Spotlight: Speakers and Artists In the News

Deepa Iyer Wins 2016 American Book Award

Deepa Iyer has just picked up a major accolade. Her book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future (The New Press), has received a 2016 American Book Award.

Now in its 37th year, the American Book Awards were created "to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community," according to a press release from the Before Columbus Foundation, sponsors of the awards. "The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works." Iyer is one of 14 winners who be honored at an October 30 ceremony in San Francisco.




New book by Angela Davis - Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.
Reflecting on the importance of Black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles—from the Black freedom movement to the South African antiapartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

To purchase or learn more about the book, click here.





Tim Wise Releases Latest Book, Under the Affluence, Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America

In Under the Affluence, anti-racism author and speaker Tim Wise discusses a related issue: economic inequality and the demonization of those in need. He reminds us that there was a time when the hardship of fellow Americans stirred feelings of sympathy, solidarity for struggling families, and support for policies and programs meant to alleviate poverty. Today, however, mainstream discourse blames people with low income for their own situation, and the notion of an intractable "culture of poverty" has pushed our country in an especially ugly direction. Wise argues that far from any culture of poverty, it is the culture of predatory affluence that deserves the blame for America's simmering economic and social crises. He documents the increasing contempt for the nation's poor, and reveals the forces at work to create and perpetuate it. With clarity, passion and eloquence, he demonstrates how America's myth of personal entitlement based on merit is inextricably linked to pernicious racial bigotry, and he points the way to greater compassion, fairness, and economic justice.
Purchase in the SpeakOut online store



Charlene Carruthers Named to The Root's 100 Most Influential African Americans List for 2015

Charlene Carruthers has been named to The Root's annual list of 100 African Americans, ages 25 to 45, who are responsible for the year's most significant moments, movements and ideas. According to The Root, "The 100 honorees, while succeeding across multiple platforms-the sciences, the arts, activism, writing, sports, business, entertainment-go beyond headlines or statistics. These are people who make the difference, having an impact on other lives through their work."
In selecting Charlene, The Root noted, "Charlene Carruthers has a quiet but powerful spirit that gets the job done; a new-jack Ella Baker on the scene.  As national director of the Black Youth Project 100, Carruthers has consciously led an organization made up of African-American students, professionals and workers, queer and cis, ages 18-35, whose call to action includes the end of black criminalization, restorative-justice practices, quality public schools and living wages." See the full listing here



Loretta Ross To Be Honored for Activism in Women's Health

Celebrating their 40th Anniversary, the National Women's Health Network (NWHN) will hold its 8th Annual Barbara Seaman Awards for Activism in Women’s Health on November 16th, 2015, in Washington DC. Loretta Ross has been named as their 2015 Awards Lifetime Honoree.

The Barbara Seaman Awards for Activism in Women's Health were established in honor of Barbara Seaman, a Network founding member, after her untimely death in 2008. The Awards recognize work that exemplifies the spirit and approach of Barbara, including her unwavering insistence on listening to women, her dogged determination to see abuses corrected and her bridge building between generations.

"Loretta is one of the creators of the theory of 'Reproductive Justice,' and a nationally renowned writer on women’s issues, hate groups, racism and intolerance, human rights and violence against women. As the co-founder and National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective from 2005-2012, she is both a pioneer and leader in women’s health activism," states NWHN. For more information on the celebration.


Director/producer Renee Tajima-Pena's latest film, No Más Bebés, Exposes Sterilization Abuse Against Latinas in Los Angeles

No Más Bebés, a new documentary about Los Angeles County General Hospital's sterilization abuse against Latinas, is set to premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival this month. The film, directed and produced by Renee Tajima-Peña, tells the story of Madrigal v. Quilligan, a historic lawsuit filed by 10 Mexican-American women who had been sterilized in the early '70s after having emergency Cesarean sections.

Some of the women didn’t know that they'd undergone tubal ligations until Antonia Hernandéz, a Latina lawyer just one year out of law school, began contacting them. She'd gotten their names from Bernard Rosenfeld, a young white L.A. County resident who witnessed and condemned the abuse. Their suit named the hospital, the residents who performed their procedures and the state and federal governments.

"No Más Bebés," which will also air on PBS' Independent Lens sometime this year, features interviews with six of the plaintiffs, and the doctors, lawyers and reporters involved in the case. Colorlines spoke with director/producer Renee Tajima-Pena, an Oscar-nominated AsianAmerican filmmaker and UCLA Asian Studies professor. Read interview here


Scott Schofield Makes History on The Bold And The Beautiful

Transgender activist and actor Scott Schofield's role of Nick on the The Bold and the Beautiful is making history. The daytime CBS drama is currently the only show on broadcast and cable television to feature a recurring transgender character, and Scott is one of only a handful of trans actors playing a recurring character on a series.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Task Force, transgender people face higher rates of unemployment, suicide, incarceration, murder, and homelessness. By airing a powerful trans storyline on TV, Schofield hopes trans people will begin to feel more accepted.

“It’s a real honor that I can represent something that helps a real marginalized group of people feel good and feel seen and feel represented in a real way,” Schofield said.