Things That Matter

Lady Gaga Pledged To Fund 162 Classrooms In Dayton, El Paso And Gilroy Following Horrific Mass Shootings

Our community is still reeling after the recent mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas. In these assaults, far-right fanatics aimed their hate at places where migrants and Latinx folk gathered in a direct attack on our public safety. After these violations, public anxieties have been put on high alert. With attacks happening at stores, festivals and out in the streets, it seems like no place is safe anymore. This anxiety is only made worse with the upcoming return to school for millions of children across the nation. 

The communities of Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy especially have reason to be unnerved but there is some good news coming their way thanks to the generosity of one of the world’s biggest stars.  

Lady Gaga has announced that her charitable foundation will “fully fund” 162 classrooms in the three assaulted communities. 

Facebook / Lady Gaga

On August 9th, the Oscar winner made a post to her Facebook account to share her generous plan. In the post, Gaga states that her Born This Way Foundation will partner with DonorsChoose.org in order to fully fund essentials for classrooms in the three impacted communities. Thanks to the help of these foundations, 14 classrooms in Dayton, 125 classrooms in El Paso, and 23 classrooms in Gilroy will get the help and support they need to welcome students back for the 2019/2020 school year. 

Gaga shared her sympathies for the affected communities. In the note addressed to Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy, the artist wrote:

“My heart goes out to those who were taken from us too soon and to their families, loved ones, and communities who are left to grieve. Everyone has the right to laws that make them feel safe in their communities. In this moment, I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope. Hope that we are there for each other and for ourselves.”

The signer also spoke to what will be needed to recover from these tragedies. 

Twitter / @thehill

Lady Gaga has long been an advocate for mental health awareness. In her 2019 Grammy’s acceptance speech, the singer spoke candidly about recognizing when someone needs help and getting that help without worrying about the stigma associated with mental illness. So, it makes sense that she would include a focus on mental health in her statement. 

“Surviving and recovering from these tragedies also means prioritizing your mental health and checking in on your loved ones,” the pop star wrote. “If you’re struggling, please be brave and tell a trusted someone. Don’t be scared to ask for help, I beg you. If you see a loved one struggling, please be brave and reach out, remind them it’s ok to not be ok, and listen to them. We cannot turn away from ourselves. We cannot turn away from our loved ones. We need each other. Don’t turn away.”

Mental illness is not a trigger for these tragedies but they are a result. Survivors of mass shootings are inflicted with anxiety and depression. Survivor’s guilt has also been credited for suicides after these assaults. As Gaga says in her post, we have to take care of ourselves and each other in the aftermath of these catastrophes. 

Though hearts are still heavy, El Paso citizens were uplifted by this news. 

Facebook / Lady Gaga

As a comment pointed out, a return to school is a return to normalcy for these students, teachers, and administrators. Being able to return back to class may seem like a small act but it is a reminder to these citizens that life goes on after tragedy and they will move on past this pain. Acts of kindness like the one offered by Lady Gaga will help the community get back to normal after such a life-altering event and that means a lot. 

While responses to Gaga’s philanthropy have generally been positive, many expressed frustration over the government’s lack of help in the communities impacted by mass shootings.

Twitter / @jonbaltz @TPhantom84

There’s a lot of frustration aimed at the government after these tragedies. The failure to pass comprehensive gun reform is only one reason why the public criticizes their representative after these tragedies. Another is the lack of support that these communities see the following mass shootings.

Many families have to resort to Go Fund Me’s in order to bury or cremate their lost family members. The mental impact of these assaults is also ignored by the government. If the people who represent us do nothing to solve gun violence, the least they can do is to do something to clean up after these violent attacks. Either way, something has to happen and — though it’s much appreciated — it shouldn’t be handled solely by the generosity of celebrities. 

The Free Selena-Themed Concert In Support Of Immigration Rights Is Coming To LA This Día De Los Muertos

Entertainment

The Free Selena-Themed Concert In Support Of Immigration Rights Is Coming To LA This Día De Los Muertos

empressof / mayainthemoment / Instagram

The free Selena-themed outdoor concert in support of immigration rights is going bi-coastal. After the success of their summer show headlined by Colombian-American star Kali Uchis in New York, the event is coming to Los Angeles. The organizer, artist manager, and activist, Doris Muñoz of Mija Management, is bringing the event to the West Coast just in time for LA’s Day of the Dead celebrations on Nov.1. 

Solidarity For Sanctuary is a non-profit aimed to amplify the voices of immigrant communities through music, advocacy, and the arts.

