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Spring 2011 The Future Issue: From the Editor

2011 marks La Gente’s 40th anniversary, and to celebrate this milestone with our readers, we’ve asked past Gentistas to reflect on their experiences. We also explored some of our most memorable and influential moments captured in our newly-digitized archives.

Though we began representing the Chicano population during the height of their movement, La Gente has expanded its mission over the years to increasingly represent the diverse Latino community.

Our culture, as well as our community, is growing and transforming. Mexican author Jose Vasconcelos envisioned a world where humanity transcends race, territory and ideology with a new race that blends all others: “la raza cosmica.” As a Salvi-Chinese Latina, I find myself meeting more people who, like me, embody the mixing of races and cultures usually thought of as far removed from each other—a confirmation of this evolving reality.

In this issue, we look to the future. We’ve covered developments in high school and college education, commentary on the future of race relations, expansion of Latinos in the media, and the evolution of our language, to name just a few.

We’ve advanced far from our beginnings, but a considerable distance still awaits us. Even with the in- creasing presence of Latinos in higher education, we’re still often behind our peer graduation rates; the biggest factor affecting us is whether or not our institutions offer systematic support. Undocumented students on our campus have found peer support, but they still wait for institutional aid and immigra- tion reform.

Race and politics remain inseparable. To realize the goal of a unified cosmic race we must actively con- tinue advancements towards equality and maintain our optimism.

Let us celebrate our accomplishments by using history to inspire and appreciate what past generations of Latinos have achieved for us. Like the past, we must remember that our actions today, whether monumental or seemingly innocuous, will affect the future.

Meet La Gente’s Editor

Samantha Lim-La Gente's 2010-2011 Editor

When some people meet Samantha Lim, they ask her, “What are you?”

She says she doesn’t like that question, but it depends on how people ask.

“I say that my dad’s from L.A. and my mom’s from El Salvador,” Lim said, current Editor in Chief of La Gente Newsmagazine. “But then they give me a certain look, so then I say that I’m half Chinese.”

Lim, a fourth-year English and Spanish student, remembers walking with her Salvadorian mom in Latino-dominated supermarkets in Los Angeles where she received inquisitive stares from others.

“I remember hearing people ask my mom, ‘Is that your daughter?’” Lim added.

As she grew up, Lim said that at many times she felt out of place from either side of the Chinese or Latino community.

“The first time my husband and I realized Samantha felt alienated by both cultures, and it broke her heart,” Lim’s mother said. “We learned of it from a high school essay that she wrote.”

In elementary school, Lim said that other students would say she was smart because she’s Asian. She said such classmates’ comments devalued her work as if she did not put her own effort into her assignments.

“[The situation] is the same thing when it comes to Latinas,” Lim said. “Why don’t you say that about them?”

Although she is also Latina, she said others might not identify her as that because not only does she look more Asian, she doesn’t speak Spanish. She said she feels that speaking Spanish is like a marker for Latino identity. She said she wants to break this stereotype.

She says she wants to broaden her Latina identity through La Gente Newsmagazine. She wants other communities to distinguish Latinos away from their stereotypes. As Editor-in-Chief, she hopes to continue sending messages that there is a diversity within the Latino community and that each of them has his or her own individual identity.

As Lim raised her hand in front of her face with her palm open, she imitated the shape of a mirror. She referred Carlos Fuentes’ book “El Espejo Enterrado.”

“I learned to look at your reflection, knowing that it’s not yourself but a representation of yourself,” Lim said. “Everything is a representation that can be worked, bent, changed. It depends on your perspective. Maybe that reflection is how people see you. But you are also projecting your own ideas onto that mirror.”

Meet La Gente’s Editor

Samantha Lim-La Gente's 2010-2011 Editor

When some people meet Samantha Lim, they ask her, “What are you?”

She says she doesn’t like that question, but it depends on how people ask.

“I say that my dad’s from L.A. and my mom’s from El Salvador,” Lim said, current Editor in Chief of La Gente Newsmagazine. “But then they give me a certain look, so then I say that I’m half Chinese.”

Lim, a fourth-year English and Spanish student, remembers walking with her Salvadorian mom in Latino-dominated supermarkets in Los Angeles where she received inquisitive stares from others.

“I remember hearing people ask my mom, ‘Is that your daughter?’” Lim added.

As she grew up, Lim said that at many times she felt out of place from either side of the Chinese or Latino community.

“The first time my husband and I realized Samantha felt alienated by both cultures, and it broke her heart,” Lim’s mother said. “We learned of it from a high school essay that she wrote.”

In elementary school, Lim said that other students would say she was smart because she’s Asian. She said such classmates’ comments devalued her work as if she did not put her own effort into her assignments.

“[The situation] is the same thing when it comes to Latinas,” Lim said. “Why don’t you say that about them?”

Although she is also Latina, she said others might not identify her as that because not only does she look more Asian, she doesn’t speak Spanish. She said she feels that speaking Spanish is like a marker for Latino identity. She said she wants to break this stereotype.

She says she wants to broaden her Latina identity through La Gente Newsmagazine. She wants other communities to distinguish Latinos away from their stereotypes. As Editor-in-Chief, she hopes to continue sending messages that there is a diversity within the Latino community and that each of them has his or her own individual identity.

As Lim raised her hand in front of her face with her palm open, she imitated the shape of a mirror. She referred Carlos Fuentes’ book “El Espejo Enterrado.”

“I learned to look at your reflection, knowing that it’s not yourself but a representation of yourself,” Lim said. “Everything is a representation that can be worked, bent, changed. It depends on your perspective. Maybe that reflection is how people see you. But you are also projecting your own ideas onto that mirror.”