Category Archives: Announcements

Mujeres Talk to Become Latinx Talk

About 18 months ago, we on the Editorial Board of Mujeres Talk began thinking out loud about expanding the scope of our site and signaling greater inclusivity. Aware of how necessary, vital, and attractive this site has been to countless mujeres both in and out of academia, we thought hard about giving up a woman-centered and woman-run site, yet we also recognized that when we thought about what we wanted to publish and who we are working with in our everyday lives, our queer and straight male peers, students, and community partners were often on our minds, as were partners and allies across Ethnic Studies. So we’ve decided to become Latinx Talk, beginning in September 2017.  We have created a new Editorial Board, and for the first time, an Advisory Board — with a strong mix of varied Latinidades, regions, disciplines. We’re excited to be working with wonderful new colleagues! Our new Editorial Board for Latinx Talk includes: Lauren Araiza, Denison University; Magdalena Barrera, San Jose State University; Carlos Decena, Rutgers University; Theresa Delgadillo, The Ohio State University; Kevin Escudero, Brown University; Adriana Estill, Carleton College; Felipe Hinojosa, Texas A&M; Miguel Juarez, University of Texas at El Paso; Carmen Lugo-Lugo, Washington State University; Yalidy Matos, Rutgers University; Sujey Vega, Arizona State University. Our new Advisory Board for Latinx Talk includes: Patricia Enciso, The Ohio State University Larry LaFountain-Stokes, University of Michigan; Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Seattle University; Louis Mendoza, Arizona State University; Chon Noriega, UCLA; Mariana Ortega, Pennsylvania State University; Rafael Pérez-Torres, UCLA; Eliana Rivero, University of Arizona; Andrea Romero, University of Arizona; Alvina Quintana, University of Delaware.

Working together on Mujeres Talk has allowed us to grow our experience and expertise in online publishing while we also worked out in real time how to mesh feminist politics with feminist practice. We believe that Mujeres Talk has made a contribution to building a Latina/o online presence and to mentoring new authors.  We’ve been successful at maintaining a national editorial board that works collaboratively via video conference and email to coordinate regular online publication.  

We know from our peers that Mujeres Talk has impacted similar online academic ventures as we all explore how to do this peer-review thing online in ways that mesh with the rigor and requirements of higher education (see discussion on U.S. Intellectual History site). We’ve been pleased to see that our publications have been republished by other online venues (including Share INC/Domestic Violence, Texas Ed Equity, and Puerto Rico Report), noticed by major media (see comments of Finding Missing Latinas), included in scholarly presentations (see Mujeres Talk Slide Share), and even made it onto Pinterest. We were delighted to be featured at the 2014 Fall Reception of the College of Arts and Sciences at OSU. We are also very pleased that readers and authors have employed the site in Latina/o Studies classrooms (for one example, see Reflections from Within: Explorations of Spirituality, Identity and Social Justice).

Most of all, we are gratified that you, our readers, have found this to be an important publication and venue. We are grateful to all the authors and special contributors who have shared their amazing work on this site. Readership for each essay varies and has always been 180 and 1000 page views per post. We are proud to have built something useful, innovative, and necessary. We are taking our collective knowledge and experience and applying it to a new and expanded project which will follow in the footsteps of this site. Our new project is Latinx Talk, an online academic blog for short form research and commentary, that will be launched in September 2017 and will also be published by The Ohio State University Libraries. We hope that all of the readers of Mujeres Talk will follow us to Latinx Talk, and sign up as online subscribers. In September, we’ll post a link to the new site, and notify subscribers of new URL. Mujeres Talk will remain permanently archived and searchable at this URL, hosted by The Ohio State University Libraries. Please share your comments on our past and future directions here on our blog! We’d love to hear from you. 

We will see you in September, and meanwhile, enjoy these summer days! 

Topics for 2015

Happy New Year! We wish all of our readers the very best for the year ahead!

