Thursday, August 30, 2007

VIP NAHCC Members and Friends Reception at MUSIC CITY J.A.M Sunday September 2nd 5:30pm

We are almost sold out!
2007 Music City J.A.M
Special Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Member VIP Package Offer

Offer includes exclusive discounted ticket and member reception
We thank all the NAHCC members and friends for responding to our invitation. We still have few more VIP tickets left. Please contact our office 615-216-5734 to purchase or for more information.
NAHCC members and guests will meet at 6 pm at the VIP area (wrist bands required) to see Jaci Velazquez performance.

Come enjoy the music, food, beverages and the fireworks in the company of your friends from Nashville's leading Hispanic Business organization!

The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau would like to extend this special discounted offer to join us Sunday, September 2nd, 2007 at Riverfront Park for the 2007 Music City J.A.M.

Gates open Sunday at 12:30 pm with live music from 1:00 - 9:00 pm. Artists scheduled to perform include Jaci Velazquez, Brian McKnight, Kirk Whalum and more. Plan to stay around at the conclusion of the Sunday night's concert for a special fireworks spectacular.

Don't miss out on this great offer!
Sunday September 2nd
from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Riverfront Park
Special $10 VIP ticket for NAHCC members.
(and those who mention this exclusive invite)
Get your discounted VIP tickets by calling 615-216-5737 or request them via e-mail at

September 19th-23rd

To learn more about the NAHCC please visit us online at:
The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)6 non-profit business organization. The NAHCC keeps the highest level of accountability on sponsorship funds received or other corporate contributions. The mission of the NAHCC is to help Nashville become a better place to live, work and visit by creating positive environments conducive to business growth, education, integration, and cultural appreciation. Partnerships with corporate members wishing to fund NAHCC programs and events are subjected to Board of Director's approval and are primarily to support educational causes and/or empower entrepreneurship opportunities as well as mainstream business member initiatives not restricted to the Hispanic entrerpreneur or market.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Upcoming Danny Salazar performances

Sep 7 2007 7:00P
Latino Art Opening @ Franklin City Hall; Franklin, Tennessee

Sep 8 2007 9:00P
BB King’s (downstairs stage); Nashville, Tennessee

Sep 13 2007 7:00P
Beats Beyond Borders benefit concert @ the Rutledge; Nashville, Tennessee

Sep 14 2007 8:00P
Latin Roots Expression @ Cafe Coco featuring Trio Ginga; Nashville, Tennessee

Sep 15 2007 9:00P
Noche Mexicana @ la Hacienda in franklin; Franklin, Tennessee

Sep 22 2007 7:00P
Voces Unidas (showcasing local hispanic talent); Brentwood, Tennessee

Oct 6 2007 8:00A
Walk As One - a walk for unity & diversity @ Centennial Park; Nashville, Tennessee


Salazar's bio on
Danny Salazar was born in San Antonio, Texas, but grew up in the border town of Eagle Pass. As a child he could walk to the Rio Grande and look across the river to the Mexican town of Piedras Negras. At the age of 14 he began teaching himself to play the guitar and sing, drawing musical influences and styles from the wide range of music that his father listened to on the radio -- including cumbia, Tejano, country and pop. He also began writing his own songs. His parents spoke Spanish at home and so he grew up with the ability to speak and write in both English and Spanish.

Danny first came to Nashville in 2000, but left after six months to spend time traveling in Mexico – visiting his extended family in the state of Coahuila and seeking out the local variations of Latin music there, in the Yucatan, in Michoacán and in other parts of Mexico. He returned to Nashville in 2003, began performing with many of the Latino musicians here, and formed the band Danny Salazar y los Kuatro.

Salazar and his band have performed at many area festivals and events, such as Fiesta Belmont (Belmont University), Café con Leche (Vanderbilt University), P.A.P.A.Fest (Knoxville), Música de la Gente Festival (Coleman Park - Nashville), Live Along the Lake (Centennial Park - Nashville). Nashville Film Festival's Hispanic Films reception, Bethel World Outreach Cultural Festival (Nashville), and numerous Cinco de Mayo celebrations. He also regularly performs at Nashville clubs and restaurants, including 3rd and Lindsley, Douglas Corner, The Basement, Las Cazuelas, B.B. Kings and La Hacienda (in Franklin). The group has developed a large following among young Nashville Latinos.

The music that Danny writes and performs combines many elements of Latin music, including a variety of rhythms from South America and the Caribbean nations. Danny says that his goal is to "make a difference" through his music and he is very active in local community service projects. He is the lead musician-educator for Mexican-American educational programs in middle Tennessee schools and performed at the 2007 Música de la Gente Festival as well as the 2007 Miss Tennessee Latina pageant.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gonzalo Espinoza of Venezuela joins faculty of Nashville Ballet

The School of Nashville Ballet will be welcoming a new faculty member, Mr. Gonzalo Espinoza. Mr. Espinoza will be instructing Upper Division classes, Adult Division Classes and assisting with the Youth Ensemble (an audition-only performing group). Born in Venezuela, Gonzalo danced with National Ballet of Venezuela and with the Ballet Nuevo Mundo. He has danced with Cleveland Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, and has done extensive work with Dancing Wheels, a dance group encompassing both wheel chair and non wheel-chaired dancers. Former Assistant School Director of Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, Mr. Espinoza brings a wealth of experience to the School of Nashville Ballet. Donna Delseni, School Director, states, "Gonzalo has the innate ability to bring out the best in all of his students and challenges them to aspire to greater levels of dance. We are so pleased to bring in an instructor of his caliber to our team of professionals here at Nashville Ballet."

Photo by Louise Docker

Friday, August 24, 2007

August 26: Free day at the Frist Museum downtown

Contribution by Cesar A. Muedas
FREE admission for adults (children under 18 always free; regular admission fee = $8.50). Check online description of current exhibits.
When: Sunday, August 26, 2007 - 1:00pm to 5:30pm
Where: Frist Center for the Visual Arts
919 Broadway - Nashville, TN 37203 (Directions available online)
Why: Besides the obvious reasons, free days at the Frist typically see large attendance of Spanish-speaking families and that circumstance may create the setting for students of the Spanish language to practice in a conversational setting with several native speakers.
Not to miss: Lots of fun at Art Quest (2nd floor). Extraordinary hands-on experience for children of all ages, ethnicities and languages.
The Hispanic connection:
Last year the Frist Center for the Visual Arts was the recipient of a prestigious grant from the Federal Institute for Museum and Library Sciences. As a result of that funding, through its ambitious HOPE Initiative (Hispanic Outreach Project for Education), the Frist Center has developed a number of strong relationships with schools of the MNPS system that have a significant population of Hispanic students.
In addition to bilingual exhibit-related publications, the Frist Center also maintains a Spanish-version of its informational webpage.
The list of active volunteers of the Frist Center includes close to 20 Hispanic residents and citizens of middle Tennessee. Its Docent Program has graduated already 3 bilingual (Spanish-English) professionals.


Young Professionals of Nashville Hispanic Chamber co-sponsor mayoral runoff debate Saturday August 25

The Tennessean's Midstate Datebook lists tomorrow night's mayoral runoff debate, co-sponsored by the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals:

Saturday, Aug. 25
Mayoral debate

What: Nashville mayoral runoff candidate debate

Who: co-sponsored by the Davidson County Young Democrats, the Davidson County Young Republicans, the Middle Tennessee Urban League Young Professionals, the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and the Nashville Junior Chamber of Commerce

When: Seating for the debate ends at 6:40 p.m. for the televised 7 p.m. debate.

Where: Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, 2400 Blakemore Ave.

Why: For 60 minutes, the runoff candidates will answer questions important to the next generation of Nashville leaders. The debate will be aired live on local television.

How: Free admission but advance tickets required. For tickets, please e-mail your name, phone number and number of tickets requested to

Photo by Chris Wage

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Global culture center? Nashville a near-miss on Fastest Cities list

Somewhere between Barcelona and Omaha in magazine ranking

"There is energy generated by outsiders fitting in"

The Tennessean reports here that "Nashville is on the verge of joining cultural giants like Barcelona, Spain, and Miami, Fla., as a global culture center." The story analyzes Nashville's mention in the July issue of Fast Company magazine and its ranking of "fast" cities.

The Tennessean quotes the executive editor of Fast Company as saying that, "[a]s a culture center, you must have the ability to attract and retain a cultural energy, and there Nashville has real buzz." Hammond is also quoted as saying that Music City ranks 36th out of 330 U.S. cities for "tolerance":
The tolerance score also looked at Nashville's mix of gays, foreign-born residents and people in interracial marriages, along with how well other races and ethnicities are integrated into the city.

There is energy generated by outsiders fitting in, the magazine said.
The list of cities who nearly missed the top (where Omaha and Nashville appear side-by-side) is here, and the Fast Company "fastest cities" who made the cut are here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tiempo Libre and Jose Limon Dance Company in Great Performances at Vanderbilt

33rd season of "Nashville’s longest running and only international performing series"

Discount tickets available through September 7

The United States premiere of Australia’s BalletLab and a performance by the Kronos Quartet highlight the 33rd season of Great Performances at Vanderbilt, Nashville’s longest running and only international performing series. The season will also bring a residency at Vanderbilt by the José Limón Dance Company.

