Dreamers Mobilize at Downtown LA’s Traction Avenue for LA .GOV and FWD.us Open-Source Data Event






















LOS ANGELES — Web developers, government officials, tech start-up entrepreneurs, and issue-advocates converged on Traction Avenue’s Hub LA for a Hack LA event. The event happened Tuesday, May 26th, days before the start of Immigrant Heritage Month. Also, Hack LA, or Hack for LA, kicks off the LA Hackathon in June, the same month as Immigrant Heritage Month. 

The Hackathon is a chance for web developers, designers, and civic-minded people to raise awareness about issues benefitting the common good. Tuesday night’s event also fit the rising theme of civic engagement that is a hallmark of LA culture.

Hosts from FWD.us, a co-event planner, rallied attendees to the cause of immigration reform vowing not to give up in the wake of disappointing news that a Texas Appeals Court blocked President Obama’s initiatives to build a path to citizenship for millions living in the United States.



#CSA2015 In Riverside, Riverside CA

 RIVERSIDE, CA — Is another university the answer? Maybe.

“Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy,” was the conference theme of this year’s annual conference. I participated on the Transanational Classroom panel.

Sarai Koo Launches Media Tour for Seoul Food: Short Stories of A Korean American Living in Los Angeles


Sarai Koo, an American woman of Korean ancestry, interrogates the myth of the “model minority” with poignancy and humor in her first book, Seoul Food: A Korean American Living in Los Angeles. This book is a contemporary memoir of a young woman’s ability to define herself despite pressures to conform.

Among the topics Koo takes on include body image and beauty standards, educational institutions, overcoming the aftermath of the 1990s LA riots, and, of course, food — Seoul food.

Although my personal opinion of this book may be biased due to my acquaintance with the author, the book’s biggest strength is that it shows the complexity of the LA-Pico Rivera community during the 1980s and 90s and beyond making this book a natural read for historians and urban planners, as well as anyone interested in culture.

I’m looking forward to chatting with Sarai Koo about what prompted her to write her memoir, so “stay tuned”.

The book is available at Vroman’s Bookstore Pasadena and Hasting’s Ranch, and on Amazon.

Get a copy!

Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies


The Cultural Studies Association’s 13th Annual Meeting is May 21-24th in Riverside, CA. http://www.culturalstudiesassociation.org.

This year’s theme is “Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy”.

General Submissions due December 15th. (See Working Groups tab located on website under “Working Groups” for specific deadlines for specific working groups.)

Notifications sent out February 15th.

Early registration begins February 15th.

Early registration ends and late registration begins April 15th.

View #CSA (www.culturalstudiesassociation.org) website for more information.

Get Outside When You Need to Connect with Yourself



The beauty of Descanso Gardens

Alienation, that creeping feeling of distance from some object, idea, or even oneself, may signal an authoritarian presence, as Adorno postulated in The Stars Down to Earth (2001). Turning away from the strongman (or woman), whether real or symbolic, takes curiosity about the world-at-large. Getting out becomes imperative. Connecting with nature offers an opportunity to contemplate our relationships, even our relationship with ourself.

Marcuse, in the essay, Nature and Revolution (1972), asks us to understand the mutability of nature.

By getting out of our heads and into the world, we risk getting acquainted with our own selves. We can visit a beautiful place, irrespective of history.

“Letters from Zora: In Her Own Words”: What a Play can Teach You about Resilience


(Top two photos from Google Images, and bottom photo by Gail Taylor.)

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) used her abilities as a writer, anthropologist, and,socialite to her advantage. And for 90-minutes on Sunday, May 18, the audience attending the Pasadena Playhouse production “Letters from Zora: In Her Own Words,” written by Gabrielle Denise Pina, directed by Anita Dashiell-Sparks, with original music by Ron McCurdy, got a rich welcome into the world of one of America’s most influential authors. Vanessa Bell Calloway’s portrayal stood up to the complexity of Hurston’s personality and left many audience members in tears as they rose to standing ovation immediately upon conclusion of this amazing monologue. (Writer, Pina was also teary-eyed as she arrived onstage with the director for curtain).

Continue reading ““Letters from Zora: In Her Own Words”: What a Play can Teach You about Resilience”