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Leadership Opportunity Available: MEChA de USC Mujeres de Malintzin (Women of Malintzin) Chair!

Posted by [email protected] on August 15, 2011 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Womyn of color bear a great burden in colonized lands. Her’s is a reality that the subordination ascribed to both her darker complexion and her womynhood will try to suppress her potential as long as she lives. This presents a unique and arduous social justice challenge for womyn of color and all who wish to bring about a more just world.

MEChA de USC, born out of the labor of great womyn who believed in universal equality, understands the centrality of the plight of womyn of color, and seeks to remove the barriers that seek to keep them subjugated. Our feminism seeks to honor the legacy of Sojourner Truth, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Dolores Huerta, among others.

Our Mujeres de Malintzin position (Womyn of Malintzin) is available for a creative, motivated, and passionate individual that wants to work to improve the conditions of women of color on campus and the South Los Angeles community.

As Mujeres de Malintzin Chair, you will be responsible for organizing to end sexism in all sectors of the campus and community through sponsoring events, facilitating discussions, and leading advocacy efforts on feminist issues along with the MEChA leadership team. Additionally, you would serve as liason with other mujer and gender orientated organizations.

Check out the rest of our website to find out more about us and send us an email at [email protected] if you are interested in the position. The 2011-2012 school year is fast approaching with much opportunity in store to affect positive change on campus!

Leadership Opportunity Available: MEChA de USC LGBT Affairs Chair

Posted by [email protected] on August 14, 2011 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Homophobia is an idea that was imposed on native cultures through the process of imperialism. Before that time, indigenous cultures embraced sexual and gender dynamism, placing unique tasks, responsibilities, and status to those who identified as “two-spirits”.

MEChA de USC, as a progressive organization that looks to indigenous teachings for inspiration in modern social justice struggles, seeks to promote this spirit of inclusion on the USC campus and South Los Angeles.

Our Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Affairs Chair position is available for a passionate, creative, and motivated individual that wants to work to improve conditions for queer people of color on campus and the South Los Angeles community.

As LGBT Affairs Chair, you will be responsible for organizing to end homophobia in all sectors of the campus and community by sponsoring events, facilitating discussions, and leading advocacy efforts on LGBT issues along with the MEChA leadership team. Additionally, you will serve as liason with LGBT organizations on campus and in the community.

Check out our website to find out more about us at and send us an email at [email protected] if you are interested in the position. The 2011-2012 school year is fast approaching with much opportunity in store to affect positive change on campus!

Students to protest Arizona law on Thursday

Posted by [email protected] on August 11, 2011 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Students to protest Arizona law on Thursday

By PAresh Dave • Daily Trojan

USC Students plan to demonstrate in front of Tommy Trojan between noon and 2 p.m. Thursday, speaking out against a new Arizona law they say legalizes racial profiling.

The demonstration is a grassroots collaboration among students from various campus organizations, including Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan de USC, the Latino Student Assembly, Chicanos for Progressive Education, Hermanos Unidos and Hermanas Unidas.

Arizona’s law, SB 1070, makes it a state misdemeanor to be in the United States illegally, which previously was only a crime under federal statutes. The new state law requires local law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of people reasonably suspected to be in the country illegally. Though the law bans using race or ethnicity as the only reason for suspicion, opponents say it considers a group of people, based in part on their ethnicity, guilty until they prove themselves innocent.

“We need to have some action out there to say students at USC are not OK with this,” said, Luis Garcia Rico, a junior majoring in political science and American studies.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the law, which will not go into effect until late summer, will untie the hands of police officers in a state that has more illegal border crossings than any other. She said the quality of the state’s public services has decreased because of illegal immigration, and Congress has been slow in revamping immigration laws.

Attendees at Thursday’s demonstration will be encouraged to fill out cards pledging their opposition to the law that will be sent to Brewer. Organizers did not disclose further details of the demonstration because they wanted to provide some surprises, but Juan Espinoza, one of the organizers of the protest, said to expect student speakers and other students posing in handcuffs.

“We want to demonstrate in a way that is intellectually entwined and visually appealing so that it sends a message that what Arizona is doing is not right,” said Espinoza, a sophomore majoring in international relations and communication.

The demonstration will be one of the first efforts at USC to press for reform of federal illegal immigration policy. Rico said the demonstration is aimed at showing solidarity and providing education.

“It’ll be a peaceful and organized protest because we don’t want this to be the end of the activism around this issue,” Rico said. “There’ll be moments where we get loud and rowdy, and there’ll be moments where we are more reserved.”