Subscription packages for the eight-event series are available at Sarratt Student Center on the Vanderbilt University campus or online at Call 615-322-2471 for information. Subscriptions with deep savings off the single ticket price and premium seating are available through Sept. 7. Tickets for single events will be available through Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Box Office and Ticketmaster starting on Sept. 8.

Audience talk-back sessions, master classes and free previews at community venues are open to the public. The community previews with selected artists are hosted at various Nashville venues, usually the day before the full performance, through the Performance on the Move (POM) series.

The performances:

BalletLab, Australia’s lead contemporary company led by Phillip Adams, formerly choreographer for Australian Ballet, Chunky Move, and the Rotterdam Danse Groep, perform the work Origami. Nashville is the United States premiere site for the company’s 2007-08 tour.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. Sept. 29 in Ingram Hall. A POM event is scheduled for the preceding evening and a master class for Sept 30.

Tiempo Libre, Miami’s twice Grammy-nominated Cuban timba band, kicks off Vanderbilt’s Homecoming festivities with a free Alumni Lawn POM event at noon on Oct. 10. The seven-member group produces an irresistible dance-inducing mix of Latin jazz and rhythms. The evening main-stage performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in Ingram Hall. A preceding reception and panel discussion with the band will be facilitated by Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies. A reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. followed by a panel discussion at 6:30 p.m.

José Limón Dance Company will perform several historical works, including Missa Brevis, which will feature nine Vanderbilt students as part of the university’s first dance residency. The José Limón Dance Company was founded in 1946 by José Limon and Doris Humphrey. Shows on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ingram Hall. A dance Master Class is planned for Oct. 27 and a screening for the award-winning picture, Limón: A Life Beyond Words, on Oct. 29. For a complete list of Limón residency activities, visit the Great Performances Web site.

The TEAM theatre troupe will perform Particularly in the Heartland. The TEAM has garnered Critics Choice awards from New York, Toronto, and London in addition to winning the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Firs award. The play portrays a fantastical journey to Kansas and is about losing sight of America and trying to fall back in love with it. The TEAM performs at 8 p.m. Feb.1 in Ingram Hall. A POM event is scheduled for the preceding evening.

Wu Man & Chinese Shawm Band, who exposed the Western world to the pipa, a lute-like instrument with a history of more than 2000 years, perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 in Ingram Hall. Wu Man was schooled in the most classical style of Imperial China at the prestigious Pudong School. Her interpretations are sought out by Terry Riley, Philip Glass and others.

Kronos Quartet, the renowned contemporary string group, performs Sun Rings, a multimedia production created in 10 movements and commissioned for Kronos by NASA. The performance will feature a choir from Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music and celestial sounds and images from space recorded by Donald Gurnett, the James A. Van Allen/Roy J. Carver Professor of Physics at the University of Iowa. Kronos performs at 8:00 p.m. March 14 in Ingram Hall. A POM event is scheduled for the preceding evening with the quartet and founder David Harrington at the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory from 6 to 8 p.m.

Aquila Theatre Company will perform Joseph Heller’s stage adaptation of his classic novel, Catch 22. This is the first international professional tour of Heller’s own script. To date the play has only been produced once due to the popularity of Mike Nichols’ film version. The performance begins at 8 p.m. March 29 in Ingram Hall.

Black Grace Dance Company, an all male dance troupe from the mountains of New Zealand, marries the Pacific Island and Maori dancing heritage to modern forms. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. April 9 in Ingram Hall. A Master Class is scheduled for April 8.

Single ticket prices for individual performances are $34, $30 and $26 and will go on sale Sept. 8. Great Performances subscription campaign runs July 20 through Sept. 7 with premium seating choices and a savings of more than 20 percent off single ticket prices. Vanderbilt student ticket prices are available for $5. Non-Vanderbilt students including all high school and college youth can attend with valid identification for $10. Vanderbilt University faculty and staff may purchase the entire series for $104 before Sept. 7. All Tennessee state higher education faculty and staff may purchase the full series before Sept. 7 for $104 with a valid identification and photocopy of drivers license and completed order form in Room 207 of Sarratt Student Center or via mail to 207 Sarratt Student Center, Nashville, TN, 37240. A limit of two series tickets may be purchased per faculty or staff member.

For more information about Great Performances and season details call 615.322.2471 or, visit the homepage at

Media Contact: Bridgette Kohnhorst,(615) 322-2471

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mutual attractions bend cultures, genders at Murfreesboro Road bar

Nashville Scene cover story finds loneliness, indulgence

"For many patrons, these hours are the bright spot of the week"

"She loves to dance with these Mexican men"

For its June 28 cover story, the Nashville Scene published Thirsty for Company. The feature by P.J. Tobia paints a fascinating picture of a seedy Murfreesboro bar, where U.S. men and women offer cheap companionship to Mexican and Central American men:
The vast majority of laborers who come to the U.S. from places like Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala are men. These laborers live with men, work with men and drink with men. Walk into any Mexican restaurant in South Nashville, and you’ll see tables of six, eight, even 12 men dining together on a Saturday night. While it is true that many foreign-born Latina women live in Nashville, most have come with their children to join men who were already here. In short, there is a shortage of female companionship for Nashville’s immigrant labor pool.

