Friday, January 29, 2010

Ballet Folklórico de México February 3 at Schermerhorn

Laura Turner Concert Hall
Wednesday, February 3, at 7 p.m.

Ballet Folklórico de México

A treasure in their native land for more than 50 years, this internationally famed ensemble blends music, choreography and colorful costumes in spectacular stage shows that bring alive Mexico’s brilliant array of cultural traditions. Take a journey through the ages as dancers trace the evolution of Mexico’s rich history and capture the essence of this country’s breathtaking beauty.

Tennessee Hispanic Chamber mixer February 4 at Chappy's - RSVP by February 1

Raul Regalado to speak

From the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

Guest Speaker:
Raul Regalado
CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority

February 4th
from 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
At Chappy's Restaurant
1721 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37203

To R.S.V.P. please click here
R.S.V.P. Before February 1st.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Coalition of Immokalle Workers co-founder Lucas Benitez will be on "Speak Truth to Power" panel tonight at Vanderbilt

Recipient of 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

Part of MLK lecture series

Kerry Kennedy to moderate

Lucas Benitez, co-founder and co-director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, will be a panelist at Speak Truth to Power, part of The Martin Luther King Jr. 2010 Commemorative Lecture Series at Vanderbilt University. The event will be moderated by Kerry Kennedy, American human rights activist and author of Speak Truth to Power, at Benton Chapel at 7:00 p.m.

According to the press release, "Benitez helped secure the first wage increase for tomato pickers in 20 years, exposed and stopped two slavery rings and launched a Labor Action Rights program that collected nearly $100,000 in back wages" and that he "organized a successful boycott of the fast-food chain Taco Bell that was called off in 2005 when the company agreed to address the wages and working conditions of farm workers in the Florida tomato industry."

For more on Benitez, see his remarks upon accepting the 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. It was the first time in the award's then-20-year history that it was presented to a U.S.-based organization.

See also this interview by the American Bar Association in 2000, this interview by Free the Slaves in 2005, this 2007 New York Times article, this transcript of his testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in 2008, and the web site of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

Here is the press release for tonight's event:
Kerry Kennedy, human rights activist, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and author of Speak Truth to Power will moderate a panel discussion on activism and justice Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at Vanderbilt University.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held in Benton Chapel.

Kennedy’s book, Speak Truth to Power, seeks to promote a more just and peaceful world by galvanizing public support for international human rights through cultural, educational and Web-based programs. A non-profit organization of the same name was started to engage the general public in an ongoing series of issue-related programs and events, bringing human rights activists and their work to wider audiences.

The book has also inspired a play by Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman, a photographic exhibition by Pulitzer Prize-winner Eddie Adams, a PBS documentary film, and an education packet. The Speak Truth to Power organization is a division of the nonprofit Robert F. Kennedy Memorial.

The panelists at the Vanderbilt event include:

- Lucas Benitez, the co-founder and co-director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. By educating and organizing fellow migrant farm workers, he has helped secure the first wage increase for tomato pickers in 20 years, exposed and stopped two slavery rings and launched a Labor Action Rights program that collected nearly $100,000 in back wages. He organized a successful boycott of the fast-food chain Taco Bell that was called off in 2005 when the company agreed to address the wages and working conditions of farm workers in the Florida tomato industry.

- Stephen Bradberry, the head organizer of Louisiana ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for ReformNow. ACORN has been active in communities of color for more than 30 years. Bradberry has served in low and moderate-income neighborhoods in Louisiana for more than a decade. His chapter of the national community group, ACORN, has more than 10,000 member families and works specifically in the area of living wages, environmental justice and voting rights.

- Marina Pisklakova, an internationally recognized leading women’s rights activist in Russia. As founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Violence “ANNA” she works on creating an effective system of response to domestic violence by educating governmental officials and the public about the issue of domestic violence in Russia and other countries. For the past 12 years she has been involved in training for newly established crisis centers for women, for law enforcement and other governmental officials on the topics of domestic violence, human trafficking and women’s human rights.

For more information about Speak Truth to Power, visit

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Red Cross conducts Middle Tennessee's first open-to-the-public CPR class in Spanish

Baptist Hospital, the Community Foundation, and the Nashville Area Red Cross recently hosted a Spanish-language CPR class at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. The participants in this class learned to save lives by recognizing and responding to victims of heart attacks, stroke, and choking (both conscious and unconscious). According to the Red Cross, being able to perform CPR early on is crucial in preventing brain damage and will greatly increase a victim’s odds for survival.

The entire content for this event was in Spanish - the video, learning materials, and the live education from instructors. Each participant earned a CPR certification card at the conclusion of the class.

Photos of the event are here.

