La voz de aztlan Nov 13 2019

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NOV. 13, 2019



DOLORES HUERTA ON VOTING by Graciela Sierra-Moreno, Editor-in-Chief Cover art by Selena Garcia

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

La Voz de Aztlán

way or the other. We have elections coming up in March of 2020, and we


have the census coming up also. [The Dolores Huerta Foundation] will be


asking students to help us on the census, and go out into the community to make sure people get counted because for each one of us that does not get counted our community will lose $2,000. Over 10 years that’s $20,000

by Graciela Sierra-Moreno, Editor-in-Chief

that our community will not receive for our schools, for our hospitals, for

This past October, on the 10th and 11th, Fresno State held Gandhi’s Global Legacy International Conference. The two day event, organized by Fresno State’s Dr. Veena Howard and Dr. Andrew Fiala, celebrated Gandhi through the works of selected scholars and speakers. Some of the highlighted speakers included Rev. James Lawson, Jr., and Dolores Huerta.

housing, and other things like parks, infrastructure, etc. So we’re going to be calling on students to help us prepare for the census in 2020 for our communities of color, our Latino community especially because they have been so attacked, you know by our current Administration. They are going to be afraid to get counted; we have to tell them that the census is private, confidential, nobody can share the information on the census. If they do they can

Dolores Huerta spoke about Gandhi’s peaceful strategies and how she has implemented them into her own activism. After hearing Huerta speak, I had the opportunity to speak to her about the current issues she and her foundation (The Dolores Huerta Foundation) are working on. During this conversation, Huerta encouraged students to volunteer in their communities. To volunteer with the Foundation go to for more information. GSM: What advice would you give to those who are inspired by you but are too afraid to act? DH:

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go to prison for five years or get a $250,000 fine. If they’re a census taker, an enumerator, they can go to prison for 12 years. Okay, so people do not have to be afraid, and there will not be a citizenship question on the ballot because we [The Dolores Huerta Foundation] actually sued, with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and we won the lawsuit, so there will be no citizenship question. We just have to make our people understand how important it is that we get counted because the money that we will lose. I like to say in Spanish: “Si no nos contamos, no fregamos.” We’ve been trying to get immigration reform for over 10 years

The only way that you lose your fear is by actually getting involved.

I would just say to all the students that right now our country is in such a crisis that we need every single person to get involved and it is really, really simple [...] you can, like pass out a leaflet or get a signature on a petition. Starting in November we’re going to be getting signatures to put an initiative on the ballot so that major corporations can pay their fair share of property taxes, like Chevron and Disneyland and these big corporations that are not paying their fair share of property taxes and that will bring in 11 billion dollars into our school system. We are going to invite students to come and participate in doing that. So people can participate at all different levels, part of it might

or 12 years now. The thing is that if we’re not counted then we’ll never get immigration reform. If we’re not counted the people that look like us, the people that have our values, they will not get elected because they will not have the districts so that they can actually run for office and get elected. So it affects us in more ways than one, so we have to say to people: if you’re an immigrant, and you’re not a citizen, if you’re undocumented guess what you still need to be counted. When you answer the questions on the census, and it’s only like 10 or 12 questions, none of those will ask if you’re a citizen. Please come out here, help us, volunteer in March of 2020 make sure that everybody gets counted in your neighborhood.

be just send an email, sending an email blast, you know on any particular legislation that we’re working on right now. We know we don’t have a lack of issues. We have many, many issues students can get involved in. We have a whole climate change issues. We have immigration rights issues. We have women’s Reproductive Rights issues, you know, and so on and so, you know the LGBT Movement. So, you know, there’s many ways students can get involved, in fact, I think we have a responsibility to get involved, in one STAFF Editor-in-Chief Design Editor Assistant Editor Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter Staff Reporter

Graciela Sierra-Moreno Rodolfo Avelar Carolina Mata Francisco Abendano Guadalupe Anáhuac Elizabeth Bolaños Anmarie Esparza Will Freeney Hermelinda Hernandez M. Luis Granados Lisette Lemus Selena Garcia G. Belle Vang

Editorial Faculty Advisor

Victor Torres

La Voz de Aztlán La Voz de Aztlán is an ethnic supplement of The Collegian, a student-run publication that serves the Fresno State community. Views expressed in La Voz de Aztlán do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Photo Credit: Seth Pennington IG/Twitter: @LaVozdeAztlan


All letters submitted to La Voz de Aztlán must not exceed 250 words in length, must be type-written, and must be accompanied by a full name and phone number to verify content. La Voz de Aztlán reserves the right to edit all material for length, content, spelling and grammar, as well as the right to refuse publication of any material submitted. All material submitted to La Voz de Aztlán becomes property of La Voz de Aztlán.