Last year we inaugurated a new feature of the Mujeres Talk site: Contributing Bloggers. We thank Kimberly Blaeser, Elena Herrada, and Linda Garcia Merchant for joining us in this project and for their important, moving, and thought-provoking essays in 2014. We hope that readers will continue to share this work long into the future with others through our online archive.

picture of Tanya Golash-Boza

Professor Tanya Golash-Boza

In 2015 we are happy to announce that we will be collaborating with bloggers Tanya Golash-Boza and Laura J. Briggs. Golash-Boza and Briggs are already established bloggers with their own websites whose commentary and essays are widely read. This year each will be sharing her work with our readers by posting select original new work to our site and her own website simultaneously. Golash-Boza’s academic blog site, Get a Life, PhD, has been online since 2010 and it is one that we’ve recommended to readers for some time since it offers great, practical “how to” advice for college professors including such topics as how to write a book proposal, revise an academic article, or organize work time in a semester. She also offers discussions about topics such as “How Long Can You Rely on Your Dissertation Adviser?” Tanya Golash-Boza also leads two other academic blog sites, Social Scientists for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Are We There Yet? World Travels with Three Kids. An Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of

photo of Laura Briggs

Professor Laura J. Briggs

California Merced, Golash-Boza has published three books and numerous articles on immigration/migration, race/racism, blackness in Peru, and borders/transnationalism. Laura J. Briggs is Professor and Chair of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst. A widely recognized historian of reproductive politics, Briggs has published two books, co-authored a third book, and has written numerous articles on empire/transnational history of the U.S. in Latin America; reproductive politics and race and sexuality; adoption; and immigration/migration. In 2012 she created the academic blog site Somebody’s Children: A Blog about Adoption, ART, and Reproductive Politics, where she offers incisive commentary informed by her extensive research. We look forward to sharing their work with Mujeres Talk readers in 2015.

We would also like to kick off this new year with an invitation to you, dear readers, to contribute short research essays, creative work, and research informed essays commenting on current events. We think it might be interesting this year to explore the uncommon and unlikely in our work and lives. To that end, and given the growth of both Latina/o Studies and Indigenous/Native American Studies in new directions and in new regions, we would like to invite submissions that explore uncommon or unlikely sites and topics in these fields. For instance, this might include discussions about Latinas/os in varied regions, consideration of the category of “Latina/o” in Europe, or work that takes up Latina/o participation in religions, groups, and organizations not typically associated with Latinas/os. It might also include discussion of new sociopolitical and activist movements in diverse parts of the world that relate to ethnic studies scholarship. It might be work about the unlikely places in which we find ourselves, the far-fetched places where ethnic studies work travels, our encounters with the unimaginable in literature and art, or wrestling with questionable policies and legal frameworks. Second, we would like to invite essays, research in brief, and commentary on the new questions and opportunities that these fields face in relation to traditional disciplines and similar inter-disciplinary fields; contemporary diversity programs in higher education; and the emergence of new teaching, research, and publishing technologies.

We will continue to welcome submissions on all topics relevant to our site, and we look forward to reading and publishing your work!

The Editorial Group of Mujeres Talk

Welcome to 2014 Contributing Bloggers

We write today to welcome the inaugural group of Mujeres Talk Contributing Bloggers. Kimberly Blaeser, Linda Garcia Merchant and Elena Herrada have agreed to serve in this position for 2014. As Contributing Bloggers, Blaeser, Merchant and Herrada will be writing for Mujeres Talk throughout the year — so look for their posts! Mujeres Talk readers will remember that Kimberly Blaeser’s poem “Dictionary for a New Century,” launched our 2014 year, and we’re looking forward to more poetry as well as commentary and research this year. An independent filmmaker, Merchant will be writing about some of her current film and research projects. Herrada, who has been active in multiple Detroit communities, plans to write about community projects and experiences.

All three of our 2014 Contributing Bloggers are from the Midwest: Blaeser grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota and currently lives and works in Wisconsin; Merchant grew up in and continues to reside in Chicago, Illinois; and Herrada is a lifelong resident of Detroit, Michigan. Their long and rich experience and research in Native American, Chicana/o, African American and Latina/o communities of the Midwest brings additional breadth and depth to Mujeres Talk, and to multiple academic and artistic fields. We invite you to visit the 2014 Contributing Bloggers page on our site to learn more about the newest members of the Mujeres Talk project.

 

We’ve Moved!

January 16, 2014

Mujeres Talk has moved to a new location. We are now hosted by the OSU Knowledge Bank as an independent site. We hope you will visit us at the new location and continue to follow, submit and comment there by clicking on the link embedded in this message.  We are working on getting the archive of all previous posts up on our new site and plan to have everything on this site up on the new site soon as archive. Thank you for your continued interest in Mujeres Talk. Wishing all our readers a wonderful 2014! http://mujerestalk.org

What is Mujeres Talk?

