Monthly archives: April, 2015

No Más Bebés (No More Babies)

Maria Figueroa, mother and plaintiff  Photo collage by Bill Russell

Maria Figueroa, mother and plaintiff. —Photo collage by Bill Russell

“We need a signature here.”—How many times have you heard that phrase at the doctor’s office when signing a document, contract, or at any other place where you may be receiving services? But how often do you stop to read what you’re actually signing?

At our last Civic Cinema of the Spring 2015 semester, we hosted a “sneak preview” film screening of No Más Bebés. Students were exposed to an ugly history of Latinas and Sterilization in the United States, in which Mexican-origin women were coercively sterilized at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and 1970s. In launching a federal class action lawsuit known as Madrigal v. Quilligan, 10 sterilized women inspired a movement that allowed others to come out and share their stories. After the screening, Professor Elena R. Gutierrez led a critical discussion that addressed concerns of the “population bomb” and sterilization today, and how the fight for reproductive justice continues.

In the documentary film, mother and plaintiff Consuelo Hermosillo shared in an interview: “And this lady came, I don’t remember seeing her face, I just remember her voice telling me, ‘Mijita, you better sign those papers or your baby could probably die here.’” See more at: S&F Online. Our signature, something we may take for granted, means quite a lot: it means we consent; that we agree with everything below or above our name.  If we don’t understand what we are signing, we have the right to pause and demand clarification, especially when we are entrusting our bodies and lives to doctors who are supposed to have our best interest in mind after all, right?

Like the new Facebook page: No Más Bebés!

Sofrito [soh-free-toh]: A Kitchen Canvas

On April 23rd, Jorge Félix joined us for an afternoon of storytelling and food demonstration. Preparing sofrito is much more than simply combining vegetables and herbs, but more about embracing cultural heritage, family and community. By using the kitchen as a safe and comfortable space—and sofrito as the medium—Jorge’s art comes alive through critical conversations on politics, diversity, building community and more!

Check out this short clip to learn more:

Missed the Zona Abierta public program at the LCC? See the photos in our Sofrito Flickr Album and make sure to “Like” the Facebook Page Sofrito by Jorge Félix to see what’s next!

Caring for Pachamama (Mother Earth)


“Pachamama” from

Earth Day, April 22nd, is the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. This year’s UIC EcoJam! on Earth Day at the Quad proved to be windy, chilly, and filled with flurries, but it still didn’t stop us from huddling together to stay warm and discuss our work on sustainability.

On April 20th, the LCC presented “At the Frontline of Climate Change” and witnessed the direct impact of oil, gas, and mining in Native American communities of Alaska and Montana from members of the Alaska Big Village Network. Then on April 22nd we screened “Standing on Sacred Ground: Fire and Ice,” which follows indigenous peoples from Ethiopia to Peru that are directly impacted by climate change. If you missed the film, check out their website for more ways to stay involved and take action!

Climate Change requires us to rethink our relationship with the earth, but how do we go beyond “eco-friendly?” Beyond compostable garbage bags or bringing our own mug to the coffee shop? Do you know who your representative is and where they stand on climate change issues? Where are you buying your food/clothing/things and what was the process of production for all of your stuff?


“Human vs Nature Chess” — Take Three Easy Steps to Sustainability: Educate Yourself, Ask Questions, & Take Action!

How are our daily choices a reflection of our values and the type of planet and community we want to live in? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but together we can choose to do work on the issues that matter—whether it’s transportation, factory farming, water issues, or holding corporations responsible for their actions. And above all, “How can we draw on cultural values and practices to address climate change?”


ROSA CABRERA: Chocolate’s rich history

Spotlight Image for Week 13 - Spring 2015

Rosa M. Cabrera, director of the Latino Cultural Center, developed the idea of the “Chocolate: Drink of Gods, Food of Mortals” series which uses cacao to link cultural heritage to contemporary life. – Photo: Joshua Clark

As the “Chocolate: Drink of Gods, Food of Mortals” series of educational public programs comes to an end, Rosa reflects on chocolate’s rich history, and how the Latino Cultural Center used cacao to explore the relationship between culture, memory, food and identity from Mesoamerican times to the present. See more at UIC News!

Also, inspired by the success of our chocolate series, the LCC has created an exhibit to be displayed at the UIC Daley Library through April 30th, 2016. For more details see “Chocolate: Drink of Gods, Food of Mortals” Exhibit – Opening Reception.


UIC Students Unite as “Undocumented & Unafraid!”

Spotlight Image for Week 12 - Spring 2015

Phoenix, from the Heritage Garden Student Group, kicked off the rally with a powerful poem about being an Asian immigrant living in the shadows.

On Tuesday, April 7th, student organization Fearless Undocumented Alliance (FUA) hosted their 2nd annual Coming Out of the Shadows rally at UIC. Undocumented students and allies shared their stories to break the silence and fight for access to higher education. FUA supported HB3528, which is a bill that will grant undocumented students the opportunity to apply for financial aid, scholarships, and tuition waivers.

If you missed the rally, see more at UIC News.