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HISPANIC (B)

HISPANIC (B)

President of The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Accused of Sexual Harrasment

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The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, an organization that advocates on behalf of over 4 million Latinx business, is having it’s own #metoo moment.

The NY Times reported that the chamber’s President & CEO, Javier Palomarez, has been accused of sexual harassment by his former chief of staff, Gissel Gazek Nicholas.

RELATED: Calls for the Resignation of Nevada’s First Latino Member Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

According to The Times, “Ms. Nicholas, who was fired last fall, made the accusations in a letter that her lawyer wrote to the chamber’s board and in an interview with The Times. The letter said that Mr. Palomarez sexually assaulted her, created a hostile work environment and wrongfully terminated her from her chief of staff role.”

Recounting the incident, Nicholas asserts via The Times that after a staff meeting in a Chicago hotel suite, Palomarez asked Nicholas to stay behind, then “grabbed my hand gently, and is rubbing the back of my hand, and says that he’s incredibly attracted to me, and wondered what it would be like to be with me. He asked if I had ever thought about being with him. I said, ‘Oh, Jav, we shouldn’t go there,’ On her way out the door, she said he pulled her toward him and tried to kiss her before she broke away.”

According to Buzzfeed and The Times, Palomarez, is also under investigation by the chamber for misappropriating funds, allegedly misusing the “organization’s money for his personal salary and bonuses.”

Before these troublesome allegations, Palomarez had already been a divisive figure at the chamber for his flip-flop relationship with Donald Trump. Over the last three years, Palomarez has both courted and criticized the President, infuriating both chamber members and White House alike, according to a story from Bloomberg.

Upon learning of the harassment allegations, powerful Latinas have begun lending their support to Nicholas, via social:

 

 

 

The chamber’s board has hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations, and are meeting to discuss the situation and the future of the organization.

RELATED: America Ferrera Shares Heartbreaking #MeToo Story of Being Sexually Assaulted as a Child



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HISPANIC (B)

Conditions for minority-owned businesses in Jefferson City improving

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Phillippia Rome’s kitchen serves as her canvas.

Each day, the owner of The Blue Skillet restaurant serves tasty soul food like chicken and waffles, fried fish and pork chops. Hearty Southern sides like candied yams, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes round out the menu.

Rome taught herself to cook long before moving to Mid-Missouri to open the restaurant. Food serves as her art form, and she feels blessed to share it with Jefferson City residents.

After opening The Blue Skillet in October 2015, Rome said, Jefferson City welcomed her with open arms. Still, she added, divisions exist in the community.

“The first time I’ve ever been called the N-word by a white person was here,” Rome said.

Black business owners like Rome and city leaders said the city tries to embrace people of all races but sometimes falls short. Some members of the community said people of color in business need to become more involved in community organizations. Others said the scars of decades of racial injustice still loom over the city.

Rome moved to Jefferson City in 2015 at the prodding of her brother, former Lincoln University President Kevin Rome. Her restaurant displays mementos like a 100-year-old stove in the kitchen and trash cans from a Quiznos location in Rome’s former home of Columbus, Georgia.

Kevin Rome insisted on financing the operation, Phillippia Rome said, partially because she didn’t have the credit to qualify for a bank loan.

Joy Wheatfall, director of Lincoln University’s Small Business Development Center, said people of color sometimes struggle to find loans to start businesses in the Midwest. Demographics cause part of this, Wheatfall said, as white people make up the majority of many Midwestern cities and towns, including Jefferson City.

People of color, Wheatfall said, tend to seek out people who look like themselves. Still, she said, several Jefferson City banks do a great job of lending to entrepreneurs of color and educating them about the process of starting a business.

“We are gaining great support,” Wheatfall said. “It’s a good ecosystem. Everyone is stepping in and providing what they can.”

Forming a plan

In September 2017, four white youths photographed themselves with a car showing racially insensitive language and imagery drawn into dirt on the back windshield.

Backlash came swiftly. Jefferson City Public Schools disciplined three of the teenagers who were local students and re-evaluated its own commitment to diversity.

After the incident, Faith Voices of Jefferson City held a series of meetings to discuss how local institutions can become more diverse.

The Rev. Cassandra Gould, who serves as executive director of Missouri Faith Voices, moved to Jefferson City eight years ago. As she settled in, it shocked her to see how few black-owned businesses the community had.

Since then, Gould said, a few new black-owned businesses have popped up.

Still, the incident started a conversation about how to create more economic opportunities for local people of color.

“We’re in some community conversations about what it would look like to have more African-Americans engaged in business,” Gould said. “It is part of our economic justice work to eliminate the barriers African-American business owners run into.”

