Monday, August 31, 2009

Nominations and essays due September 15 for 'Orgullo Hispano' award and 'My Latino Roots, My American Dream' contest

2008 winning essay revealed "disappointing truth"

From the Nashville-based non-profit Conexion Americas, in conjunction with its 2009 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration:

'Orgullo Hispano' Award
Nominate your Unsung Hero

Conexion Americas is calling for nominations for the second annual 'ORGULLO HISPANO' Award. The award will recognize three Latino adults or young people who have been persistently but quietly working to better their immediate community --neighborhood, school, workplace, nonprofit or civic organization.
Deadline to submit nominations is September 15, 2009.

Click here for guidelines and nomination form (English/Spanish).

'My Latino Roots, My American Dream'
Calling Young Latino Writers for Essay Contest

Conexion Americas is inviting high school students in Middle Tennessee to participate in the second annual Young Latino Writers' Essay Contest. Young writers should address the theme "My Latino Roots, My American Dream."
Entries must be submitted by September 15, 2009.

Click here for essay contest guidelines (English/Spanish).
Read last year's winning essay "Dreams of Home in Both Places" by Dulce Torres, followed by comments by Conexion Americas Executive Director Renata Soto about the "disappointing truth" it revealed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ana Escobar named to Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission

Nashville attorney Ana Escobar of Escobar & Parks has been named to the newly created Tennessee Judicial Nominating Commission, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The purpose of the Commission is to submit names to the Governor for state judgeships.

According to the Commercial Appeal, 236 applicants applied for the 17 slots on the statewide commission. Escobar is the only Hispanic member of the group.

In 2003, Escobar ranked second in a Nashville Bar Association rating of candidates for Davidson County General Sessions Judge.

"World of Events" calendar grows: 15 events now through October, including African, German, and Greek celebrations

September 1 - Nashville Spanish Language Meetup Group @ U.S. Border Cantina

September 1 - Multicultural Business & Social Networking Group

September 3 - Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Lunch

September 11-13 22nd Annual Greek Festival

September 11 - Tango by Moonlight - Tango in the Park

September 12 - Festival of the Nations

September 17 - Tour of Latin America @ MST Coffee Roasters

September 18-20 - African Street Festival (with performances by Danny Salazar, San Rafael, and band El Movimiento as well as Brazilian group Trio Ginga)

September 20 - Latino Family Festival at the Nashville Zoo

October 3 - Celebration of Cultures

October 2 - Conexion Americas Hispanic Heritage Celebration @ Historic Cannery Ballroom

October 10 - Fall Hispanic Fiesta at Vol State

October 10 - 30th Annual Germantown Oktoberfest

October 17 - Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan @ TPAC

October 24 - Cheekwood’s 10th Annual EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

See also:

Nashville Los Ritmos Calendar

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nashville survives cut of 11 cities; still in running to host FIFA World Cup

Nashville has survived another trimming of the list of cities that could host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The Nashville Post reported here that "Music City is one of 27 cities that remain part of the U.S. bid to host the event."

According to the official U.S.A. bid site,
These cities will continue working with the USA Bid Committee both on the development and promotion of their local and national campaigns.

Officials representing a total of 38 cities received the Requests for Proposal (RFP) and had from June 16 to July 29 to complete their proposals and return them to the USA Bid Committee. The RFPs requested information from city officials covering a vast array of subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, training sites, promotion and more.

"The USA Bid Committee is pleased to have received comprehensive responses from city officials and local organizing committees across the United States," said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. "The overwhelming interest and creativity shown by the candidate cities made our extensive review process that much more difficult in narrowing down the list."

The RFP process resulted in 11 cities being pulled from contention, an important step in the United States' application that is due to FIFA in May 2010. FIFA and its 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two host nations for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

The 27 remaining candidate cities offer a wide variety of markets that range in size from New York City to Jacksonville, Fla., as well as vast coast-to-coast geographic strength. Numerous U.S. markets that did not play host to matches during FIFA World Cup in 1994 remain under consideration, including Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver, Seattle and Phoenix.

The 11 cities removed during this round were: Birmingham, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Fayetteville, Ark.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Salt Lake City, Utah and San Antonio, Tex.

In conjunction with the list of 27 cities announced by the USA Bid Committee, a short list of 32 stadiums still under consideration was also announced today. The venues average almost 74,000 in capacity and represent a wide spectrum of facilities, featuring stadiums typically used for college and professional football, including open-air, domed and retractable roof venues. All 32 stadiums currently exist or are under construction with eight featuring capacities between 80,000 and 108,000 spectators.

Click here to see the list of 27 cities.