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Dyer himself commented on the incident back in March of 2018, claiming that Villalvazo was “fearing he was about to be shot.”

FRESNO TEEN SHOT by Will Freeney, Staff Reporter

No gun was found.

16-year-old Isiah Murrieta-Golding was shot by Sergeant Ray Villalvazo in the back of the head, on April 15, 2017. Murrieta-Golding fled a traffic stop

Not on Murrieta-Golding, in the car from which he fled, or along the path

in North Fresno, jumping a fence into the yard of a daycare facility. That is

he took to the point where he was shot.

where Sergeant Villalvazo caught up with him and fired the one fatal shot through the fence (as another officer was climbing the fence). Body cam au-

Cesar Casamayor, a community organizer for Fresno Barrios Unidos, said

dio from one of the responding officers reveals that one of them said “good

that the footage “clearly showed the police were not in danger.”

shot” in response, as they handcuffed and searched the soon-to-be-dead The video which created this new chapter in the case was recorded on a sur-

teen of the shooting.

veillance camera at the day care center and released by Steve Chandler , the Sergeant Villalvazo has claimed that Murrieta-Golding was reaching for a gun.

attorney bringing a civil suit against the City of Fresno, Sergeant Villalvazo, and Jerry Dyer for “excessive force, unlawful deadly force, assault and battery, and

Jerry Dyer’s successor as Police Chief, Andy Hall, decided to make a statement

negligence.” The court trial for the case is set for October 2020.

regarding the incident recently, after the release of video revealing the shooting of Murrieta who was unarmed. Hall’s statement referred to “officers … investi-

It should be noted that the Fresno Police Department had not released

gating a homicide” although they were chasing a fleeing suspect from a traffic

Villalvazo’s identity as the shooter in these 30 months since Murrieta-Gold-

stop. He also stressed that the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, the

ing’s death. It was Chandler’s case that made that public knowledge.

Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, and the City of Fresno’s Office of Independent Review all “deemed the lethal force justifiable.”





by Will Freeney, Staff Reporter

Going Gone

by Francisco Abendano, Staff Reporter

One shot – in the head. Dead. What would the police say if they found this victim?

What the fuck have you done?

Obvious gangland killing! Bulldogs? No. No red. Except



On the


in the



Yep, the usual suspects. Lieutenant. Absent. Sergeant. Innocent. Officer corroborates. Internal affairs: Line of duty. Crime? Sagging while brown.

Photo from Marcel Hernandez/Getty Images

He went for his gun! He tried to pull his pants up

In examining the massive protests in Chile, we must first under-

But you took him

stand the root cause of the problem. On September 11, 1973,


with the help of a U.S. backed coup, Augusto Pinochet took Murder suspect! Philando Castile : Robbery Suspect No need for a lawyer now. No law.

(Wide-set Nose)

power in Chile after overthrowing President Salvador Allende. This event initiated Pinochet’s seventeen-year dictatorship

A jury, a trial, a defender.

(The Guardian). Pinochet ruled until 1990 and established a

DA in a Gun™

neoliberal economic model in Chile (MPN News). Further-

Chalk another one

more, Pinochet privatized services such as healthcare, educa-


tion, and pensions. According to Thomas Reuters Foundation

Make an outline. He down.

News, Pinochet created a pension system in which “workers The civil case for the uncivil.

[paid] at least 10% of their wages each month to for-profit

The city will pay.

funds, called AFPs.” However, many Chileans were unable

Those exotic hunting trips

to pay enough into the pension system, and as a result are

sure are costly.

struggling financially in their old age with insufficient payouts. Money won’t bring my baby

(Thomas Reuters Foundation News).