Credit: Forsanctuary / Instagram

Since 2017, Muñoz has been producing Selena for Sanctuary, a concert to help undocumented immigrants. Her mission remains to donate all proceeds from her concerts to undocumented people who need funds for legal fees, to submit DACA applications, etc. This year the entire proceeds of the show went to Make The Road NY. The organization’s mission is to provide “legal and survival services,” develop “transformative education,” and help with “community organizing.” 

“When our parents can barely afford to take a day off of work to go to the lawyer’s office, how are they even going to pay that lawyer,” Muñoz told Remezcla. “I think in the Donald Trump era, we’re sometimes afraid of who we’re talking to and having a brown body, you can feel like a target,” Muñoz added. “To be in a safe space like this, surrounded by people who believe in fighting for your community with you, is really beautiful.” 

Sanctuary for Selena is set to take place on Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Park. 

Credit: ignacio_gallego / Instagram

The concert will be taking place on the first of November, just in time for Downtown L.A.’s Día de los Muertos celebrations. Angelenos will celebrate the ancient party of the dead with a week of altars, remembrance, and traditions that will be wrapped up on the last day, with free music performances by an all Latina lineup.

Organizers of the event took to Instagram to announce the LA-based Selena for Sanctuary.

Credit: forsanctuary / Instagram

The non-profit Solidarity for Sanctuary announced the West Coast concert and lineup on an Instagram post. “We can’t wait to see our friends, family, and community gathered at @grandpark_la for this year’s Grand Park’s Downtown Dia de los Muertos!” read the colorful post featuring an illustration of Selena wearing her iconic high rise pants and bedazzled bustier, surrounded by cempasúchil, the flower of the dead. “On Friday, November 1st Selena for Sanctuary will be taking over in front of City Hall for a free concert featuring an all-female line-up of L.A.-based Latinx artists and SO much more, welcoming immigrants and allies together in celebration and solidarity. It’s an honor to be at Grand Park, a place that along with @musiccenterla has made it their mission to provide a packed calendar of thoughtful and exciting cultural events for all Angelinos to enjoy.”

The aim of Selena for Sanctuary is to raise money and awareness for immigrant issues that are impacting millions of lives. 

Credit: @_forsanctuary / Twitter

Born of a series of benefit concerts she put together in Southern California in 2017 called Solidarity for Sanctuary, Muñoz’s dance parties raise funds to help immigrants navigate the bureaucratic minefield that is U.S. immigration policy to set them on the path to citizenship.  In June, the NYC party was headlined by Kali Uchis, the Colombian-American singer with a critically acclaimed debut LP (2018’s Isolation) and collaborations with Gorillaz, Juanes, and Daniel Caesar. The platform must have liked having women at the front of the lineup, so they’ve confirmed an all-female lineup for the event in L.A. which is great news for the Latina artists.

Here’s the line-up of the concert and it is pretty lit.

Credit: Giphy

It is all about the female empowerment with some of the best Latina acts in the music industry. Here’s who will be shining at the Selena for Sanctuary concert.

Empress Of

Credit: empressof / Instagram

The Honduran-American Lorely Rodriguez will be headlining in LA’s Selena for Sanctuary. Empress Of shifts from English to Spanish to express the vulnerability that lies in both languages. The East LA native will be heading back home to LA for the show, after a long tour of the US.

Ceci Bastida

Credit: cecibastida / Instagram

This Tijuana native is a ska and punk veteran. Bastida broke into the scene plating keyboard and vocals for the political band Tijuana No.1. These days, Ceci is off on her own. Nowadays, she has a new alt-pop sound with a hint of Tijuana No.1’s political energy. 

 San Cha

Credit: el_sancha / Instagram

Lizette Gutierrez’s sound is a mix of ranchera, cumbia and punk. She is reinventing traditional Mexican sounds and injecting them with her own identity as a queer brown woman. 

Maya Murillo

Credit: mayainthemoment / Instagram

Better known as Pero Like’s “Pocha Concha,” Murillo is a multi-talented singer and songwriter. She is most comfortable singing covers which she has shared on YouTube in the past. No wonder Selena for Sanctuary tapped her to sing a Selena song at the event. 

Loyal Lobos

Credit: loyal.lobos / Instagram

For Andrea Silva, the woman behind Loyal Lobos, this event’s mission is very close to her heart. Born in Colombia, Silva immigrated to the US as a child. She often references her experiences as an immigrant and as a feminist in her music. 

