Author Archives: Carlos Quiroz

A Year of Racial Tension

The last year has been a watershed moment across the nation in the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. I clearly remember, almost exactly a year ago, watching images on my television of Ferguson burning. Tension and mistrust between law enforcement and minority communities that have been smoldering for generations have caught fire, sometimes explosively, throughout the nation. It is critical for our community to not ignore our smoldering tinder, but rather work to extinguish it before we follow suit with what has been happening in other communities. … Continue Reading →

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Our Kids, Our Responsibility

While meeting with RJUHSD a couple of weeks ago, something they said really surprised me and stuck with me. A large percentage of EL students are actually kids who were born in the United States or have lived here all their lives. They are not immigrants. They have lived all their lives here, speaking English. So how on earth is a life-long English-speaker considered an English Learner? … Continue Reading →

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Machismo and the Latino Father

Machismo is synonymous with Latino males. It’s the drive to work hard, care for our families and strive for a better future. Unfortunately, machismo also has a dark side that permeates our culture and subjugates many into lesser roles, diminished freedoms and a reduced sense of self-worth. During this Fathers’ Day, let’s celebrate Latino fathers everywhere, but also use it as an opportunity to reflect on the role machismo has in the family and how fathers are the key to embracing the good elements and discarding the detrimental aspects of this cultural trait. … Continue Reading →

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Achieving Independence Through Language

Recently we used this blog space to begin a conversation about balancing the need to provide crucial services with the risk of creating dependency and complacency among the recipients of those free services. We want to ensure that through the services we provide, the Latino Leadership Council creates the independence, competency and pride necessary for community members to not only stand on their own two feet, but also lend a helping hand to those around them. That’s why I was so excited at our most recent community meeting, where students from our English as a Second Language (ESL) class attended to share with us their personal stories and show us how the free classes we offer have changed their lives. … Continue Reading →

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Not-So-Universal Health Care

Regardless of your personal thoughts on the new Affordable Care Act, whether you think it is compassionate care or government overreach, one thing is clear, factual and non-debatable: undocumented workers will not have access to health care insurance under this law. I don’t want to take this space to debate whether or not the law should allow tax dollars to provide services for undocumented immigrants. That’s a debate for another place and time. What I want to focus on is an issue that has mostly gone without discussion or concern: how will the new health care law affect undocumented Latinos? … Continue Reading →

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Preparing Parents for Back to School

Summer is all but done, and over the last few weeks, kids have been going back to school, ready to start a new school year. For many families, the days leading up to back-to-school day involve ensuring all pencils are sharpened, organizing notebooks in backpacks and maybe even some clothes shopping to have the kids look their best. But equal or even more attention should be placed on getting the home environment ready for kids’ return to school. … Continue Reading →

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