On Wednesday November 20th AFSCME 3299, a union representing more than 22,000 campus service workers and patient care workers from UC Universities and hospitals, along with the UC Student-Worker Union UAW 2865, students and other allies, marched, picketed and rallied at UCLA’s BruinBear, the Hill and the Ronald Reagan Medical Center.

12This sympathy strike was the result of the wage and benefit cuts that many UC workers are facing along with unfair labor practices at a time when tuition costs keep increasing, but ironically budget cuts have created under-staffing on the jobs.

9Undergrad and Graduate students as well as T.As, professors and employees in general were encouraged to support the strike by not eating in the dining halls, not teaching, not buying at any of UCLA’s student stores and most of all, joining the picket lines and rally.


Princess with Purpose

For those who are looking for a princess that your daughter, sister, niece or yourself, can praise more for her ethical principles than her appearance, the Guardian Princesses Alliance offers a handful of princesses that provide an alternative paradigm to the Disney Princess market.

By focusing on teaching young children about current global issues and how to approach them through a nonviolent philosophy, the writers of a princess series hope to bring together an alternative perspective on what a princess should look and act like. In hopes that they can fundraise money and get some feedback from the community prior to the publication of the first series, Ashanti McMillon and Setsu Shigematsu gave a lecture discussing and promoting their organization, The Guardian Alliance, this past Sunday November 17th at Cal Poly Pomona.

image2The authors of the series that will contain three books are still working on the logistics of the publication, but anyone interested in pre-purchasing, finding out more about the parables or becoming a member can check out their official webpage at www.guardianprincesses.com.

image3The community of scholars, professors, teachers, and parents demonstrated good reception to the books and its strategy in offering a different market for parents and girls ages 2-13 that want a princess to emulate or who share cultural identities and values that resemble theirs.

UCLA’s Forgotten Gem: Fowler Museum

The Fowler Museum is an unexpected and forgotten gem located in UCLA. With floating exhibitions that vary from air-filled globes installations, to Chipicuaro Ancient Mexican art, Fowler Museum has an art piece that would spark the interest of anyone and please the eye of any art aficionados.


Front entrance of Fowler Museum

Front entrance of Fowler Museum

Art piece inside musuem

Art piece inside musuem

Decorative globes on a side of the building

Decorative globes on a side of the building

The installation of globes give a playful feeling to the aesthetic of the museum as well as an outdoor fountain. It takes any person through a geographical jungle.


Fowler Museum’s Gift Shop

And if you want to start an early Christmas shopping spree or just feel like getting yourself something artsy, worldly, and unique, you can check out Fowler Museum’s gift shop.

Visit UCLA’s Fowler Museum and rediscover this often forgotten gem!


National Immigrant Youth Alliance and the Dreamer9

The National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) is a national community organization led by undocumented youth who seek to create equality for all immigrants regardless of their undocumented status. NIYA’s most recent campaign happened this past summer where nine undocumented students who had voluntarily left the country or had been deported to Mexico, attempted to cross the U.S. border through Nogales, Mexico. Known as the Dream9, these students, dressed in cap and gowns, were arrested and detained at the Eloy Detention Center in Texas and where released after two weeks. The #BringThemHome Campaign successfully allowed the nine students to reenter the country legally while waiting on their asylum visas or immigration court cases.


Members of NIYA giving a presentation at UCLA

Luis Leon was born in Veracruz, Mexico and at the age of 5 migrated to North Carolina with his family. After his graduation, he realized that going to a college was not an option if he stayed where he lived. Luis moved to Washington state with the hope of continuing his educational career. After not being able to enroll in any college, Luis decided to move back to Mexico leaving his family behind. When he heard the news about Deferred Action, Luis consecutively tried to cross the border, but failed. On his fourth try, he was banned from the country for 20 years. Luis got the opportunity to be part of the Dream9, and thanks to the #BringThemHome Campaign, Luis is now back into the country with his family.

Dreamer Luis Leon

Dreamer Luis Leon



Art photography by Abelardo Morell

What credits a photograph as art?

Nowadays, it is  hard to think of that possibility with all the new technologies and apps meant to improve photography so you can share them on all the social networks with only a click and a few filter changes. Thinking of photographs as art is now very questionable.