The Tennessean reported here that this was the Red Cross' first public CPR class to be held in Spanish in Middle Tennessee:
The growth of the Hispanic community, including English and Spanish speakers, shows the need to offer the class, said Matt Moody, manager of health and safety services for the chapter.
"We have not had, and still don't have, a strong enough working relationship with the Latino community," Moody said. "This will be a doorway for folks into the Red Cross, and we have the opportunity to broaden our base of volunteers."
Red Cross volunteers have given the class in Spanish, but only when businesses asked for it. Moody estimates there about a dozen CPR classes for Spanish speakers at businesses each year in the chapter area.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Looking for a job that values your second language? Here are a few - and don't miss that Regional Manager position...

I've been receiving news of a number of local jobs for bilingual Spanish/English speakers. I've cut and paste them below.

Photo by Geoff Stearns. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Jobs posted by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition:

Receptionist at Siloam Clinic
  • Seeking a bilingual receptionist (English/Spanish or English/Arabic)
  • Part-time position

Click here to read the application.

Contact Linda Bailey at (615) 298-5406 or at (615) 577-4010 or

Receptionist at the Thompson Lane Dental Clinic
  • Thompson Lane Family Dentistry
  • Seeking bilingual applicants

Call (615) 837-4525 for an interview

Dental Assistant
  • Thompson Lane Family Dentistry
  • Seeking bilingual applicants

Call (615) 837-4525 for an interview

Census Jobs
  • Seeking bilingual applicants
  • Temporary jobs

For more information in Knoxville call (865) 291-5420, in Nashville call (615) 234-5760, or in Memphis call (901) 251-4410.

Click here for more information.

Exchange Program with Mexico for Bilingual Teachers
  • Click here to see the application
Click here for more information.

From Eric Melcher at Vol State:

Everyone: We are accepting applications for the full-time, three-year Hispanic outreach grant position at Volunteer State Community College. We would appreciate your help in getting the word out to people. They can apply online at:

Here is the information on the position:

Posting Number:


Position Title:

Family Engagement Specialist

Position Type:

Classified - Non Exempt


Student Services - Advising Center

Job Summary:

This is a grant position that is funded for three (3) years. This position is anticipated to end on June 30, 2012. This position works directly with Hispanic families, promoting the role of Higher Education and working to help students access this resource, ensuring quality customer service to minority and Spanish-speaking students, and will provide assistance to faculty, staff, and community members who come into or contact the Advising Center. Some college background is preferred for this position.

Minimum Job Requirements:

A High School diploma or GED, some college preferred;
One (1) year of experience in an office setting;
Fluent oral and written skills in Spanish and English;
Must demonstrate excellent problem solving, communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills;
Detail oriented;
Exhibit positive customer service philosophy;
Experience with basic computer operation and Microsoft Office products;
Ability to work flexible hours to meet demands of high volume times, special events and/or projects.

Essential Job Functions:

Meet with prospective students (and their families) both on and off campus;
Work with community groups/organizations and organize events that directly impact the Hispanic community;
Provide basic college information to students and families;
Coordinate flow of students to Advisor/Counselors, assist students with PRIDE web registration procedures, orientation, and basic web searches;
Process work orders for events/special projects and paperwork for bill payment, travel, payroll, etc.;
Conduct surveys and provide documentation and assessment for TBR grant requirements.

Posting Date:


Application Deadline:


Special Instructions to Applicants:

Employment Type:

Full Time
Fiscal Year (12 Mos.)

Required Applicant Documents:

Cover Letter
Letter of Reference 1
Letter of Reference 2
Letter of Reference 3
Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Initial Review of Applications:


Eric Melcher

Coordinator of Communications and Public Relations

Volunteer State Community College

1480 Nashville Pike

Gallatin, TN 37066

Office: 615-230-3570

Cell: 615-483-8994

From the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:




Nancy Molina Sharber
Exit Realty Bob Lamb & Associates
1202 SE Broad Street
Murfreesboro TN 37130
Cell: (615) 347-1592
Office: (615) 896-5656

Trade Broker

  • Works with client base as a customer service rep.
  • Doesn't have to be a certified trade broker but experience is great.
  • Marketing degree preferred.
  • Broker matches clients needs together.
  • Constant phone work and gratifying relationships with clients.
  • Training provided.
  • Salaried position plus bonus if goals achieved.
  • Will begin interview after January 9th.

Marketing/Sales representative
  • Contacts people via phone, mail or meetings and sets appointments to meet with business owners.
  • They explain the benefits of Tradebank and how it works.
  • Once they sign up they are assigned to a broker who then services the account.
  • Sales experience a must.
  • Charm and determination a must.
  • No shy people for sure.
  • Sales training and pay provided.
  • Salary and commission plus bonus.

