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Portraits in Color

Stop the Asian Hate

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The recent mass shooting in Atlanta remind us of the deep divides that exist in our country. Naturally, given what we know about the case, we have to ask the question: “were the shootings racially motivated.” Dr. Frank explores this question and gives insight to why we can’t ignore the history of racism against Asian Americans in this country, the hateful speech that flowed as a result of the coronavirus, and the racist tropes of Asian women in particular.

This episode also sheds light on the inhumane treatment of children in detention facilities along the border as a result of failed U.S. immigration policy. Dr. Frank makes the case for comprehensive immigration reform and holds policy makers on both sides of the aisle to account for our nation’s failed immigration policy.

BONUS: At the end of this podcast, Dr. Frank shares an unreleased music track titled “The Border,” which was written, produced, and performed by Frank “Kiko” Mirabal.

The Border Credits:
Written, produced and performed by Frank “Kiko” Mirabal
Drums, Keyboards, Bass & Vocals: Frank “Kiko” Mirabal
Additional Vocals: Jak Bailey
Guitar Solo: Exavier “Mr. Ex” Viramontez
Spoken Word: Analisse Mirabal

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Portraits in Color

Can White Evangelical Church Leaders Eradicate the Racism the Church Helped Create?

Jer Swigart, Co-Founding Director of the Global Immersion Project

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Jer Swigart, Co-Founder of the Global Immersion Project is a peacemaker and pastor who confronts the racist past of the evangelical church and seeks to build church leaders who embrace a deeper understanding of Christianity–one that acknowledges the wrongs of the past while building anti-racist church leaders for the future. 

In this episode, Dr. Frank and Jer dive deep into the intersections of White nationalism and the church,  discuss his work as a global peacemaker, and explore a conversation where church leaders lead a movement that is rooted in justice.

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Portraits in Color

The Reciprocity Project

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What would schooling look like if the school had a symbiotic relationship with the community? What would student engagement look like if we actually asked the students themselves how they wanted to be involved in their school and school community? These are some of the big questions guiding The Reciprocity Project, which is a pilot project of Future Focused Education in Albuquerque, NM.

In the wake of high-stakes testing, The Reciprocity Project seeks to engage voices outside of the education sector to reimagine what education should look like. This new vision pushes schooling outside of the traditional accountability framework where teaching to the test and school report cards became the norm.

Tony Monfiletto, Moneka Stevens and Kateri Zuni from Future Focused Education discuss issues of institutional racism, new measures of student accountability and much more in this episode. 

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Portraits in Color

The Vespa Diaries

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You never fully appreciate life’s simple pleasures until they are gone.  For Greg Webb, a world traveler that has visited over 60 countries, COVID-19 has grounded his travel for almost a year now.  As he will quickly acknowledge, travel restrictions are a necessary step towards getting a once in a lifetime pandemic under control. However, the itch to travel is at an all-time high.

In this episode, Greg talks about his many travel adventures, including trips to Cuba, Serbia, and a hilarious story that involves Spain, Vespas, and super glue.  He also offers valuable tips for traveling the world on a limited budget. 

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Portraits in Color

Finding Family Trees

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In May of 2018, Tess took a DNA test and submitted it to Ancestry. A sealed adoption at birth left her with no details of her birth parents. However, submitting her DNA test was more about learning her ethnicity than finding new family members.

Lacey submitted her DNA to Ancestry in 2015 at the urging of her sister Amy, who is the family historian. Unlike Tess, she was not adopted and wanted to learn more about her family history.

Little did they know their worlds would collide. Their DNA results would reveal deeply buried family secrets, unexpected branches to their family trees, and would provide answers that they were not necessarily seeking. Follow all of the interesting twists and turns of their story on the latest episode of Portraits in Color.

If you would like assistance in finding family members through DNA, Amy McKane is here to help. Please contact her at Your Family History Mystery on Facebook. 

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Portraits in Color

Movement Music with Baracutanga

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Baracutanga is a seven-piece band representing four countries: Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and the United States. The band was born out of a mutual love for traditional South American music, and a now legendary jam session. Their music is a reflection of the times covering social justice issues, such as immigration and women’s rights. 

This episode was recorded using COVID safe practices at Studio 519 in Albuquerque, NM. It also features two, live studio performances from the band. 

Links to learn more about Baracutanga

Band website

Facebook page

Latest releases

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Portraits in Color

Latino Decisions 2020

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In perfect 2020 fashion, this year’s presidential election has been filled with conspiracy theories, allegations of voter fraud, and unprecedented voter counts and recounts in battleground states. As we near the deadline for states to certify their results, one thing is clear: voter engagement during this election cycle–pandemic and all–was at an all time high. 