Rico said he could not guess how many students would attend, but about 570 students are listed as confirmed guests on the event’s Facebook page as of Wednesday evening.

“I’ve taught myself not to get too excited, but I’m expecting a very good turnout,” he said.

Emily Brooke, a freshman majoring in sociology, said she hopes there will be a greater sense of awareness on campus about the Arizona statute after the event.

“I’m hoping it lets the greater USC community know about the law and how we can go about getting it repealed and achieving more comprehensive immigration laws on the federal level rather than going state by state,” she said.

Rico said educational efforts would continue in the fall, with an attempt to bring a human angle to the debate.

People across the country have begun to boycott businesses in Arizona and have stopped traveling to the state. A Phoenix resident is attempting to collect enough signatures to place the issue on the November ballot for state voters to decide, and civil rights attorneys already plan to challenge the law in court.

“I doubt this law will ever be enforced because milder laws have been declared unconstitutional before,” said Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, an associate professor of Chicano studies at UCLA.

He said the boycotts from people in California and Mexico would have a massive impact on Arizona’s economy this summer. If the law is allowed to stand, Hinojosa-Ojeda said, it would be devastating for a state whose economy is so reliant on undocumented immigrants.

Espinoza said students must use their voice to protect these individuals.

“This is about stopping injustices against all the communities that are racially profiled against,” Espinoza said. “These people have no voice, so we as students will stand up for them.”

Kristin Inouye, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, said she would watch some of the demonstration.

“It’s definitely a really big deal, and it’s great to see people showing their support in California because even though it’s not Arizona, it still really means a lot,” she said.

Students Protest Columbus Observance

Posted by [email protected] on August 11, 2011 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Students protest Columbus observance

By Shant Thomas

Staff Writer


The campus group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, in conjunction with the Native American Student Alliance, presented their historical views of Columbus Day at noon Monday in Hahn Plaza.

"We are here today to say that Christopher Columbus was not, in the Native American view, the discoverer of America," said Emiliano Martinez, a member of NASA and M.E.Ch.A. "The indigenous people of this land have been here for thousands and thousands of years, and Columbus' arrival signaled the beginning of their misery."

M.E.Ch.A. and NASA members handed out mock "WANTED" fliers depicting Christopher Columbus, as well as their mission statement entitled "He has left a legacy of slavery and racism that endures to some extent even today."

Using chalk, members of the groups wrote phrases on the ground in Hahn Plaza, including "Columbus = Genocide" and "Red Holocaust."

A M.E.Ch.A. banner hanging from the stage in front of Tommy Trojan said "Preferimos morir de pie que continuar viviendo de rodillas" ("We prefer to die on our feet than live on our knees").

Wayne Arroyo, a Native American speaker and spiritual director of the American Indian Movement, delivered a speech elaborating on the groups' views.

"Before Christopher Columbus, the Indian people were a free people, a proud people," Arroyo said. "The consequences of his arrival still linger on today."

M.E.Ch.A. member Michelle Montes, a junior majoring in political science and pre-law, painted her entire face like a skeleton "as a remembrance to the peoples that were here before Columbus' arrival in 1492," she said.

"This day serves to educate our youth, to tell them that Columbus did not discover America," said Fern Mathias, director of the Southern California American Indian Movement. "That's almost as ridiculous as me going to Italy and saying I discovered it."

A few non-Native American students listened to Arroyo's speech as well. Many said they were curious about the groups' views on the holiday. However, the general turnout for the event was not as large as expected, group officials said. Many students stopped and watched for a moment and then continued on.

"I'm interested in hearing alternate viewpoints of history, since all we've been taught is the dogmatic version," said Alberto Behar, a graduate student studying electrical engineering. "It is only through programs such as this, that one is able to understand how other people view historical events."

The presentation offended some students who said they did not necessarily share the views of the Native American groups.

"The way in which their point was presented seemed counterproductive," said Brianna Wilson, a freshman majoring in psychology. "Being an Italian myself, their slogans alienated and insulted me. They could have handled this in a different way."

Also at the event were petitions asking to end Native American-themed sports mascots, such as the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs and Florida State Seminoles.

"After 505 years of mistreatment by the powers of this country, the Native Americans of Mexico and North America are still around," said Lionel Haskie, a member of M.E.Ch.A. and NASA. "We do not want to offend the European view of colonization, but we do want to point out the truth about Christopher Columbus and his unfortunate legacy."

Copyright 1997 by the Daily Trojan. All rights reserved.

This article was published in Vol. 132, No. 32 (Tuesday, October 14, 1997), beginning on page 1 and ending on page 1