August Eve

Credit: augusteverios / Instagram

August Eve had already collaborated with another Selena for Sanctuary headliner, Empress Of. The LA native is taking the stage herself this time with her Old Hollywood-style music.

READ: ‘Selena For Sanctuary’ Is The Free Concert In NYC All About Helping The Immigrant Community

This Man Is Using TikTok To Bring Younger People To Old-School Jams And His Fans Are Loving It

Entertainment

This Man Is Using TikTok To Bring Younger People To Old-School Jams And His Fans Are Loving It

@Doggface208 / TikTok

Everyone has that embarrassing uncle. The one who busts out dancing in public, or makes incredibly old-school dad jokes. Embarrassing uncles keep you guessing what they’ll do next and oftentimes you and your cousins are embarrassed by his bizarre behavior. If you can’t think of an embarrassing uncle, chances are it’s you, you’re the embarrassing uncle or tía. This Mexican man from Wyoming is the quintessential embarrassing uncle, except the internet, unlike your cousins, is loving every minute of his antics. 

Tío TikTok might be a little older than the app’s intended audience, but he still managed to make his content go viral, even when he didn’t even know what TikTok was.

Credit: @Doggface208 / TikTok

Tío TikTok aka Nathan Apodaca is the grown man who’s single-handedly bringing Gen-Z app TikTok, to Millennials. If you’re wondering what TikTok is, don’t worry. It is basically the second-coming of Vine. It is all about short videos that play in a loop for everyone to enjoy. 

Remember Musical.ly? Maybe you remember the times of Vine? It’s hard to keep up with the constantly changing social media landscape as some apps gain notoriety, others merge, and even more die out. As non-members of the Gen Z generation, it’s even harder to keep it all straight.

The old app Musical.ly was rebranded as TikTok and it’s quickly become Gen Z’s app of choice.

If you do remember Musical.ly, you may know that in August 2018, it rebranded as TikTok. And Vine? That app was the victim of an ever-changing internet and suffered a slow death, causing users to feel the dejection of media abandonment. TikTok though has stirred up a revival of short video clips. Only now, it’s even more interactive, collaborative, and downright addictive.

Apodaca was introduced to the app by his Gen Z daughters, and his videos soon went viral.

Tío TikTok was unaware of the popular video-app himself. His daughters, Makyla and Angelia, are the ones who first introduced Apocada’s to the platform. His youngest daughter even helped him film his first video, which quickly went viral. Apodaca confesses that he was stumped as to what to do, or what type of content to publish on his app, but his eldest daughter came to the rescue and suggested he did his usual goofy dances on camera. And just like that, Apodaca turned into a TikTok sensation.

Tío TikTok’s 16-second videos are simple and hilarious, and they touch a chord with young audiences for their humor.

Credit: @Doggface208 / TikTok

Apodaca shares 16-second bite-sized clips of himself dancing and performing to a tune. His perfectly in-sync interpretations, have gained him nearly 90 thousand followers. Tío TikTok usually jams out to classic ’90s gangsta rap like DMX, Dr. Dre, Eminem or Twista and Gen Z-ers and Millennials alike, can’t seem to get enough of his nostalgic vibes.

In his video’s he’s usually goofing around at work or high off weed which has made his content recognizable.

In one of his most liked posts, Nathan is seen sitting on a conveyor belt lip-syncing Sublime’s ’90s classic hit ‘Santeria’ at the factory where he works and films most of his videos. The post earned 26.9 thousand likes and received thousands of hilarious comments like “*OSHA has entered the chat*” by @BertoBitch or “The workers that package for WISH…”

Apodaca is the stoner uncle you never knew you needed on social media.

His hashtags regularly include 420, 710, ‘high’ and ‘gogreen’, stoner terms used to celebrate dabs and cannabis concentrates. His song choices, usually pulled from an unpredictably random selection, often celebrate the plant too. @Doggface208 aka Nathan Apodaca loves weed so much that he, ingeniously, linked his PayPal account on his TikTok bio for donations; “Now accepting donations 4 Flower 🍃 n white Ts PayPal apodacadogg208@gmail.com” reads his profile description. Whether the account is real or not, we’re not sure, but you’re welcome to send a little donation and let us know.

Most TikTok users may be under 30 according to Apple Store download stats, but we’re sure that this guy’s hilarious videos will attract an older demographic to download the app too.

READ: This 11-Year-Old Latina Has Thousands Of Followers On TikTok And The Most Hilarious Sense Of Humor About Latinidad