Billed as “Equity on the Mall,” the advocacy event drew hundreds of residents and families of color from towns across the Valley who braved rain and stormy weather to assemble on the steps of the state capitol building. Organizers hoped to engage with legislators on issues affecting their communities and express support for several key pieces of legislation, including Senate Bill 54.
Messages promoting better access to health care, educational opportunities and minority representation among local government bodies also made an appearance but the key issue for many leaders was an end to the criminalization and incarceration of minority communities.
There’s plenty of queer MCs in the underground. I listen to artists like Cakes Da Killa and Kevin Jz Prodigy, both amazing rappers who happen to be queer. There are countless others like Mykki Blanco, Stose, Chapman, Big Freedia and many more. Maybe if more people reach out and support the LGBT artists who exist below the mainstream, the powers that be will take notice and finally give gay rappers the shine they have earned. Hip-hop is ready for a gay rapper.
According to a 2012 report by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, ‘The State of Human Trafficking in California,’ from 2010 to 2012, 1, 277 victims of human trafficking were identified statewide. In the Central Valley, the Central Valley Justice Coalitions reported rescuing over 130 victims between 2009 and 2013.
Attending GWU is a privilege, but adapting to a campus life has been a challenge. Working in the nursery, while I was the only college student there, everyone I saw at least looked like me, or like they could be an uncle or even a grandparent. GWU couldn’t be more different. Students here come from all over the world. Nearly 10 percent are international, more than the total number of Latino students enrolled in the entire school. And as far as I know, I am the only student from the Central Valley.