The largest minority

White residents make up a greater share of Jefferson City’s population than the rest of Missouri and the country. In 2016, white residents made up 83.3 percent of Jefferson City’s population, compared to 81.8 percent of Missourians and 70 percent of U.S. residents, according to data from the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Black residents make up a greater share of Jefferson City’s population than the rest of Missouri’s population but a smaller share than the rest of the United States. In 2016, black residents made up 12 percent of the city’s population, compared to 11.9 percent of Missouri’s population and 13.3 percent of the U.S. population.

The ratios are similar for Hispanic, Asian, Native American and mixed-race residents.

Black business leaders around town guessed only a handful of black-owned businesses exist locally. Phillippia Rome pegged the number at 20. Several put it closer to 10.

Despite this, the 2012 U.S. Economic Census said Cole County had 369 black-owned businesses in 2012, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. The same year, Missouri ranked No. 19 nationwide with 36,230 black-owned businesses, 1.4 percent of all businesses statewide.

A map provided by MERIC shows fewer than 200 black-owned businesses existed in Callaway County at the time, and Moniteau and Miller counties did not have enough black-owned businesses to tabulate in the study.

Data from the Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity show only 10 businesses in Jefferson City currently have a minority-owned business certification from the state of Missouri.

Minority- and women-owned business certification entitles businesses to greater opportunities to bid on state contracts, primarily helping companies that serve government clients. Applicants also must submit at least two years of tax returns and complete other paperwork.

Demolishing The Foot

Glover Brown remembers a time when black businesses flourished. Born in 1952, Brown’s parents owned a barbecue restaurant in the heart of Jefferson City’s one-time black business and residential district.

Named The Foot for its location at the bottom of Lafayette Street, the district stretched along Lafayette Street between East Dunklin Street and Miller Street.

Over the years, Brown has owned several local businesses including an outdoor advertising company.

“It has not,” Brown responded when asked how Jefferson City’s business community improved for minority groups since the 1960s. “The Hispanics, the Asians have come here and been able to flourish, but black-owned businesses still have a little trouble.”

For about 100 years from the 1860s to the 1960s, black communities grew up around The Foot. Before the Civil War, through about 1880, more than 80 percent of the city’s black population lived near downtown in today’s Commercial Way. During segregation, black businesses flourished as they hosted sports and entertainment stars like Satchel Paige, Wilt Chamberlain and the Harlem Globetrotters.

A federal plan in the 1960s bulldozed the heart of the The Foot to make room for U.S. 50. An urban renewal plan created at the time could have offered low-interest loans to business owners to help them rebuild.

It never happened. A 1962 report dubbed the area blighted, and business owners including Brown’s parents accepted below-market values for their properties. In the 1960s, Brown said, what happened in Jefferson City mirrored a nationwide effort to dismantle the black economy.

“There was a systemic way to eliminate the entire black community,” Brown said. “All you’ve got to do is look at the footprint and see how they destroyed it.”

Brown is intensely proud his family traces its roots in central Missouri back to the late 1700s and its roots in Jefferson City to the 1920s.

“We’ve always had a presence in Jefferson City,” Brown said.

Like Phillippia Rome, Brown described occasional instances of racism he’s experienced in recent years.

One particular underlying problem, he said, is the city’s leaders don’t recruit enough minority-owned business. In turn, minority business owners are skittish to move to the area, he added.

“They don’t feel like there’s a climate here for them to flourish,” Brown said. “There’s not a large enough minority community for them to get established and for the white community to begin to learn who they are.”

Mayor Carrie Tergin said she can’t speak for what has happened in the past; she can only try to make the city the best place it can be now and in the future.

“Perhaps we haven’t realized that our welcoming door is not as open as it could be,” Tergin said. “We can make a difference now and increase awareness.”

As a result of community dialogue over recent months, Jefferson City revived its Human Relations Commission seven years after it went dormant. The new commission held its first meeting in late January and said it wants to hear from a variety of viewpoints so the city can become more inclusive.

A welcoming community

Some differences in opinion in the black business community could be generational. Some non-Jefferson City natives don’t know as much about past injustices in The Foot.

Recently Andria Hendricks, 42, left her job as a business professor at Lincoln University to found her second company. ASTRADA Business Solutions provides business consulting and advising services. Previously, Hendricks started and ran a mortgage brokerage for about seven years. The Great Recession hampered business, though, and Hendricks moved to the job at Lincoln.

An East St. Louis native, she has found Jefferson City to be nothing but welcoming to all people during her 24 years in the city.

“I have not encountered any problems whatsoever,” Hendricks said. “It’s been business as usual for me.”

As Missouri’s capital, people from all over the world visit Jefferson City. Tergin thinks the city and its business climate welcome and accept all people.

Still, it bothered Tergin to hear people like Phillippia Rome experience acts of racism. The city’s residents must not condone acts like these, she said.

