Things That Matter

Here Are 23 Feminista Instagram Accounts To Keep You Going

queerxicanochisme / dominicanbrujaprincess / Instagram

As of 2015, Latinxs make up over 17 percent of the U.S., but only make up 5.8 percent of the characters we see on TV. It’s 2018 now and while we wait for more Guillermo Diaz to get us to Thursday night’s “Scandal”, we’ll be on Instagram, where the popular vote actually counts. #democracy

Here’s our roundup for the Latinxs who are saying the things we can’t find words for, creating art that speaks our language, and who inspire us to keep taking up space in this world. I mean, we *are* the best thing that’s happened to Instagram, clearly.

1. Sofia Vergara

CREDIT: @sofiavergara / Instagram

Sofia Vergara co-founded a business called Empowered By You that gives 10 percent of sales back into a micro-financing loan programs specifically for women. What’s the business? It’s women’s underwear. Bless you, Sofia.

2. @theunapologeticallybrownseries

CREDIT: @theunapologeticallybrownseries / Instagram

Johanna Toruño created @theunapologeticallybrownseries when she was sitting in her bathtub in New York City. She was feeling frustrated and isolated after moving from El Salvador. Her art is influenced by the political street art that engulfed her childhood during the civil war.

3. Selena Gomez

CREDIT: @selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez has faced sexism and racism in the industry, from radio interviews to straight trolling on social media. But she doesn’t back down, and speaks up for lupus awareness, suicide prevention and Dreamers.

4. @latinarebels

CREDIT: @latinarebels / Instagram

Bio: “5 Latinas unveiling the complexities of Latina embodiment. Spreading knowledge 1 meme at a time.” We’re here for your memes that break hearts and wake us all up to action. #bowdown

5. Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez

CREDIT: @priscadorcas / Instagram

She’s the founder of ‘Latina Rebels’ and she’ll add the dose of realness to your Intagram feed that you need. When Rodriguez gives speeches, she refuses to stand behind a podium “because podiums have been used by [mostly] white politicians and preachers to spew hateful rhetoric towards women, LGBQI+ folks, and excused the destruction and exploitation of the global south – so fuck the podiums.”

6. @bad_dominicana

CREDIT: @bad_dominicana / Instagram

She’s bad but she’s so, so good. Her art collections are titled things like, “BLACK GIRLS LAYING DOWN, NOT GIVING A FUCK BOUT U Collection”. You can buy her prints at ShopZahiraKelly.com or get her work and words in your feed.

7. Dior Vargas

CREDIT: @dior_vargas / Instagram

Mental health has become a nationwide crisis, and one of the best things we can do to combat it is to talk about it. If you’re Latinx, your mom probably also just force-fed you chocolate to resolve your “depression.” Dior Vargas fights to remove the stigma in communities of color with her People of Color & Mental Illness Photo Project.

8. @dominicanbrujaprincess

CREDIT: @dominicanbrujaprincess / Instagram

Una “vigilante residing in Nueva York,” she brings bright, Dominican street art colors straight to your phone. Our bodies take up space, and I feel a thousand times more fabulous seeing a semblance of mine surrounded by agua de coco. TY, @dominicanprincessbruja. 

9. Demi Lovato

CREDIT: @ddlovato / Instagram

Lovato is vegana, speaks up for shelter dogs and is bae. Plus, she just released a Spanish version of ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ on Spotify and I’m ready to snuggle a pup while I listen.

10. Favianna Rodriguez

CREDIT: @favianna1 / Instagram

Rodriguez’ artwork is dedicated to immigrant rights, womanhood, queerness, and sexuality. Her art, like most art, is a revolution and a bold political statement. See beauty that lights up dark places here.

11. Zuly de la Rose

CREDIT: @zulydelarose / Instagram

An “artivist”, feminist and just badass advocate to break out of heteronormative constrictive roles, De La Rose is creating the space all of us need. The beauty of feminism, imo, is that it creates space for every other gender besides just the one cisgender male. We’re all beautiful and worthy of basic dignity and De La Rose makes it oh so obvious.

12. Janel Martinez

CREDIT: @janelm / Instagram

Creator of “Ain’t I Latina?”, Janel speaks through her journalism and with media companies about the role of colorism in the Latinx community and beyond. She has a lot of good and necessary things to say, so listen up.

13. Juliana Pache

CREDIT: @thecityofjules / Instagram

You might have heard of Pache back in February 2016 when she coined the hashtag heard around the world: #BlackLatinxHistory. @thecityofjules will light your feed up with her favorite Afro-Latinxs stories. We all need her.

14. Kat Lazo

CREDIT: @itskatlazo / Instagram

Our very own mitú Video Producer, Kat Lazo, is Peruana, Columbiana y feminista y orgullosa. She’s using her YouTube fame to let everyone know what’s up and dismantling myths and the patriarchy one video at a time. #TheKatKall

15. @xicanisma_

CREDIT: @xicanisma_ / Instagram

If you aren’t listening to a podcast right now, you *must* listen to Xicanisma. At the very least, follow to see what’s not making your news, including gentrification, and social justice issues around the globe.