Mark Caldwell, contact 615-860-4060

North Nashville Attorney looking for bi-lingual assistant for part-time work which, if successful, will lead to full-time work.
Applicants must be 18 years or older with a driver's license
and transportation.
Salary: $8-$12.50/hr depending on experience,
education level, and ability.
Send resume to Attorney Marc A. Walwyn
by mail to the address below
or by e-mail to:
No telephone inquiries, please.

Walwyn & Walwyn
visit us at

1994 Gallatin Pike N. Ste. 305
Madison, TN 37115
Account Executive
Station: WLLC 42, Telefutura Nashville
Telefutura 42, Middle Tennessee's only locally-owned and operated Spanish television station is looking for talented and motivated individuals to fill Account Executive openings.

Account executives are responsible for developing and maintaining business relationships with advertisers. The ideal candidate will be able to generate sales leads, close sales and offer clients advertising solutions in marketing, brand building and brand recognition

Bilingual in Spanish and English strongly preferred.
Previous experience in media sales not required.

Send your resume to:

American General Life and Accident Insurance Company
  • Paid Training
  • Comprehensive Benefits
  • Find Your Place
  • Realize Your Potential
  • Make A Difference
  • Earn While You Learn
  • No Sales Experience Necessary
  • Opportunities for Bonuses and Exciting Trips
Call Jegir Salman at 615-482-5028

2000 American General Way
Brentwood, TN 37027
Program Specialist for the Latina Birthing Project, which serves pregnant Latina teens here in Davidson County.
Applicants must be fully bilingual.
This is a full time job with full benefits.
Please respond with any questions to:

Dr. Kimberlee (Health) Wyche at

Grant funded position to work directly with young pregnant women and their community matched "Sister Friends".
Program Specialist 1 oversees:
- Development and provision of resources for individual participants
- Helps with problem solving
- Compliance with prenatal and support services.
- Helps plan and attends monthly meetings, assures pairs of pregnant teen and Sister Friend are well matched with successful communication, and individual compliance with program guidance.
- Responsible for tracking participants
- Following up on missed appointments
- Required paper work, and meetings, planning quarterly baby shower

Must have received a high school diploma and have had at least one year of experience working with youth. Must have strong customer service skills, ability to effectively collaborate and work with economically and ethnically diverse populations, and like working with adolescents. Works closely with Federal Healthy Start staff, as well as other partnering agencies. Requires use of own transportation on the job, and willingness to work alternate hours.

From LifeWay:

Content Editor, Hispanic Products - Requisition 3021
This position is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Church Resources Division of LifeWay Christian Resources is currently seeking a content editor to focus upon Hispanic products and published materials. The individual chosen for this position will participate in the editorial direction, creative concept and design, production, and quality improvement of products and published materials for the Hispanic population. This person will focus upon resources produced in Leadership & Adult Ministry Publishing. The content editor will manage the production schedules and will enlist, train, and develop contract writers and translators for the products. Responsibilities include editing and reviewing content and concept to ensure educational soundness, biblical accuracy, and doctrinal integrity. The individual selected for this position must ensure that our Hispanic products promote the intended message to the leaders and adults in the Hispanic church audience. It is critical that this person has a passion for ministry to these audiences and be able to apply that knowledge to resource development that meets customer needs. The editor will collaborate with copy editors and graphic designers on the development, relevancy, and production of Hispanic resources and materials. This individual must also understand and promote budget compliance and responsible financial management.

After reviewing the job description, if you would like to submit your application to be considered for employment, please complete the application in English.

We Need:
  • BS/BA in biblical studies, English, liberal arts or related area is required

  • Master's degree is a plus, with preference given to seminary graduation

  • Strong editorial experience and skills are required

  • Candidates must be fluent in the Spanish language, both verbal and written

  • Candidates must have a thorough understanding of the Hispanic culture

  • Membership in a Hispanic church that is aligned with the Southern Baptist is required

  • 3-5 years recent and active participation in a Hispanic church is required with preferences given to those with activities that engage the church leadership and adult audiences

  • Candidate must also have a strong command of the written and verbal English language

  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work within a team environment

  • Strong organizational skills, able to meet repeated deadlines and evaluate processes to increase production and productivity

  • Computer proficiency is required

  • Domestic Trade Account Representative - Requisition 3079
    This position is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

    The Domestic Trade Account Rep will receive inbound telephone, email, fax orders and inquiries from domestic trade stores and distributors. Research, and resolve trade customer complaints and questions regarding resources, orders, shipping and billing. Make outbound sales calls to U.S. trade accounts/distributors to increase current account buying levels and to add the number of new accounts purchasing LifeWay Church Resources products, events and services. Provides back up assistance to the International Trade Team. Receives inbound telephone, email, fax orders and inquiries from Domestic trade stores and distributors. Researches, resolves trade customer complaints and questions regarding resources, orders, shipping and billing. Makes outbound sales calls to U.S. trade accounts/distributors to increase current account buying levels and to add the number of new accounts purchasing LifeWay Church Resources products, events and services. Provides back up assistance to the International Trade Team. Must be fluent in spoken and written English and Spanish.

