Chicana/o Studies – Publishing an Alternative View Since 1970 – CSU, Northridge

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El Popo Staff has 172 articles published.

CSUN Department of Chicana/o Studies Statement In Solidarity with Black Lives Matter!

in The Word is Text/Uncategorized by

There are times that voices need to rise to articulate what is already certain. 

We the faculty and staff of the Department of Chicana/o Studies at California State University, Northridge emphatically restate and reaffirm our support and uncompromising solidarity for and with our Black sisters and brothers. Our department owes much to the bold Black students who faced extreme violence and repression while leading a movement that resulted in the establishment of the Educational Opportunity Program and the founding of the Africana Studies and Chicano/a Studies Departments on our campus. For too long we have seen and personally experienced the white supremacist criminalization of Black and Brown bodies, the predatory nature of the criminal legal system, the bestial nature of policing, and the impunity of police murders. We acknowledge and value the brave stance and mobilization of Black Lives Matter! against repression, suppression, and police murder. We acknowledge that Black Lives Matter! draws specific attention to the plight of Black men and women to live, walk, and breathe free of the threat of violence and murder at the hands of police and we stand in unity with the movement. We See You! We Hear You! We Walk With You! 

`— In Solidarity,  The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Northridge.

My COVID-19 Experience

in The Word is Text by

by Hector Guardado

Hector Guardado

When I see the Los Angeles County numbers for the coronavirus, I cannot help it but think that I am part of the statistics.

On March 25th,2020, after class was over on Zoom, I started to feel tired and a bit cold that evening. When my body started aching, I took my temperature, and it was at 102 degrees at 10 p.m.

The next eleven days would be the worst, I have felt in my life. Everyday from March 25 until April 5, I was unable to get off my bed. My body ached, my temperature stayed at 102 degrees, my head hurt. I developed a serious cough and any movement I did would make me run out of breath.

My wife said, “this is the worst I have ever seen you.” I also lost the sense of taste and smell. I was ready to give up on life, it felt like it would never end. I did not know what day it was; all I did was sleep to avoid all the pain my body felt.

On April 1, after having my fever for eight days, my lips were turning pale, and my wife was worried that my oxygen level in my body was getting too low, so she took me to the emergency room at Kaiser in Panorama City. My wife even said, “I was worried that you would stop breathing overnight and die on me and I wouldn’t know what to do.” While at Kaiser, my wife was not allowed to go in with me, so she waited in the car while they checked me out. There, they took my temperature, my oxygen level, and asked me a few questions. After those questions, they made me spit into a cup, which turned out to be the coronavirus test. After a couple of hours, the doctor sent me home. I was told I was young enough to fight any symptoms at home.

After two days, on April 3, Kaiser called and told me that I have tested positive for the coronavirus and should quarantine for 14 days, along with everyone that live with me. I was also told to tell everyone that I came in contact with from the 14 days back from my first symptoms. I was told that they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Now that I feel a lot better, I realized that trying to get tested for the coronavirus was not as easy as the Mayor or Governor made it seem during the beginning of the pandemic. I had called the doctor multiple times before my testing, and all they said is that I had an infection. Lucky for me, my wife was alert and took me to the emergency room to finally get tested. I am also lucky to have family members drop off food, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper while my family and I were quarantined. To this day, I still have not receive any special medicine or any treatment for the coronavirus, but I finally found out what was truly wrong with me, and now I’m part of the statistics.

Chicano Icon Passes Away

in The Word is Text by

by Alejandra Iglesias and Alejandra Rodriguez

Image of Bobby Verdugo
Bobby Verdugo

Bobby Verdugo was a mentor for many. It began during the 1968 Chicano student walkouts in East Los Angeles. Verdugo walked out to protest discrimination and dropout rates among Mexican American students. He was born to Chicano parents in Lincoln Heights, California. On May 1, 2020, he passed away at the age of 69. Daughter, Monica Verdugo, alongside wife and family, announced the news on Facebook that her father had died. Verdugo, Rios and other Latino students organized peaceful walkouts of schools across Los Angeles. The police reacted violently to these events and they would beat these high school students who were just seeking fair treatment. Eventually, the schools ended the punishment of speaking Spanish and later introduced bilingual education classes only years later.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, Verdugo’s experienced with the following: “They subjected him and others to paddlings in front of fellow students for speaking Spanish in class, incidents that he bitterly remembered decades later.” Wife, Yoli Rios, who went to high school with Verdugo mentioned to ABC News, “He tried to make a joke about it when it happened, but I know it was painful.” These students’ experiences were highlighted in the 2006 HBO movie, “Walkout” and actor, Efren Ramirez played Verdugo.

In 1995 he co-founded Con Los Padres which helped young Latino fathers. He explained that many young fathers received backlash telling them they had ruined their lives. Verdugo recalled his teacher from high school Sal Castro, who was there for Verdugo when he was a student and pushed him to stand up against teachers who were mistreating him. He reminded the young fathers to feel good about themselves and there were people like himself that cared about them just like Castro had done for him in his high school years.

At the age of 40, he decided to attend California State University, Los Angeles to earn his degree to help in outreach and become a social worker. He noticed that there were limited resources for young-at-risk men that weren’t punitive which lead him to co-founding Con Los Padres. This innovative program counseled teenage Latino fathers. The Los Angeles Times talks about that in the following: “He connected with them by organizing circulos: talking circles that modeled on Mesoamerican traditions in which his young acolytes could drop their machismo and freely discuss their feelings while reconnecting with their roots.”

Verdugo surely made an impact from the walkouts up until his last moments on Earth and he will be greatly missed in the Chicanx community.

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