Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Join NNIRR at the 7th Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival

Join NNIRR at the 7th Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival | June 10-12, 2011 in S.F.


May 27, 2011

QWOCMAP Community Partners


Dearest gigs,

2 weeks or 14 days or 336 hours to go!

QWOCMAP and our Community Partners are hard at work (cause it's sexy) to bring you the 7th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival. As we count down each moment, we want to celebrate these phenomenal collaborators!



Take Root

LHRC - qwocmap - qwocff
QWOCMAP is deeply rooted in our community and we draw on this strength to create change.

With the light of our Community Partners, QWOCMAP has taken root, grown and blossomed into beauty for queer women, genderqueer and transgender people of color.

We are thrilled with our deepening partnership with the fabulous folks at the Lesbian Health & Research Center (LHRC). For QWOCMAP and LHRC, health is more than the absence of disease, it is “complete physical, mental and social well-being.” Yet current conversations about health and healthcare ignore structural issues and then shame and blame us for “lifestyle diseases” (see ColorLines article about Oprah dissing diabetics).

Premiering this year is the first in a series of jointly-produced PSAs that show us why our health is a social justice issue. The PSA encourages us to become the experts on our own bodies as we lead active and healthy lives as we define and articulate them.

Besides, reclaiming our bodies and being healthy is a big F*%K YOU to homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, ageist, ableist bigots and institutions!

The PSA features celeb-babes like Miss Major from Community Partner TGI Justice Project (TGIJP)
, so check it out!


2011 QWOCFF - The Gift Of FamilyWe also want to honor our HOMEGROWN GIFTS, a screening that features the world premiere of The Gift of Family.

The film, produced in collaboration between QWOCMAP Productions with Zuna Institute and NIA Collective, demonstrates the magically radical and innovative ways that Black lesbians reconstruct and queer the ways that families can look and function. After all, in the U.S., our Black and Latin@ brothers and sisters are more likely to be raising children.

Resisting oppressive tropes about Black motherhood, child-rearing and sexuality, these families embody the deep spirited resilience of Black activist legacies.

QWOCMAP is brimming with gratitude to our partners for their years of support and collaboration. We are extremely thankful for the spirit-nourishing opportunity to work with them to create art that articulates the rich and rarely recognized dazzle of Black lesbian moms.


qwocmap community partners 2008With tenacious devotion, QWOCMAP works to create spaces that celebrate and explore all of the intersections of our individual and communal identities. Community Partner organizations join with QWOCMAP to build community, nurture art and create social justice, through fun, belly-rumbling laughter and hard, sexy, collaborative work. This year, we have 32 marvelous Community Partners and co-presenters to thank for our FREE 7th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival.

This has allowed our organization to truly blossom into something that brings joy and healing. Or, in other words, it can "heal what ails ya."

Volunteers Are Sexy!

When you come to our 7th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival, please take a moment to thank these bad-ass volunteer babes! Just about everything is made possible through their commitment and sexy, hard work.


DSC_3136Salsa Sunday, it's super SABROSO!

Get inspired by Carnaval SF and come dancing with l@s QWOCMAPer@s!

Salsa Sunday
May 29
1 to 6pm
Casa Sanchez
2778 24th St, SF

Across the street from Brava!

Donations support the 7th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival.

Check Carnaval street closures and take BART or MUNI!

Re-SISTER: Canyon Sam

Canyon_med_bwamazing QWOCFF volunteers! elisa & kiki 2QWOCMAP logo- 300dpiAward-winning author, performance artist, and screenwriter Canyon Sam will be joining our Thinkers & Troublemakers panel on Saturday, June 11 at 1:00pm. We are excited to welcome this firebrand, who has been active in human rights movements for Tibet, as well as the Asian American and lesbian communities since the 1970s. This hot happening is not to be missed!

Phenomenal Collaborators!

QWOCMAP Film Strip 3  2QWOCMAP Film Strip 4

QWOCMAP - Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project

59 Cook Street

San Francisco, California 94118-3310


(415) 752-0868



Queer Women of Color Film Festival - 2008 Best of the Bay Winner!

Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP) creates, exhibits and distributes new films that authentically reflect the lives of queer women of color and address the vital social justice issues that concern multiple communities. Our vision nurtures queer women of color filmmakers as artist-activist leaders to create systemic change through art, activism and community building.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

End S-COMM: The first step to restoring our rights and getting accountability

When our communities demand public safety and full rights, what part of "opt out" doesn't the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) understand?

Over the last two years, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and other DHS officials have made contradictory statements that local governments and their police departments can opt out of the controversial "Secure Communities," or S-COMM, program. Then without logic or explanation, DHS/ICE immediately retracts the option, declaring that collaboration is mandatory.

And now there is a flurry of news stemming from the release of materials from DHS that show the lack of transparency and misinformation about the program and provisions for opting out of S-COMM. The materials were released after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Cardozo Law School Immigration Justice Clinic.

This is all further evidence of the need to end S-COMM.