    We Need:
  • High School diploma or GED required, Bacehlor's degree preferred

  • Must be fluent in Spanish language, both verbal and written

  • Two years of customer service and/or telephone sales experience

  • Knowledge of trade/distributor business processes and practices desired

  • PC knowledge and proficiency required

  • Knowledge of international business cultures and customers required

  • Active involvement in a local evangelical church
  • Must have a good understanding of the Hispanic culture and community

  • Ability to work under stress and heavy workload demands

  • Must be highly motivated, organized with excellent time management skills and a positive attitude

  • Regional Manager - LifeWay Espanol - Latin America & Spain - Req 3049
    This position is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

    LifeWay Espanol of LifeWay Christian Resources is seeking a representative to be a direct link between the Hispanic population and LifeWay's Hispanic resources and events for the Hispanic Christian market located in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. The individual selected for this position will be responsible for expanding and growing the brand and sales of Hispanic products through developing and executing a customized sales plan with distributors, retail stores, churches and ministry organizations. The Regional Manager will develop and introduce customized resources that promote the understanding use of LifeWay products.

    The Regional Manager will communicate and interact with distributors, retail store leaders, and church leaders via one-on-one meetings, telephone, mail or e-mail, with the specific purpose of understanding the needs and dynamics of the Hispanic population, and serve as a liaison of that information to LifeWay. This individual will represent LifeWay resources/products to the customer groups and assist in customizing solutions to meet those needs. These interactions between LifeWay and the customer groups should promote the understanding and implementation of church growth strategies that will result in trusted relationships, growing churches and kingdom impact.

    The Regional Manager will be responsible for identifying, enlisting, and training key pastors and church leaders, evangelical organizations, distributors, conference organizers, and Volunteer Consultants to plan, coordinate, and schedule training events for the Hispanic communities. This individual will conduct training events to inform and educate other trainers about the full range of the Hispanic ministry resources available from LifeWay.

    WE NEED:
  • BA or BS degree is required

  • Master's degree (MBA, MRE, MDIV, or equivalent) is preferred

  • Exceptional bilingual (Spanish and English) skills are required

  • Sales experience is required

  • At least 2 years church staff and/or consulting and training experience is required

  • Must be an active member of a Southern Baptist church

  • Must have proven knowledge of LifeWay products and resources

  • Very strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills

  • Self-disciplined and organized

  • Ability to strategically think and execute

  • Excellent writing skills are needed

  • Strong with computers and communication technologies

  • Must be available for travel throughout the region at least two (2) weeks of every month

  • Be a part of LifeWay Christian Resources as we " people and churches know Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom by providing Biblical solutions that spiritually transform individuals and cultures."

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Happy 75th birthday, Norma Antillon

    "Premier go-to person" at Vanderbilt's Center for Latin American Studies

    Advisor and teacher at Primera Iglesia Bautista

    Daughter of the Guatemalan ambassador to Washington, D.C.

    Norma Antillon will celebrate her 75th birthday among friends and colleagues this Friday at 5pm in the Buttrick Atrium at Vanderbilt University. Antillon is Program Manager for Vanderbilt's Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS).

    I first met Norma at the Primera Iglesia Bautista, the Southern Baptist congregation that my wife and I joined in 2003, a few months after it moved to its own building off of Murfreesboro Road after being part of the First Baptist Church downtown for a number of years.

    Norma is kind, strong, enthusiastic, and outgoing. Her leadership at La Primera has made her a pillar of the church, where she still attends and serves.

    Norma is also a pillar of her Vanderbilt community. Mardy Fones of Vanderbilt's Arts and Science magazine profiled Norma in the Spring 2008 issue (photo credit: John Russell), noting Norma's importance to CLAS, then known as CLAIS:
    “Norma Antillon is the glue that holds us together,” says Ted Fischer, professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS). “She is our public face, the person who shepherds students through the program. She knows where our alums are and what they’re doing, and through her, gives them a tight connection to the center. When alums call, they always ask about Norma.”
    Her official title is administrative assistant, but it should be premier go-to person for the center.
    The interview also explored Norma's broader story:
    My father was the Guatemalan ambassador to Washington, D.C., so I went to the American School in Guatemala.
    Every day when I walk from the parking lot, I rejoice in the beauty of the [Vanderbilt] campus. And I talk to the campus groundskeepers. They’re very nice people.
    I’m always busy with my church. It’s very international—we have members from 12 Latin American countries. I’m a consejero (part counselor/part teacher). I help people who want to be baptized. I also teach a Sunday school class for older members and visit new members.
    Everyone keeps asking me when I’m going to retire. I keep asking God the same question. In the end, I think it’ll be technology that gets me out of here. Even my grandsons do things on the computer I don’t understand. At Christmas, my son gave me a combination telephone/answering machine. It had 60 pages of instructions. I told him to take it back. When I’m home, I just want a phone I can use by picking it up and saying “Hello?”
    Read the full interview with Norma here.