“We want to make sure we’re welcoming,” Tergin said. “It really does start with us. There may be ways that we can do better.”

Business owners in Jefferson City tend to be predominantly white, Hendricks acknowledged. Still, she said, a small but growing group of entrepreneurs makes up a diverse segment of the business community.

“When you think of entrepreneurs, you think of the mindset of the people,” Hendricks said. “So in that regard, I don’t think that’s a problem.”

Once she finishes the paperwork, Hendricks plans to use the tools she has by filing for minority- and women-owned business status.

Taking action

By and large, community members said if people want to see change in Jefferson City, they must take it upon themselves to volunteer for groups and leadership positions. Some lamented minority groups remain under-represented in leadership positions within local businesses and organizations.

Both white and black residents said, though, that businesses and organizations can make selections only from the pool of candidates who apply. If minorities don’t seek executive jobs and leadership positions, white and black community members concede, it’s hard to find people of color for those roles.

Of 29 members, the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors contains one person of color. To be elected to the board, people must be chamber members and nominated to the board. A selection committee reviews nominations and tries to create a diverse mix by looking at factors such as race, sex, age and industry.

The president of Lincoln University also traditionally has been black and serves on the board. Since June, the university has not had a permanent president.

Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy Allen declined to discuss the issue of diversity within the chamber.

Twelve members make up the Downtown Association Board of Directors, but no minority members currently sit on the board. Downtown Association President Crystal Tellman said minority members have served in past years.

When evaluating candidates nominated for board positions, the Downtown Association considers factors including race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and the business they own or work for downtown.

“That’s understandable,” Tellman said. “From the board standpoint, with diverse opinions and people, we are making decisions that impact everyone.”

Board members volunteer their time. Tellman noted each board position requires a time commitment of eight to 20 hours per month, which narrows the field of candidates who apply.

Events held by the association, like the yearly Blue Tiger Fest for LU students, bring people of all backgrounds downtown.

Eastside Business Association President Greg Kemna said the group tries to involve LU as much as it can. Jerome Offord, Lincoln’s dean of administration and student affairs, currently serves on the board and previously served as president.

Kemna acknowledged Offord is the only person of color on the board but said it can be challenging to find applicants at all.

“It’s usually just one of those positions where you’re happy to have volunteers,” Kemna said.

Other local business groups have similar leadership makeups.

Hendricks is not on the chamber’s board but said the chamber welcomed her with open arms.

If groups of people want to be represented better and to make the community better, Hendricks said, the onus lies with them to get involved with organizations like the chamber and other business associations.

“The people of color have to become engaged,” Hendricks said, “whether that’s volunteering, whether that’s just participating in the different forums they have or even just voicing your concerns to say, ‘We want your board to represent the community.'”

Phillippia Rome acknowledged divisions still exist in Jefferson City, but about 80 percent of her customers are white. Like Hendricks, Rome said some of the responsibility to create institutions that better resemble the makeup of the community lies with individuals.

She noted some businesses still exist where black customers don’t go because white residents primarily make up their clientele. Simply crossing this barrier makes the community better, Rome said.

“Go to places that make you feel uncomfortable,” she said. “Talk to the people, and you’ll notice you have more in common than you think.”

Hendricks said entrepreneurs need the social capital to state clearly what they want to do.

“If you state what it is you’re wanting to do, I think people will get behind you and want to support you,” Hendricks said.

Firm plans

About a half-mile from Lincoln University, The Blue Skillet sits tantalizingly close to campus. Phillippia Rome moved to Jefferson City to serve the university’s students. With a tall hill between the restaurant and the school, walking the distance can be challenging.

Rome offers specials on burgers, fries and hot dogs for LU students, but frustratingly few come to her restaurant, she said.

The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission approved a plan in July to improve the Historic Southside and Old Munichburg neighborhoods. The plan aims to use public-private partnerships to build parks, improve street conditions and expand housing choices for residents.

Capital Region Medical Center worked with the city and its residents to create the plan. Jefferson City Senior Planner Eric Barron said in September that the region’s rich history and the diversity of its businesses, schools and residents position the neighborhood to flourish well into the future.

Among the proposals for the Southside, the plan aims to turn the intersection of Lafayette Street and Stadium Boulevard into a walkable and bikeable neighborhood by making it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate. The plan also hopes to beautify Lafayette Street by planting native shrubs. To improve the area around LU, the plan suggests demolishing some single-family homes across from the campus’ northeastern edge to build mixed-use buildings.

To Brown and Gould, parts of the neighborhood revival plan seem reminiscent of the failed urban renewal plan of the 1960s. Tergin stressed, though, many business groups, businesses and the city sought input from all residents.

“Overall, the goal is just to make the community better,” Tergin said.

To ensure this plan does not fail, Tergin said, stakeholders need to continue to communicate with each other.