In NNIRR's latest report, Injustice for All: the Rise of the U.S. Immigration Policing Regime, we describe how S-COMM and other immigration policing jeopardize and undermine our communities' right to health care, safety, civil and labor rights, civil liberties, freedom from fear, and equality. ICE-police collaboration thrives on and fuels new forms of racial discrimination and racial profiling.
We call for an end to these programs and support the call for a moratorium on S-COMM that is being raised by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a chorus of groups around the country.
Disconnect the Problem, Restore Our Rights
Immigration-policing and ICE-police collaboration circumvent due process rights and reinforce racial, ethnic and religious profiling -- all illegal in the U.S.
Under S-COMM, police send the finger-prints of persons they arrest to DHS to check their immigration status or to see if the arrestee has committed a deportable offense. What's wrong with this picutre? In the flash of a finger-print scan, a person can end up being jailed until DHS can come get her for deportation -- regardless of the charges, without their day in court or a conviction. Families are crushed and forcibly separated from their loved ones as DHS/ICE terrorizes communities.
Our elected officials can end the flagrant abuses just by disconnecting the line to DHS.
Different state and local governments are making this their preference on S-COMM. The Illinois House took a step in the right direction and approved a bill to opt out of the Orwellian S-COMM initiative. Back in November 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn first suspended S-COMM to conduct a full review of its impacts. After the legislation passed, Quinn wrote to DHS informing them that IL police would no longer participate in S-COMM.
Immediately afterwards, DHS turned right around and said no, Illinois must continue sending the finger-prints of arrestees to see if they can be deported.
The California legislature is moving a similar bill that would allow counties and other localities to also opt out of S-COMM. Community groups and their partners are pressuring local and county officials and police to do the right thing and disconnect from S-COMM.
These actions are important and build awareness and support for our demand to end immigration policing and ICE-police collaboration at the federal, local, county and state levels.
DHS's policies, practices and strategies of criminalization have to be rolled back, starting with ending S-COMM -- on their own, through legislative relief such as Illinois's decision, or civil disobedience. DHS's lousy strategy and programs of immigration-police collaboration will not stand.
The demand for opting out is a good start to restoring rights and instilling confidence in communities that police are there to protect and serve, not detect and deport.
And let's continue the fight to end all punitive immigration policing and collaboration programs.
* Graphic by the S.F. Print Collective

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Request from Stanford Labor Action: Demand Justice for Workers, Fri May 20 12pm


Rally for Janitors!


Demand Justice!

Organized by Stanford Labor Action (SLAC)


Friday, May 20, 2011, at Noon

Meet in front of Old Union courtyard (Click here for directions)


Rally to Demand Stanford Protect & Protect the Rights of Our Janitors!




To Fire or Not To Fire?


“Twenty-nine Stanford janitors — more than one in five of those who clean academic buildings — will lose their jobs this June if Stanford does nothing to defend them…. Stanford claims that this situation only concerns UGL-Unicco and the janitors’ union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877, since Stanford does not directly employ these janitors. While this may be contractually true, the unjust treatment of any member of the Stanford community should ethically concern us all. We believe that the Stanford administration is shirking its responsibility to ensure just treatment for all members of the Stanford community.”…. READ MORE.


Make Action Calls

If you can’t attend the rally:

CALL Grover Brown, UGL-Unicco operations manager, (650) 423-7071

Tell Mr. Brown to stop the firings and honor the workers’ rights.




For more information, contact StanfordLaborAction@gmail.com



Arnoldo Garcia

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Red Nacional Pro Derechos Inmigrantes y Refugiados

310 8th Street Suite 303

Oakland, CA 94607

Tel (510) 465-1984 ext. 305

Fax (510) 465-1885



Check out NNIRR's blog: http://nnirr.blogspot.com


READ NNIRR's latest HURRICANE human rights report Injustice for All: The Rise of the U.S. Immigration Policing Regime


Join us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/NNIRR


Follow NNIRR on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNIRRnetwork

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Day of Remembrance for a Little Innocent Girl

by Bob Montañéz, Retired Educator, Odessa, Texas, USA

Sadly, May 30 will always be a day of remembrance. This was a day in 2009 when another American girl was murdered in Arizona. Her name was Brisenia Flores and she was 9-years old.

The President did not speak at her funeral and neither did Arizona’s Governor Brewer. Her murder was hardly of any interest to the national media; but, nevertheless, a little innocent girl was murdered.

Why her murder did not gain the national media attention as those of Christina Greene and Jon Benet Ramsey is left open for discussion and to scrutiny. To me the murder of one child is as significant as the murder of any other child. Murder is murder; but, when it takes the life of a child, it foments a heavy painful weight which is hard to bear, accept and comprehend.

Why three White Supremacist Minutemen felt so threatened by little Brisenia is hard to understand. Did they feel that Brisenia would corrupt what they believed was their superior DNA? Did they feel that Brisenia was a threat to U.S. national security? Or, did these racists feel that all persons with other than white skins are just worthy of elimination from the face of the earth?

Brisenia’s begged for her life but the pleadings went unheard by the almighty towering Aryans. They shot her in the head once; but apparently, the degree of satisfaction expected by the cowardly murderers was not enough. They just had to shoot her one more time in order for them to sense the high satisfying degree of evil on which they nourish.