Except at El Dos de Oros. Crystal and her two sisters come because the men will give them money just to flirt with them. Rita and Carla, two large middle-aged women, come because they say Mexican men know how to treat a woman and haven’t been softened by middle-class living. Gracia and Ashley, who visit El Dos de Oros with friends every weekend, keep coming back because the hard-drinking patrons don’t seem to realize—or care—that they, too, are men.

These women are of varied ages and fit many descriptions. Yet the most surprising thing about them, perhaps, is the one thing that they have in common. Of the dozens of women who come to El Dos de Oros each weekend, aside from the transvestites, almost every one is white and American-born. What’s more, they speak virtually zero Spanish. What everybody looks for, at El Dos de Oros, can be found with few words.
Read the whole article here.

Photo by Curtis Perry

Friday, August 17, 2007

Caribbean flavors at Los Happy Belly's

The Nashville Scene published this review of Murfreesboro road restaurant Los Happy Belly's:
895 Murfreesboro Road,


Co-owner Jose Santos arrived in Nashville about five months ago from New York, where he immigrated as a teenager from the Dominican Republic. His business partners are fellow Dominican Alexandra Abreu and Guatemalan brothers Alfonso, Santos, Chavelo and Danny Perez, who came to the U.S. about a decade ago.

While none of them is from either Cuba or Puerto Rico, the owners would all be familiar with the flavors and ingredients that weave throughout the Caribbean and find their way to Los Happy Belly’s. Beans and rice are a primary feature of the buffet table, which usually holds moro rojo (red beans and rice), arroz con gandules (white rice with peas), congri (rice with black beans) and plain white rice.


Los Happy Belly’s offers a handful of specialties that are interesting, even delicious. Among them is the yuca frita (fried cassava root). The thick, deep-fried exterior of the tuber chunk melts in the mouth, and is made even more intriguing by a drizzle of garlic-infused oil.


Los Happy Belly’s opens 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closes 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Sunday. Saturday is Caribbean Night with dancing from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Read the full review here.

Photo by yasmapaz

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Conexion Americas wins national award

Contribution by Cesar Muedas
Page 2B of today's Tennessean (also online) has the news of Conexion Americas' selection as recipient of a Family Strengthening Award given by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Council of La Raza.
Since 2002, Conexion Americas has been operating in Middle Tennessee with the mission to help Hispanic families realize their aspirations for social and economic advancement by promoting their integration into the local community.

Tatia Cummings, Emerging Leaders finalist

Contribution by Cesar Muedas
Today's Tennessean (page 2E and also online) reports that Tatia Cummings is one of 36 local young professionals that have been named finalists for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the 20/20 Leadership Alliance's Nashville Emerging Leader Awards. The awards will honor professionals under the age of 40 in a dozen fields, who were chosen based on their professional accomplishments and community service. Winners will be announced Sept. 6 in a special ceremony at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center.
Tatia Cummings is a native of Colombia and has led Sun Trust's Nashville Emerging Markets Initiative since 2005. She has been cited in earlier stories about Hispanic banking in July 2007, February 2007, December 2006, and November 2005.

Mythbusting Immigration

Posted By: Sean Braisted

Earlier this month, the Tennessee Comptroller John Morgan released a comprehensive study (click here for pdf) on the effects of unauthorized immigration on Tennessee and the Nation as a whole. This study, while not as comprehensive as it could be, does benefit the State by introducing some facts and reason into a debate which centers on hyperbole, myths, and outright lies about the effects of unauthorized immigrants on the State.

The Comptroller finds that:

Unauthorized aliens are not eligible for most public benefits. The cost of public benefits provided to unauthorized aliens are primarily restricted to elementary and secondary education and emergency and public health care as required by federal law. State and local governments have some increased costs from the incarceration of unauthorized aliens for criminal behavior.

However, unauthorized aliens contribute to state and local revenue as all residents in Tennessee through sales taxes on goods purchased, property tax through the payment of rent, as well as other user taxes such as those on gasoline. They are not able to access public services such as TennCare, housing, food stamps, welfare, and lower cost higher education.

One of the themes perpetrated, especially on Conservative talk radio and even the floor of our Legislature, is that unauthorized immigrants (or as Bob Clement calls them "illegals") are a drain on the state coffers. One especially infectious myth is that undocumented immigrants not only get all of the same benefits as US Citizens, but actually get MORE benefits...that they are somehow treated specially by State and Local Governments, to their benefit. The Comptroller does a great job of exploding these myths on a case by case basis, especially on the issues of public housing, health care, and college education.

