERY SUNDAY: JOE SILVA BLUES, Sundays, Jonathan’s Bar and Grill, 5805 Nolensville Pike (corner of Nolensville and Old Hickory Blvd) 833-2799. Mondays, Beyond the Edge, 112 S. 11th St, Historic East Nashville, 615-226-3343. Fridays, Off Murfreesboro Pike near Golds Gym. Across from K-mart. 615-399-2244. For booking and info: 615-361-5331,

EVERY WEDNS. 5:30AM, SUN. 5PM: Your Spanish Link: watch A SPANISH VARIETY SHOW ON WCKV_TV. (27)CHARTER CABLE OR (49) Antenna. Can also be viewed online at Jerrika Rivera,,

EVERY WEDNS: Rachel Rodriguez's LATIN ROCK NIGHT w/ Chamo Lopez & Friends tonight and The Blue Bar 9pm-midnight NO COVER

EVERY THURSDAY: 7:00-10:00PM, SUPER POTENT SALSA, 88.1FM. Bilingual programming with Sipho Dumasane, 512-0082,

THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS: FREE SALSA LESSONS, Ibiza Night Club, 15128 Old Hickory Blvfd, Nashville, 9:00-10:00PM.

The material posted above was collected by Eva Melo of Latin Market Communications and not by the Hispanic Nashville Notebook. Material that is not attributed to the Hispanic Nashville Notebook is often indicated on this site in green text or in quotes.

Police chiefs find common ground with Hispanic business groups in Shelbyville and Nashville

The Shelbyville Times-Gazette (in this story) and Nashville's NewsChannel5 (in this story) report that the police chiefs of Shelbyville and Nashville have met with Hispanic business groups and are agreeing to work together to fight crime.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Attorney general opinion: suspension of drivers certificate violated law

KnoxNews reports in this article that the Tennessee Attorney General has issued an opinion that the Tennessee Department of Safety violated the Administrative Procedures Act when it suspended the issuance of driving certificates without public comment. The effect of the AG opinion is that the DOS has now issued an emergency rule that will be published and subjected to public comment and hearing.

"In the opinion issued [the week of March 20, Tennessee Attorney General Paul] Summers said 'agency decisions that affect the rights, privileges or obligations of the public at large constitute rulemaking and the agency would be required to comply with the rulemaking provisions of the [Administrative Procedures] Act.'"

"Julie Oaks, a spokeswoman for the Safety Department, said legal officials in her department filed an emergency rule immediately following Summers' opinion that says 'certificates for driving are only issued to people with a legal presence.'"

"'A permanent rule will then take effect, it will be published and allow the public a chance for a hearing,' said Oaks, adding that it's her understanding that anyone can request a hearing."

Nashville law firms lag in diversity

The Nashville Business Journal reports in this article that Nashville law firms are less diverse than than the national average.

"According to the National Association for Legal Professionals, which analyzed the demographics of 1,425 law firms included in its 2005-2006 Directory of Legal Employers ... attorneys of color (African-Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Hispanics of any race and multi-cultural individuals) represented about 16 percent of associates and 5 percent of partners."

"Ten Nashville law firms are listed in the directory, including the city's seven largest. Minorities account for roughly 10 percent of associates and 2 percent of partners."

Nashville's pulpits express solidarity with immigrants

"Reverend Phillip Beisswenger, said he was there to be supportive, 'I come here in the spirit and the word of God which says you are no longer a stranger. You are members of the family of God. I am the father of three children. I see the struggle of the kids of undocumented parents. We see a lot of people that are not happy, a lot of people that are disoriented. Brothers and sisters, like everyone, I love my country, but the truth is that immigration laws are outdated. We do not want the United States to be the divided states.'"
Tennessee Immigrant Media Center, 3/30/2006

"Father Brent, a representative of the Nashville Catholic Diocese, said his grandparents were immigrants, 'My grandparents came here over 100 years ago from Europe and like so many immigrants they made this nation great. In the past twenty years you have come here to make this an even greater nation. The Catholic church supports you 120%. We will work with you to get you a driver's license. We are going to work hard to allow you men and women to get married legally. We are going to work with our politicians and President Bush to make many of you citizens of the United States of American. It can be done. Together it will be done.'"
Tennessee Immigrant Media Center, 3/30/2006

"Reverend Henry Blaise said he was there [at Nashville's immigrant solidarity rally] to affirm that all human life is valued, 'No one is a criminal in the eys of God, I am here to say to you today that we stand in solidarity. Whenever anyone's dignity is called into question, all of our dignity is called into question. I come to say to you today that as children of God you have a right, the same right that the declaration of independence upholds, that we hold these truths to be self evident, that all are entitled to certain inalienable rights among those being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We want to say to Senator Frist that we are here today to reinvigorate an American democracy. The people united will never be divided.'"
Tennessee Immigrant Media Center, 3/30/2006

"This law has awakened a sleeping giant - the immigrant population - that is rising up to say: 'We're not leaving, and if you throw us out, we'll be back,'" said Jose Rodriguez Marin, bishop of the Hispanic Church of God in Nashville, Tennessee.
MercoPress, 3/28/2006
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