16. @QueerXicanoChisme

CREDIT: @queerxicanochisme / Instagram

Rubén is Xicano, but doesn’t fuck with Mexico-centrism and is all about inclusivity. he is quick to use his social media reach and platform to seek social justice in times of crisis. Follow him.

17. @bitterbrownfemmes

CREDIT: @bitterbrownfemmes / Instagram

Cohosted by @xicanisma_ and @queerxicanochisme, this ‘gram gives us the memes and stories we need. Thank you for keeping us all accountable. ? They need your support, so check them out!

18. Eiza Gonzalez

CREDIT: @eizagonzalez / Instagram

Ok, it’s not hard for Gonzalez to redefine beauty standards because she’s, well, a drop-dead gorgeous model. She dedicates her platform to “todas las mujeres Mexicanas” who have helped inspire her to rep México in everything she does. We ❤ you!

19. Melissa Lozada-Olivia

CREDIT: @ellomelissa / Instagram

@ellomelissa is an artist, spoken word poet and author. Her posts are raw elements of her day and fan art of her poetry, like this “Ode to Brown Girls With Bangs”. This is one feminista you don’t want to miss.

20. @feministailustrada

CREDIT: @feministailustrada / Instagram

The machísmo is real in the Latinx communities and @feministailustrada is speaking our language… in our language. These feel like things you should be sharing with your bro primos.

21. @revolucionfeminista_

CREDIT: @revolucionfeminista_ / Instagram

“No habrá revolución sin evolución de conciencias. ♀” Recording the revolution around the globe. Be part of it. 

22. Cristal Gutiérrez

CREDIT: @cris8acupcake / Instagram

She’s a Xicana illustrator of all things feminista, immigrant rights and more. Plus, she sells these amazing Frida stickers!

23. Amanda Alcantara

CREDIT: @yosoy_amanda / Instagram

Amanda self-describes herself as an “unapologetic Caribbean Palabrera living in Spanglish” on all our IG feeds. She co-founded La Galería magazine and is the Digital Media Editor for Latino USA. What I love about following Amanda is that she gets vulnerable. Caption: “#tbt One year ago today I cut my hair at home at 2am because I didn’t want it to no longer define me, cuz I wanted to fight beauty standards and because I wanted to stop hiding my face.”

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Things That Matter

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Sandy Huffaker / Sandy Huffaker

Last summer, images of undocumented immigrant children went viral. These images didn’t show them crying, or being taken away from their parents. These children were pictured alone in court. The nameless children had no one by their side, no one to represent them, and had no clue what was going on, despite the fact that they were there trying to seek asylum. In some cases, these children wore headphones as a means to translate what the judge was saying. However, given that they were just children, the translation was almost useless. Reports are now servicing that immigration officials are using the language barrier as a means to keep them out of the U.S. 

An op-ed, written by a volunteer at the border, states that asylum-seeking immigrants cannot read or write in English or in their native tongue and immigration officials are taking advantage of that.

Emily Reed, a recent grad student from Barnard University, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that stated she witnessed this manipulation from immigration officials against illiterate undocumented people. Reed was at the border in Texas volunteering with classmates at the South Texas Family Residential Center volunteering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project when she witnessed this manipulation. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection often conveniently exploit asylum seekers who cannot read. Along with an unfamiliarity with our deliberately complex immigration system, the illiteracy of Central American migrants, especially women, facilitates the deportation of parents and separation of families,” Reed wrote. She added, “By manipulating illiterate refugees who often unwittingly sign away their rights, the U.S. government is violating the basic tenets of the internationally recognized and protected right to seek asylum.” 

Reed added that her volunteer program with the legal center provided Spanish documents to the migrant families, but they couldn’t under that either.

“Simple translation is not enough,” she wrote. “The Dilley Pro Bono Project provides documents in Spanish, but even this paperwork was difficult for many migrant women to understand. Many women I helped to fill out paperwork struggled simply to write their children’s birth dates.”

The migrant families are being rushed within the court and legal process, which in turn, is causing deportation to happen a lot faster.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that the haste paperwork at the border made it possible for immigration officials to rush and deport undocumented immigrants. The ACLU stated this process should not be rushed because people need to take their time and understand what is going on and what it is that they’re signing. 

“This waiting period is crucial to ensure that parents have an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to fight their own removal cases, leave their children (who may have their own asylum claims) behind in the United States, or make some other decision,” the ACLU stated lasted year. “In short, families will be making life-altering decisions after months of traumatic separation — and the fact that the government is trying to shortchange them a matter of days to do so is galling.”

A New York Times report showed that 58,000 asylum seekers are currently stuck in Mexico under Trump’s policy because they’re awaiting asylum hearings.

The backlog for these asylum hearings is up to six to eight months, and when they’re ready for their hearing the majority of them won’t understand what needs to be done. This is why they need proper representation, and a patient legal system so they comprehend what is being asked of them and what the next steps are. 