Post by Theresa Delgadillo, member of the Mujeres Talk editorial group

Mujeres Talk is an online, interdisciplinary, edited and moderated forum for the circulation and discussion of original research, commentary and creative work in brief and diverse formats such as blog essays (500-1500 words), multimedia presentations and short video. We focus on Chicana, Latina, and Native American women’s work, however, we continue to welcome work from allies, and diverse racial and ethnic authors within and outside of these categories. All posts represent the views of individual authors. All submissions are reviewed by two members of the Editorial Group to ensure that they are appropriate for publication in this venue, offer an original and interesting perspective, cite relevant research where necessary and meet our length requirements.

Mujeres Talk also publishes simultaneous cross-posts with peer sites provided the essay, multimedia or creative work appears on both sites on the same day and both sites agree to note simultaneous publication.

Mujeres Talk publishes on a weekly basis on Tuesdays. Online since January 2011, we took a hiatus in Autumn 2013 and resumed publication in January 2014. See our “Archive” for past posts.

Mujeres Talk publishes work on a wide range of topics of interest to academics, community members, and the general public. 

Mujeres Talk is governed collaboratively by an all-volunteer Editorial Group. Members include Inés Hernandez-Avila, Theresa Delgadillo, Lucila Ek, Miranda Martinez, Diana Rivera, Felicity Amaya Schaeffer, Seline Szkupinski Quiroga. Please see the “Editors” page for information on our Editorial Group. 

Mujeres Talk solicits submissions and accepts unsolicited submissions. See our “How To Submit” page for further information.

Mujeres Talk believes in providing a space for ideas, research and creativity that may not have a home in print and other publications. We also want to direct readers to important and interesting print publications. Our hope is that we will publish timely reflections, critiques or excerpts of research in progress to foster dialogue among women of color and our allies.

Mujeres Talk believes in the active role that community plays in the production and reception of ideas and we encourage our readers to submit responses to published pieces. Our Editorial Group moderates comments on the site to avoid flaming and spamming. Please act with respect and consideration for each other in blog discussions. All comments are archived with essays to ensure future access by readers, writers, activists and scholars.

Mujeres Talk subscribes to the following Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs or CC BY-NC-ND. Readers and users may download and share content from this site provided that they credit Mujeres Talk and authors. Readers and users may not change, alter or modify any content from our site in re-use or use content from our site for any commercial purposes.

Renewal at Mujeres Talk

September 30, 2013

We have news of departures and changes at MT to share with our readers today. We hope you will join us in thanking Sara A. Ramírez, Elena Gutiérrez and Ella Díaz for their service!

Our extremely talented Co-Editor/Moderator from 2012-2013 Sara A. Ramírez is stepping down from this role. A graduate student in Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley, Sara will be devoting her time and energy this academic year to work on her dissertation, which promises to be a smart, ambitious, and innovative contribution to Ethnic and Gender Studies. While we will all dearly miss working with Sara, we are excited for her that she has reached this stage in her work and wish her wonderful and inspired writing days ahead. If we were thinking only of ourselves, we might be tempted to say that her departure is not good news, but knowing how long and hard Sara has worked to make it to dissertation stage we share her joy in taking this next step. We hope she knows that she can continue to rely on all of us for support in her journey.

Since joining the Mujeres Talk Editorial Collective last year, Sara A. Ramírez has been a phenomenal contributor and collaborator. As both a lead editor and a second reader, she has corresponded with authors and solicited and/or reviewed no less than eight essays during this past year. Her commitment, dedication and collaborative skills impressed us all as exceptional, especially for a young scholar. We know that these will serve her well in her future career in academia. Sara always brought new ideas to our editorial discussions and successfully followed through on them. She was responsible and forthright in consulting with colleagues on the Collective when thorny issues surfaced. She deftly managed to incorporate varied feedback into editing suggestions to authors. Sara is a terrific editor, both careful and caring in her comments to authors. Most importantly, in her every action Sara conveyed her strong feminist ethics to build, contribute, and deepen opportunities for Chicana, Latina, and Native American women, queer and transgender folks in the academy. For these reasons, we want to take this moment to publicly thank Sara A. Ramírez for her exceptional service to Mujeres Talk and MALCS.

