Things That Matter

Here Are 23 Feminista Instagram Accounts To Keep You Going

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.”

The Trump Administration Is Proposing Raising Application Costs For DACA Recipients And Charging For Asylum Applications

Things That Matter

The Trump Administration Is Proposing Raising Application Costs For DACA Recipients And Charging For Asylum Applications

U.S. National Archives / Flickr

There is tough news out of Washington this week that could make chasing the American Dream cost a lot more. According to a report published on Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security is proposing raising a range of fees for those seeking legal immigration and citizenship, as well as an increase in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal fees. There would also a proposed charge for asylum applications, which would charge $50 for applications and $490 for work permits. As of now, only Fiji, Australia and Iran currently do this for asylum applications. 

The price hikes would make the cost of citizenship applications go up by 83 percent, from $640 to $1,170. This would primarily affect roughly 9 million immigrants that are eligible to become U.S. citizens. DACA fees would also see a substantial rise as they would increase from $495 to $765. News of this fee hike comes in the same week that the Supreme Court heard arguments on the validity of President Trump’s justification to terminate DACA.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the “current fees do not recover the full costs of providing adjudication and naturalization services.” The last time this such fee schedule was adjusted was at the end of 2016.

Credit: The Washington Post

The reasoning for the proposed price hikes and new fees is to help cover new expenses at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of USCIS, said that this will help the agency cover new costs in the last few years due to an increase in citizenship applications. 

“USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures, just like a business, and make adjustments based on that analysis. This proposed adjustment in fees would ensure more applicants cover the true cost of their applications and minimize subsidies from an already over-extended system,” Cuccinelli said in a press release. “Furthermore, the adjudication of immigration applications and petitions requires in-depth screening, incurring costs that must be covered by the agency, and this proposal accounts for our operational needs and better aligns our fee schedule with the costs of processing each request.”    

As of now, the agency will have a period of 30 days to receive public opinion, as established by law. The plan then is expected to go into effect Dec. 2, while the comment period will remain open until Dec. 16. 

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

After the comment period ends next month, USCIS is then obligated by law to consider comments on the proposal before any of the new fees can put forward. This time period is key for millions of immigrants that are eligible to naturalize and become U.S. citizens before such fees rise. Immigration advocacy groups are calling forward to those groups as they may have only a few weeks before these price hikes go into effect. 

“If you were lacking motivation before, it’s now even more important because this outrageous rule aims to price out low-income and working-class immigrants from U.S. citizenship and so many other immigration benefits,” Diego Iñiguez-López, NPNA’s policy and campaigns manager, said in a statement to NBC News. 

These proposed price hikes come at a time when the overall percentage of lawful immigrants living in the country that are willfully applying for and gaining citizenship has reached its highest level in more than 20 years. That can’t be said for Mexican Americans who fall behind other groups when it comes to naturalization rates. This is also despite being the biggest group of lawful immigrants in terms of country of origin. 

“This is one more way under the administration that they are making legal immigration unattainable,” Ur Jaddou, former chief counsel at USCIS under the Obama administration, told Buzzfeed News.

Advocacy groups call the price hikes an attempt to further hurt those with already limited resources.  

Credit: @ken_crichlow / Twitter

Boundless, an immigration services firm, called the proposed price hike another blow to immigrants trying to come into the U.S. The firm says that increased fees target the poor and those in vulnerable positions by pricing them out of citizenship.

“Once again, this administration is attempting to use every tool at its disposal to restrict legal immigration and even U.S. citizenship,” said Doug Rand, the group’s co-founder, told the Washington Post .“It’s an unprecedented weaponization of government fees.”

READ: Mexico Has Made It Illegal To Buy And Sell Moss: What Will Your Tías Use For Their Nacimientos Now?

United Airlines’ Flight Attendants Accommodate White Man’s Racist Request Not To Sit Next To Teen Because She’s Black

Things That Matter

United Airlines’ Flight Attendants Accommodate White Man’s Racist Request Not To Sit Next To Teen Because She’s Black

PlaneSpotting / Instagram

Taylor Richardson, who coincidentally was featured on Teen Vogue’s “21 Under 21 to Watch” list, was flying on United Airlines from Denver Airport. The 16-year-old said she overheard a man tell the cabin crew he didn’t want to sit next to her because she is black. Richardson was mortified when the flight attendants politely accommodated his request and moved his seat. 

United Airlines eventually responded to Richardson’s account of the incident that she posted on Twitter, saying they take “claims of discrimination very seriously. ” 

In 2017, Richardson was featured in Teen Vogue as an aspiring young astronaut. The self-described “STEMinist” idolizes Mae C. Jemison, the first black woman to travel into space. The racist incident only highlights the same battles that Jemison fought still await the future leader. 

Taylor Richardson shares the horribly racist experience on Twitter.

“So yesterday while flying from Denver to Jacksonville, I had my first encounter with a white man who didn’t want to sit next to me because I was Black. Thank you @united for accommodating him,” Richardson wrote. 

Richardson elaborated on the experience in a series of tweets directed at United Airlines’ handle. 

“He was not loud just in a normal tone asked to be moved. At first, I didn’t even know why, then he was like, ‘I don’t want to sit next to her because she is black,” she said. 

Richardson acknowledged that the flight attendant’s effort to accommodate him was probably just to diffuse the situation. 

“I would like to say upfront there wasn’t any commotion. Your airline rep was not rude she was caught off guard by his comment and to not make a scene just moved him. I’m only 16 so I dare not disrespect an adult even when ignorant to the facts,” she said. 

The teenager explained that the woman then moved the man to another seat. The seat next to Richardson’s was left vacant for the remainder of the flight. 

“The airline lady was very kind and very discrete. No commotion. He didn’t do anything he got up and I enjoyed the rest of my flight heading home. I guess it could have been worse if I had made a scene. I chose to not give him my time or energy,” she said. “I decided to eat my pizza and remain calm and unbothered. Going high in low moments!”

United Airlines responds to Richardson’s account of the incident.

United Airlines issued an apology to Richardson in a private message on Twitter and a later a general statement. 

“Please know we sincerely regret that this was your experience, as we never want our customers to feel any sort of discomfort while flying and truly appreciate your understanding,” the airline told Richardson on Twitter. “We always strike to leave a good impression on our customers and want you to know we care.”

A United Airlines spokesperson told the Sun Online Travel that they take matters of discrimination seriously. 

“We immediately had an online chat with our customer when we heard about this issue and will reach out again to speak with her directly for additional information. We will also be speaking with our crew to better understand what happened,” the spokesperson said. 

This incident occurred within days of will.i.am accusing a different airline of racism.

The Black Eyed Peas artist will.i.am accused Quantas airlines of racism on Twitter. The “My Humps” singer claimed that on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney, Australia he was using noise-canceling headphones. He didn’t hear the announcement to put his items away, but when a flight attendant approached him he quickly complied. 

He said the flight attendant, “clearly aimed all her frustrations only at the people of color.” When the plan landed police were waiting to arrest will.i.am. 

“I’m sorry? Is callin the police on a passenger for not hearing he P.A due to wearing noise canceling headphones appropriate? If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time” I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted,” he said

Quantas released a statement but they did not acknowledge the use of police or mention any discrimination. 

“There was a misunderstanding on board, which seems to have been exacerbated by will.i.am wearing noise canceling headphones and not being able to hear instructions from crew. We’ll be following up with will.i.am and wish him well for the rest of the tour,” the statement said

In July, Spirit Airlines was dealt a similar issue when a black woman claimed a woman refused to sit next to her because of her race, forcing her to switch. In a world where black people continue to be systematically denigrated, incidents like this come as no surprise.