Earlier this morning I tuned into Ralph Bristol who had on State Sen. Republican Leader Mark Norris on to talk about this was like listening to two children who just found out the tooth fairy is really their mom sticking a dollar underneath their pillow. According to them, facts and details like those listed in this report are counter-productive to the efforts in the State Legislature to attack and scapegoat unauthorized immigrants for all the State's problems. Amazingly, Sen. Norris seemed almost proud of the fact that he and his colleagues did not ask for this report, instead preferring to base their legislation on rumors and innuendo perpetrated by the Conservative media in this State.

Frankly, I think it is about time that the State agencies take a more proactive role in bringing some truth to the debate over the effects of undocumented immigration on this state. I can only hope they will do further studies, less reliant on other State's data and more exclusive to Tennessee, to further show the positive and negative contributions made by undocumented immigrants to Tennessee.

State Water Heaters launches Hispanic marketing campaign

Ashland City, Tennessee-based State Water Heaters recently announced plans to launch an integrated marketing effort aimed at Spanish-speaking contractors in key U.S. markets. Campaign initiatives include new Hispanic-themed print advertisements, Web enhancements, and a television sponsorship, all designed to raise State brand awareness among Hispanic communities.

“There are a growing number of plumbing and HVAC contractors in the U.S. who are Spanish speaking,” said Jeff Storie, State Water Heaters brand manager. “We are increasing our Hispanic marketing in order to partner with these professionals and to have a larger presence in the southwestern United States.”

A dedicated section on State’s Web site,, provides an opportunity to view the new Spanish print advertisement and a link to the Web site of "De Casa a Hogar," a new home improvement show on Spanish language television.

The new print advertisements will help engage Hispanic viewers by featuring Spanish messaging, and are expected to grow advertising recall and State brand visibility among this rapidly growing audience. The ads will also appear in English versions to attract English dominant Hispanics.

State’s broadcast efforts include a Latino home show sponsorship with “De Casa a Hogar,” scheduled to air on a major Latino network in early fall. The show will provide viewers with home improvement segments, technology tips, and a peak into Hispanic celebrity homes. State’s sponsorship includes opportunity for product demonstration in addition to Web site, print, and broadcast sponsor recognition.

“The show will have tremendous impact among Latino communities, as there is currently no programming specifically speaking to Latinos about home improvement brands and services," said the show’s executive producer Juan Escano. “By nature, many Latinos have these building and construction skills, and want to expand their knowledge base. The show offers “how to” advice, empowering Latinos to improve their homes, their neighborhoods, and their communities.”

About State Water Heaters

For more than 60 years, State Water Heaters has built dependable, long-lasting water heaters for commercial and residential applications. State remains focused on manufacturing durable products that last longer. For more information, visit and

Bridgestone-Firestone announces Latin American leadership changes

Bridgestone Firestone Latin American Tire Operations (BFLA), an operating unit of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (BSAH) has announced the following appointments effective August 1, 2007. Oscar Rodriguez, currently President, Bridgestone Firestone Venezolana, C.A. (BFVZ), will be appointed President, Bridgestone Firestone de Costa Rica, S.A. (BFCR). Rodriguez succeeds Humberto Gomez, who was appointed President, Bridgestone Firestone do Brasil Industria e Comercio Ltda. earlier this year. Alfredo A. Orán, will be appointed President, BFVZ. In making the announcement, Eduardo Minardi, President of BFLA, said “Our Costa Rican operations are a critical link in Bridgestone Americas’ successful manufacturing and sales strategy, and I am confident that Oscar is the right person at the right time to build on the accomplishments and momentum we are experiencing at BFCR.” In describing Orán, Minardi said, “Alfredo is an experienced manufacturing executive with an understanding of both the importance of a global focus and the ability to work effectively in a local environment. He will be a great asset to the company."

According to the company, "Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. is an international manufacturer with 38 production facilities throughout the Americas. The Nashville, Tennessee-based company was formed in 1990 when Bridgestone U.S.A. merged with The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. We are a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation."

"We trace our roots to the establishment of The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in 1900. It was then that 31-year-old Harvey S. Firestone started tire production with 12 employees in Akron, Ohio."

"On the other side of the globe in 1931, Shojiro Ishibashi created Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd. He created the company name by reversing the English translation of his own; 'Ishibashi,' which literally means 'stone bridge' in Japanese."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Diana Holland, Marcela Gomez named "Women of Influence"

South American natives recognized in nonprofit, entrepreneur categories

Last month, the Nashville Business Journal hosted the Women Of Influence Awards Banquet to "honor thirty amazing women who have led, inspired and influenced the lives of many people in Middle Tennessee."

