Yvonne Yen Liu

Oakland, CA

Yvonne Yen Liu is a senior researcher at the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think and action tank, which publishes Colorlines.com. In addition to contributing regularly to Colorlines.com, Yvonne has been published in Yes Magazine, In These Times, and Alternet. She serves on the board of SmartMeme and the advisory committee for the Food Chain Workers Alliance.

Yvonne has a BA in cultural anthropology from Columbia University and a MA degree in sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she pursued a PhD.

Yvonne considers herself part of the post-Seattle generation, global justice activists both influenced and critical of the anti-WTO mobilizations. She cofounded NYC Summer, a youth of color organizing school, and served on the boards of WBAI 99.5 FM

Follow Yvonne at @yvonnegraphy.

Kids Reenacting First Thanksgiving with Smallpox Blankets

Kids say the darnedest things.

Especially when they voice social truths about history.

Here, kids reenact the First Thanksgiving, how it really went down.

Got Green? Mobilizing Women and People of Color to Seize the Green Promise

This piece originally appeared at In These Times.

“Green jobs” has become the latest buzz-word, with stimulus monies pouring into green job creation programs around the country. There is a window of opportunity to ensure equity, transparency, and accountability in the green economy, as demonstrated by emerging success stories.

Is Sammy Sosa bleaching his skin white?

Sammy Sosa This question has making the rounds on blogs and Facebook this weekend: is Sosa bleaching his skin white?

A recent photo released of him reveals a starkly lighter-skinned Sosa with his wife at a glamourous black tie affair in Las Vegas.

Whiting Out Hollywood: Fewer People of Color Hired for Film and TV

White People, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Quick, name the most recent movies you saw.

The White City

White CitiesClick here for a larger pic.

Check out this entry by Aaron M. Renn on the New Geography blog.

I think it’s messed up that Tier One cities that are exemplars of progressive, urban planning are predominantly white.

An Open Letter to Target, Regarding "Illegal Alien" Costume for Halloween

via Cindy Mosqueda at Loteria Chicana & LA Eastside


Dear Target,

How Fair is Recovery in Florida? Tracking Race & Recovery in the Sunshine State

via Joseph Phelan of the Miami Workers Center

How Fair is Florida

Last week, over 150 concerned residents of Miami Gardens, Florida gathered with local activists and organizers to share their grievances about the lack of stimulus funding within their community.

Organizing Upgrade: Communities of Possibilities

orgupgrade.jpg The concept of community is an ever-shifting one.

It first becomes applied to movements for social change after World War II, when a dissatisfied social worker Saul Alinksy shifted his efforts into organizing urban communities, based on geographic proximity.

A Tale of Race and Recovery

mobclimatejustice.jpgIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.*

Green Jobs for Navajo Youth: Q & A with Nikke Alex

Nikke AlexNikke Alex, the youth organizer for the Navajo Green Jobs and the Black Mesa Water Coalition, talked with us for a few minutes while she was at the Navajo Nation Council Chamber in Window Rock, Arizona, celebrating the historic passage of the first green jobs legislation in American Indian country.

Racializing Uighurs: The Story of Internal Colonialism in China

uygur-4.jpg China extends 3,400 miles from the west to the east and falls into five different time zones.

Yet, the country operates on a single standard of time, eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, all year round based on the time zone for Beijing, the country’s capital.

A single Chinese time zone is as much a fiction as a single Chinese ethnicity; recently, this truism was illustrated in the blood of Uighur protesters.

Freedom Rides: Black Kids on Bikes

Freedom Ride

Once a month, a movement courses through the streets of Los Angeles.

Moving together, in solidarity, Black cyclists are spurred forward by the revolutions of their wheels.

Each individual coming together to join the flood that takes over the streets.

Equity and the Green Recovery

greenjobs.jpgMore depressing numbers about the recession: Unemployment last month was at 9.4 percent, according to the latest figures by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An additional 787,000 people lost their jobs, most were people of color.

Since the recession began in December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 6 million.

Tent City Stories

People of color reflect on the role racism played in leaving them without jobs and homes.

Young, Gifted, and Broke


Hot days finding respite in supermarket freezer aisles.

Auditoriums filled with families eagerly awaiting the moment that their beloved child receives their diploma.

An arid field awaits this summer’s graduates.

It’s hard for anyone to get a job right now, but it’s harder for young adults with little to no work experience.

Happy Birthday, Yuri Kochiyama

Yuri Kochiyama turns 88 today.

Justice for Troy Davis

TroyDavis1.jpgTroy Davis was convicted of killing a police officer in Savannah, Georgia nearly two decades ago.

He sits on death row waiting for execution tonight, even though evidence points to his innocence.

Seven out of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimony or implicated another person at the murder scene as the shooter.

Victims of Violence, Victims of Recession

Four years ago, Maria Cecilia Osorio followed her husband north from Mexico with her two children, now eight and twelve.

Her husband traveled to the United States in search of work and Maria followed.

But upon arriving in Nogales, Arizona, a small border town with a population of 20,000, they separated.

Her husband was abusive.

Maria took her children and left her husband.

They sought refuge in a family shelter.

Finding work was difficult for Maria, now a single mother.

NAFTAchoo! The Global Virus Cultivated by Globalization


Paula Deen promises us special Mother’s Day recipes on the Smithfield Foods website: Bacon wrapped shrimp over pasta, sweet potato biscuit sandwiches, all served with generous helpings of Smithfield’s bacon and luncheon meats.

Her teeth gleam against her skin, the color and texture of the well-preserved, smoked ham.

New Money but Old Formulas Mean Schools Get Unequal Funds

Within weeks, monies from the approved stimulus bill will trickle down to schools nation-wide.

For some states, the funds are a lifesaver, staving off mass layoffs of teachers in Alabama, and providing a needed infusion of cash for schools who are not meeting the academic standards stipulated by No Child Left Behind.

But, those that are in dire need of money–Title I schools who serve low-income, students of color–are still not receiving aid.