identity

Meet The Women Of Color Bicycle Brigade “Ovarian Psycos” In This PBS Documentary

Independent Lens / Youtube

What comes to mind when you think of cycling? Spandex bike shorts? Sweaty dudes with one-piece cycling outfits half-zipped with chest hair dripping oily sweat? Someone cutting through traffic, ruining your commute, and not following traffic laws?

Yeah, the Ovarian Psycos are definitely not that.

Recently, PBS’ Independent Lens released “Ovarian Psycos,” a documentary about an L.A.-based cycling brigade of the same name.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

They are comprised completely of women, women-identified and gender non-conforming folks, who together, empower, support and build community around fighting anti-women and anti-immigrant sentiments. They gather, they ride and they fight for what’s right.

The Ovarian Psycos ride for the important cause of empowering women.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

One of the coolest things they do is their “Luna Ride,” which happens once every full moon.  After a message goes out for them to gather, they assemble, have open dialogue, chant things like “whose streets? – our streets!” and, most importantly, they ride in unity.

Men are not allowed to join at all – which is one of the important rules that helps them to “claim space in very dangerous zones,” as founder Xela De La X puts it.

PBS released several videos to promote the full documentary. In this promo, they discuss the Luna Ride, which men aren’t invited to.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

At one point in the video, some onlooking men are asked “how do you feel that you men are not allowed on Luna Rides?” To which one of the men replies, seemingly understanding the need for exclusivity in the group, saying “anyone who has been on any mass group rides, know it’s like 10% women and the rest is just a bunch of guys.”

In another powerful clip from the documentary, Ovarian Psyco Andi Xoch paints a vivid picture of women’s roles in The Chicano Movement.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

Interlaced with protest footage from civil-rights era in East L.A., where Xoch says the Chicano movement arose, Xoch rides the streets on her bike, weaving through the neighborhood with a backdrop of giant murals. She describes how powerful it was to have Chicanos paint the neighborhood. The clip, although only two minutes long, really gives a whole picture of the bridge between that time period and now, a period they feel almost wholly erased from.

UCLA Professor and author of ¡Chicana Power!, Maylei Blackwell, masterfully make connections between 60’s civil-rights movements and the goals of Ovarian Psycos today.

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

Of the time period the clip shows, Professor Blackwell discusses how women have felt left out of parts of history they are most responsible for:

“Women in the Chicano Movement, women in the Black Power Movement, in the Asian-American Movement really looked at how women were core community organizers, how they really could organize for community transformation and how they’ve been written out of history.”

On riding together with other women and having “back up,” Xela says, “You feel like you can win the war. You feel like nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop you.”

Credit: Independent Lens / Youtube

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Watch the full documentary here on PBS.


[H/T] ‘Ovarian Psycos’: Young L.A. Latinas Forge Activism, Empowerment Through Biking

READ: Latinas Are One Of The Fastest Growing Demographics According To This Study And We’re Also Becoming Businesswomen

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A Venezuelan Man Is Instagramming His 1,118 Mile Walk To Educate Everyone On What Is Really Happening In Venezuela

Things That Matter

A Venezuelan Man Is Instagramming His 1,118 Mile Walk To Educate Everyone On What Is Really Happening In Venezuela

laordendemiranda / Instagram

Living in Trump’s America, there’s no shortage of causes that people should know about. Whether you’re fighting for immigration rights, women’s rights, voting rights, healthcare for all, or the environment, there’s truly a cause for everyone. The problem is if you care about all of these things, you will undoubtedly get burned out, which is why it’s essential to stick with one thing and put your heart into it. That’s what we’re learning from Miguel Galindo, a man walking from Doral, Florida to Washington to bring attention to the crisis in Venezuela.

Thirty-four-year-old Miguel Galindo is walking 1,100 miles from Florida to Washington to bring attention to the crisis in Venezuela.

Instagram/@laordendemiranda

Some may think there’s no way Galindo’s walk will bring any kind of change to the country, which is currently under tremendous turmoil within its government and the people.

“I am clear that by hiking from here to Washington, I am not going to remove Nicolás Maduro from power,” Galindo said to NBC News. “What I am trying to do is to add to the fight, add other Latino brothers and sisters, add other American brothers and sisters.”

He’s documenting the entire journey on his Instagram.

Instagram/@laordendemiranda

He launched his project walk earlier this month and is keeping all of his followers (more than 270K) up to date on what’s going on. He posts videos regularly showing the people helping him along his journey and showing his progress as he walks along with the route crossing six states.

