GOOD

“I mean, you don’t look like you’re from there.”

“Things White Latinos Are Sick of Hearing” nails it.

Venezuelan filmmaker and comedian Joanna Hausmann is so over people taking one look at her blue eyes, red hair, and white skin and asking her if she’s really Latina. With “Things White Latinos Are Sick of Hearing,” a digital short made for Flama, the New Yorker is taking a tongue-in-cheek stand against the awkward, clueless and borderline racist questions Latinos who don’t fit into the physical stereotype face in America.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

The Mars Rover Gives 826LA's Student Writers a Tech Boost

Writing about thermodynamics and aliens expands student imaginations.


What is life? That was one of the questions 826LA students tackled this summer in a workshop called "It's (Partially) Rocket Science." Most of our students come from low income backgrounds, but like most youth, they're hungry for adventure, to make mistakes without judgment, and to interact with peers and adult mentors who can answer easy and strange questions.

Students get to be themselves in our writing labs, or at least be comfortable enough to explore themselves. Through this workshop, which we were able to offer for free thanks to the support of Time Warner Cable—their Connect a Million Minds initiative also helped us develop the curriculum we used—826LA students engaged in writing, experimenting, observing, thinking, and had deep conversations about thermodynamics and aliens.

It might seem odd for an organization like 826LA to focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—also known as STEM in the academic world. 826LA prefers the acronym STEAM—the "A" stands for "arts," one of our specialties and a critical element that experts argue supports and expands knowledge within the other four disciplines.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Spider-Man Becomes the Latest Big Movie to Adopt a Social Cause

Sony is encouraging Spider-Man fans to make a difference by volunteering. Cheap promotional stunt? I appears not.

Last summer Spider-Man got a makeover in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, morphing the character from the traditional Peter Parker we all know into half-black, half-Latino Miles Morales, a teen whose family was trying to get him into a charter school. While the latest Spidey film, Sony's upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man, takes us back to the Peter Parker era, the studio took a new-school approach to the character's heroism through Tuesday's "Be Amazing, Stand Up and Volunteer" day of service.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Twitter in the Classroom: Watch This Teacher Engage Shy Students in Learning History

Still skeptical about whether Twitter can help shy students? Meet L.A. middle school teacher Enrique Legaspi and his students.

\n\n\n\n\nStill skeptical about the value of using Twitter as a tool to engage introverted students in classroom lessons? You're not alone. A recent survey of almost 2,000 teachers found that half think that using Twitter (and Facebook) in the classroom "is harmful to the learning experience." But, Los Angeles history teacher Enrique Legaspi disagrees with the naysayers. Last year he went to a workshop that discussed ways to use Twitter in teaching and now his students—even the shy ones—at Hollenbeck Middle School in East L.A. are speaking up more.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

College Admissions and Affirmative Action: In Texas it's Still Legal

A court says the University of Texas at Austin can consider race as an admissions factor. With college admission so competitive, are they right?

The affirmative action debate is back in the hot seat after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the use of race as an admissions factor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Judge Patrick E. Higgenbotham wrote in the majority opinion that affirmative action is not unconstitutional and does not conflict with Texas' current policy of accepting all students in the top 10 percent of their high school classes into the state's public universities. In an ironic twist, this same federal appeals court banned the University of Texas in 1996 from using race as an admissions factor.

The current ruling upholds a 2008 lower-court decision that the University of Texas didn't violate the civil rights or constitutional right to equal protection of two white students, Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz, who were denied admission to U.T. Austin that year. The two women could have attended a less prestigious campus in the U.T. system and possibly transferred to Austin in their second year if they met the requirements to do so. Instead, they chose to sue.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Making Pint-Sized Authors in Los Angeles with 826

826LA's Executive Director Joel Arquillos gives some perspective on how to teach Latino students and dishes some project-based learning tips.

Former Bay Area high school social studies teacher Joel Arquillos dedicated his life to writing, but unlike so many others who moved to Los Angeles, he's not pitching screenplays. The 38 year-old Executive Director of writing and tutoring nonprofit 826LA wants to equip the next generation of L.A. kids with the writing chops they need to hit it big in Hollywood, or bring in the As at Harvard.

Arquillos manages two 826 offices in Los Angeles—one in Echo Park and one in Venice—and oversees the organization's savvy push toward running programs on school campuses. Last year 826LA taught writing to over 6,000 students, many of whom come from low-income, Latino backgrounds.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles