Defend the Honor: A National Latino Town Hall Meeting

An invitation from Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez of Defend the Honor...

Dear Friends,

Over the past 10 months, we have united to demand recognition of the contributions of the Latino WWII generation to our nation. Our focal point was the PBS/Ken Burns documentary, The War, which initially had NO Latino voices. So many months later, we can point to some progress: because of the pressure brought by many, including our grassroots coalition, The War did include the voices of two Latinos and one Native American WWII veteran.

However, the inherent weaknesses in many systems has been exposed. The fact that this documentary was in development for over six years before any alarms were raised (by Defend the Honor) signals serious and systematic problems. We can no longer tolerate being left out.

Please join us for a Town Hall Meeting next Monday, Oct. 8th, at 6 p.m. East Coast Time (that's 5 p.m. Central; 4 p.m. Mountain and 3 p.m. on the West Coast) for a Webcast live from Washington, DC. Go to defendthehonor.org and see it there...

Defend the Honor Campaign
National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP)
National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention (LCAT)
National Latino Media Council
Hispanic War Veterans of America (HWVA)
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

Invite you to a

Defend the Honor
National Latino Town Hall Meeting

Beyond "The War"
The Latino Battle for
Historical Accuracy and Respect

Monday, October 8, 2007
Gala Hispanic Theater
3333 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010
(Columbia Heights Metro, Green Line)

Admission: Free

The Ken Burns 15-hour WWII documentary, "The War," on PBS generated an unprecedented coming together of Americans of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other Latino and Hispanic heritages who fought to include Latinos' role in securing freedom for our Nation. Through efforts of the Latino community, Ken Burns finally included 28 additional minutes, including interviews with two Mexican American veterans and one Native American.

In this Latino Town Hall meeting, the public is invited to join Defend the Honor founders Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez and Gus Chavez and others to review how "The War" handled the Latino experience in WWII.

Together, we will begin to answer several questions:

Was this inclusion meaningful enough? Was it tokenism? What of Ken Burns' and PBS' "blind spot" when it comes to Latinos? What can we all do, collectively and individually, to assure that Latinos' contributions to our country are duly noted in books, documentaries, movies and the news media? What is the significance of this movement for the future of the Latino community in the U.S., and of this country as a whole? Where do we go from here?

For further information:
http://www.defendthehonor.org/ or at (512) 471-1924

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez
Assoc. Professor, School of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, A1000
Austin, TX 78712

Also, Director, U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project

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