Voces For Change

Voces For Change

This weekly, bilingual podcast highlights unsung heroes, mostly Hispanic, who are making a difference in their local communities across the United States and Puerto Rico, as volunteers, entrepreneurs, researchers, or advocates for social justice, racial equity, and social change.

Episodes

November 16, 2020 30 min

Latinos were key to president-elect Joe Biden´s victory, even  in places like Arizona and Nevada. However, there won´t be a honeymoon period and his progressive agenda likely hinge on whether or not Democrats capture Senate control in a runoff election in Georgia on January 5th.
In this episode, Kenneth Romero, executive director of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, discuss how  important it is that Biden names at l...

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On the eve of Election Day, more than 93 million people have already voted, either in person or by mail, but millions more will come out on Tuesday, November 3rd.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of close to 230,000 people, health and the economy are the top issues driving voters to the polls.
Immigrant rights activist and breast cancer survivor, Adela De La Torre voted by mail because of her medical...

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In this episode, Salvadoran TPS holder, Yanira Arias, an activist with Chicago-based Alianza Américas, discusses the risks of deportation roughly 2.2 million immigrants face next year, including herself, if the next president does not offer them "deferred enforced departure", a temporary legal remedy while Congress works on a long term solution. 
Her group joined more than 200 other like-minded organizations last Friday in s...

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In a wide-ranging phone interview in Spanish, Dr. Oscar Franco, prolific author and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard´s School of Health, discusses the progress and hurdles in the ongoing battle against COVID-19, in light of President Donald Trump´s recent diagnosis.
Franco gives some historical perspective on pandemics and gives listeners a hopeful message: "we´ll get through this."
Photo credit: https://www.twe...

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ICE has already faced lawsuits and allegations of medical neglect, abuse, and unsafe confinement conditions. A new whistleblower complaint, now under DHS investigation, claims that many migrant detainees at an ICE facility in Ocilla (Georgia) had hysterectomies and other procedures without their full knowledge and consent. 
In this episode, Jamille Fields Allsbrook, director of Women´s Health and Rights at the Center for American Pr...

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August 31, 2020 16 min

In this episode, I decided to do something a bit different, given that, next Wednesday, we´ll be exactly two months away from the elections. I interviewed Charles Stewart, a political analyst and expert on elections at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He explains the current political landscape, debunks the myth of the mail-in vote fraud, and describes possible escenarios after November 3rd. 

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In episode 14, Dr. Erika Sutherland, an Associate Professor in Spanish at Muhlenberg College, in Allentown (Pennsylvania),  speaks about her efforts to train bilingual poll workers to help Latino voters at the polling stations. 
There´s an alarming shortage of poll workers worsened by this year´s COVID-19 pandemic. But that´s not the only hurdle voters are facing this year: in addition to long lines and delays, activists fear voter ...

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In this episode, I interview Helena Olea, a international human rights lawyer and currently an Associate Director for Programs at Alianza Americas, a Hispanic advocacy group in Chicago (Illinois), about the current landscape for the Latino vote in 2020. 
Around 32 million Hispanics are eligible to vote this year, and it´s a fact that´s not lost on Biden´s and Trump´s campaigns, as they´re both courting Hispanics aggressively through...

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This episode will be different because of the first anniversary of the shooting outside a Walmart in El Paso (Texas), which left 23 dead. I interview Mr. Gilberto Anchondo, who lost his youngest son, André Pablo, and his daughter-in-law, Jordan, in the massacre. 
The Anchondos are now helping to raise Paul Gilbert, the victims´ youngest son, whom they shielded with their bodies and saved his life on that fateful day. 
Activists are u...

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In this episode, I interview Robert Lopez, a community organizer with the Texas Civil Rights Project, one of several groups suing the Department of Homeland Security to stop it from detaining unaccompanied minors in hotels and deporting them without a court hearing. 
Activists like Lopez charge that the Trump Administration is using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to expedite the deportation of children and asylum seekers at the ...

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In episode 9 of Voces For Change, Cristina Jiménez, co-founder and executive director of United We Dream talks about the passing of Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the 1960´s civil rights movement, his legacy and his impact on the immigrant rights movement of today. Lewis often shared his experiences as an African American activist fighting for civil rights with Dreamer activists like Cristina, and he supported comprehensive immigratio...

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Entrevista con Ben Monterroso, un activista con mucha experiencia en la comunidad inmigrante y que predica con el ejemplo. Monterroso emigró ilegalmente de Guatemala a Estados Unidos, donde comenzó desde abajo trabajando como janitor en California. Encontró su vocación como organizador comunitario tras la puesta en marcha de la Propuesta 187, una medida anti-inmigrante del entonces gobernador republicano, Pete Wilson. Desde entonce...

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For this episode, we reached out to Sara Fernandez, an activist with Project SALUD, a program of the Rural Women's Health Project (RWHP), working to educate farmworkers on many health issues, including COVID-19, in North and Central Florida.
Florida broke a new record of new coronavirus cases over the weekend, with over 18,115 cases. The situation is especially alarming in rural areas, where Hispanic farmworkers harvest fruits a...

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On the heels of two dramatic Supreme Court rulings, one upholding gay rights in the workplace, and the other halting the end of DACA for Dreamers, we chat with Antonio Arellano, a 29-year old gay Dreamer and interim director of JOLT, the largest civic organization in Texas seeking to mobilize and empower young Latino voters. Arellano discusses the impact of the rulings on the Hispanic community, the next steps in defending DACA, an...

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Exactly 8 years ago today, President Barack Obama announced DACA for thousands of undocumented youth and, any day now, the Supreme Court will decide their fate. A leader in the Dreamer movement, Cesar Vargas made history in 2016, when he became the first undocumented lawyer in NY. He later joined the Army Reserves and, on the verge of getting his US citizenship, he is now working in the NYC council helping to draft pro-immigrant le...

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In episode #4, I interview Luis De León, an investigative reporter turned artist, who set down roots in Louisville, Kentucky, after fleeing death threats in Guatemala in 2009. Through his simple drawings he reflects on complex social issues, including the massive street protests against police brutality, and the recent killing of Breonna Taylor, an African American EMT killed by police in error during a drug sting operation in Loui...

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In this English-language podcast, Lizbeth Abeln, an activist with the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, in Adelanto, California, explains why ICE needs to release immigrant detainees at risk of contracting COVID-19, given how difficult it is to practice social distancing in cells. ICE is the target of lawsuits and reports from human rights groups alleging inadequate care of detainees. 

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In this Spanish-language podcast, MLB legend, Dennis Martínez, talks about his efforts to raise money for healthcare workers in his native Nicaragua, who are on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic without adequate protective gear or supplies. Martinez became the first Nicaraguan to play in the Major Leagues. He made history in July of 1991 when, as part of the Montreal Expos, he pitched the "perfect game", bea...

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In this Spanish-language podcast, we talk with Arturo Massol-Deya, an environmental activist with Casa Pueblo, who is leading the charge in Puerto Rico to promote the use of solar panels and reduce environmental pollution driven by fossil fuels. After hurricane "Maria" made landfall in September of 2017, practically the whole island went dark. But    Casa Pueblo, nestled in Adjuntas, was the only place where people could re...

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May 25, 2020 2 min

In this episode, I explain the scope of this weekly, bilingual episode, where I´ll introduce my audience to people who are making a difference in their local communities across the United States and Puerto Rico, by volunteering, launching businesses, mentoring youth, or advocating for social justice and social change. 

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