    Norma's bio on the CLAS Faculty and Staff web page reveals her love of the Center, of Vanderbilt, and her family:
    Originally from Guatemala, she worked at the Instituto de Nutrición de Centro América y Panamá (INCAP) for five years; she married Oscar Pineda who worked at INCAP and together came to Vanderbilt where he pursued a Ph.D. in biochemistry. During this time Norma worked at the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Medical School. Went back to Guatemala, and 22 years later she decided to return to Nashville. She applied for a job at Vanderbilt and was hired to work for International Programs, mainly for the Center for Latin American Studies. In that position, she has been able to apply her native Spanish language and her knowledge of Latin American culture. Norma loves working with students, staff and faculty. She enjoys the university environment, its challenges, and the opportunity to participate of many interesting projects, visiting speakers, etc. Norma has been fortunate to work for several directors; they are outstanding scholars but also wonderful human beings that care for people. Norma is very thankful for her three grown children and ten grandchildren who keep her in young spirit.
    Photo by John Russell for Arts and Science

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Instituto Allegro hosts open house Friday, launches Spanish-language praise and worship classes Saturday at Christ Church

    Nicely dovetailing Sunday's article in the Tennessean about the growth of Nashville's Hispanic churches, the Allegro Institute (Instituto Allegro) (Blog / Twitter) will host an open house this Friday showcasing its slate of Spanish-language praise and worship music and multimedia classes, which begin this Saturday in its new location at Christ Church on Old Hickory Blvd.:
    Wayne Hilton, international director of Músico a Músico, announced that Allegro Institute, founded in July of 2008 in Nashville by the teaching non-profit, Músico a Músico, also based in Nashville, will relocate to Christ Church, 15354 Old Hickory Blvd., effective January 16.

    An open house will be held this Friday evening, January 15th at 7:00 p.m., where visitors can hear the MaM Band featuring many of the Instituto Allegro instructors, take tours of the new building, have personal conversations with all school instructors, and hear testimonials from students.

    During this evening, five visitors will receive a certificate for one month of free weekly lessons.

    For nearly two years, the Instituto Allegro music school has given classes all day each Saturday to lots of area Hispanic musicians. “Grateful for the [previous] location of the school but very excited about this new location as this move is being precipitated by growth,” Hilton says. The institute teaches all types of music including theory, voice and instruments like drums and percussion, keyboard, guitar and more with all classes conducted in Spanish.

    “Our goal”, Hilton comments, “is to train a large number of church worship musicians & singers to not only serve in their own churches, but to prepare them for potential musical careers without limits. Most of our students are already involved in their churches throughout middle Tennessee and beyond. But, we’re not limited to teaching just a certain type of music. Music is universal and can transcend social, political and religious prejudice. So, we invite others to study on our campus with our main student body of Christian musicians. This is a three year program that we are very serious about.”

    Starting Saturday January 16, Allegro Institute will be presenting group & individual lessons at their new location. This is a good move for Allegro because the next phase of our projected curriculum expansion is to create classes for all types of worshiping arts like dance, drama, mime, theater and other visual arts. Hilton sums up, “This new location allows us to be even more creative in our classes and ultimately promote our goal of a creative Christian Community of musicians and artists equipped for service in response to an explosion of growth in the world-wide church”.

    For further information contact Allegro director, Rachel Vasquez at 804.7177 regarding student classes or teaching possibilities.
    Read the Tennessean article about the growth of Nashville's Hispanic churches here.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Nashville band Saints of Havana to play 2010 Miss Latina US pageant

    From the people who run the Miss Latina US Pageant:
    Organizacion Miss America Latina is pleased to announce that SAINTS OF HAVANA will be featured artists at the 2010 Miss Latina US Pageant on May 29th in Barcelo Punta Cana. [University of Chattanooga senior Lilibeth Leon will represent the Volunteer State as the reigning Miss Tennessee Latina -Ed.]