A second member of our Editorial Collective is also moving on to an exciting new project. Associate Professor Elena Gutiérrez is leaving Mujeres Talk to take on leadership responsibilities on another digital project: the Reproductive Justice Virtual Library. On the Mujeres Talk Editorial Collective, Elena reviewed submissions, contributed to discussions about our editorial guidelines, solicited essays for the site, and wrote an excellent essay for Mujeres Talk on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade earlier this year. Elena will be curating the Reproductive Justice Virtual Library site with movement activists and scholars across the nation. We have no doubt that Elena’s many talents in editing and writing will make RJVL a great site. We are excited about this new site, which expands the digital and online presence of women of color even further, so we wish Elena Gutiérrez every success in this exciting new endeavor!

Ella Díaz, who has contributed several excellent essays to Mujeres Talk on adjunct faculty, Latina art, sexuality and politics, mentoring, and the importance of digital publication for women of color, and who has also been a careful, generous, and keen reviewer of submissions to Mujeres Talk, will return to her earlier role as an occasional contributor to Mujeres Talk rather than a regular member of the Editorial Collective. Readers may remember that Ella joined the Collective earlier this year and contributed to the further development of editorial policy guidelines for this unique format. Ella’s enthusiasm and energy as well as her expertise in art and performance and excellent collaborative and critical skills will continue to make a valuable contribution to Mujeres Talk in this more limited role. We also wish her every success in her continued role on the MALCS Coordinating Committee and in her academic career — students at Cornell are lucky to have Ella as a professor!

Finally, we’d like to announce that Mujeres Talk will become an independent website as of October 2013! Look for an announcement of our new site soon! We plan to be up and running later this month and will be returning to our previous biweekly publication on Mondays. We developed Mujeres Talk as a project within MALCS to serve the mission and goals of the organization in an online format. In any growth process there are transitions and transformations. We have determined that continuing to grow and evolve Mujeres Talk and its capabilities will be best accomplished as a site independent of MALCS. We support the principles and goals of MALCS as we continue to build space for Chicanas, Latinas, and Native American women in the academy. We have put forward a proposal for preserving a digital archive of our site from its inception in January 2011 through today, September 2013, to the MALCS national leadership. We hope that our regular readers will continue to contribute to and follow the site. We are excited to embark on this new journey with you and your support!

Theresa Delgadillo
Inés Hernandez-Avila
Felicity Amaya Schaeffer
Elena Gutiérrez
Lucila Ek
Lourdes Alberto
Ella Díaz

Comment(s):

  1. Anonymous    October 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Dr. Diaz’ article both impressed me and saddened me, as I remember well my first three years as Lecturer(hired in a tenure-track position), 5 years as Assistant Prof, 21 years as a Lecturer(with employment security). People gave me much advice, but I could not lfollow it. I had a destiny to fulfill. Me and a large number of other people, faculty, staff, and students,working in UC System set out to transform it. Were we demented? Did we make a difference? I have no answers, but would do it all over again if I could. In the academic world, everything is negotiable. ASR

  2. Sara A. Ramírez    October 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Thank you to the MT Collective for being such fantastic mujeres with whom to work. My experience with MT–especially under the guidance of Theresa Delgadillo and Seline Szkupinski Quiroga–has helped me to understand the complexities of feminist editorial work. Many thanks for this wonderful opportunity.

  3. Theresa Delgadillo, Co-Editor/Moderator    October 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Many thanks to the many who have emailed us personally to express your continued support for Mujeres Talk as an independent site — we’re looking forward to continuing to hear from and work with all!

For A New Latina/o Studies Association

June 24, 2013

by Frances R. Aparicio

For some years, the Latino/a Studies scholars who have participated in the Latin American Studies Association conferences have been disappointed at the continued marginality of the Latino Studies Section in the larger association, our vulnerability (our section was revoked one year), and the limitations of this space. Moreover, we all recognize a need to create a larger national and international space that allows all Latino/a Studies scholars to come together and share our scholarship, activism and struggles. Thus, a group of scholars have discussed the idea of forming a Latino/a Studies Association that will address our needs. They have gathered feedback and suggestions in discussions at various other conferences in the past year and are beginning to get organized. Our goal is to create the Association during the 2014 Latino Studies Conference that will be held in Chicago July 17-19. Please join us for this historic moment and participate in the groundbreaking conference that will initiate a new international space for Latino/a Studies.  The Call for Papers for this event follows:

Call for Papers

Imagining Latina/o Studies: Past, Present, and Future

An International Latina/o Studies Conference

July 17-19, 2014

Chicago, Illinois

Under multiple sponsorships from various universities and Latina/o Studies Programs, Chicago will host an international Latina/o studies conference on July 17-19, 2014. We invite individual papers or group proposals from the various disciplines that contribute to Latina/o studies as well as from individuals and groups engaged in artistic, political, and intellectual work outside the academy, including writers, artists, and community activists.