He has reached out to help him on his walk to Washington.

“I can count on my Venezuelan brothers and sisters who have already offered me their homes, they have offered to pay for hotel stays, and I have also planned to sleep on the beach,” he tells NBC News.

Here’s what he’s taking on his trip — it’s not a lot either.

Instagram/@laordendemiranda
  • a large backpack
  • shirts
  • pants
  • socks
  • cell phones
  • chargers

The rest, he said, people will mail him to various spots on his route.
What’s really great about this story is that a person who wants to do something for his home country but cannot because he is not there shows that you still can help regardless of how far away you are.

Galindo is walking from Doral, Florida to Washington to honor the Venezuelan refugees who have had no choice but to walk out of their country for safety.

The crisis in Venezuela has been devastating the country and the people for years. As time passes, things in the country continue to deteriorate and people are forced to flee their homeland on foot for safety and freedom. Millions of Venezuelans have been left with no choice but to leave their homes and families behind to escape the collapsing country.

The young man wants to educate people about what is happening in Venezuela and the cause of the strife in the country.

According to his first video, Galindo wants people to know that President Trump is not the cause of the situation in Venezuela. He is also taking a stand against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and placing the blame for the crisis in his hands. He has also used his platform to let everyone who is listening know that Venezuelan Interim-President Juan Guiadó is simply fighting against the Maduro regime to restore democracy in Venezuela.

His friends have taken to social media to continue to express why the walk is happening.

First and foremost, they state they are not doing this as part of any political party or ideology. Instead, they are doing it as proud Venezuelans trying to save their country. As far as they are concerned, they are walking to Washington to fight for Venezuela, not any political ideology.

The walk is still going and mitú will update our report as the walk continues. Buena suerte, Galindo.

READ: The Crisis In Venezuela Is Worsening. Here’s What You Should Know Right Now

César Chávez Changed The Way Our Country Treats Immigrant Farm Workers But There’s Still A Lot Of Work To Be Done

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César Chávez Changed The Way Our Country Treats Immigrant Farm Workers But There’s Still A Lot Of Work To Be Done

chavezfoundation / Instagram

If you are a Latino living in the United States, you’ve probably heard the name César Chávez. He was one of the first freedom fighters that advocated for the rights of farm workers, many of which had Mexican heritage. César Chávez is an icon of Chicano identity and still a source of inspiration for civil rights advocates and for those who use reason to fight injustice. 

Here are 21 facts about one of the most amazing Latino community leaders of all time.

He was born in Yuma, Arizona.

Credit: 83c2446a0896df0a1f4af01c940ae1d9_XL. Digital image. Moab Valley Multicultural Arts Center

His full birth name is César Estrada Chávez (yes, he took on his mom’s last name) and he was born on March 31, 1927. 

He had five siblings and grew up in an adobe house.

Credit: 42384-full. Digital image. KPCC

César Chávez knew what it was to live precariously from a very early age. His family owned a ranch, but they lost the land during the Great Depression. They also lost the family home and so.

His parents moved the family from Arizona to California in search of work like many families.

Credit: 7700813622_249e829e8c_o-1024×768. Digital image. PBS

César Chávez’s parents, Juana Estrada and Librado Chávez were forced to move to California, where they became migrant farm workers. They faced many tribulations picking peas, lettuce, cherries, grapes, and beans. 

César Chávez became a farm worker, and thus his life as an activist began.

When he was a teenager he found the great solidarity that he showed for his whole life. He and is sister volunteered to drive fellow farmers to the doctor when they needed to be looked after. He soon discovered that things are better achieved when community members help each other. 

He dropped out of school in seventh grade.

Credit: a634def4364fb3ce328d19e75f99a317. Digital image. USCD Libraries

Young César Chávez couldn’t go to school while his mother worked the fields, so he left his formal education and became a full-time farmer.

He worked on farms until he joined the United States Navy in 1942.

Credit: Cesar_Chavez_Mural_-_East_Side. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons

The experience was quite negative. César Chávez had hoped to translate the skills he learned in the military to his civil life. He served for two years only during World War II.

1952: an activist and pop culture star was born.

Credit: cesar-600×450. Digital image. Jon Kersey Photography

César Chávez worked en el campo non-stop until 1952 when he became an organizer for the Community Service Organization, a group that looked after Latino rights. In this role he met Fred Ross, an experienced community organizer and the rest, as they say, is history. He urged voters to work and protested industry malpractices.