What convinced these demons about the necessity to shoot innocent Brisenia? Was it her beautiful brown skin? Was it the fear in her teary brown eyes? Was her inability to understand what was happening; or, was it the crying and pleadings of an innocent child? Did all of the above make them feel courageously superior that they had to take out all their bigotry and racism on a helpless and defenseless child?

The simple truth is that these worthless monsters, poor excuses of humanity, had no hearts. Their souls were missing. They had turned their backs to God. There is-nor will ever be-any other excuse!

White Supremacy or any other kind of racial prejudice is an evil, a plague against humanity and a sin against God. Little Brisenia fell victim to such evil. She could have been anyone’s daughter, relative or playmate. She, however, will never play again the games that little girls play.

By remembering her every May, we let White Supremacists know that we will not forgive nor forget their evil intentions and that what they committed against Brisenia will only unite us and make us stronger. We will not be intimidated. Nor will we run and hide. We will stand firm with Brisenia in our thoughts and in our hearts

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Join NNIRR to view CORNER STORE at San Francisco's Red Vic

Don’t miss the compelling new documentary, CORNER STORE, co-presented by NNIRR at the Red Vic (1727 Haight Street, San Francisco)

May 22-24

Sunday: 2pm, 4:15pm, 7:15pm, 9:15pm
Monday**: 7:15pm, 9:15pm
Tuesday: 9:15pm

**Special NNIRR guest speakers at the 7:15pm and 9:15pm, 5/23 screenings.

CORNER STORE tells the touching story of Yousef Elhaj--beloved Shop Owner, Palestinian Immigrant, and Long-Distance Father--and his struggle to reunite with his wife and children after a decade apart. The film takes viewers on a thoughtful and heart-warming journey that humanizes many of the issues we are working to address at NNIRR. An interactive discussion will follow-the screening.

Tickets $6-9:
Pre-purchase tickets online or buy at the box office.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Community Groups Join National Campaign Exposing Wells Fargo's Private Prison Profiteering

By Raúl Alcaraz Ochoa and Gabriel Schivone

(TUCSON, AZ) – Yesterday evening (May 12), local human rights and activist groups held a rally at the Wells Fargo’s Downtown Tucson branch, in a coordinated national campaign to pressure the bank conglomerate to withdraw its financial support for the private prison industry. Wells Fargo invests in private prisons company Geo Group, Inc.—the second largest private prison company in the world contracted by state and federal government agencies.

View photo slide-show of Tucson rally demanding prison divestment; click here.

The rally consisted of a press conference of about 50 community members belonging to various local community groups, including Corazón de Tucson, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, No More Deaths/We Reject Racism Campaign, Southside Workers Center, Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, UNIDOS, and others.

Community groups have joined the Prison Industry Divestment Campaign (spearheaded by Enlace, a Los-Angeles-based group) to convince shareholders (banks, hedge funds, etc.) to divest their funds from the prison industry in order to make an impact on the prison business and reduce the power of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group from lobbying for laws that imprison communities.

Activists point out the injustice behind the profiteering from criminalizing and incarcerating people. Those who benefit are companies that invest in the prison industry. Wells Fargo is one of the largest investors in Geo Group.

Equipped with banners and a megaphone, the rally congregated on the sidewalk a few feet outside the main doors of the bank. One of the authors of this report, Raúl Alcaraz Ochoa of Corazón de Tucson, opened the rally with a blistering pronouncement that “this is an assault on all peoples, not just migrants and not just Latinos; this is connected to the attack on our youth and the battle for Ethnic Studies. Corporate interests want us to be trapped in low-wage jobs or go into the prison pipeline. Today we say this is not the future we want for our youth!”

There were also young children and youth in attendance.

Karla Hernandez, a mother of two, voiced her serious concern over corporations like Wells Fargo profiting from the separation of families and the incarceration of community members. “We have innocent, hard-working mothers and fathers in these prisons,” she stated.

The community groups had planned to deliver a letter to Wells Fargo management, but the bank called the police and an officer notified the crowd that they would not allow any protestors inside. The community still approached the doors and began chanting: “Wells Fargo Meet with Us!” They didn’t. But the letter was handed to an officer who took it inside.

“They’re scared of community power!” noted No More Deaths member Danielle Alvarado.

A representative from the University of Arizona Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine chapters, local student Gabriel Schivone, invoked the past work of local activists who, decades ago, through similar nationally-coordinated actions, helped force Wells Fargo, among other banks, to divest from the brutal South African Apartheid regime. He also read excerpts from recent public letters to the UA community from world-renowned luminaries South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and public intellectual Cornel West calling for divestment from corporations profiting from US-supported human rights abuses in AZ, nationwide, and Israeli-occupied Palestine.

Before closing the rally, protestors made it clear that this is only the beginning of a long-term struggle for justice and freedom.

The demands declared yesterday assert that Wells Fargo:

  • Divest from the Prison Industry
  • Dump the prison stock from The GEO Group
  • Invest in humanity

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