Background

The Chicago conference will serve as an inaugural international Latina/o studies conference where we will launch the creation of a Latina/o studies association. During the May 2012 Latino Studies Section meeting at the Latin American Studies Association conference in San Francisco, scholars from a variety of disciplines decided to explore the feasibility of creating an international Latina/o studies association. Since then, many of these scholars have held informal meetings at other academic conferences in order to gauge interest in such an organization. To date, discussions have been held at the American Studies Association, the Puerto Rican Studies Association, the Modern Language Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Conference, among many others.

Rationale

With this conference we hope to spotlight the dynamic work being carried out in a range of disciplines with a particular focus on the interdisciplinary impulse that shapes and motivates work produced under the banner of Latina/o studies. We recognize the decades-long history and crucial work of national-origin studies, such as Chicana/o studies and Puerto Rican studies, from which many of us have emerged; and we further ask how might we conceptualize the field so that it reflects the complex histories, social formations, and cultural production of Latinas/os even while seeking to imagine a larger sense of belonging that might transcend nationalisms?

By using this question as a benchmark for critical discussion, the conference will serve as a venue to set new research agendas and ask new questions of Latina/o studies. We seek proposals that revisit the genesis of Chicana/o and Puerto Rican studies in the 1970s as well as papers that highlight the emergence of Cuban studies, Dominican studies, Central American studies and South American studies. We invite proposals that compare the history, social formations, and cultural production of Latinas/os. Just as important, we seek imaginative proposals that critically interrogate the possibilities and limits of the category of “Latinas/os” itself.

Location

Chicago serves as a symbolic setting for our conference. Located between the historically Mexican Southwest and the Caribbean East Coast, Chicago has long embraced its diverse Latina/o communities, and is home to several universities with Latina/o studies programs. To that end, we call for scholars, artists, and activists from both within the United States and abroad to join us as we launch our inaugural conference and the founding of a Latina/o studies association, the first organization dedicated to the comparative and interdisciplinary study of Latinas/os.

Proposals

Our goal is to carve out an international space for dialogue and fruitful debate, and invite submissions from all disciplines. We welcome diverse and interactive presentation formats. We envision roundtables that explore recent publications, key developments, or major debates in Latina/o studies; workshops on mentoring, professionalization, pedagogy, or publishing; multi-media presentations such as Pecha Kucha or poster presentations; and performances along with traditional papers. Group proposals with diverse representation–including institutional affiliation, rank, and geographic region–will be given preference. All sessions are 90 minutes long, and must allot at least twenty minutes for discussion.

To submit a proposal, please email the following information to latinostudiesconference@gmail.com. All proposals are due by 11:59pm PST on December 1, 2013.

●      Paper or Session Title.

●      Name, institutional affiliation, discipline, position or title, and contact information of presenter including email address and phone number (for sessions: list organizer first, then each presenter providing requested information for each participant).

●      Abstract of the rationale and content of the paper or session: up to 300 words for an individual submission; 600 words for a group proposal, giving specifics about what each member will contribute.

●      Brief (2-3 sentence) scholarly or professional biography of each presenter.

●      Describe the format of the session (for group proposals) and give indication of any audiovisual needs or special accommodations.

For more information on the Latina/o studies association initiative and the many people and institutions involved in creating it, please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/latinostudiesinitiative/.

Frances R. Aparicio is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University. She is the author of the award-winning Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music and Puerto Rican Cultures (Wesleyan 1998), and Co-Editor of several critical anthologies including Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature (Routledge 2013), Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad (University of New England Press 1997), Musical Migrations (Palgrave 2003), and Hibridismos culturales (Revista Iberoamericana 2006). A founding editor of the Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest Book Series at the University of Illinois Press, she has facilitated and fostered book publications and new research on Latino/as in the Midwest. 

¡Ya Es Tiempo!: A Latina for Governor of California

February 4, 2013

Photo from Flickr. Untitled, Marcin Wichery, April 2008.

Photo from Flickr. Untitled, Marcin Wichery, April 2008.

By Adaljiza Sosa Riddell, Ph.D.