“That’s what brings success to any plan,” Tergin said. “That is how we prevent failed attempts.”

Prior to the January meeting, the Human Rights Commission last met in June 2010. With its revival, Tergin said, the city took steps in the right direction. The commission hopes to bring in voices not only from organizations representing people of differing ethnicities but also LGBT and other groups.

Funding could be an issue. Because the city created the commission after the start of the fiscal year that began Nov. 1, the city did not budget money for its work. Jefferson City Council members can approach the Budget Committee later this year to ask for funding in future years. Until then, the commission hopes to rely on grants.

While business owners and others in Jefferson City acknowledged work remains to make the city perfect for everyone, Hendricks, who serves on the commission, remains upbeat about the prospects for her new business. She recently landed two contracts and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

“I have been working very diligently,” Hendricks said. “I see a niche.”

Have a question about this article? Have something to add? Email reporter Philip Joens at pjoens@newstribune.com.



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HISPANIC (B)

Regional Hispanic snacks gaining favor

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Regional Hispanic snacks gaining favor


by Rebekah Schouten

Search for similar articles by keyword: [Flavor], [Snack]

Tacos, regional Hispanic snacks

Forty-eight per cent of consumers say they want to see more ethnic snacks on menus.

 

CHICAGO — Consumer interest in authentic ethnic foods, snacking and transparency has positioned regional Hispanic snacks for growth on menus, according to a collaborative report from The J.M. Smucker Co. and Technomic, Inc.

“As diners increasingly demand to know the influences behind the foods they’re eating and request more varied Latin foods and flavors, regional Hispanic snacks will further gain ground at restaurants,” the report said.

Nearly half of consumers find regional Hispanic snacks appealing, the companies’ study found, and 48% said they would like to see more of these offerings on restaurants menus. Key demographics showing interest in Hispanic snacks are millennials (63%) and Westerners (51%).

Regional Hispanic snacks infographic

 

“Many Americans are unfamiliar with specific types of regional Hispanic snacks, while others may be more likely to see certain regional Hispanic items as entrees instead of snacking occasion items,” the report said. “However, 48% of consumers would like to see more regional Hispanic snacks on restaurant menus. Thus, operators need to find ways to make these items more appealing, particularly by targeting interested demographics like millennials and Westerners.” 

Read on for five ways to capitalize on the burgeoning interest in regional Hispanic snacks.



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HISPANIC (B)

Man sentenced in connection with $20M found in box spring

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BOSTON (AP) — A Brazilian man arrested in connection with the discovery of about $20 million cash hidden inside a box spring in a Massachusetts apartment has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison.

Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in October to money laundering charges.

The money was found in Westborough in January 2017 during an investigation into TelexFree Inc., a defunct internet telecom company that prosecutors say was actually a billion-dollar pyramid scheme.

Prosecutors say TelexFree had few customers and made most of its revenue from people buying into the company with a promise of payouts for posting online ads.

Authorities say the 28-year-old Rocha was a courier for a fugitive TelexFree executive who came to retrieve the money move it out of the U.S.



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HISPANIC (B)

ECISD students earn National Merit Hispanic Scholar honors

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Four Ector County Independent School District high school seniors have been selected as National Merit Hispanic Scholars.

They include David Hinojos from Odessa High School and Kristin Morton, Reana Lopez and Jacob Menhaca from Permian High School.

Approximately 1.6 million high school students enter the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). Students take the PSAT during their junior year of high school and are recognized in their senior year, information from the district said.

Of the approximately 250,000 Hispanic/Latino high school juniors who take the PSAT only about 5,000 — the top 2 percent — are honored as National Hispanic Scholars.

All four have taken dual credit, Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate courses.

Hinojos, 17, plans to attend Texas A&M University to study mechanical engineering.

He said he was surprised about receiving the National Merit recognition.

“I feel like it was an honor. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it or not,” Hinojos said.

Hinojos is captain of the varsity swim team, OHS band, a member of the National Honor Society, Amnesty USA. In band, he is a percussionist with an emphasis on the keyboard instruments.

He also participates in the Odessa Aquatic Center where he has worked as a life guard.

Math and physics are his favorite subjects. He said he always had an interest in how things were made.

“So when I heard mechanical engineering is where you can design and where you can innovate, I felt like that was where I wanted to be,” Hinojos said.

“… They have created everything from the design of a simple potato chip (to) robotics technology. Everyone needs a mechanical engineer,” he added.

Hinojos added that he chose Texas A&M because it is one of the best schools for engineering in Texas and one of the top ranked in the nation. “I felt like it was a fitting choice,” Hinojos said.

He said his parents are proud of him and have always supported him. Hinojos said he also wants to set a good example for his younger brothers and sisters.

His parents, he said, have always encouraged him to broaden his horizons.