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A generation later, young people have seen enough of their parents and grandparents’ struggles, and after a hike in subway fares, demonstrators took to the streets of Chile to display their frustration with the current economic system. These demonstrations are a demand to replace the neoliberal model. The movement’s rally cry is “Neoliberalism was born in Chile and will die in Chile” (MPN News). According to Thomas Reuters Foundation News, these protesters seek economic reform. Moreover, they demand better salaries and higher pensions. Certainly, these young adults want to avoid living a future like the previous generation (Thomas Reuters Foundation News). In contrast to the lower classes, the elite class continues to flourish under Chile’s economic model. As stated in TIME, one percent of the population earns thirty-three percent of Chile’s wealth. The economic inequality in Chile is one of the worst

Photo from Santa Maria Times

in Latin America (TIME).

Fresno State is a direct reflection of our Central Valley. So many of our stu-

The protests have turned deadly these past weeks. According to TIME, 20

into our community. However, our campus is starting to not reflect the histories

dents go to Fresno State to get an education and pour our knowledge back

people have been killed so far. Furthermore, the protests have been devastat- and values of our students or community. Our campus exclusively promotes ing to the economy. Chile’s subway system in Santiago has suffered damages “Discovery. Diversity. Distinction” as its core values, but continues to particiestimating up $400 million. Likewise, businesses have an estimated loss of pate in a system which works to oppress students who come from rural communities in the Central Valley. $1.4 billion (TIME). Amid the protests, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera stated, “We are ready to do everything to not fall into populism, into demagoguery” (New York

Our school does not validate the experiences and curriculum of our diverse histories, but praises the Jordan College of Agriculture and their precious ge-

Times). As the protests continue in Chile, other nations around the world are netically modified sweet corn. Without hesitation, quickly builds a new scialso experiencing social unrest. Protests have spread to nations such as Leba- ence structure and a new farmers market. While also using what was once non, Iraq, and Spain (New York Times). Worldwide, economic inequality has farmland to build Campus Pointe. It’s all a marketing scheme to attract more reached a tipping point where it can no longer be tolerated as people are students. The next big project: the new University Student Union, sponsored by tired of seeing the elite flourish while their own economic situations remain

the Wonderful company.






In September Fresno State announced that Lynda and Stewart Resnick, billionaires of the Wonderful Company, are donating $10 million to the new University Student Union (USU). When I found out about this, I was so disappointed that our university is accepting money from a company that is partially responsible for the environmental injustices, and water inequalities, that are happening in our rural communities of color. The Resnicks participate in greenwashing by “reinvesting” in communities through building new parks, offering scholarships, donating to climate change research, and donating $10 million to Fresno State’s new USU. They have built a reputation that no one questions.

Photo by G. Belle Vang

Addressing the negative stigma surrounding HIV in the Central Valley, unPresident Castro’s cute diversity statement reads, “We are dedicated to re-

dergraduate students and Dr. Christopher Sullivan, Sociology assistant pro-

ducing any barriers to success that come from race, ethnicity, socioeconomic

fessor, partnered up with the Department of Public Health and UCSF CRMC

status, … geographical region… and other human characteristics.” Indeed,

to perform over 100 HIV tests on campus in honor of National Latinx AIDS

many of our students are commuters from rural areas, including myself. I

Awareness Day. The student interns and Dr. Sullivan aim to destigmatize

have done a research project where I document the experiences of women

HIV by educating bulldogs about solutions to prevent HIV through medica-

who are dealing with water scarcity in Madera. Reducing barriers, President

tion and healthy sexual practices.

Castro, means not accepting dirty money from agribusiness and companies who systematically create barriers in rural geographical regions.

Community groups like the Living Room and KISS (Keeping It Sexually Safer) tabled to show their support while spreading more knowledge on sexual

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safety at the event on Tuesday, Oc- ment. The two community-benefit or- “It’s definitely difficult to get different ing HIV to improve the community’s tober 15. KISS is a community col- ganizations (CBOs--proper term for laboration between Fresno State and

community organizations involved, overall health and prevent future

nonprofit), Dr. Sullivan, and the group especially considering the stigma sur- measures of STIs. They plan to launch

Fresno Barrios Unidos to bring sexual of student interns went the extra mile rounding HIV,” Clarissa shares. “It’s

another testing day in early Decem-

to provide accessories for safe sexual important to get all these different com- ber, so keep your eyes on the look-

safety onto campus.