    Saints of Havana is a unique pop country band comprised of Cuban brothers Rey and Cesar Montecristo and American singer Aaron Shea. The merging of these three super talents and cultures has created a new and rich blend of modern country music, full of rhythms and flavors innovative to the genre. While maintaining the rich lyrical content, which is a trademark of any good country song, they have managed to add touches of pop, rock and latin music while remaining true to country’s roots. This blend along with their incredible live energy makes this Nashville-based trio something magical, exhilirating and new. The band is currently in production of their 2010 debut release.
    From the band's bio on Facebook:
    Saints of Havana is a modern pop country band comprised of Cuban brothers, Rey and Cesar Montecristo and American singer Aaron Shea. They met in legendary "Music City" in 2008, and have united their cultures and backgrounds to create a rich style and new blend of country music. They now prepare to infuse their brand and rhythmic sound into this richest of musical genres. Their well balanced mixture of Country, Afro Cuban, Rock, and Pop creates the new sound country music fans have been craving around the world.

    Singer Aaron Shea, a veteran of Nashville known for his charismatic stage presence and sultry tenor voice, was born in Michigan where he studied writing, piano, and acting. Aaron starred in the hit rock musical "Summer of "66" for 2 years while making numerous appearances on the Crook and Chase Show. He has shared the stage with many known artists and secured acting roles in the WB's Dawson's Creek and a number of commercials and music videos. Aaron toured South America and the States with his solo projects but now extends his horizons, with excitement, as a founding member and lead singer of Saints of Havana.

    Brothers Rey and Cesar Montecristo emigrated from Havana, Cuba, and resided most of their lives in Miami, FL. They are both accomplished singers and instrumentalists, with Cesar concentrating his expertise in the fields of guitar, piano, and programming and Rey in vocals and bass guitar. The brothers have toured extensively in support of their numerous bands and were the only unsigned act to ever tour all the "Hard Rock Cafes" nationwide with their band "Heir". After inking a deal with Sony Latin in their teens, they have now turned their attention to making waves in the American market. As founding members of Saints of Havana, they have set out on their most ambitious project yet.

    The band’s name was born of history. In 1519, the town of San Cristobal De La Habana was founded. With the Passing of the years the town grew into the city known today as Habana to the Spanish speakers and as Havana in Dutch, English, and French. In 1592 King Phillip of Spain designated Havana the "Key to the New World" and set out to build fortresses to defend its harbors from pirate attacks and to bless outgoing ships against hurricanes. Three massive forts were built in Havana Harbor, then the most important port in the "New World". The forts were known as Saint Salvador de la Punta Castle, which guarded the west entrance to the bay, Saint Moro Three Kings Castle, which guarded the east entrance, and San Lazaro Castle, which guarded the middle approach. These three forts were each adorned by a huge statue of each saint worked in wood and precious metals, which offered an impressive and majestic view to all who visited the beautiful island and to all who sought its sanctuary. Inspired by this story, of that fabled Harbor City, the Saints of Havana stand, as the three forts have for centuries, ready to make history and to welcome travelers into their world.

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Dear New York Times: why the "illegal" for one law but not for others?

    Dear New York Times:

    Please look at the frequency of your paper's use of the word "illegal" as an adjective to describe individuals in the comparative contexts of (a) immigration law and (b) other laws.

    You may find to your chagrin that immigrants are nearly the only group of people you describe as "illegal," and immigration law is the only law the Times reports on this way.

    The January 3, 2010 article "Whither the Dream" uses the term "illegal student" in the context of immigration law.

    The January 8, 2010 blog post "Italy Puts Swiss Tax Haven Under Siege," however, described a separate category of lawbreaking - tax evasion - without once using the noun or adjective "illegal" to describe the lawbreakers themselves. The author's descriptions of the people who had violated the law were "the rich," "tax evaders," "Italians," and "Italian clients."

    The disparity between the January 3 article on immigration law and the January 8 blog post on tax law is not attributable to the difference between your paper's articles and its blog posts. The difference is representative of a broader trend at the Times.

    A Google search for the word "illegal" on your pages reveals numbers of people described in headlines as "illegal" if the law at issue is immigration, but the same treatment of anyone else in regard to any other law is rare. And when the Times switches to other words besides "illegal," to describe a person it's seldom in regard to immigration. A search for the word "lawbreaker" on your pages shows approximately 750 occurrences, but only 55 also include the word "immigrant." How often do the words "illegal" and "immigrant" appear in the same story together? 13,600. How many appearances of the words "illegal immigrant"? 4,740.

    If the standard for reporting on people who break the law is to predominantly use neutral terms like "the rich," "Italians," and "lawbreakers," then it's questionable to switch to a vocabulary modifying your descriptions of people with a legal adjective - "illegal" - just because the law is immigration.

    So please start referring to students as "students" and leave it at that.

