Horizonte Banner

October 3, 2013

Host: José Cárdenas

Guantánamo Public Memory Project

  |   Video
  • The Burton Barr Central library in Phoenix will be hosting the Guantánamo Public Memory Project. The exhibit features 13 panels that explore the history of the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo from the beginning of U.S. occupation in 1898, its varied uses over more than 100 years, and its current role in the War on Terror. Nancy Dallett, Assitant Director Public History Program for The ASu School of ASU School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies discusses the project and exhibit.
  • Nancy Dallett - ASU Public History Program
Category: Education   |   Keywords: Guantánamo, project, exhibit, history,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix will be hosting the Guantanamo public memory project. The project is a collaboration with Arizona State University's Public History Program in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. The exhibit explores the history of the United States naval base at Guantanamo. Here with me tonight is Nancy Dallett, Assistant Director, Public History Program for the ASU School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. Nancy thanks for joining us.

Nancy Dallett: Thanks for having me.
José Cárdenas: This is a fascinating project. Can you just explain the logistics for me.
Nancy Dallett: Yes, we have an exhibit at the Burton Barr Library on the second floor. And that kind of serves as the back drop for a variety of different programs that we are going to have. Probably in 10 all. It ranges from panel discussions to an art installation to something we call the human library, series of four films. So there are many different ways for people to get engage.

José Cárdenas: Let's talk about the exhibit what. Will people actually see?

Nancy Dallett: The exhibit is comprised of 13 panels that were created by public history programs.

José Cárdenas: We have a picture of that; we'll show if we get a chance.

Nancy Dallett: Okay. 13 public history programs across the country participated in developing a panel each. They basically asked a question about the long history of Guantanamo.

José Cárdenas: Each panel captures a certain segment in time? For example it starts with, what, development of the base?

Nancy Dallett: Spanish American War. Starts there. Then continues on with the very unusual leasing arrangement that we have that holds now, takes us through World War I. The development during World War II. Especially the Cuban balseros who were detained there followed by the Haitian refugees that were there and finally the enemy combatants that are there now.

José Cárdenas: So there's a lot of history to cover in the program. You’ve got these different exhibits; you're covering very critical times in American history. What's the overarching theme that you’re trying to capture?

Nancy Dallett: We're trying to get people to understand the long American history there. Many don't quite understand we have this unusual relationship with Cuba. We have very interesting and complicated relationships with Cuba itself, Cuban-American relations, but this 45 square miles is our first foreign naval base. Over time it's been used, opened and closed, opened and closed. When we talk now about closing Guantanamo, it's really about closing the use of Guantanamo that it's most currently housing the enemy combatants.

José Cárdenas: So there are a lot of unusual things in the exhibit itself. One of the most interesting things I thought when I read the description was this human book project. Tell us about that.

Nancy Dallett: The human book project is something that is flourishing throughout Europe but it's kind of new to this country; comes from Denmark. The idea is for people to sort of bring out your prejudice and your ignorance and your curiosity, really. Have a face-to-face 15 minute conversation with someone that you would never have an opportunity to meet and get to know.

José Cárdenas: Give me some examples of that.

Nancy Dallett: Some examples for the folks that are going to be participating would be someone who served as a chaplain there during the time of the Cuban and Haitian refugee crisis there. People who were teachers there. Maybe someone who grew up there. We also want to get across the idea that this was home for many people. They grew up there, there was nothing really exceptional about the military base there. Maybe they served there. Maybe they were a balsero. Variety of ways you can get at the story of this really diverse history.

José Cárdenas: The way it will work is you go to the library and check out a human book for 15 minutes?

Nancy Dallett: Check out a book. In some ways the books will compete like their book covers do. You'll tell your little story with just in words. In written words, then we'll select the people who come to visit will check out the book, they’ll have a 15 minute conversation. They can do it two people, two on one, however they would like to do it. We also have a gentleman coming from San Francisco, Peter Hanenberg. He's been interviewing people who have been involved with Guantanamo since 9/11. He's compiled an amazing array of interviews. You can talk with him about what he's learned. You can also listen to the interviews that he's collected.