As the saying goes, victory has many mothers and fathers. There has been no shortage of groups that feel confident that they put the Biden-Harris ticket “over the top.” The Native American population, in particular the Navajo Nation came out big for the democratic ticket. Then there’s the Stacey Abram effect in getting out the African American vote in Georgia that delivered victory in a key swing state. Both of these narratives are true. So, what role did the Latino vote play in this election? 

Dr. Gabe Sanchez, Principal Latino Decisions

To answer this question, Dr. Frank recently had the opportunity to catch up with Dr. Gabe Sanchez, Principal at Latino Decisions and Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico to discuss the nuance of the Latino electorate and its impact on the 2020 election.

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Portraits in Color

The Worldwide Appeal of Lowrider Culture

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Historians trace lowrider culture back to the early 30’s and 40’s as an extension of pachuco culture.  If you’re unfamiliar with pachuco culture, check out Edward James Olmos in Zoot Suit.  Yes, he was in other movies beyond Stand and Deliver! Some historians trace its origins to the El Paso/Juarez region, while others say it originated in the barrios of East LA.  We’ll leave that debate to the Tejanos and the East Los crowd.  Post World War II, many ex-military men from the southwest migrated to Los Angeles to work in aircraft factories, bringing along their passion for customized rides.  By the 60’s, lowriders became identified with the Chicano movement, as these cars began to symbolize a proud cultural identity that still exists today. 

Photo: Jeffrey Hertz

These cars are an artistic expression of familia, culture and religion.  They glow with brilliant colors, religious symbols, and wired rims. You might see the sparks fly from their bodies scraping the pavement as they creep down the street “low and slow” or hear the squeaks of the hydraulics as they bounce from side-to-side.  

Lowrider exhibit Albuquerque International Sunport

Lowrider culture has had significant influence in the worlds of music, fashion, and art.  Back in the 70’s, you could hear War’s Chicano Rock anthem Lowrider pulsating from car speakers on downtown streets from Burque to LA.  The marriage between car culture and music re-emerged in the 90’s with videos featuring South Central LA rappers Eazy E and Dr. Dre.  Remember the G-thang video?  Lowrider influenced fashion even made its way into mainstream pop music.  Do you remember Gwen Stefani rocking the chola look in her early No Doubt days?  

Lowriders as an expression of mobile art can be found in prominent art galleries, in national museums like the Smithsonian, and adorning international avenues from Japan to Australia. Facebook groups highlighting Lowrider Culture have six-figure followings and towns, like Española, NM have branded themselves the Lowrider Capital of the World.   

I think it’s safe to say, the culture has officially moved from the underground to the mainstream.

Dr. Frank recently had the opportunity to catch up with two OGs from Duke’s Car ClubFrank Chavez and Albert Muniz to learn more about lowrider culture and its worldwide appeal.

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Portraits in Color

Achieving Equity in the Workplace

Only 1% of Fortune 500 companies have a Black CEO. Aside from the huge racial gaps in leadership positions, even getting a job for people of color can be a huge challenge. For example, studies have found that when Native Americans are similar to whites in terms of factors such as age, sex, education level, marital status, and state of residence, their odds of being employed are 31 percent lower than those of whites.

Dr. Frank recently had the opportunity to speak with Kara Bobroff, Founder of the Native American Community Academy and NACA Inspired Schools Network, Josue Olivares, Executive Director of the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation, and Ken Carson, Owner of Nexus Brewery to explore issues of equity in the workplace and how they approach building institutions with equity at the center. 

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Portraits in Color

#MaskUp: Are Masks Effective in Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19?

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Medical mask wearing has a long history that can be traced back as far as the 17th century. During the Flu Pandemic of 1918, cities around the world passed mandatory mask-wearing orders to help prevent spread and protect doctors and nurses from contagious patients. Historians suggest that Americans widely embraced mask wearing as an “emblem of public spiritedness and discipline.” Even our pop culture icons like Batman and the Lone Ranger were celebrated mask wearers…..OK, that’s a bit of a stretch, but you get the point.

Dr. Jennifer Phillips, UNM School of Family and Community Medicine

So, how did wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic become so controversial? Ok, I think we know the reason for this too. So, maybe the better question is: what does the science tell us about wearing a mask? 

In this episode, Dr. Jennifer Phillips from the UNM School of Family and Community Medicine and Bridget Llanes from Bernalillo County Community Health Council join Dr. Frank to discuss the importance of wearing a mask, the types of masks that are most effective in preventing spread, how often you should clean your mask, and most importantly, what do scientists who study this have to say about wearing a mask to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?