    For the sake of variety, you may still decide it is appropriate to occasionally throw in a legal description of a person, as was done once with the term "tax evaders" in the tax-related blog post. May I suggest that for immigration law, the adjectives "visaless" and/or "unvisaed" are more specific than "illegal" or even "undocumented" or "unauthorized," because it's the lack of a visa (or immigration-specific authorization) that more specifically describes people without immigration status. If you search for usage of the term "unvisaed" here in the U.S., you won't find it much, but it's a commonly used term in Australia. "Visaless" is an even more common term. Both are reasonable alternatives. If you find these unacceptable, maybe no adjective is useful, and you may find it helpful to focus on describing behavior instead of characterizing people.

    At least be consistent between your descriptions of people who are on the wrong side of immigration laws and people who are on the wrong side of tax laws.

    Best regards,

    John Lamb
    Nashville, TN

    Make your voice heard here.

    Photo by Thomas Hawk. Licensed under Creative Commons.

    Sign-ups and tickets available for Ballet Folklórico de México, Diversity in Dialogue, and free five-week Financial Peace course

    Dave Ramsey presents Andrés Gutiérrez: Financial Peace Live in Spanish - Free 5-week series starting January 18

    Dave Ramsey presenta a Andrés Gutiérrez, "Paz Financiera" En Vivo, Cada Lunes por 5 semanas, Desde el 18 de Enero hasta el 15 de Febrero, De 6:30 a 8:30pm, El seminario es completamente gratis. ¡En este nuevo año aprenda a cómo tener éxito con su dinero! Para más información llame al 1.800.781.8897 o por correo electronico a Financial Peace Plaza 1749 Mallory Ln. Brentwood, TN 37027

    Diversity in Dialogue: January 26 registration deadline

    “DIVERSITY IN DIALOGUE” DISCUSSION GROUP WINTER SERIES SET The Diversity in Dialogue winter series dates have been set for February and March, Scarritt-Bennett Center announced today. The deadline to register is Jan. 26. A six-week series developed by Scarritt-Bennett Center, Diversity in Dialogue (DID) Circles provide a forum for members of the community to share their feelings, opinions and thoughts on race relations, diversity and immigration in a non-defensive, non-critical environment. DID Circles are led by trained facilitators and each “circle” can accommodate 8 to 12 individuals from diverse backgrounds. The goal is to help participants understand their own and other’s views on racism, diversity and immigration to create long-term change. There will be two Diversity in Dialogue Circles for the winter 2010 series: Dialogues on Racism, and Dialogues on Immigration. WHEN: Dialogues on Racism Mondays: Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22; March 1, 8 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dialogues on Immigration, in collaboration with Tennessee Foreign Language Institute and Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Tuesday, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Scarritt-Bennett Center 1008 19th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37212 WHO: DID Circles are open to individuals in the community at large. Participants must commit to all six sessions, as they are progressive in nature and build upon one another. Registration Information – Deadline is Jan. 26. There is a $25 fee for all six sessions. If needed, financial assistance is available. The deadline to register is Jan. 26. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Diana Holland, Dialogue Circle Coordinator, at, or visit About Diversity in Dialogue Circles and Scarritt-Bennett Center Diversity in Dialogue is a program of the Scarritt-Bennett Center, an organization with a strong commitment to the eradication of racism and the promotion of cultural awareness. In Middle Tennessee, the program focuses primarily on race relations, diversity, and immigration, but can be used to address a variety of issues such as police and community relations, schools, unemployment, youth and neighborhoods. To date, more than 2,000 people in Nashville have participated in DID, including groups associated with private businesses, government agencies and universities. Learn more at

    Ballet Folklórico de México February 3

    Ballet Folklórico de México Special Event Laura Turner Concert Hall Wednesday, February 3, at 7 p.m. Ballet Folklórico de México A treasure in their native land for more than 50 years, this internationally famed ensemble blends music, choreography and colorful costumes in spectacular stage shows that bring alive Mexico’s brilliant array of cultural traditions. Take a journey through the ages as dancers trace the evolution of Mexico’s rich history and capture the essence of this country’s breathtaking beauty.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    America to Oscar, others: we figured out a way to reward your good work and get you integrated, but we still haven't passed it

    Scene reports on the status of the DREAM Act

    The Nashville Scene recently reported on "Oscar," a Nashville high school student with the kind of immigration problem that can get him deported, and the DREAM Act, the kind of legislation that can fully integrate him into American society.

    I recently met Oscar at a conference, and his leadership in one of the sessions impressed me. I found out afterwards about his immigration problem. It crushed me. The same thing had happened to me over and over again when my family and I attended the Primera Iglesia Bautista on Murfreesboro Road, when people I knew for months would come up to me about their own immigration problems once word got to them that I was a lawyer.

    The sad reality was (and is) that there are few immigration problems that can be fixed. It's a dead end, for the most part.