practices such as condoms and lube. In their efforts to support students, the

munity organizations involved because out for the upcoming opportunity to

Clarissa Rohm, HIV intern and re- of how little a lot of other students know educate yourself about your sexual

Living Room and KISS provided vari- search assistant, helped coordinate about the resources available to them.” health and safety. ous pamphlets on sexually transmit- the event and expressed the obsta- The HIV team hopes that the continuted infections (STIs) including crucial cles she needed to overcome regard- ation of their project will deescalate the negative conversations surroundinformation on prevention and treat- ing community involvement.


EB: Some of the skeleton’s eyes have

days in November, but even paint-


this bittersweet expression, it makes

ings that don’t appear to reference it,

me melt every time. Is there a reason

still share some of those same elements

behind it?

with it, namely joy and remembrance.

DL: It’s difficult to show emotion

EB: Do you have any advice you’d

by Elizabeth Bolaños, Staff Reporter

Elizabeth Bolaños: What is one of the most rewarding parts for you about finishing a new piece and sharing it with the world? David Lozeau: I think the research and conceptualization of the paintings are really some of the most challenging and rewarding parts of the process for me; thinking over the details, trying to suspend a moment in time, and building a character from scratch (or even reviving a long-forgotten historical character) are some of the hidden joys in creating each new piece. Once I’ve completed the painting and released it to the world, it’s out of my hands; I hope people like it or connect with it, but I’m already fulfilled by the journey I went through. EB: Your paintings appear to breathe with life but why not do digital art? Does painting by hand hold special significance for you? DL: I love the smell of the paint, the tactile feel of layering colors--creating something I can touch and mold. The tedious time and effort it takes to lay in each brushstroke really lets me enjoy the process and immerse myself in the creation of each painting. I have fun digital sketching and, since I come from a digital background (having gotten my BA in Graphic Art), I can appreciate the control and ease of using technology, but I love the real-time problem-solving and decisionmaking that hand painting requires. When I’m laying in the fine details with enamel, there’s no erasing, duplicating, color-correcting, or reverting to an earlier version if something goes wrong; if I make a mistake (pull an ugly line or drop my brush or splatter paint), I’m forced to deal with it head on and find a creative solution. Photos by David Lozeau

through a character who doesn’t like to share to visual artists who are have eyebrows, lips, wrinkles, and

afraid to pursue their passion?

the normal facial details that carve human expression. I have to consider DL: The ability to create (draw, paint, other elements that convey motion

sculpt, film, etc) is a wonderful gift

and emotion--subtle yet recogniz- and, no matter where it takes you, that able features like a slight head tilt or is something that is uniquely yours. deep eye sockets.

Maybe your passion turns into a career or maybe it’s just a hobby, but

EB: Did you ever imagine you’d be you have to put in the time to learn so successful when first arriving here and practice your craft. I tell every viin California?

sual artist at every age that carrying a sketchbook and making art needs

DL: This art journey has been amazing- to be a part of the daily routine. -something I never imagined. I was introduced to the Day of the Dead when

EB: Thank you so much for your time.

I moved to California, but my spirit

It is such a gift.

was ignited during my travels through Mexico. And over the last 15 years,

DL: Thank you for letting me open this

I’ve gotten to explore the concept of life

window to my art life!

and death in dozens of other countries and cultures--how they memorialize Get lost in The Fyne Art of David their loved ones and honor those that Lozeau



came before--but I always come back and follow him @davto where it all started and apply those

idlozeau on Instagram, Twitter, and

learnings to my Dia de los Muertos art.


