Stay Woke: 5 Things Latinas Should Know Right Now

Stay Woke: Five Things Latinas Should Know Right Now

This column originally appeared in Latina magazine's March 2017 issue.

Snaps: “We are gathered here and across the country and around the world today to say, ‘Mr. Trump, we refuse.’ We reject the demonization of our Muslim brothers and sisters. We demand an end to the systemic murder and incarceration of our black brothers and sisters. We will not give up our right to safe and legal abortions. We will not ask our LGBTQ families to go backwards. We will not go from being a nation of immigrants, to a nation of ignorance.” – America Ferrera, at the Women’s March on Washington

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Justice Wins: On January 17, 2017, as one of his final uses of his executive power, President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera. The Puerto Rican nationalist, who was imprisoned in 1981 for “seditious conspiracy,” is among the country’s longest-serving political prisoners. The news brought celebrations across the country, including Chicago, where López Rivera was raised. The 74-year-old hero will be freed on May 17, and plans to continue his fight for his homeland’s independence.

Word of the Month: Intersectionality, first used by critical race theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989, is the idea that one’s identities overlap to create a whole. Identities that might intersect: gender, race, ethnicity, immigration status, language, sexual orientation, religion, age, and mental health. Intersectional feminism ensures that women’s movements are inclusive and no longer make white, straight, middle- class women the center of attention.

Representation Matters: Latina Marvel fans, prepare yourselves for wild excitement. The Young Avengers’ Miss America Chavez has been given her own comic book, simply titled “America.” It will be the first time Marvel creates a series with an LGBTQ Latina (or any Latina) as its lead. Even better: Gabby Rivera, the queer puertorriqueña behind one of 2016’s most- celebrated young adult novels, “Juliet Takes a Breath,” has been brought on to write the new solo comic.

Knowledge is Power: President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, or the “global gag rule,” which bans U.S. funding for international health groups that include abortion in their family planning counsels. In Texas, where Latinos make up almost 40 percent of the population, Planned Parenthood was defunded. Currently, a Texas lawmaker is pushing anti-abortion legislation that would place women behind bars for undergoing the procedure. Reproductive health is truly at risk.

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For the latest on cultura and justicia, follow Latina’s Politics and Culture Editor on Twitter at @RaquelReichard.