Hinojos said he took International Baccalaureate courses until the end of his junior year and then he took all Advanced Placement courses. If you score high enough on an AP test, you can earn college credit.

“I can tell you it’s a great accomplishment for the young man. We’re very proud of his efforts and being able to get to that level. We’re very fortunate on our campus to have a student that has excelled at that level. And just to be part of that process he obviously has some goals and aspirations that are pretty lofty that I think he will definitely accomplish because it’s pretty amazing what he’s been able to accomplish so far. We’re certainly supporting him in his efforts to get to that level and couldn’t be any prouder of what he’s been able to accomplish so far,” Principal Mauricio Marquez said.

Lopez, 18, got into University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas of the Permian Basin, but said she will probably go to UTPB because she got a free ride. She plans to major in biology and ultimately go to medical school to become an obstetrician-gynecologist or an ear, nose and throat doctor.

Lopez earned the distinction of AP Scholar for scoring a 3 on the AP World History exam and a 4 on the AP US History and AP English Language exam. She will be inducted into the Permian Academic Hall of Fame for her outstanding score on the SAT of 1280 and ACT score of 30. She is currently ranked No. 13 in her senior class of 789.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, Texas Scholars and Students in Philanthropy.

Attending Permian has been an educational experience, Lopez said, but she notes that Permian is well known all over for “Mojo” and “Friday Night Lights.”

“I’m glad to be a part of that showing the school is more like a regular high school,” Lopez said.

Morton plans to attend Texas A&M and study international studies. She said she thinks she wants to go into politics.

She will be inducted into the Permian Academic Hall of Fame for her outstanding score on the SAT of 1390 and ACT of 32. She is currently ranked No. 1 in her senior class of 789.

Morton is a member of the National Honor Society (President), Students in Philanthropy, Texas Scholars, Business Professionals of America, Student Senate, Odessa Symphony Guild, Senior Board, Congressional Youth Advisory and Council for the 11th District of Texas.

She is a member of Crossroads Fellowship Worship Team, Crystal Ball Foundation and has 13 years of classical piano training.

Morton said it was always a goal of hers to become a National Merit scholar.

“So I’m pretty happy that I did. I took SAT prep a year early to get prepared for it. It was a class here, but … I think I was a sophomore it was all juniors and seniors and I was the youngest one, so I kind of felt weird because I didn’t know anybody in there,” Morton said.

She added that she has had “really great teachers” at Permian and has been fortunate to become involved in a lot of things so she didn’t become just a number.

Lopez advised younger students talk to their counselors and start keeping track of their GPA early. “Certain classes you have to take pass fail,” she said. “Make sure you know which ones are weighted and which ones aren’t.”

She added that students should volunteer.

“I did 50-something hours at ORMC (Odessa Regional Medical Center) and I wouldn’t be able to add up how much I did at Odessa Animal Control,” Lopez said.

Morton said students should learn what tests and applications can yield scholarship money and prepare for those things.

“Start early. Don’t wait until the second semester of your senior year,” she said.

Karen Hart, who teaches anatomy and physiology and is the National Honor Society sponsor and AP coordinator, has Morton and Lopez in class.

“They’re both real good students. Kristin is No. 1 in her class. Reana is 13, so both of them are good students and hard workers. But it’s not just the academic sides that they work on. They’re also well known in their class and have good personalities,” Hart said.

She said she doesn’t have Menchaca in her class, but knows he is a bright young man with a love of music.

Menchaca plans to go to Texas A&M and study biomedical sciences to become a veterinarian.

He has earned the distinction of AP Scholar with Honor by scoring a 3 on the AP English Language exam and the AP World History exam and a 4 on the AP U.S. History exam and the AP Biology exam.

He will be inducted into the Permian Academic Hall of Fame for his outstanding score on the SAT of 1330. He is currently ranked No. 7 in his senior class of 789. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Texas Scholars, Black Cat Jazz Band, Decathlon (Team Captain) and the Mighty MOJO Marching Band (Officer).

He said he’s wanted to be a veterinarian since he was in elementary school.

“I’ve always liked animals, so that’s really led me to what I want to do,” Menchaca said.

At home, he has three dogs and three cats and his family has a ranch in Menard where they have horses, cows and sheep.

On getting the National Merit Hispanic Scholar recognition, Menchaca said he was proud of himself and his family was, too.

“It’s really going to help me with college because of the scholarship I get from it,” he said.

Like his peers, Menchaca said he has enjoyed attending PHS.

“It’s probably been the best three years of life so far. I’ve met lots of new friends. Band has really made my three years here memorable,” Menchaca said.

He is in National Honor Society, Academic Decathlon and plays trombone in band and symphony and is in the jazz band.

Taking AP biology with former Permian teacher Mike Cashin last year got him more interested in science.