Among the three winners in "Nonprofit Leadership" was Diana Holland of Tango Nashville. Among the five winners in the "Entrepreneur" category was Marcela Gomez of Hispanic Marketing Group/Diversity Brands.

Gomez is a native of Bogota, Colombia. Holland was born in Argentina and is a self-proclaimed “porteña” (native of the port city of Buenos Aires).

Sumner Hispanic Alliance meets again on Thursday August 16

The next Sumner Hispanic Alliance meeting is this Thursday, August 16th at 5:30pm in the Library at Volunteer State Community College, 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. Everyone is welcome to attend. More information is available here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Meet Metro runoff candidates tonight at Jewish Community Center

The Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation invites you to
Meet the Run-off Election Candidates for
Monday, August 13
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Gordon Jewish Community Center
Confused about which candidates will best represent
your views?
We planned this gathering just for you.
Hear each candidate speak briefly and then have the
opportunity to meet with them and ask your own questions.
For additional information, call Judy Saks,
Community Relations Director, at 354-1637.

Gregg Ramos elected chairman of the board of both Catholic Charities and Conexion Americans

Nashville attorney A. Gregory ("Gregg") Ramos has been elected the 2007-2008 chairman of the board for two Nashville organizations: Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc., which provides services each year to more than 30,000 people living in the 38 counties of Middle Tennessee, and Conexion Americas, an award-winning nonprofit organization that promotes the integration of Hispanic families into the community.

Ramos is a named partner in the law firm North, Pursell, Ramos & Jameson. In 2004, he became the first minority president in the 171-year history of the Nashville Bar Association. Ramos also serves on the Board of Trustees of the United Way and on the Advisory Council on Minority Business Participation of the Tennessee Education Lottery.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sumner Hispanic Alliance emerges

Autumn Fiesta planned for September 29

To better reach the Hispanic community in Sumner County, a group is being formed called the Sumner Hispanic Alliance. It is envisioned as a group of business owners, civic leaders and educators working to promote Hispanic events and activities in Sumner County.

According to one source, "Volunteer State Community College has been working for the last two years to foster new relationships with the Hispanic community. The Hispanic Outreach Group is designed to respond to the educational needs of Hispanics of all ages. As part of this effort Volunteer State is organizing 'Fiesta de Otoño en Vol State'. The Autumn Fiesta will be an event for the entire community, featuring music, food, a soccer contest, and games for kids. It will be held on September 29th from 11am until 3pm. We would like to get Hispanic groups and businesses in Sumner County involved in the event."

An initial meeting was held July 24. For more information please call 230-3398 for Spanish or 230-3570 for English.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Miss Tennessee Latina pageant at MTSU Saturday August 11

The 2007 Miss Tennessee Latina State Pageant will be held Saturday, August 11th, 2007 from 6-10pm at MTSU's Tucker Theater in Murfreesboro.

According to the state director of the pageant, the event "has as its principal objective to recognize not only physical beauty but also the contributions of Hispanic girls to society, so the entire community will know that these girls have dreams and that they can realize their dreams. The contestants are going to be involved in community service with the YWCA and March and Dimes as part or their involvement in the pageant."

Photo: Miss Tennessee Latina 2006 Janet Abeja

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tango Nashville hosts Tango & Togas: August 19

Tango & Togas' - Our First Annual Fundraiser
Sunday, August 19, 2007
6:30 to 9:00 PM
The Parthenon @ Centennial Park
West End Ave. & 25th. Ave. N
Nashville, TN 37204

Tango Nashville is taking over The Parthenon this year for our first Annual Fundraiser: 'Tango & Togas'.

Dance at the feet of Athena in this beautiful venue and historic Nashville landmark. Tango Nashville's Troupe will entertain with live performances, and heavy hors d'oevres, wine, and champagne will be provided. A silent auction with luscious items will run from 7 to 8:30 pm.

Tickets must be purchased in advance (No tickets will be sold at the door)
$40 per person ($25 are tax deductible)
$70 per couple ($50 are tax deductible)
Contributions are welcome for those unable to attend.
**Cash, check or money order only**
For reservations, purchasing tickets and/or contributions, please contact:
Diana Holland, 615.889.3390,

We would like to thank our gracious and kind sponsors:
La Hacienda Restaurant & Catering
Lipman Brothers
The Parthenon at Metro Parks

***Don't miss it! It will be a magical night!***

Photo by Chris Wage

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Income of Hispanic Tennesseans multiplies by 10 since 1990

941% jump tops all but three other states

U.S. Census shows 172,704 Hispanic residents of Tennessee in 2005; 39% increase since 2000

The Tennessean reports here that Hispanic Tennesseans, nearly half of whom are U.S. citizens (story here), have seen their income as a group increase nearly ten times over 1990 levels:
The state's 941 percent leap in disposable income among Hispanic residents since 1990 was the third-fastest growth rate among all 50 states for Latinos.... The percentage was three times higher than the U.S. average for Hispanics, the study said....

