Viva Solidarity: What’s It About? (¿Que Pasa?)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Loren Speer firstname.lastname@example.org 720.352.1241
Benefit Concert to Help Fight Social Injustice in Nicaragua and Oaxaca, Mexico DENVER, CO (May 22, 2007)–
On June 6th the Larimer Lounge will host a benefit concert and silent auction event to promote women’s and indigenous rights in Central America and Mexico. The proceeds from the concert will help fund humanitarian work being lead by two residents of Golden, Colorado, Loren Speer and Frazer Lanier, who will be leading projects in Central American involving a women’s health and domestic violence resource center in Leon, Nicaragua, and community radio stations in indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico.
“As opposed to spending our time and money debating walls on the boarder and funding boarder patrol, we need to be asking ourselves why people are leaving their homes and families to immigrate to the United States,” states Lanier. “By attempting to redirect some of the resources we are privileged enough to have access to, and focusing those resources on healthcare, education, and access to technology in Nicaragua and Mexico we hope to contribute (in any small way) to poverty alleviation, equality and human rights for people everywhere.”
The music and art community is embracing Speer and Lanier’s philanthropic call by donating their time to entertain folks and their craft to sell at the silent auction. This includes musical acts Cat-A-Tac, Vesalius, American Relay, plus Conspiracy Skateboards and SWAMP Co concert posters, with others from the community being added every day.
On June 10, 2007, Speer and Loren will leave the states to begin their six month project, starting in Nicaragua. Working at the Xochilt Clínica, a community-run health clinic in El Viejo, they will help to coordinate educational workshops to promote sexual health education and awareness of domestic violence for adults, theater workshops to address health and safety issues in the home for young people, along with providing women with access to medication, free treatment and travel to the clinic.
In August, Loren and Frazer will travel to Oaxaca, Mexico to begin a project building radio transistors and computer resource labs for community radio stations in rural indigenous communities. Oaxaca is the poorest state in Mexico and has the highest rate of domestic violence against women. The citizens of Oaxaca, who are Mixtec, Toltec, and Maya Indians have been denied equal access to resources, information and enfranchisement for 500 years. In Oaxaca one of the most effective forms of communication and education is through radio broadcasts. Democratically organized community radio stations tend to broadcast in the local language as opposed to Spanish, allowing any person to voice their message to the rest of their community, improving local governance, business, and communication. This is now expanding to Internet connections to stream their broadcasts in order to reach a larger audience, including friends and relatives who now live and work in the U.S.
The two will be utilizing video blogging technology to not only chronicle their work, but provide another avenue for the people’s voice. The indigenous community has expressed interest in giving first hand knowledge of their tribal roots and history, describing first hand, their culture, art, and history is extremely valuable. Lewis and Clark College of Portland, Oregon is will incorporate video blogging with these communities as part of their curriculum for the Environmental Studies department, while Speer documents their experiences and journey through a video blog running on the Denver based site, Kaffeine Buzz (www.kaffeinebuzz.com).
So, support global justice for humanity and catch some great tunes and cheap drinks at the Larimer Lounge on June 6th. ###