“I feel like he made the class fun,” Menchaca said. “He made me want to take more science classes. To be a veterinarian, you need to take a lot of science classes. Being able to enjoy science is kind of necessary to be a veterinarian.”

He would tell younger students to dream big and chase those dreams. Menchaca said his band director, Jeff Whitaker, told him that and it made him want to dream big and chase those dreams himself.



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HISPANIC (B)

California science fair project tying race, IQ sparks outcry

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California school district
is investigating how a science project correlating low
intelligence with racial groups was on full display at a science
fair, where it drew outrage from some students, parents and
staff.

The project by a Sacramento high school student enrolled in an
elite magnet program, titled “Race and IQ,” questioned whether
certain races lack the intelligence for the program’s
academically challenging coursework.

The Sacramento Bee, which published the story Saturday, did not
speak to the student at C.K. McClatchy High School and is not
identifying the minor. The project was on view with others Monday
as part of an annual science fair but was removed Wednesday after
complaints.

On Thursday, school Principal Peter Lambert sent an email to
parents saying that the school is taking the incident seriously
and implementing appropriate measures to provide an inclusive
environment.

Some people outraged by the racially charged project say it
points to the larger problem: the lack of racial and ethnic
diversity in the school’s elite Humanities and International
Studies program.

The program, which was designed to promote cultural awareness and
sensitivity, enrolls about 500 students. They include a dozen
African American students, 80 Latino students and about 100 Asian
American students, according to data provided by the district.

“I think that a lot of people, especially of color, are really
hurt and upset by this,” said Chrysanthe Vidal, an
African-American senior who is in the program.

The student tested his race and intelligence hypothesis by having
a handful of unidentified teens of various racial and ethnic
backgrounds take an online intelligence test.

His report concluded that the lower average IQs “of blacks,
Southeast Asians, and non-white Hispanics” means they were not as
likely as “non-Hispanic whites and Northeast Asians” to get into
the academically rigorous program. He said the test results
justified the racial imbalance in the program.

Sacramento Unified school district spokesman Alex Barrios said
the district was aware of the controversy and is looking into the
matter.

“We are looking into the appropriate response to a situation like
this,” said Barrios. “We understand it concerns a lot of people
and doesn’t reflect our culture here.”



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HISPANIC (B)

California science fair project tying race, IQ sparks outcry

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California school district
is investigating how a science project correlating low
intelligence with racial groups was on full display at a science
fair, where it drew outrage from some students, parents and
staff.

The project by a Sacramento high school student enrolled in an
elite magnet program, titled “Race and IQ,” questioned whether
certain races lack the intelligence for the program’s
academically challenging coursework.

The Sacramento Bee, which published the story Saturday, did not
speak to the student at C.K. McClatchy High School and is not
identifying the minor. The project was on view with others Monday
as part of an annual science fair but was removed Wednesday after
complaints.

On Thursday, school Principal Peter Lambert sent an email to
parents saying that the school is taking the incident seriously
and implementing appropriate measures to provide an inclusive
environment.

Some people outraged by the racially charged project say it
points to the larger problem: the lack of racial and ethnic
diversity in the school’s elite Humanities and International
Studies program.

The program, which was designed to promote cultural awareness and
sensitivity, enrolls about 500 students. They include a dozen
African American students, 80 Latino students and about 100 Asian
American students, according to data provided by the district.

“I think that a lot of people, especially of color, are really
hurt and upset by this,” said Chrysanthe Vidal, an
African-American senior who is in the program.

The student tested his race and intelligence hypothesis by having
a handful of unidentified teens of various racial and ethnic
backgrounds take an online intelligence test.

His report concluded that the lower average IQs “of blacks,
Southeast Asians, and non-white Hispanics” means they were not as
likely as “non-Hispanic whites and Northeast Asians” to get into
the academically rigorous program. He said the test results
justified the racial imbalance in the program.

Sacramento Unified school district spokesman Alex Barrios said
the district was aware of the controversy and is looking into the
matter.

“We are looking into the appropriate response to a situation like
this,” said Barrios. “We understand it concerns a lot of people
and doesn’t reflect our culture here.”



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HISPANIC (B)

Unfulfilled pledge by Trump White House on Spanish website

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Nada de nada — nothing at all.

A year into the Trump administration, the White House website
still has no Spanish-language content, unlike during the two
previous administrations and even though nearly 1 in 5 people in
the United States speaks Spanish.

Even Iran and reclusive North Korea have made efforts to reach
out to the Spanish-speaking world. In the U.S., meanwhile,
President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and his plan to
build a wall on the border with Mexico are alienating some
Hispanics.

A year ago, then-presidential press secretary Sean Spicer said
the new administration had deleted Spanish content on the White
House webpage but its information technology folks were “working
overtime” to develop a new site. In July, the White House
director of media affairs, Helen Aguirre Ferre, said she expected
a Spanish website to launch at the end of 2017.

