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Opinion: Insight from a Latina who is ‘not Latina enough’
Yaritza Croussett, Julio Ricardo Varela, Graciela Tiscanero-Sato and Sharon Abramzon talked about being "Latino enough."
February 1st, 2012
07:19 PM ET

Opinion: Insight from a Latina who is ‘not Latina enough’

Editor’s Note: Lili Gil is a businesswoman with expertise in marketing to Hispanics. She is co-founder and managing partner of XL Alliance, a business strategy and marketing firm dedicated to help business leaders and corporations navigate and enter emerging multicultural markets. Gil was recently selected to be a World Economic Young Global Leader. She is on Twitter @liligil.

By Lili Gil, Special to CNN

What comes to mind when you think of Latinos? Is it exotic beauties, great dancing, loud music, big families, illegals, all or some of the above? Is it poor, disadvantaged, short and brown?

The truth is 53% of all Hispanics in the U.S. self-identify as white, but unfortunately a world of media that over- emphasizes issues of immigration and drug trafficking have often tainted the true colors and stories of those who call themselves “Latinos.”

I am a strategist and marketer who makes a living demystifying the world of Latinos for America’s CEO’s and decision makers. It is my life’s quest to understand true Latino identity.

I then take my information, and try to make advertisers and business leaders understand who we really are, and why they should take the time to get to know us. As you can imagine, this quest of mine is incredibly complex.

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How Don Cornelius became the 'pope of soul'
Don Cornelius' impact on America went beyond music. "Soul Train" united white and black America together.
February 1st, 2012
04:30 PM ET

How Don Cornelius became the 'pope of soul'

By John Blake and Todd Leopold, CNN

(CNN) - Don Cornelius never led a civil rights march, launched a boycott or gave a speech before a cheering crowd of protesters.

But his impact on America was as profound as virtually any civil rights leader, says Shayne Lee, a sociologist who grew up watching "Soul Train."

Cornelius' groundbreaking TV show didn't just captivate African-Americans - it tied white and black America together in a way that had not been done before, says Lee, who teaches a course on hip-hop at the University of Houston.

"He was an ambassador, the pope of soul," Lee said. "For a lot of suburban whites living in segregated America, this was their first exposure to this exiting new world of movement and energy. He made black culture more accessible."

Read the full story

February 1st, 2012
03:40 PM ET

Feds: Teen injured in Florida pileup won't be deported

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday that an illegal immigrant who was injured and lost most of her family in Sunday's multivehicle wreck in Florida will not face deportation.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Lidiane Carmo as she deals with the tragic loss of her family," ICE spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said. "Reports of her facing deportation are completely false."

"ICE's stated priorities include convicted criminals, immigration fugitives, repeat immigration law violators and recent border crossers," Gonzalez said in a statement.

Lidiane Carmo, 15, the sole survivor among her immediate family, came to the United States from Brazil when she was only 2, according to a pastor at International Church of the Restoration in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.

"She is like any regular American girl. (But) she wasn't born here," the Rev. Aron Amazonas said Wednesday. "She acts like an American girl. She almost can't speak the Portuguese language. She doesn't know the people there."

Amazonas said church members were worried that Lidiane might face deportation.

Read the full story

February 1st, 2012
01:08 PM ET

How Romney won Florida's Latino vote

By Juan Carlos Lopez, CNN en Español Anchor

Miami (CNN) - As Mitt Romney dominated the Florida Republican primary Tuesday night, he also captured the bulk of the votes from Latinos in the state, with 54% of their ballots. But how did he pull that off?

His victory could be seen as somewhat surprising for a candidate with a tough stance on immigration, who promised that if he were president, he'd veto the Dream Act that would legalize young undocumented adults who came to the United States as children if they attend college, join the armed forces or meet other requirements.

But Romney's methodology for winning their votes reveals a more focused, calculated approach to securing the fastest-growing voter demographic in the state and the country, and could prove to be a hurdle for President Obama in the general election.

So, how did Romney persuade Florida Latinos to vote for him?

Read the full story

Study: Segregation in U.S. on decline, but disparities persist
The all-white neighborhood is "effectively extinct" in the United States, a study says.
February 1st, 2012
12:23 PM ET

Study: Segregation in U.S. on decline, but disparities persist

By David Ariosto, CNN

(CNN) - Segregation of African-Americans in cities and towns across the United States has dropped to its lowest level in more than a century, according to a recent study.

The Manhattan Institute report, released two days before the start of Black History month, points to federal housing policies, changes in public perception and demographic shifts since the 1960s that have helped integrate the nation.

Still, the study adds, America's social and income disparities continue.

"We thought about racial inequality and thought that neighborhoods had something to do with it," said economist Jacob Vigdor of Duke University, who co-wrote the study with Edward Glaeser of Harvard University at the New York-based conservative think tank.

"It turns out it's a far more complicated picture."

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Engage: 'Soul Train' creator found dead
"Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius died of a gunshot wound at a house in Los Angeles, police say.
February 1st, 2012
10:13 AM ET

Engage: 'Soul Train' creator found dead

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Don Cornelius, 'Soul Train' creator, host, found dead in home - The Los Angeles Times

Mitt Romney wins Republican primary with support of Florida Latinos - The Huffington Post

Study: Asian-Americans not well-represented in Broadway productions - Crain's New York Business

Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal moves out  of solitary confinement conditions for first time in 23 years - BET News

Profile: Divesh Makhan, wealth manager to Facebook executives - The Wall Street Journal

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Opinion: Inside our scary, society-destroying family
"It’s that love that makes us a family," Marci Weis, bottom right, told her daughter.
February 1st, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Opinion: Inside our scary, society-destroying family

Editor’s Note: Marci Weis is the chief operating officer at a healthcare consulting and care management company in Washington.  She is pursuing a Masters in Divinity degree for ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ.  Weis and her lesbian partner have been together more than 20 years and they have two daughters.

Washington's Senate passed a bill late Wednesday that would allow gay marriage in the Evergreen State. A House vote is expected within days. If it passes both chambers, Gov. Christine Gregoire has promised to sign it into law.

By Marci Weis, Special to CNN

"Mama, if it doesn’t pass, will we still be able to be a family?"

Those were the words of my then-7-year-old daughter on the night of the 2009 election. Over the prior months, sides had been chosen, harsh words had been hurled from all fronts, battle lines drawn. Up for vote was a referendum on whether Washington state would allow gay and lesbian couples to have several of the rights and responsibilities of legally married heterosexual couples. My true love, my lesbian life partner of now 20 years, had watched the debate unfold along with our two daughters. We had heard the harsh condemnation of our relationship, of our family.

And so it has begun again, this time for the legalization of marriage for gays and lesbians in Washington state. The battle has occurred in the legislature and most likely will move to a general election. Again, sides have been chosen and a fair number of my fellow Christians have argued that my love, my family, undermines society by our very existence. While I strongly support marriage equality, the debate over the right for gays and lesbians to marry raises a much more pressing concern for me. Why do my Christian brothers and sisters feel so strongly that my love, my relationship, my family has the power to shred the fabric of our very society?

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Filed under: Community • Family • Relationships • Religion • Sexual orientation • What we think • Where we live