Mujeres compañeras, feministas Chicanas, Latinas y mas:
 Have you had enough of electoral politics? Did those congressional wiri wiri’s con bastantes pendejadas(rhetoric, hot air and plenty of stupidities) push you well beyond anger with the two-party system to somnambulist alienation? Politics in the Golden State, now revealed as a solid Democratic state, were not any more exciting, even as California underwent a demographic change unmatched in any other state. Although two women were on the ballot, the California gubernatorial elections of 2010 left me beyond bored and rather angry. Perhaps this is because neither woman, both of whom are CEOs of major companies, met my minimal criteria for candidacy.

A LATINA FOR GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA IN 2014? Would a Latina on the ballot make any election more engaging and more meaningful to me? Perhaps, but only if it is a position with the ability to alter the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, entrelos de abajo y los de arriba. How might this work? Inspired by the people of Arab Spring, I submit that an interested group might use the internet and social media toward this end. I proposed this entire plan to my family. My brother, the civil engineer, asked me, the social scientist, how I could even believe this could happen. He argued that my political science knowledge was just so much nonsense. Usually I concede intellectual knowledge vs. community experience arguments in the interest of peace and often end in agreement with him. This time I did not concede.

I refer you to a rapidly growing body of literature demonstrating, among other things, that women continue to develop feminist consciousness and do act on this thought process. In short, class, race/ethnicity, and gender do make a difference in politics. Traditional literatures such as political science, as well as emerging literatures including Women’s Studies and American Studies, affirm a Latina political consciousness. This specific consciousness is made up of a seamless cloth in which women’s personal development is intertwined with their roles in the family, the community, and their emergence as political activists.[1] Most importantly, the literature in Chicana and Chicano Studies has grown rapidly, with a sizeable body of work on Chicanas/Latinas and politics.[2] Since the theory that Chicana/Latina political consciousness is real, well-known, well-documented and reflects experience, then it is time to turn the pyramid upside down and share power rather than continuing to hold up pyramids and bridges on our backs.[3]

THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION. The next California gubernatorial election is in November 2014. I invite you to join me in nominating and supporting one Chicana/Latina feminista to run for and win the Governorship of the state of Alta California. I propose that this is performed “democratically” through the Internet and social media.

Although it is not my intent to encourage anyone to participate in electoral party politics, I am indeed searching for strategies that can actually foster meaningful change in the nature of the relationship between the rulers and the ruled. While American political ideology, including ideals of equality, individual freedoms, and government of the people, by the people and for the people, as stated in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, may have inspired many of us, the marriage of such lofty ideals to raw, unregulated capitalism has rendered the original ideals and everyday practices hollow and harmful. However, the American electoral system occasionally provides some truly democratic moments.

Another such moment is now before the Latino population in California, specifically in the next gubernatorial election. Despite the fact that the U.S. Census seriously undercounts the Latino population, the 2010 U.S. Census and the resulting redistricting plans have given Latinos an unprecedented voice in the electoral process as shown in the 2012 elections. Proposition 11, Voters First Act, passed in 2008, established an entirely new process for reapportionment plans based on the 2010 census. However, the effort to take the reapportionment process out of the California State Legislature ended by increasing representation for new populations, cultural groups, and historical communities previously ignored or underrepresented. This process may not survive the next election. Conservative groups are presently working on changing that process through California’s citizens’ initiative to disallow “overwhelming” power for California’s former minorities. Latinos and Asian/Pacific Islanders especially cannot allow the underrepresentation in state governance to intensify nor continue because it means our communities will be wrongly served and/or underserved.

The 2010 U.S. Census also contains another important figure: Latinas are 51% of the Latino population. This number signifies that mujeres Latinas hold up more than half the sky. Coupled with knowledge and experience of Chicanas/Latinas in the workplace, the home, and the community, this does mean that mujeres do more than half the work. Mujeres should thus have an opportunity to have some of the power. And I expect men, brothers, and partners to wholeheartedly endorse this endeavor. I paraphrase a quote by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1982 Nobel Laureate in Literature, in a January 2000 issue of Time magazine: “Men have run the world for well over 2000 years. Women deserve to try their hand at governance in the 21st century.” The eyes of the world are on us. Women must rise to the challenge. California is perfectly poised to meet that challenge.

The following are some of my ideas for this project. If you would like to join me in creating a group, a Comité, separate from MALCS to advance this idea, please email me at adaljizasosariddell@yahoo.com.