Now, Aguirre Ferre declines to say whether there are still plans
to have a Spanish-language website.

“We continue to work on improving the White House website
providing important content in English pertaining to the
initiatives and policies the Trump administration is
undertaking,” she said in an email.

Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber
of Commerce, said the absence of a White House webpage in Spanish
“sends a very troubling message.”

“There are over 4 million Hispanic-American entrepreneurs and
businesspeople in this country, many of whom are receptive to the
administration’s pro-business agenda,” Palomarez wrote in an
email. “If they made even a little effort to communicate and
engage with the Latino community, perhaps they would win a few of
them over.”

As Latinos became the largest minority in the U.S., President
George W. Bush’s administration added Spanish-language content to
the White House website for the first time.

Luis Miranda, director of Hispanic media at the White House under
President Barack Obama, said the Spanish-language site during
Obama’s tenure included information geared to Latinos on topics
such as immigration, health issues, banking and veterans affairs.

During his presidential campaign, Trump criticized GOP rival Jeb
Bush for answering a reporter’s question in Spanish, saying the
former Florida governor “should really set the example by
speaking English while in the United States.” Trump also turned
off many Hispanic voters with his harsh anti-immigration
rhetoric, referring to many Mexican immigrants “criminals” and
“rapists.”

The Trump White House does keep a Spanish Twitter account,
@LaCasaBlanca, but it is not very active. Created the same month,
January 2017, as its English equivalent, @White House, it has
about 200 tweets compared with almost 3,200 on the English
version.

The U.S. does provide news in Spanish and 40 other languages
through the government-funded news outlet Voice of America. Also,
the official guide to government information and services runs
gobierno.usa.gov, and other agencies — including the Internal
Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security — offer
information in Spanish in their websites.

The current White House website offers a clear contrast with
efforts of other countries to communicate with Spanish speakers,
who number at least 572 million worldwide, according to The
Instituto Cervantes, created by the government of Spain.

In North Korea, the government’s Korea Central News Agency, the
only news agency in the communist country, offers content not
only in Korean but also in English, Russian and Spanish.

Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spanish citizen who says he’s been a
special delegate for North Korea’s Committee of Cultural
Relations since 2002, told The Associated Press that Spanish “is
a very important language to share Korean reality from Korea.”

Cao de Benos said North Korea shares its message in Spanish
because it wants to foster relations with Latin American nations.
The North has embassies in several capitals in the region,
including Brasilia, Brazil; Caracas, Venezuela; Havana; and
Mexico City.

In 2012, Iran launched Hispan-TV, a 24-hour Spanish-language TV
station based in Tehran.

The foreign ministries of China and Russia offer abundant content
in several languages, including Spanish.

___

AP Bureau Chief Eric Talmadge in Pyongyang, North Korea,
contributed to this report.

___

Follow Luis Alonso Lugo on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/luisalonsolugo



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HISPANIC (B)

Miami Beach resident Carlos Cordeiro becomes first Hispanic president of US soccer

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Miami Beach resident Carlos Cordeiro, who immigrated to the United States at age 15 with his widowed Colombian mother and three siblings, was elected president of U.S. Soccer on Saturday during the soccer federation’s Annual General Meeting in Orlando.

He is the first Hispanic ever elected to the role.

Cordeiro, 61, replaces Sunil Gulati, who had been at the helm of the federation for the past two decades.

“Thank you to those of you who have supported me today,” Cordeiro said. “This is incredibly humbling. I want to thank all the candidates for a stirring campaign. I’d like to thank Sunil and our board for their tireless service. To those of you who didn’t vote for me, I’m going to work to earn your support and trust over the next four years. I promise I will work for all of you to bring us together as one soccer community. Thank you very much.”

Cordeiro will serve a four-year term. He won in the third round of a contentious election with an eight-candidate field that also included Paul Caligiuri, Kathy Carter, Steve Gans, Kyle Martino, Hope Solo, Michael Winograd and Eric Wynalda. He got 68.6 percent of the votes in the third round, followed by Kathy Carter (10.6 percent), Kyle Martino (10.6), Eric Wynalda (8.9) and Hope Solo (1.4).

It was the first contested election since 1998.

Cordeiro is a graduate of Miami Beach High, Harvard College and Harvard Business School. He spent 30 years as a business executive with experience in international finance. He became a partner at Goldman Sachs in the early 1990s and was later appointed Vice Chairman-Asia. He advised governments such as Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid South Africa, global corporations, and financial institutions including the World Bank.

He has served in various roles with U.S. soccer since 2007 and in 2016 was named vice president.

Here is the Herald’s full profile, with everything you need to know about Cordeiro.