The study, called The Multicultural Economy, said gains in disposable income among Hispanics are linked hand-in-glove with population growth and fresh waves of immigration. In Tennessee, the Hispanic population was reported in U.S. Census data as 172,704 people in 2005, a gain of 39 percent when compared with five years earlier.
Photo by Brent Moore

Grave of Andrew Jackson's Spanish translator found

Edward Augustus Rutledge had family ties to Nashville, Declaration of Independence

Florida was Spanish colony from 1783 until 1821, when Jackson was appointed military governor of the U.S. territory

The Saratogian reports that the grave of Edward Augustus Rutledge, a Spanish-language interpreter for Andrew Jackson in Florida, has been found by family members. Rutledge's family had ties to Nashville and to the Declaration of Independence:
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Edward Augustus Rutledge had it all in the summer of 1826.

A grandson of two signers of the Declaration of Independence - Edward Rutledge and Arthur Middleton, both of South Carolina - his family had been granted 73,000 acres near what's now Nashville, Tenn. Only 24 years old, he had already served as a Spanish translator for family friend Andrew Jackson during Jackson's tenure as colonial governor of Florida.

Jackson, who would become president two years later, recommended Rutledge to be his successor in Florida.

But on July 16, 1826, Rutledge took his own life...

Monday, August 6, 2007

College internship program opens corporate doors to minority students; national convention in Nashville

"We're helping these corporations recognize that leadership can come in many forms"

A few thousand young minorities were in Nashville in July, asking questions about navigating corporate America and corporate culture, according to this article in the Tennessean:
"What was happening in side the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Friday was, in fact, part of the answer, said Charles Cornelius, president and CEO of Inroads Inc., a St. Louis-based group sponsoring a three-day training and networking event for minority students.

"Our internships help to acclimate our students to the cultures of the organizations where they work," he said. "And because we recruit the best and the brightest and give them some of the skills they need at events like this, we like to think we're helping these corporations recognize that leadership can come in many forms."

"Inroads is the nation's largest source of salaried corporate internships for minority students. Its national meeting ... drew about 3,500 students from across the country..."

"Inroads identifies minority college students with high grade-point averages, an interest in working inside corporate America and a lack of the personal connections, networks and comfort with big-business culture that it often takes to secure more than entry-level corporate work."

"LaVinia Tribble, who'll be a senior this fall at the University of Memphis, has spent the past three summers as an Inroads intern working in branches of Regions Bank in Nashville."

Photo by Sven Seiler

Friday, August 3, 2007

Susan Thornton brings Tennessee teens to Mexico, building Casas por Cristo

The Tennessean reported here on some of the mission work done by Susan Thornton of Williamson County, including construction projects in Mexico for Casas for Cristo:
Thornton accompanied about 50 teens from her church this spring to Juarez, Mexico, where they built three homes for Casas Por Cristo, a nondenominational program that provides spiritual and physical comfort for people suffering poverty's blight.

That mission enabled the young people to make a difference in the border town that's a bridge away and a world removed from El Paso, Texas. In addition to getting livable homes to replace cardboard shelters, families each were given a Spanish-language Bible and urged to seek a local pastor.

The changed lives weren't just those grateful homeowners. The 50 young people from Tennessee's richest county also were awakened to a world harshly unlike their own.

"I got a feeling for what real poverty is," says Zack Liston, 18. "I also got a feeling for what it feels like to make a lasting difference, giving somebody a house."

The young people came back from Mexico wanting to spread their work, and the word, locally. "They want to give back here," Thornton says. "That's hot on my plate now."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

After a few years of "Drive for Diversity," NASCAR looks the same; execs patient

"Having drivers from all walks of life is likely very critical"

The same week that a Mexican driver won a NASCAR Busch East Series event in Nashville (story here), this article from Fox Sports examined NASCAR's efforts to attract minority drivers:
...NASCAR, the most popular auto racing series in America, is still searching for ethnic diversity among its ranks.

But it's been a painstakingly slow process. Racers aren't developed overnight, especially racers who aren't spawned from racing families...

In a country that is considered the world's melting pot, a concerted effort to produce a racing roster more representative of society has been in motion since the Drive for Diversity was launched in 2004...

"The development of professional athletes takes time," said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR's Managing Director of Public Affairs. "NASCAR has consistently said we would be patient and continue to support this process; that we'd start at the developmental level and be committed for the long haul. We have a talented group of young minority drivers in NASCAR (both in and outside Drive for Diversity), and we are looking forward to their continued development...

Pat Suhy, GM's NASCAR field director, expresses a lot of pride in the Chevrolet teams that have stepped up to help the cause. Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Ginn Racing have all opened doors to aspiring minorities, from local tracks to the NASCAR Grand National Series.