He founded the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta.

Credit: cesar-chavez-and-dolores-huerta-mural-utah-gary-whitton. Digital image. Fine Art America

Just 10 years after starting his activist efforts, César Chávez founded the NFWA with fellow Mexican-American activist Dolores Huerta. This dynamic duo revolutionized farmers’ conditions in the United States and started an era of non-violent protest against powerful corporations and government wrongdoings.

With Dolores Huerta by his side, he led a historic strike in the grape industry.

Credit: Cesar-Chavez-Mural-in-South-Austin. Digital image. Austin Texas

The year was 1965 and the conditions were ripe for a great leap in the workers’ rights movement. With Huerta, César Chávez organized a consumer boycott against Californian grapes until labor conditions were improved for grape pickers. The strike made the national headlines and even Robert F. Kennedy supported the movement.

In 1966 the lucha expanded to Texas and farm owners were terrified.

Credit: cesar-chavez-portrait-mural. Digital image. Downtown Fresno Partnership

César Chávez is mostly known for his activism in California, but his legacy has impacted the whole country. In 1966 similar movements started in Texas and the Midwest, where César Chávez’s legacy led to the formation of unions such as Obreros Unidos in Wisconsin and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee in Ohio.

César Chávez and United Farm Workers organized the largest strike in U.S. history with results.

Credit: cesarchavezmural. Digital image. California Catholic Daily

Known as the Salad Bowl Strike, it happened in the early 1970s and consisted in a series of strikes and boycotts demanding higher wages for grape and lettuce workers. In order to support the strike, César Chávez fasted as a form of non-violent demonstration.

He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.

Credit: CesarChavezMural_1. Digital image. KCur

After that, César Chávez used fasting as a form of protest. He fasted, for example, when Arizona prohibited boycotts and strikes by farm workers. He was inspired by Catholic doctrine and by the non-violent forms of resistance made popular by Gandhi when resisting British rule in India.

He was a family man.

Credit: Chavez_Monument_Cesar_Chavez_Poster.jpg. Digital image. Social and Public Arts Resource Center

When he returned from his service in the military he married his high school novia, Helen Fabela. They moved to San Jose and had eight children.

He was a vegan.

Credit: DOM_6147. Digital image. Milwaukee Magazine

Long before the vegan movement gathered full force, he was a vegan, both because he fought for animal rights and because he had some health issues.

He was proud to be a Roman Catholic.

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It is not common for leftist activists to follow a religion, but César Chávez was a devout Catholic. He felt that the doctrine echoed his own sense of social justice, similar to what some Liberation Theology priests in Latin America have advocated for.

He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on three occasions.

Credit: n3022593. Digital image. GR Connect

Even though he didn’t get the accolade, the American Friends Service Committee put forward his nomination three times. The prize would have been la cereza en el pastel, but to be honest, his legacy doesn’t really need it.

He has been a part of the California Hall of Fame since 2006.

Credit: npqlrj7hn6xgrjpmce8t.jpeg. Digital image. Wes Cover

Thirteen years after his death then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the First Lady Maria Shriver hicieron los honores.

He was awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Credit: Digital image.

Then-president Bill Clinton presented the coveted award on September 8, 1994. César Chávez’s partner in crime, Dolores Huerta, got hers from Barack Obama. 

César Chávez Day is a state holiday in California.

Credit: SanLuisHighSchoolCesarChavezMural1000. Digital image. Azed News

Mark your calendars: March 31. It is not a federal holiday, but Barack Obama urged Americans to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor César Chávez’s enduring legacy.”

There are numerous schools, libraries, and parks named after him.

Credit: tumblr_nbcc5xyhov1sn0xgwo1_1280.jpg. Digital image. Murales rebeldes

Most of them are in California but don’t be surprised if you find one in your hometown.

He died on April 23, 1993, pero la lucha sigue!

Credit: WEB_Chavez-mural. Digital image. USC News

He died of natural causes at the house of his friend and fellow farm worker Dofia Maria Hau. He is buried at the National Chavez Center in Kern County, California, the epicenter of his now legendary struggle to reach fair conditions for the many heroes working the land.

READ: Rep. Gohmert Has Filed A Resolution To Change Cesar Chavez Day To ‘National Border Control Day’

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