Author: Von Diaz

Recipes for a New Kind of Thanksgiving

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Art and Culture / Food / Immigrants

Originally published on Colorlines on November 22, 2013. Despite the political tensions surrounding Thanksgiving, it’s a holiday many use to unite with family and friends. And what ends up on the table is often a tweaked version of the usual fare that better matches the heritage and politics of the celebrants. For some that means looking to food history to incorporate forgotten ingredients that were essential to their ancestors or focusing on local, sustainable ingredients. For others, […]

Why ENDA is an Urgent Issue for People of Color

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Gender and Sexuality / LGBT / Women

Originally published on Colorlines on November 20, 2013. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) narrowly passed in the Senate two weeks ago for the first time since a version was introduced in 1974. It was even more significant because it now includes transgender people. But House Speaker John Boehner insisted the act won’t come to a vote in the House, leaving those LGBT people living in the 34 states [PDF] without anti-discrimination laws at a stark disadvantage. And because people of color are more […]

Homeless Youth in Focus

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Gender and Sexuality / LGBT / Race / Youth

Originally published on Colorlines on November 11, 2013. It’s 10 p.m. on Tuesday night at the Streetwork Project overnight shelter in New York City, and many of the young residents are just settling in. The shelter, a renovated brownstone with brightly painted walls, houses 24 homeless youth aged 16 to 20, a fraction of the estimated 3,800 who are homeless in the city on any given night. Nineteen-year-old Brie walks in from a smoke break and launches into […]

A Bleak Year for Reproductive Justice

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Gender and Sexuality / Health / Women

Originally published on Colorlines on December 31, 2013. It’s been a tough year for reproductive justice in the U.S., with 24 states approving policies and legislation that limit women’s access to reproductive health care. The passage of Texas’ HB 2, which is still being appealed, has already shut down one third of the abortion clinics in a state that has long been limiting access particularly for women with limited resources including low-income women of color and immigrants […]

Dangerous Sexism

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Art and Culture / Gender and Sexuality / Women

Originally published on Colorlines on October 30, 2013. Click here to view slideshow of images from the exhbitionb “On Equal Terms.”  In the 35 years since affirmative action passed, there’s been growth in nearly every field dominated by men but the construction industry isn’t one of them.  According to the National Women’s Law Center, the number of women in construction trades and related work has remained steady at 2.6 percent from 1983 to 2010. In contrast, the […]

Mapping Food Justice

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Food Justice / Immigrants

Originally published on Colorlines on October 24, 2013. Check out The Color of Food interactive map on Brown Girl Farming. Natasha Bowens describes herself as a “young, brown female who likes to farm.” And while she didn’t grow up doing it, she’s now dedicated her career to creating a network of other people of color in farming and food justice. Like many people Bowens became an activist in college, and focused her early career working on the 2008 […]

How Tech Stays White

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Economy / Media / Race

Originally published on Colorlines on October 22, 2013. Co-written with Jamilah King. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Roots co-founder Questlove can agree on one thing: The Big Apple has the potential to become the next Silicon Valley. That much was made clear when the two appeared in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood on October 1 for the opening of the “Made in NY”  center, which is being touted as a cross-industry hub of creative innovation. “Collaboration between […]

Do Women Have More to Lose If Immigration Reform Dies?

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Immigration News / Women

Originally published on Colorlines on October 14, 2013. For 10 years Juanita Flores struggled to find her way out of an abusive marriage. She was undocumented, had two small children, no opportunities for legal employment, and lived in constant fear of her husband’s physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Five years ago, the last time she saw him, he put her in the hospital with a skull fracture. The next day she left Dallas. But it was only […]

Out Of The Dark: One Gay Latino Couple’s Battle Through One Of The Worst Immigration Eras

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Immigration News / LGBT

Originally published on BuzzFeed Longreads on September 29, 2013. In May, the Repertorio Español on Manhattan’s Upper East Side hosted a reading of Pablo García Gámez’s play Oscuro, de Noche. Set in Caracas, Venezuela, the play chronicles the circumstances surrounding the death of Kenny, a young man gunned down while riding his motorcycle. I’m seated next to García’s husband, Santiago Ortiz. Before the lights come down, 52-year-old García walks over from his director’s box to greet […]

Putting a Human Face on Food Stamps

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Economic Justice / Food

Originally published on Colorlines on September 25, 2013. Last week, when the Republican-dominated House voted to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) over 10 years, it put the nation’s high poverty rates in focus. With the U.S. Census confirming that poverty rates remain at recession level, and the most recent jobs report showing that unemployment is still at 7.4 percent, the possibility of cutting one of the most widely used safety net programs in the country […]