immigration

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For 35 years, La Raza Centro Legal has been serving the Bay Area's immigrant communities with legal services, a community empowerment and advocacy program, and a day labor program.

LRCL works with the community to make long term social change, while making sure that needs are met today. "When we model love but we challenge the injustice, were building a much stronger and richer society today," says executive director Ana Maria Loya. "Were not waiting for it someday in the future. Were living it moment by moment."  

Collaboration: LRCL asked me to interview their clients and collaborate with photographer/videographer Theo Rigby to create this promotional video. Staff collected photographs of the organization in action and musicians Los Nadies and Francisco Herrera donated their music for the score.

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The segment is a profile on an undocumented worker who immigrated from  the Yucatan. She talks about the challenges she had surviving in Mexico (even though her family owned land) as well as the challenges to finding work in the U.S.

Jill Shenker at La Raza Centro Legal helped me fine tune the pitch and contacted “Catalina” all while Jill was on her holiday vacation. She also spent over an hour translating the recorded interview with “Catalina.” ¬°Muchas gracias Jill!

During my script edit, I learned that a study shows that listeners feel that a reporter is biased when they pronounce foreign words as a native speaker would. So while I’ve been working hard to get rid of a gringa accent, I was asked to re-gringa-fy myself for this read. Thankfully, I didn’t have to say “Tijuana” drunken fratboy style (“Ti-ah-wanna,” ) and I could pronounce La Raza Centro Legal with the emphasis on the ‘gal and not the le’. Still, I found the study interesting. I wonder if that’s why the mispronunciation of Cesar Chavez proliferates.

Broadcast History:
Justice Talking
KRUA Anchorage, Alaska
WAMC Northeast Public Radio
kuow Puget Sound

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World Savvy is a group I learned about through my work at the Arts Commission. They have a program where they engage young people in global issues through the arts around a theme. This year’s theme was on immigration and identity. I scouted around to figure where the story was in this and decided I needed to focus on one of the partnering arts organizations.

Zaccho Youth Company still had a field trip with World Savvy and they were developing their performances, so there were still many sounds to collect. I went to their rehearsals, trailed them on their field trip to the Day Laborer Center, and was impressed with the strong interpretive and verbal skills the kids demonstrated. Too bad I was out of town during their performance!

Broadcast History: KALW’s Artery

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Description: How I made it through all my Asian American/Ethnic Studies classes without understanding the genocide in Cambodia is embarrassing. Thankfully, I was assigned this story, which forced me to understand Pol Pot’s killing fields as well as the United States role in the region.

This segment illustrates a sad story about deficient refugee policies. With just English language and job training classes, many refugees failed to become citizens. Cambodian youth developed survival skills while struggling to adapt to life in urban America. In this story, the combination of those two elements (lack of US citizenship and life in urban America) along with anti-immigrant/anti-crime legislation, have forced the Thi family to face possible deportation of their son, Andrew.

Broadcast History :
NPR’s Day to Day
Crossing East: Exclusion and Resistance

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