José Cárdenas: So let's talk about logistics. What's the time period for the exhibition and give us a sense for the different aspects of it when they occur.

Nancy Dallett: The exhibit will open October 19th and run through November 24th. Each Wednesday evening during that period there will be a panel at the Phoenix Library. We're talking about a range of things from the Spanish American War through the Cuban Balseros, the Haitian refugees to the war on terror. We're also looking at what's really relevant about this to Arizona, and so some of our evenings will focus on Japanese internment and also indefinite detention of immigrants.

José Cárdenas: You mentioned off screen that's something you want to convey what. Does it mean to have indefinite detention?

Nancy Dallett: That's the very question we want to explore. In what way has it become acceptable that for instance with executive order 9066 during World War II, the President made it legal for us to detain Japanese citizens in internment camps. We now do it with the enemy combatants that are there and here in Arizona we do it in immigration detention centers, for instance in Florence.

José Cárdenas: Sounds like a fascinating show. People can go online for more information?

Nancy Dallett: Yes, Phoenixpubliclibrary.org.

José Cárdenas: Thanks for coming on Horizonte to tell us about this.

Immigration March

  |   Video
  • Immigration advocates are trying to get the attention of lawmakers in Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill by planning rallies and demonstrations in cities across the country. Mi Familia Vota Arizona state director, Raquel Terán and Promise Arizona executive director, Petra Falcon talk about details of the march set to take place here in Phoenix.
  • Raquel Terán - Director, Mi Familia Vota Arizona
  • Petra Falcon - Executive Director, Promise Arizona
Category: Immigration   |   Keywords: immigration, march, phoenix,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: Thank you for joining us. Immigration advocates vow to grab the attention of lawmakers in Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill by planning big rallies and demonstrations starting this weekend in cities across the country, followed by a march in Washington on October 8th. Here with me to talk about the marches planned in the Valley are Petra Falcon, Executive Director for Promise Arizona, an Raquel Terán, Arizona State Director for Mi Familia Vota. Thanks for joining us on Horizonte. Let's just recap what your organization is about, Petra.

Petra Falcon: Promise Arizona was born out of the fight against SB 1070 in April of 2010, and it grew out of the work of a lot of young people and immigrant families that decided SB 1070 was not going to close the doors to them to live a good quality of life, especially in Arizona. We focus on leadership development, on civic engagement, on making sure that their voices are heard. Promise Arizona also works to make sure that we no longer have bad bills like SB 1070, but at this moment it's about advancing comprehensive immigration reform. At the local level we work with a lot of organizations especially right now on this event for October 5th.

José Cárdenas: Raquel, your organization Mi Familia Vota, you have worked with them in different capacities for many years. What's their role in this activity?

Raquel Terán: Mi Familia Vota has been working more than ten years engaging Latinos in the decision making process, ensuring that our voices are heard at the polls. We're a national organization. We are in Arizona, Colorado, California, Nevada, Florida and Texas. Our mission has been to make sure that Latinos are heard. Just like Promise Arizona we are working really closely on ensuring that we pass an immigration reform bill with a pathway to citizenship. That was one of the main reasons why Mi Familia Vota was born because we knew there were bad pieces of legislation that were attacking our communities not only in Arizona but across the country.

José Cárdenas: Yours is a national organization. This event is being organized across the country by a national organization. Tell us about that and what's planned.

Raquel Terán: It's a partnership of many organizations. There's mobilizations planned in more than 40 states. We have 161 events that are happening. There's rallies, there's marches. There's vigils. The purpose of these events is to make sure that Congress hears our voice, that we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Today Democrats introduced a piece of legislation very similar to what the Senate passed in July, and we're very hopeful that this starts a conversation. We know that there are more than 20 Republicans who are also supporting comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. Actually there is 26 Republicans. So we have the votes to pass a bill. We have 218 votes. So right now our mobilizations are urging the Republican leadership to give us a vote so that we have our families come out of the shadows.

José Cárdenas: I want to talk about how likely that is to happen this year. Before we do that, Petra let's talk about the march. It's this Saturday. Give us the details.