The current list of venues came as a result of a four-month process that began in April with representatives from 58 stadiums expressing interest in being considered for the USA's bid. The USA Bid Committee was then able to cut the list to 45 stadiums in 38 cities in mid-June following the review of a detailed questionnaire completed by the candidate venues that incorporated the strict FIFA facility requirements into the evaluation process.

"We will be working closely with officials from all 27 cities, stadiums and host committees over the next few months in our process of identifying the final list of cities that will be included in our bid book to FIFA in May 2010," said David Downs, the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee. "The support of the individual cities and their capacity to promote the bid will be crucial to our efforts as we work to maintain the momentum created by the launch of our national campaign and our Web page,, last week. With the passion for the game being shown by our fans and the existing infrastructure in place in the U.S., we are confident we have assembled a list of candidate cities that will meet and exceed FIFA's requirements for hosting World Cup matches."

FIFA's criterion requires a candidate host nation to provide a minimum of 12 stadiums and a maximum of 18 capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. The U.S. used stadiums in nine cities when it hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Conexion Americas' taxpayer services: 2008-2009 numbers

Returns filed by Conexion: 395

Target audience reached: 1461

United Way support: $9,000

Conexion Americas helped file 395 tax returns through its tax preparation service from July 2008-June 2009, according to the group's annual report. Conexion, Nashville's leading non-profit dedicated to the integration of Latino families, also received $9,000 from United Way for the tax preparation service.

Educational programs for taxpayers, some of whom don't use Conexion's tax preparation service, were also among the 2008-2009 achievements:
336 Latino workers increased their understanding of the US tax system and of their tax rights and responsibilities through 38 workshops conducted throughout Middle Tennessee as part of our Taxpayer Education and Outreach Program. An additional 30 educational programs about taxes reached over 1,125 Latino taxpayers.
Photo by Jacob Kearns. Licensed under Creative Commons.

We already had a Nashville World Cup - in June

Six Nashville churches and 4 international ministries teamed up in June to host the Nashville World Cup 2009. The event celebrated the fact that Nashville is an increasingly international city and was touted as "helping to link internationals from every nation, religion, and cultural background to the Nashville community through soccer."

The Nashville World Cup was a 3-day event showcasing the relationships that have been developing for years between Nashville residents and our new international neighbors on local soccer fields. The NWC celebrated the Asians, Africans, Middle Easterners and Hispanics in our city, as well as their soccer skills. Brentwood businessmen, Saudi Arabian students and Japanese government workers are just a few of the many diverse participants who are forming friendships in local soccer games and at the Nashville World Cup. This tournament was open to the entire Nashville community. A free kids soccer clinic and food from different vendors were also part of the event.
The event has a Facebook page, along with a photo of the winning team.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Your student's own grandmother was undocumented, so lay off the scapegoating: parent cries foul

Local blogger Mack of Coyote Chronicles recently cried foul when he found out that his daughter and fellow blogger SuperMousey is being told - in her eighth grade social studies class - that the undocumented have caused the U.S. health care crisis. SuperMousey's grandparents were undocumented.

Here is an excerpt of Mack's letter to the teacher:
It has come to my attention that you use your classroom to extol the virtues of Conservative thought. It should not be my responsibility to remind you that you are there to teach, not preach. It is your right to have an opinion, but it is my right to have my daughter receive an education free from political propaganda. You may not be aware that [her] grandparents were undocumented when they arrived in this country. Your inference that illegal immigrants are to blame for this country’s health care crisis upset her, and I am putting you on notice that if it happens again, I will contact our family’s attorney.
Update: Mack scheduled a meeting and posted a report of that meeting here.

Read the original post in its entirety here.

In April, SuperMousey defended herself when a fellow seventh-grader said, "I don't like Mexicans" - story here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A world of things to do in Nashville, now through October

August 26-27 - Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council Marketplace of Opportunities

September 3 - Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Lunch

September 12 - Festival of the Nations

September 17 - Tour of Latin America @ MST Coffee Roasters

September 18-20 - African Street Festival (with performances by Danny Salazar, San Rafael, and band El Movimiento as well as Brazilian group Trio Ginga)

September 20 - Latino Family Festival at the Nashville Zoo

October 3 - Celebration of Cultures

October 17 - Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan @ TPAC

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alan Campbell to teach Spanish at Ravenwood High School

Speaking Spanish with native-speaker co-workers in high school was "the first time I could really use something I'd learned"

Returned from Army stint in Afghanistan in May

The Tennessean reports here that Alan Campbell, son of Brentwood Planning Commission chairman Randy Campbell and graduate of Brentwood High School and Virginia Tech, will be teaching Spanish at Ravenwood High School this year.