    Dedicated youth like Oscar who have no individual culpability for the fact that they don't have a visa deserve at least one chance to earn legal status. Many already demonstrate personal responsibility in the circumstances they can control, like their studies, and as in Oscar's case, in extracurricular activities as well, where leadership skills flourish. The DREAM Act would verify that these students have kept their noses clean and done everything that's been expected of them through the end of high school, and grant them legal status. It would no longer be a dead end.

    Instead of wasting the beneficial America-child relationship that has been developing throughout their young lives, we should be realizing that these young immigrants are already assets - already "us" - and make sure our laws see them that way.

    The DREAM Act is a wonderful start. The Scene story has more details about the law and about students like Oscar. Aunt B. also has an August post entitled "Kids Who Need the Dream Act," among others.

    Getting the DREAM Act passed

    U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper told the Scene that a lot more work is needed to make the DREAM Act a reality:
    "Right now the DREAM Act is a dream," he tells the Scene flatly. "And to turn that into reality is going to take a whole lot more work than anybody has put in so far."
    Cooper adds that even if the DREAM Act passed in Congress, the Tennessee legislature would have to green-light portions of the legislation, mainly the question of whether to allow in-state tuition to undocumented students.
    Well, at least one form of work to make the DREAM Act a reality is to contact our represented officials. Contact your U.S. representative at, and contact your U.S. senators at and (Remind Alexander and Corker that Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and Republican Senator Richard Lugar have been sponsors.)

    In the House, Representative Steve Cohen is already a sponsor.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Gang awareness conference for parents of Latino youth this Saturday at Glencliff

    Concerned parents prompt event

    An announcement from Rubén E. De Peña, Family & School Liaison of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools:
    Dear friend,

    As you probably know, gang activity among our Latino youth is a prevalent and concerning issue at various schools in our district. According to Mr. Tony Majors (Glencliff High School Principal), parents would particularly like to hear how their sons and daughters are becoming involved in gangs and what they go through to be initiated. Many Latino parents have expressed a desire to learn more about the warning signs of gang activity and how they can help.

    Because of this, a planning committee comprised of both local Latino leaders and Glencliff HS & the district has been meeting for several weeks to share different ideas to organize a gang-awareness event for our Latino families. We have selected this coming Saturday, January 9th, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for this conference. It will take place in the auditorium of Glencliff High School, 160 Antioch Pike, Nashville, 37211.

    While no parent will be turned away, the emphasis will be for Latino parents of middle and high school children in the Glencliff, Antioch, Cane Ridge, Overton, and McGavock clusters. This event is FREE of charge.

    The guest speakers for this conference will include:
    • Tony Majors, GHS Executive Principal
    • Representatives from the MNPD El Protector and the Gang Unit.
    • Pastor Tommy Vallejos, H.O.P.E. (Keynote speaker)
    In addition to a great conference, various sponsors will provide FREE food, indoor entertainment for kids over 3 years old (a “Kids Zone”, in lieu of “childcare,” as stated on the flyer), and drawings (a laptop computer is included among the prizes, thanks to a community contributor!!!).

    We are looking forward to having a candid conversation with parents and community leaders on this issue, hoping that it can eventually be gradually curbed or eradicated altogether. We hope you can join us and/or help us spread the word for this event.


    Rubén E. De Peña
    Family & School Liaison
    Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
    Glencliff Cluster
    Office 333-5070 Ext. 307
    Cell 947-8295

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Tennessean cover story describes thousands on the wrong side of the law, but none are called "illegal"

    Journalists, politicians, and anyone interested in politics, take note.

    On Sunday, Chas Sisk's top-of-the-fold Tennessean cover story on business tax amnesty demonstrated how to describe unlawful behavior without using the noun or adjective "illegal" to describe the lawbreaker.

    The word choices to describe the people who had violated the law were simple: "businesses," "companies," "people," "businesspeople," and "owners."

    Only two terms in the article turned the lawless behavior into a noun or adjective that described the offender: "scofflaws" and "noncompliant businesses." These terms were used half as frequently as the generic terms such as "businesses" and "people." The term "illegal" doesn't appear once.

    If the standard for Americans who break the law is to predominantly use terms like "businesses" and "people," then it's slanted to commonly describe foreigners who break the law as "illegal" or "undocumented," and picking one word over the other can't make the descriptions any more accurate or any less unequal.

    As I said last month, how we handle our words when we describe foreigners is a moral issue. If we tend to avoid certain words (like "illegal") when we describe an American who breaks the law, we mustn't favor that vocabulary when it's a foreigner who breaks the law. Being even-handed in our criticism of Americans and foreigners is about being morally, not politically, correct.

    For a run-down of the Tennessean article's exact word choice, see here.

    See also: Elizabeth Wright is pro-amnesty and Even tax collectors want to make compliance easy.
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