Nothing can capture the sentimentality of those two solemn and celebratory

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by Lisette Lemus, Staff Reporter

by Guadalupe Anáhuac, Staff Reporter

Photo by @guardioes_do_litoral

In early September, Brazil reported an oil spill off its coast. The oil kept washing up on the shore, but the source has been unknown though Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and others believe Venezuela may have something to do with the spill. After investigations, it is believed that a Greek-flagged tanker is the source. Reports say this was the only ship at the time and that it departed Venezuela on route to Singapore. Venezuela claims they are not responsible, and Brazil does not blame them either. Although there is not a clear cause there are some hypotheses that attempt to explain how this may have happened according to BBC. It is possible that the spill may have come from a seaside accident that did not get reported which holds because Venezuela has not received any oil spill reports. It is also possible that there may have been a leak from an underwater shipwreck. Another possibility is that there may have been a leak from a failed transfer between ships. These are all speculations, but they serve to bring ease to people and

Art by Selena Garcia

offer potential explanations for the event. Satellite information is currently being monitored as well to find a source. The Guardian reports that the spill covers over 2,000 km of Brazil’s beaches but since the oil does not float the surface, traditional clean-up methods have proved mostly ineffective. The oil is currently being tested in various countries to determine where it came from and what type of crude it is. President Bolsonaro’s inaction regarding the cleanup process has caused many critics to speak out against him. He has concerned himself with finding the culprit rather than finding a solution. In late October he dispatched 5,000 troops in order to clean the spill, but these efforts were not taken kindly by the Brazilian people or environmentalists since not many troops were dispatched prior to this and the cleanup efforts had been mainly carried out by volunteers already anyway. The Guardian also confirms that many of the volunteers who have been noted for their efforts have done so without the help of government officials. So far, around 2,000 tonnes of oil sludge has been cleaned up and, since the spill has caused the death of many animals and the closing of many beaches, volunteers have gathered in order to restore the wildlife. Videos of these volunteers have surfaced in recent weeks and people from various locations have been moved to help as well. Local residents have gathered to clean up the spill of their own volition. In Bahia, a group of volunteers called the Coast Guardians gathered to clean the beaches. This organization has made its mark on social media where many people have been keeping up to date with the efforts. The Coast Guardians currently have over 33,000 followers on their Instagram account which has increased tremendously since just a week prior they had around 19,000 followers. They raised well over their expected amount for the cleanup project as well. These volunteers and their efforts can be found on Instagram @guardioes_do_litoral.

Recuerdo que desde niña el relato de la Llorona, me hacía temblar, me causaba miedo y asombro. Escuché de los labios de mi abuelo Nicolás la estremecedora leyenda cuando de pequeños íbamos al rancho “El Saucillo” en los Altos de Jalisco. La oí por primera vez en una de esas noches de luna y bajo el tejado de la casa de adobe de mis abuelos Ramírez. No sé si fue casualidad, pero esa noche no podía conciliar el sueño a pesar de haber caminado de ida y vuelta al establo donde mi abuelito tenía sus vacas y a pesar de haber estado resbalándome buena parte de la clara tarde de verano en los barrancones de tierra colorada junto con mis demás primos. Como si fuera poco, esa noche el aullido de los coyotes no se escuchaba lejos del arroyo que pasaba calladamente a escasos metros de la ventana de nuestro cuarto de techo alto y artesonado. De tal manera pasé la noche asustada que me ha sido imposible olvidar una leyenda tan propia de mi pueblo y de mi patria.

Mi abuelo nos contaba que “dendenantes”(desde antes),


“juera”(fuera), la Revolución, allá por los años de cuando los españoles eran “jefes de todo esto,” poco después de que “Don Hernán Cortés” (así mencionaba mi abuelo que les decían en la escuelita parroquial a la que asistía), en la ciudad de Mexico cuando esta “era muy antigua,” por las noches, después de las doce horas, entre las calles empedradas de los barrios coloniales se escuchaba un grito y un amargo lamento de mujer que decía: ¡Ay mis hijos!, ¡Ay mis hijos!, ¡Ay mis hijos!... y los perros vueltos locos, se ponían a ladrar por un buen rato. La gente azorada salía de sus casonas y no veía nada. Decía mi abuelo que la voz que se escuchaba era la voz de la Llorona y era nada más y nada menos que el “canijo” diablo; por ello de vez en cuando había terror en las calles de México, especialmente en las noches de luna y nadie se atrevía a salir pues ahí andaba el diablo “en carnes” de mujer.