The Tennessean reports that Alan picked up Spanish with the help of co-workers at a restaurant job in high school and also majored in Spanish in college, followed by a master's degree in second language education:
Campbell, who admitted he didn't exactly know what career path he'd take when he was growing up, discovered his spoken word skills when he got a part-time job in a restaurant kitchen when he was a high school sophomore. Most of his co-workers were from Mexico and Guatemala and were native Spanish speakers, so he started picking up words here and there talking with them.

"It was really the first time I could really use something I'd learned, outside of for a test at school," he said.
Alan served as an Army lieutenant in Afghanistan after college and returned in May of this year, according to the Tennessean. Campbell blogged about his experience in Afghanistan at

Before he left for Afghanistan, Campbell published this poem about risk on his blog in both Spanish and English:
Reír, es arriesgarse a parecer un tonto.
Llorar es arriesgarse a parecer un sentimental.
Hacer algo por alguien, es arriesgarse a involucrarse.
Expresar sentimientos, es arriesgarse a mostrar tu verdadero yo.
Exponer tus ideas y tus sueños, es arriesgarse a perderlos.
Amar, es arriesgarse a no ser correspondido.
Vivir, es arriesgarse a morir.
Esperar, es arriesgarse a la desesperanza.
Lanzarte, es arriesgarse a fallar.
Pero los riesgos deber ser tomados,
porque el peligro más grande en la vida es no arriesgarse a nada.
La persona que no arriesga, no hace, ni tiene nada.
Se pueden evitar sufrimientos y preocupaciones, pero simplemente
no puede aprender, sentir, cambiar, crecer, amar y vivir...

To laugh is - to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is - to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is - to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is - to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas before the crowd is - to risk their loss.
To love is - is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is - to risk dying.
To hope is - to risk despair.
To try is - to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest
hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing,
has nothing and is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but he simply cannot learn, feel,
change, grow, love - LIVE.
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave,
he has forfeited freedom.
Only a person who risks is free!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LP Field could host 2018 or 2022 World Cup games

Update 8/27/09: Nashville survives cut of 11 cities; still in running to host FIFA World Cup

Soccer fans from all over the world would descend on LP Field if Nashville becomes a World Cup city in 2018 or 2022, which is a possibility according to The Tennessean. The U.S. made its bid official in February 2009, and Nashville officially expressed interest in being one of the many cities that makes up the U.S. bid, with the idea that games could be played in LP Field.

The country selection won't happen until December 2010, but between now and then Nashville has to survive a narrowing of the U.S. candidate cities from its current size down to 12 cities, according to the L.A. Times.

Why is Nashville a candidate for such a high-profile event when larger markets would be the expected locations almost by default? According to the Tennessean story:
Nashville officials hope the city's recent history of playing host to U.S. soccer games at LP Field will boost Music City's attempts to advance to the next round.

A World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago in April drew about 28,000 fans to LP Field. A U.S. "friendly'' game against Morocco in 2006 drew more than 26,000.

Nashville also played host to three Olympic qualifying games in 2008, contests that featured the under-23 teams of the U.S., Canada, Guatemala and Honduras.

"I know that U.S. soccer and ESPN have both been very pleased about how easy it is to work here, the fan support they've seen, the media coverage — it's all played real well," [Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau President Butch] Spyridon said. "I'd say it's the No. 1 reason we're still in the hunt."
The U.S. women's soccer team also played Canada at LP Field in 2004.

The official site of the 2018/2022 U.S. World Cup bid is

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

After decision to stop locking up refugee children at CCA facility, investors need reassuring

Hutto reversal not a signal of government disinterest in immigrant detention, according to Hininger

Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America has reassured investors that the company's immigration business is not threatened by the U.S. government's recent decision to stop housing refugee children and families at the Hutto Detention Center, a former jail in Taylor, Texas.

Read the full story at The Business of Detention (h/t: T. Don Hutto Blog).

Photo by Rachel. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hispanic Twittering in Nashville is on Twitter here, and there are at least a dozen Hispanic Twitter-ers in Nashville, as well.

The ones I know are below; if you know of others, tell me at @hispanicnashtn or leave a comment on this post.

Fabian Bedne

Blue Collar Muse

Gabi Castillo

Yuri Cunza

Demi Escudero

Carrie Ferguson Weir

Marcela Gomez

Christine Maddela


El Movimiento

Cesar Muedas

Amy Napier-Viteri

Billy Ramirez

Andrew Rodriguez

Giovanni Rodriguez

Bird illustration by Matt Hamm. Licensed under Creative Commons.
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