Tag Archives: latinos

Murder on Rt 80: The Long Road from Selma

1 Mar

First of all, put on some Jimi Hendrix. Ok, now you may continue.

viola-liuzzo-1

Proud sidenote: Viola was a longtime Unitarian… Go Unitarian Unversalists! (I was born ‘n’ raised, y’all!)

In an instant, teenage Penny Liuzzo was overcome with a sense of dread. While watching television in 1965, she doubled over in a fit of nausea. She knew exactly why. “Oh my God, my mother is dead.” Her mother, Viola Liuzzo, had driven to Selma, Alabama to join the civil rights protests after the Bloody Sunday march to Montgomery. After a premonition, she begged her mother not to go. But Viola, fiercely independent and determined to make a difference, carried on.

Hours later, Penny lied awake in bed, unable to sleep. Her father called. Her intuition was correct. Her mother was dead. ‘Then something happened that Penny still cannot explain 40 years later. Her 6-year-old sister, Sally, walked into the bedroom and said, “No, Mama’s not dead. I just saw her walking in the hall.”‘

…chills!!

Liuzzo’s mother was brutally murdered by the KKK for being a voice in the civil rights movement. Now, the murder that divided a generation is again in the headlines, as it symbolizes a story with a revolving narrative in our society. From FBI conspiracies to the galvanizing of a social movement, to the tragedy of a family forever traumatized by being publicly scapegoated for their tragedy, to the reaching of the point of no return in a nation divided by the murder of a white woman in the deep south of Selma, Alabama.

This story starts out with shock and continues to build upwards past outrageous, finally culminating as an unforgettable injustice made worse by public backlash and government lies. The life and death of one of America’s greatest unsung (s)heroes of the civil rights movement comes to a head as the US Supreme Court heard arguments challenging the 1965 Voting Right’s Act.

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¡Cuéntame! NCLR Advocacy Days in DC

27 Feb

I am SUPER excited to attend the National Council of La Raza’s National Latino Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill! Poised to be a powerful event for both consciousness-raising and legislative action, it is sure to provide a lot of fantastic new experiences.

nclrFrom NCLR:

The 2013 NCLR National Latino Advocacy Days will bring together hundreds of leaders from Latino nonprofit and civic organizations throughout the country, offering a unique opportunity to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill on the vital issues impacting Hispanic Americans. During the event, representatives from NCLR Affiliates and partner organizations will receive intensive training on policy and legislative advocacy, learn about federal policy issues affecting the Latino community, and build relationships with their members of Congress through legislative visits on Capitol Hill. 

I hate to say it, but I think the CARE Conference, amazing and profound as it is, has grown to be so unstoppable, I feel like it needs my presence a little less than this event. I want to add my voice to the group of people knocking on legislators’ doors, representing the Latino community and diaspora in America. The CARE conference is absolutely massive – but how many Latinos are in this country who don’t have the opportunity to hop on the metro and be knocking on their Congressional representative’s door in less than a half hour, like I do?

Not to mention, it looks like an awesome place to network with other Latino trailblazers, activists, and advocates for change. The night before the conference, I may have the opportunity to volunteer for the NCLR National Capital Awards, kind of like the ALMA awards but for politicians, ha!

To learn more about the conference, click on the above photo. March 6 – 7 in Washington, DC!