STRATEGY. A first round of work will identify a Latina candidate then gather support and verify interest of the candidate in running for governor by signing up for the Primary. This first round should generate a short list of possible Latina candidates gathered by consensus exclusively from among women. The second round will begin with one Latina name, and one only. The Comité will then reach out to all Hispanic, Latino, Mexican American and Chicano organizations in California via listservs and social media, in an effort to recruit male compañeros, to endorse and work for the one consensus candidate.

CRITERIA FOR CANDIDACY. Candidate must:

1.     Demonstrate a Latina women’s political consciousness
2.     Possess electoral politics experience
3.     Have statewide recognition
4.     Exhibit a clean record (no major scandals)
5.     Display support for and from Latina/o grassroots groups including especially non-traditional sexualities
6.     Be highly knowledgeable on California issues
7.     Be familiar to and with large urban centers including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and in its most rapidly growing areas such as Fresno, Visalia, and the Inland Empire

Again, I welcome other suggestions for criteria. The Comité will need these later for extensive outreach to garner support.

WHAT YOU CAN DO. If you are interested, join me in forming the Comité, you can:

1.     Nominate a candidate
2.     Volunteer for the Comité to receive names from first round of contact; work with me (or someone else) to come up with one name; conduct second round of outreach
3.     Work on campaign itself
4.     Suggest other forms of participation

¡Ya es tiempo! I look forward to your ideas, suggestions and concerns.

Adaljiza Sosa Riddell, Ph.D., is the founder of MALCS and Chicano Studies Professor Emeritus at The University of California, Davis. She lives in Los Angeles and studies politics, Chicana/o issues, and class struggle. She can be contacted via email at adaljizasosariddell@yahoo.com.


[1] This is a shortened version of the definition of Latina political consciousness from Carol Hardy-Fanta in Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader, ed. Cathy Cohen et al. (New York: NYU Press, 1997), 223-237.

[2] See Carol Hardy-Fanta, Latina Politics, Latino Politics: Gender, Culture, and Political Participation in Boston (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993); P. Cruz-Takash inWomen Transforming Politics, 412-434; Christine Sierra and Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell, “Chicanas as Political Actors,” National Political Science Review 4 (1994): 297-317; Mary Pardo, Mexican American Women Activists (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998); Maylei Blackwell¡Chicana Power!: Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement (Austin: UT Press, 2011), among others.

[3] Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (Watertown, MA: Persephone Press, 1981).

Comment(s):

  1. Rita Urquijo-Ruiz    February 6, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Querida Adaljiza.

    Mil gracias for your writing this. Although I am now living in TX (another state that could us much of what you propose here). The first woman that comes to mind is Hilda Solís. Other than that, I can’t really think of anyone else.

    Abrazos,

    Rita

  2. Anonymous    February 8, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    I definitely think we should see a Latina on the ballot–it would not be too difficult to put someone there but whether or not she would be elected would be difficult given the two party monopoly. For a while I was a member of the Green Party and had some hope for an alternative space that forwarded progressive folks and that was a diverse group. In the past, I believe some RUP folks in Califas became part of Peace and Freedom. And there has been Latina representation on Peace and Freedom. Unless I’m mistaken, Yolanda Alaniz has been a major figure there in past. I also think we need to be clear about what the platform of a “Latina woman’s political consciousness would be” e.g. worker rights, support for public education, etc. You are certainly on to something, Ada! I agree that Hilda Solis would be a strong candidate–she is democratic party all the way but that could also be strategically useful in her election. But a true challenge should come from someone outside of those circuits who offers a completely different approach to leadership and policy and I think that’s what you are calling for. –Dionne

Happy Holidays!

December 17, 2012

Dear Mujeres Talk Readers and Contributors,

As of today, we are on holiday break. We will resume our weekly Monday publication schedule on Monday, January 7, 2013.

We invite you read over this past year’s essays and, if so moved, to comment, during this holiday break. We thank you deeply for generously sharing your valuable critical insights as writers and readers on Mujeres Talk. In this first year of publishing on a weekly basis, Mujeres Talk posted new blog essays on 46 weeks of the year featuring 53 authors. Writers for Mujeres Talk have spanned a wide spectrum — from those just starting out in college to retired and eminent scholars of Chicana/Latina studies, community activists, artists and professionals.

We invite everyone to submit essays or essay ideas for 2013!

Most of all, we on the Mujeres Talk Editorial Collective wish you and yours a very joyous holiday season!