"In the past, there might have been fewer opportunities for minority drivers to gain that experience behind the wheel of a race car and that's what we're trying to help change. It's important that our sport appeals to people of all types and that everyone feels welcome at NASCAR races. Having drivers from all walks of life is likely very critical to achieving that goal."
The Hispanic Nashville Notebook has covered NASCAR's minority and Hispanic-focused efforts in the following stories that span the past four years:

Photo by Roger Smith

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nashville's growth is inevitable, so let's embrace it

By Yuri Cunza

Returning from a recent visit to Chicago, I could not help noticing the size difference and contrasting quietness that camouflages Nashville so well.

Indeed, it is nothing like Chicago but, then again, it is not anything like it was when I first moved here about 11 years ago.

Why is it then that the most foreseeable future reads like we are to have a problem managing our population growth? (And, for all practical purposes, any growth.) And no, it is not the outgoing mayor's recurrent reference to Nashville as the "hottest destination to relocate" that has found its way into multiple self-repeating Craigslist postings, or word of mouth in espanol that is driving the interest of "coyotes" who have now added Nashville to their extended service route.

It could then be that, in fact, Nashville is growing because of the influx of a diverse crowd of people who believe in the opportunity that a place like this presents. It sounds very much like the same reason why the Europeans populated America so quickly.

Growth is inevitable and — as my mother did when I was a kid, buying me clothes a little bigger for my size just in case I happen to defy family genes and grow out of character for my ethnic heritage — we, too, need to understand that it is about protecting our economy.

Our imminent future involves rapid economic growth and development directly associated with new populations. Just drive around, be proud of those new beautiful structures; wish hard that you may, upon finishing school, see the city from your new job's office with a view.
Two out of three people I ask tell me they are not from Nashville. And if anyone is guessing (or concerned), none of those I am referring to is a Hispanic. In that case, three out of three Hispanics I ask, is not from here, either.At least I do not need Sheriff Daron Hall's 287(g) program to figure that out.
The 7 percent growth pattern estimated by the Census Bureau will amount to more than 45,000 Latinos in Davidson County alone in 2008. I was not counted in the first Census 2000 because I was not home, so this estimated projection is likely to be an undercount. I think we all knew that.

But really, why are we so afraid of growth? If we put that aside, we can begin addressing how we can best manage this most-needed single stage of development that can take us all to the next level.
This is not an overnight happening; we have had a taste for denial for too long. As we celebrate our new buildings that will give an added lifestyle dimension to a present and future generation, as we all agree that more is better and better is closely related to quality, we can also begin developing a taste for appreciating diversity.

I don't think all are clear about who belongs. And here is why a wake-up call is due. We cannot expect growth if we are not welcoming, when we are not willing to go the extra mile to be a good neighbor and embrace the landscape changes that no one doubts we all want for future populations that might be composed in part by our own children.
Managing growth is planning for the future — a future that can be the result of a common vision for the best interest of all. Foreseeing the challenges is the least I expect from city leaders in charge or public offices they plan to occupy for years. Management is inclusive. No exceptions.
And vision is necessary to create the best place to live, work and visit. A place where every one of us count — a native Nashvillian or a relocated company headquarters' multimillion-dollar operation, we are all part of the equation.

"The Hispanic American Relationship to Country Radio and Music" presentation today at 4pm

The Tennessean reported here that Country Radio Broadcasters Inc. is presenting the results of a landmark study about attracting Hispanic listeners to the country music genre. The event is today at 4pm; details below.

More about the study can be found in this March 2007 story on the Hispanic Nashville Notebook.

WHAT: Presentation: "The Hispanic American Relationship to Country Radio and Music"

WHEN: Wednesday, August 1st, 2007 - 4:00 PM

WHERE: Massey Performing Arts Center Belmont University 1900 Belmont Blvd Nashville, TN 37212

COST: $20 at the door or online at

EVENT: The study of 600 Hispanics nationwide, age 12-49, and their relationship with Country music was commissioned by Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. and conducted by Edison to examine the growth potential of the format among America's most rapidly expanding demographic group, Hispanics. It shows the tremendous potential for growth in attracting "the newest Americans" to the Country format. There will be a panel discussion following the presentation. Panelists include Mike Dungan, President Capitol/Nashville (Record Industry); Kevin King, Program Director, 95.5 The Wolf WSM-FM (Radio); Gary Overton, Executive VP/GM EMI Music Publishing Nashville (Music Publishing); Bobby Roberts, CEO The Bobby Roberts Company (Talent Agency); Rick Trevino, Warner Brothers Records (Recording Artist). The moderator is Ed Salamon, Country Radio Broadcasters' Executive Director.
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