Op-eds, columns and personal essays.


In Defense of Books, Not Banning

The new Arizona mandate to end the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American studies classes this week had school officials boxing and carting out of classrooms books that deal with oppression, race and ethnicity, including those…

Busting the Santa Claus Myth

Should you bust the Santa Claus myth with your kids? It was the early eighties. I was in first grade, sitting on a school bus on a class trip, reading a book. The bus pulled to a stop at a traffic light, and one of my classmates looked…

Remorseful Convicted Murderer Works to CeaseFire, End Youth Violence

Eddie Bocanegra is part of a unique group known as “violence interrupters” in CeaseFire, a Chicago-based organization that applies the principles of public health to the brutality of the streets. Founded in 2000 CeaseFire, a grantee of…

A Proud (Honorary) Member of Club Latina

Disculpe— acabo de llegar en este pais y necesito trabajo. Usted sabe si hay trabajo aqui? (Escuse me, I just arrived in this country, and I need a job. Do you know if they’re hiring here?) The young lady looks at me expectantly, great…

When Mami Gets Older: Caring For Our Latino Elders

The rich cultural heritage of Latinos includes a sense of responsibility and commitment to care for our elders. However, with both spouses working and having to take care of the children, there is not much time and energy left to nurse an…

My Renaissance Mami

My mother has always been the key arbiter of wisdom in my life—and not just because she taught me that my nipples must forever point upward in my bra. My Mami—equal parts powerhouse, lady and muse—taught me that beauty is not an adjective,…

Home is Where You "Belong"

Today, I want to explain how and why it is that I, once strictly an urban girl with a love of city life, have decided that small towns are better places to raise kids—or at least my kid. Even though you are all probably familiar with the…

No Shame in Using Food Stamps

I was at the supermarket checkout line when the cashier asked me if I wanted to make a donation for the needy. I would have liked to, but instead, I flashed my food stamps card and shook my head, saying: “I can’t. This time, I’m the…

My Two Worlds: Growing Up A Biracial Latina

It started when I was in the second grade. It was recess at the end of the day and my mom was picking me up from school. I was on the playground when she drove up. I happily waved goodbye to my friends and jumped in the car. The next morning,…