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Friday, November 14, 2008

Awaking the Xicano/Latino Leader Within — A Conversation with Efrén Paredes, Jr.

Chicanos y Latinos Unidos (CLU) is convening a workshop at Michigan State University on Sunday, November 23, 2008 from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, to discuss the importance and need to awaken the Xicano/Latino leader within. Efrén Paredes, Jr. will be calling in to lead the discussion and invite attendees to be actively involved in this critical discussion.

The subjects covered will include, but not be limited to, the following:

• Control of thought and behavior;
• Taking ownership for our actions;
• Overcoming insecurities and fears:
• Changing our perceptions;
• Creating mutual respect between the sexes;
• Empowering ourselves;
• Value of expression and communication;
• Developing positive self-image;
• Perils of reactionary behavior;
• Anatomy of conflict resolution;
• Forging alliances and collaborative efforts;
• Emphasizing culture, history and identity; and
• Need to pursue higher education.

Efrén will share two decades of intimate personal experience and research about these subjects. He has mentored hundreds of people and worked closely with them to equip them with the knowledge and necessary skills to thrive in a rapidly changing society.

An honest, articulate and motivational speaker, Efrén will teach people how to gain control over their lives and discuss the perils of refusing to do so. He will also provide a critical in-depth cost-benefit analysis of the group's dialogue every step of the way.

The work Efrén has done to combat social injustice and empower Xicano/Latino youth has been endorsed by Dr. Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez, Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr., and other highly respected members of the Xicano/Latino community.

We endeavor to generate widespread interest in the workshop and use this blueprint for personal growth and development to reach students at the college level and later at the high school and middle school level.

Ultimately we not only want to correct distorted thinking patterns, we want to prevent them from being engendered to begin with.

To learn more information about the workshop you can contact the event lead organizer, Xavier Gonzalaz via e-mail at or via phone at 956-739-5264.


* The term "Xicano/Latino" is in no any way intended to exclude Xicanas or Latinas. We want it to be clear that Xicanas and Latinas are included in our usage of the term.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children Submission to the American Bar Association's Juvenile Justice Committee's Town Hall Meeting

Click here to view a submission by The Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children to the American Bar Association's Juvenile Justice Committee's Town Hall Meeting, November 6, 2008. A photograph of Efren is featured on the first page of the document.

The Coalition includes a list of all the following organizations that are calling on Congress and President-Elect Barack Obama to abolish juvenile life without parole sentences in the USA:

Children’s Advocacy Clinic, Children in Prison Project, Florida State University College of Law
Children’s Law Center, Massachusetts
Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Massachusetts
Columbia Legal Services, on behalf of clients, Seattle, Washington 
DLA Piper, LLP
Bernardine Dohrn, Director, Children & Family Justice Center, Northwestern University School of Law
Family and Friends of Inmates, Omaha, Nebraska
Shaena Fazal, Director, Long‐Term Prisoner Policy Project, John Howard Association of Illinois
Brian J. Foley, Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
Human Rights Advocates, California
Human Rights Watch, New York
Individual parents, relatives, or friends of youth serving JLWOP sentences throughout the United States
Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana
Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Michelle Leighton, Director Human Rights Programs, University of San Francisco School of Law
NAACP, Legal Defense Fund, New York
National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, California
National Juvenile Justice Network, Washington, D.C.
Penal Reform International, Washington, D.C.
Pendulum Foundation, Colorado
The Sentencing Project, Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey Shook, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Law, University of Pittsburgh
Randolph N. Stone, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School
Rev. Bonnie Young, Kings Crossing Foundation, Colorado
Youth Advocacy Project, Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services 
Youth Justice Coalition, Los Angeles