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ties groups are living under the Trump Administration. At


and even their language preferences. Another booth was the 2020 census, which

voters can check if they are registered to vote, where they are registered (e.g. CA),

by Luis Granados, Staff Reporter

was hiring parents and students (however, this is limited to those at least 18 years

Freedom of speech has played a significant role in the lives of American citizens and is seen as an icon of American culture — one of our most admired rights. In fact, such right and freewill represents the freedom the US provides. As encouraged as it is, many issues arise when two opposing sides decide to publicly express themselves. The quarrels lose its value. It becomes a nonstop insignificant back-and-forth of unsiffice claims. It evolves into the attempt to destroy the opponent’s arguments, rather than to bring awareness and improve the social issues. But we must respect them, regardless of how much we disagree. Instead, let us express ourselves in order to be heard. Let us march the streets with signs chanting in perfect unison. Let us walk the streets and carry the signs that word the flaws in our lives— those same words that represent our injustice. Paint a picture that demonstrates inequality and highlights the solution. Write a poem, bleed on paper to portray the issue from which you suffer. Show us the

old, U.S. Citizens, SSN) for the upcoming census in California. I spoke to Gladys Mendoza, Partnership Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, and she conveyed that right now the bureau is looking to hire with great compensation (visit As for parents and students who are seeking help in obtaining their passports or obtaining their matriculas, Mexitel urges them to visit their website to set an appointment ( Other booths offered services for college students and encouraged them to take full advantage. Such programs were the EOP which focused on students’ budgeting, time management, study skills, and graduation planning. The Dream Center also displayed their full services for students that have or do not have DACA. There were also community colleges that attended such as Clovis Community College, Fresno City College, and others.

DREAMer back in his native country. The dreams were crushed by being sent elsewhere. That DREAMers home is the US! Tell the world what you experience. Bring awareness to the issues of immigration. Show us a distraught father being separated from his family due to the lack of documentation. Tell us about the discomfort— the obligation and limitations of being born in another country and having to succeed in this one. What is it you experience living in between two cultures — in between two worlds? But most of all, listen, listen to the injustice. Nest yourself into Earth’s ear and utter the words. We cannot be censored and we cannot be ignored, so let us speak and march towards social progress.

A lot of the booths focused on the education of young minds. They offered many fun and entertaining activities such as crafts and games. There was even a reading session in Spanish for children that Univision sponsored. Also, Chevron Soccer Academy held a special space where children could play football. Science clubs such as the environment, biology, and chemistry clubs showed some pretty cool experiments. Many fun and entertaining activities included the raffle tickets to win prizes. This included a computer, which was one of the main prizes. In almost every booth there


were many freebies such as school supplies, backpacks, and reusable tote bags.


gathered around as Fresno State’s Danzantes de Aztlan displayed their beauti-

by Hermelinda Hernandez M., Staff Reporter

Of course, there was at least one or two food trucks and mariachi singers. Many ful choreography. Their movements were perfectly in sync as their energy brought great joy. Many volunteers came to help from their perspective clubs and those who volunteered for the whole event. Some famous people came such as Lupita Lomeli, who presented immigration attorneys who help immigration victims of crime. La Feria de Educación was filled with great excitement and entertainment that had many significant services that parents and students could take advantage of.


LATINA VOICES IN THE VALLEY Photo by Hermelinda Hernandez M.

On Saturday October 5, 2019, Fresno State hosted La Feria de Educación from 10-3pm. The hype escalated throughout the day as parents,especially mothers, displayed their convivial expressions. Their children, who were moving about with great energy and excitement, also gathered among hundreds of Latinx families. From the Satellite Student Union to the Peters Business Building and all the way near the Joyal Building, many booths were on display which offered pertinent information for parents and children. The booths had plenty of important information for parents/students that ranged from education to assistance in immigration services. Some of these booths such as the United We Lead Foundation offered services for students to succeed such as tutoring services, literacy workshops, and even parent involvement to help the growth of their children. Other booths encouraged parents and students to go out and vote, because one major way to change government is by voting. Especially during this time of turmoil that the Lantinx community and other minori-