Also, with the trivialization of photography – where everyone has become an “Instagram” photographer, sharing pictures of their daily meals, cute pets and “selfies” that show how great they look in an elevator’s mirror – it is quite understandable how professional photographers are easily losing their credibility.

When looking at these issues it’s quite odd to believe in photography as art. Yet, they develop complex themes, use different and innovative ways of photographing, while not forgetting the most important factor: the possibility of making people feel certain emotions only by looking at their pictures.

Abelardo Morell is one of those photographers. Born in Cuba, but raised in America, he can be called an artist. By using the earlier techniques of photography, such as Camera Obscura, Photogram, Cliché-Verres and also various simple but yet very strong objects, such as tents, he created a unique kind of photography, and for those reasons he became an artist photographer who has his work exhibited in many famous museums and galleries.

What is most interesting about Morell’s work is the way he develops his photos’ themes, which go deeply into the photo, making a strong and relevant, simple everyday photograph. One of his collections is entitled “Books”, where he used actual books to create shadows and lights through different angles and positions and demonstrated the art of photography.
Books_02Another good example is his incredible work, “Camera Obscura”, in which he darkened rooms and made small holes that would reveal the outside as images reflected inside those rooms. He used this technique of photography to create a very colorful and illuminating snapshot; he also did it in black & white photography. With “Camera Obscura” he proved that it’s possible to be avant-garde by still using old ideas.
CameraObscura_01The collection “Tent” is similar to “Camera Obscura”, but it has a unique element that Morrell used to create these photos. By using a tent as a tool for his photographs, he shows the audience that we can use all kinds of elements, the most simple ones, to create strong pictures. What matters here are the “eyes”, all the different looks you implement to make a photo unique and singular. This is what makes photography an art , and Abelardo knows very well how to do it.

Tent_03You can see all these incredible pictures of Abelardo Morell at The Getty Museum, until January 14th. If you like photography and if you like art, don’t miss it!

Go to http://www.thegetty.edu for more information.
All images from: http://www.abelardomorell.net.

Raymond Ortega, 17, at the finish line of the ''Drive for Life" that was inspired by his Aplastic Anemia.

Student-led benefit inspired by classmate’s illness

Raymond Ortega, 17, at the finish line of the ”Drive 4 Life.” 


LA CAUSA students gathered Monday Nov. 11th despite a day off from classes for a fellow classmate who suffers from Aplastic Anemia, which is a blood cell deficiency due to a failure in bone marrow development.

“Ive been fighting it for about four years,” Raymond Ortega said.  “At the beginning it was really bad…I would be in the hospital, in and out…at least four to eight months at a time for just having a fever.”


Students welcome participants, and check donating eligibility.

Students welcome participants, and check donating eligibility.


After being made aware of their classmate’s condition, the students organized a bone marrow match drive, held Monday, outside the facility where they typically have classes. With special help from Delete Blood Cancer and El Tepeyac Cafe, the students organized an event for the community to participate in.


Students, staff, collecting monetary donations and registering participants.

Students, staff, collecting monetary donations and registering participants.


With such a condition, Ortega has had academic and social difficulties. “I didn’t really go to school,” he said. Further, Ortega shared that many wouldn’t talk to him after he opened up about his condition. However, he says that over time he’s found a sense of confidence in being able to share his story, especially at LA CAUSA.

Originally, one of Ortega’s teachers, knowing of his condition, asked Ortega if a drive could be held in his honor. After Ortega shared his story with his classmates– a lot of whom did not know him– they began organizing.


Students at the "swabbing" table, assisting participants.

Students at the “swabbing” table, assisting participants.


“Honestly, it was a really quick process,” Campos said, LA CAUSA student since October and lead organizer of the drive. She was chosen after peers heard her communicating on the phone; they were fascinated by her communication skills. Campos called the donors and organized other logistics of the drive.

“A lot of people donated; I was really surprised,” said Campos. “I’m really proud of everybody.”

With over 50 donations and a huge support from fellow classmates, Ortega says, “It feels good (to have) people that support me and other people that have the same thing that I do.”


*Editor’s note: La Gente wishes all the best to Raymond and his family.