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HISPANIC (B)

Latino Business Group Weighs Harassment Allegation Against CEO

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Ms. Vaca declined to comment. Her allegations of financial impropriety led foundation directors to reduce Mr. Palomarez’s responsibilities, according to foundation board minutes, and the chamber’s directors to consider forcing his resignation last fall, according to chamber board minutes and to people close to the board.

Gissel Gazek Nicholas, Mr. Palomarez’s former chief of staff, has accused him of sexual harassment. Ms. Nicholas, who was fired last fall, made the accusations in a letter that her lawyer wrote to the chamber’s board and in an interview with The Times. The letter said that Mr. Palomarez sexually assaulted her, created a hostile work environment and wrongfully terminated her from her chief of staff role.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce calls itself the voice of 4.4 million Hispanic-owned businesses.

Mr. Palomarez, who was named chief executive eight years ago, has raised the organization’s profile. He has advocated for Latino business interests on television and in op-ed articles, secured access to influential figures in the White House and on Capitol Hill and strengthened the chamber’s relationships with companies like Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs. In September, he resigned from President Trump’s National Diversity Coalition to publicly protest Mr. Trump’s decision to end the Barack Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation, known officially as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Last year, shortly before Mr. Palomarez’s employment contract was due to expire, Ms. Vaca reviewed his pay and performance from prior years, according to people close to the board and to the Texas court filings. She discovered what she described to fellow directors as a pattern of inappropriate annual raises and other payouts, according to people close to the board, including Maria Cardona, who was a director at the time. Ms. Vaca estimated that Mr. Palomarez was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars more than he was entitled to under his contract, according to board minutes.

Six members of the board’s executive committee voted on Oct. 31 to give Mr. Palomarez a chance to resign within a week and repay the chamber a negotiated amount of money. At that point, the organization estimated the overpayment at $500,000 to $600,000, according to the board minutes.

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Nina Vaca, a former chairwoman of the chamber who runs the Pinnacle Group, a technology services firm based in Dallas, has raised allegations of financial impropriety against Mr. Palomarez. He disputes the accusations.

Credit
LM Otero/Associated Press

“What he did was financially inappropriate at best, and if he had done this at any other organization, he would have been fired on the spot,” said Ms. Cardona, who voted to oust Mr. Palomarez.

About a month later, in early December, Ms. Cardona and two other female directors who wanted Mr. Palomarez to resign were forced off the board because they hadn’t paid their annual board dues on time, according to Ms. Cardona.

On Dec. 6, the board again considered the allegations of overpayment, but rejected them, according to the Texas filing. A spokeswoman retained by the organization’s board had no immediate comment on the matter.

Ms. Nicholas’s harassment allegation stemmed from an incident that she says occurred in Chicago in 2013. Mr. Palomarez was there for an event with the city’s mayor, and he asked Ms. Nicholas and other employees to join him in his hotel suite for last-minute preparations, according to Ms. Nicholas and two other people who were there. Late that night, as the group was leaving his suite, Mr. Palomarez asked Ms. Nicholas to stay behind, they said.

Ms. Nicholas said he asked her to sit down with him and discuss the next day’s event.

“He grabbed my hand gently, and is rubbing the back of my hand, and says that he’s incredibly attracted to me, and wondered what it would be like to be with me,” Ms. Nicholas said in an interview. “He asked if I had ever thought about being with him.”

She said she rebuffed Mr. Palomarez, while trying to avoid an awkward situation.

“I said, ‘Oh, Jav, we shouldn’t go there,’” Ms. Nicholas said. On her way out the door, she said he pulled her toward him and tried to kiss her before she broke away.

Her account was corroborated by an email she sent to a friend hours after the incident, as well as a second friend whom she told about the incident at the time.

Mr. Palomarez denies that the incident took place. He said in the Texas court filing that Ms. Vaca, a chamber board member at the time that Ms. Nicholas’s allegations surfaced, put Ms. Nicholas up to fabricating a sexual harassment claim in exchange for a promise that Ms. Nicholas could replace Mr. Palomarez as the chamber’s chief executive.

Ms. Nicholas said that is false and that she was never interested in becoming the chamber’s chief executive.

Mr. Palomarez has faced harassment allegations before. In 1996, when he worked at Allstate Insurance, he was sued by a subordinate, Yolanda Hernandez, who accused him of making suggestive comments, kissing her and placing his hand on her thigh at an out-of-town business gathering. Ms. Hernandez eventually became fearful of stalking and “other provocative acts” and left the company shortly afterward, according to the lawsuit.

The case was later settled, according to a lawyer for Ms. Hernandez. She is now a marketer in the Chicago area. Her lawyer said the settlement included a confidentiality agreement.

Asked about the Allstate suit, Mr. Palomarez’s lawyer, Tony Buzbee, said, “Javier didn’t harass anyone.”

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