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Betty Reid-Soskin is America’s oldest National Park Ranger and one of the most beautiful people I have met in Richmond, Calif., across the bay from San Francisco. I had the pleasure of meeting her recently as she led a bus tour of the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, honoring the women who did factory worked for the war effort.
In a packed high school gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, President Barack Obama calmly spoke on the real possibility of comprehensive immigration reform. As I sat in my chair just 15 feet away from the president, I was trying to understand what was going on in front of me. As an individual that was undocumented for 22 years here in the United States, I couldn’t believe that I was about to hear a speech that I have dreamed of my entire adult life. Only four months prior, I would have not been allowed in to this event since I wouldn’t have been able to provide proper identification. Back then, I was an undocumented immigrant with very little opportunity in this country.
To honor the centennial of the birth of Rosa Parks on Feb. 4, 1913, the United States Postal Service has issued a Rosa Parks stamp. Last year, a stone carving of Parks was added to the National Cathedral. In 2005, she became the first woman and second African American to lie in honor in the nation's Capitol and, through a special act of Congress, a statue of her was ordered placed in the Capitol. Yet these tributes to Rosa Parks rest on a narrow and distorted vision of her legacy. As the story goes, a quiet Montgomery, Ala., seamstress with a single act challenged Southern segregation, catapulted a young Martin Luther King Jr. into national leadership and ushered in the modern civil rights movement. Parks' memorialization promotes an improbable children's story of social change -- one not-angry woman sat down, the country was galvanized and structural racism was vanquished.
OAKLAND, Calif. – Just when things were looking up for journalist Kevin Weston -- he had just been offered a prestigious Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University and he and his partner, Lateefah Simon, had less than a year earlier become parents of a baby girl – last August, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of blood cancer. The disease had compromised his immune system and became compounded by an infection to his throat. Doctors gave Weston, 44, two weeks to live. Since being diagnosed, Weston has endured a month-long stay in the ICU, five emergency surgeries and multiple hospitalizations. Some time during his ICU stay, he married Simon, a nationally recognized civil rights leader. Weston is now back home, but still in medical treatment. The radiation and chemotherapy treatment he is undergoing is helping him some, but he needs a bone marrow transplant in order to survive, and he needs it within two months. [Bone marrow produces blood cells.]
On January 29, 2013, the media industry lost a great leader. It was announced that Ezekiel "Zeke" Montes, President of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), passed away at age 64 from complications due to pneumonia. All of us here at EPMG offer our sincerest condolences to the Montes family during these tough times. "Zeke was a pioneer, a leader, and a respected ambassador for our industry. He will be tremendously missed, but his stamp on our world will last forever. We thank you Zeke for all your hard work and passion," said Trevor Hansen, CEO of EPMG.