What makes this matter even worse is that there’s not enough legal representation for each family unit, or individual, at the border. 

Last year, it was very apparent that there were not enough lawyers or legal help for undocumented immigrants at the border, and this year there’s even more undocumented people awaiting help and attempting to seek asylum. There people like Reed who want to help asylum seekers, but it’s not as easy as they might think. 

“People see the crisis happening, and they want to do something right now, which is great. But when we explain that this is a long-term fight, and we need your long-term commitment. That’s when people sort of back off.” Zenén Jaimes Pérez, the communications director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, told Huffington Post last year. 

If, however, you are willing to put in the time, or you’re interested in learning more about how you can provide legal help, or assist legal teams at the border, please reach out to: the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (“ProBAR”); the Immigration Justice Project (“IJP”); the ACLU of Texas; and RAICES.

READ: Selena Gomez Announces New Netflix Series ‘Living Undocumented’

New Report Confirms That Trump’s Border Wall Is Jeopardizing Native American History And Sensitive Environments

Things That Matter

New Report Confirms That Trump’s Border Wall Is Jeopardizing Native American History And Sensitive Environments

Agh! Every time we read or hear the words “Border Wall” our stomach ties up in a knot and we whisper “Y ahora qué se trae este pinche gringo?”. But well, being aware of the repercussions that the Border Wall could have is part of being socially and civically responsible. Being informed is what makes us make better choices when it comes to politics, and next year is a preeeeetty big year when it comes to deciding what the future holds not only for the United States, but for the world at large.  

The Trump Border Wall is just the “gift” that keeps on giving, isn’t it?

Credit: Giphy. @luisprado-0557

We have all discussed the impact that the proposed Border Wall (which seems very close to becoming a reality, particularly if Trump wants to secure a second term by appealing to his core voters) could have on social, cultural and political terms. We know that it will make an already tense border situation even worse, and that the US vs THEM mentality that some hold could get even uglier. This, of course, can lead to further instances if vitriolic racism and violence (vigilante groups will feel vindicated). But as the months go by and the Border Wall seems to become a reality, new findings are discovering its impact in other spheres… 

22 archeological sites in Arizona could be decimated by the Border Wall

Credit: Instagram. @aztassociation

The Border Wall will be constructed right through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona. The National Park Service commissioned a report to assess the impact that the construction could have on 22 archeological sites in the Park. And the results are alarming. 

The Roosevelt Reservation would be particularly impacted.

Credit: Instagram. @
And the threat is imminent. Contractors have basically set shop and started to build fences around the place. The exact extent of the building plans have not been disclosed, not even to National Park authorities. As Andrew Veech, a member of the National Park Service’s Intermountain Region Archaeology Program, wrote in the report: “Precise design plans for this expanded border infrastructure have been left to the discretion of the contractors, and no details about the building project(s) have been furnished to the National Park Service”. This is just plain wrong, as any efforts to preempt potential problems are impossible. This area is tricky, as it is made up from federal, state, tribal, and private lands. 

The past is being erased.

Credit: Instagram. @pnolbert

The National Park holds invaluable archeological assets left behind by the original indigenous owners of the land. As the Tucson Sentinel reports: “One site located near the Sonoyta River includes artifacts scattered throughout, including dozens of stone artifacts, stone fragments, a “hammerstone,” pieces of broken pots known as sherds, as well as shells presumably from the Gulf of California that were probably used during the Hohokam Period, between 1150 to 1400″. Researchers are still putting the pieces together to unearth the particularities of the human groups that first inhabited what is now the United States-Mexico border, which is key for the identity of a cultural formation. Archeologists argue that these 22 sites yield important information about Native-American populations before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores. 

And the Border Wall will also have an environmental impact.

Credit: Instagram. @arizonasfamily

Geopolitical borders are a human construct, so flora and fauna don’t really care where a country starts and another ends. This is why the environmental impact of a monstrous Border Wall would be nothing short of apocalyptic for Arizonian environment and indigenous communities. As reported by The New York Times: “The unearthing of the area surrounding the barriers and the installation of lights on the wall will devastate wildlife and contaminate cultural lands”. The scenario is dire for animal and plant species in the area, as a former worker of the National Park told NYT: “‘The lights that will be installed on top of the wall, blasted into the wilderness, the ground water being sucked up — it’s more than just a border wall. All of these activities will just increase the desertification of the region”. Just look at the beauty of this landscape, the millenary cacti, the shrubs sucking up water to survive: are we really willing for it all to just become a wasteland?

Trump’s wall would also decimate indigenous populations in Arizona.

Credit: Instagram. @oodhampodcaster

Let us not forget that this area, as happens with long stretches of the border, has been home to Native-Americans for centuries. But their future is at stake. As The New York Times states: “The Organ Pipe Cactus Monument is sandwiched between the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Tohono O’odham Reservation. Leaders of the Tohono O’odham say the border wall would virtually split the indigenous community in half”. And really, is there anyone more American than the very first, original Americans?