by Rodolfo Avelar, Design Editor

Two authors, Kali Fajardo-Anstine and Aida Salazar, recently brought important Latinx and Indigenous voices to the Central Valley. Kali’s collection of short stories, Sabrina and Corina is a National Book Award finalist, and she was invited to Fresno by the San Joaquin Review Online and Creative Writing faculty Venita Blackburn. Aida, who is the author of a YA book in verse, The Moon Within, visited campus thanks to the San Joaquin Literary Association, a Fresno State student organization. On the surface, Kali and Aida’s visits to Fresno may seem like just another author reading in Fresno, but they were doing much more than that. Sabrina and Corina is filled with stories about Indigenous and Latinx women struggling with the patriarchy and living on land that they are indigenous to, but are treated as strangers of. Aida’s book, The Moon Within, is about a young Black/Puerto Rican/Mexican struggling with the starting menstruation and what that means for her and what that means in her family’s indigenous beliefs. Bringing these kinds of stories into the valley is important because there is a lack of these conversations around us. We need to be able to listen to these

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women to inform ourselves, but even more than that we need to allow other young women listen to them hear themselves in their lives or their characters. Though in California, Fresno is not nearly on par with bigger cities in terms of social justice. More spaces need to be created. Spaces for queer folk and other people of color, specifically Black people need to be made. In a landscape like the Central Valley, the work that both SJR Online and SJLA are doing in creating spaces for Latinx and Indigenous women to have a platform, and to read and speak about their writing is incredibly important work.


DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION by Elizabeth Bolaños and Carolina Mata, Staff Reporters

Marigolds showered the ofrendas inside the Free Speech platform on Fresno State’s campus, helping the ghosts of loved ones find their way to offered treasures. From pan dulce, sugar skulls, bananas, artwork, and more, each picture of deceased friends and family of all backgrounds was welcomed in honor of their memory on November 1st and 2nd. Children in uniforms were led by their teacher to observe the altar respectfully as they were informed about the meaning behind this rich, annual, Chicanx celebration. A large vendor selling jewelry and other small keepsakes neighbored the altar. Vibrant colors engulfed it all allowing it to stand out nicely from the rest of campus, including papel picado which hung on the trees. Photo by Carolina Mata

The University’s Aztec dance club performed both days, on the 1st as an opening

●On November 1st and 2nd, Fresno State’s campus celebrated the final days of

ceremony and on the 2nd as a closing one. The drums, including a Teponaztli, a

the Mexican three day holiday Dia De Los Muertos with all day vendors and

horizontal kind with a slit often in the shape of an animal, pulsed with brilliance

events. Considering this is my culture, I would like to explain that contrary to

as several dancers stomped and spun to the rhythm. A shushing sound similar to

popular misconception, Dia De Los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, is not a

a heavy rain could be heard from the beads shaking inside small wooden bells

“Mexican Halloween”. This holiday is meant to celebrate the lives and memory

worn around their ankles accompanied by intricate armor and dresses. Bright

of those who have died, often with family altars that incorporate pictures of the

powerful feathers embedded in the costumes swayed and bounced, especially

deceased with their favorite foods, tobacco, drinks, and objects that brought

on a dancer dressed mostly in black, the feathers stretched outward like beams

them pleasure in life. This was prevalent in the artwalk that was set up in front of

of light.

an altar on the Speaker’s platform in front of Henry Madden Library. The artwalk consisted of miniature shrines and altars made by Fresno State art students. These altars were dedicated to celebrities, some of Mexican heritage and some not, and were made out of boxes and crates that were painted, covered in linen, and decorated according to what would have made these celebrities happy. Some celebrities honored with their own altars were Selena, Jenni Rivera, Amy Winehouse, and many dedicated to Frida Kahlo. The two that personally made me cry were altars honoring Stan Lee, decorated with an Amazing Fantasy Spider Man comic, and Cesar Chavez, graced with homemade Huelga and a Si Se Puede banners and a plate full of grapes, candy, an apple, and bread. Of course, no celebration would be complete without music. Fresno State Mariachi, the university’s diverse band was invited to perform at the Speaker’s Platform by Fresno State’s Aztec Dance Club. At noon, the twelve mariachi musicians took the stage and played for an hour, singing traditional Mexican songs to a large crowd. Art by Selena Garcia

Calendario • Holiday Break -- November 27 - 29 -- NO CLASS • Fresno State MFA Thesis Reading -- Noember 22 -- 7PM -- Alice Peters Auditorium • Dead Days -- December 12 - 13 -- NO CLASS • End of Fall semester -- December 20

Papel picado credit: Daniel Gonzalez