Petra Falcon: The details is that this Saturday, October 5th, we're inviting the community to join us on a march for dignity and respect. It's a national day of action. We believe there will be two to three thousand people. They are to join us before 10:00. We want to start at 10:00 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 909 West Washington, it’s 9th street and Washington. We're asking people to wear red. We want everybody to wear a red T-shirt with any design or logo, but just a red T-shirt to demonstrate unity across the state.

José Cárdenas: I understand there's going to be special things going along that will be happening alongside the marchers. Tells us about that.

Petra Falcon: We want to highlight the pillars of what we think is a good, comprehensive immigration reform bill. That's to protect workers, families, to reunite families, make sure our young people get into higher education, more importantly, that there is a pathway to citizenship so these stories what I'm calling them vignettes will be along the route all the way to the
Federal Courthouse at 4th Avenue and Washington.

José Cárdenas: If people want to get involved where can they get more information?

Petra Falcon: The number to call is 602-345-0166.

José Cárdenas: Raquel you were talking about people having conversations. There not talking about anything right now in Congress. They won't even talk about the budget shutdown, the crisis right there. What makes you think that this is going to have any impact whatsoever?

Raquel Terán: Well, the fact that we had an extraordinary summer. We have very sophisticated campaign where we're able to engage our members of Congress, where we are having one on ones, meeting with them. There's already 26 Republicans that during the summer came out in support of a pathway to citizenship.

José Cárdenas: You think there will be some action and that people will be able to even though they can't talk about the budget and the deficit they’ll be able to talk about immigration reform?

Raquel Terán: We knew immigration reform was going to be a priority issue. We knew that October would be a month where we're still hopeful for our families, our communities that October and November are key months where they take up this legislation. Honestly what we had today with the Democrats introducing this bill is the vehicle that we needed. That's why these mobilizations, these rallies, these events that are happening across the country are so important. So that Republican leadership hears that we need that vote. The votes are there.

José Cárdenas: Petra, any concern about backlash? The articles about the march that's coming up you have people like Rusty Childers saying, great, you're just going to make people opposed to immigration reform angry and it’s going to help his cause.

Petra Falcon: We heard that at the beginning of the summer that there would be backlash in the streets, a lot of counter protests. We have not seen anything this summer. In fact it's been very, very quiet on the right. The second thing is the majority of Americans, the majority of Arizonans support comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. Americans are already are saying let's have a solution. The vehicle introduced today in the house by house Democrats is an opportunity to move forward. We already know this bill represents a lot of what the Senators already passed. That was a bipartisan bill.

José Cárdenas: So you're hopeful.

Petra Falcon: Very hopeful.

José Cárdenas: thank you both for joining us on Horizonte to talk about this very important subject.

Raquel Terán: Thank you.

José Cárdenas: Thank you.

The Mighty Vandals

  |   Video
  • James E. Garcia, New Carpa Theater Company founder and playwright and Fito Trujillo, the only surviving player of the 1951 Mighty Vandals basketball team, talk about the play, "The Mighty Vandals". This original play is about the undefeated Mighty Vandals, the basketball team from the small town of Miami, AZ. The team won the 1951 state basketball championship. It's the story of a victory against the odds, on and off the basketball court.
  • James E. Garcia - Founder and Playright, New Carpa Theater Company
  • Fito Trujillo - Basketball Team Member, Mighty Vandals
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: theater, play, basketball,

View Transcript
José Cárdenas: The undefeated Mighty Vandals of Miami Arizona won the 1951 State basketball championship. It’s a story of a team who beat the odds on and off the basketball court. Their story will be told on stage this week for people to see. Here with me is James E. Garcia, New Carpa Theater Company founder and Playright of the Mighty Vandals. Also here is the only surviving member, the starting 5 of the Mighty Vandals basketball team in 1951, Fito Trujillo. It’s an honor to have you both.
James E. Garcia: Thank you.

Fito Trujillo: Thank you.

José Cárdenas: James let’s talk first about the play and how it came to be and then Mr. Trujillo, we’re going to talk to you about your story.
James E. Garcia: The play came about because I had a friend who’s from Miami who had invited me because he says there is a story about my town you should write. We didn’t know what it would be, but eventually stumbled upon the story of The Mighty Vandals the 1951 undefeated Mighty Vandals. I was attracted to it because it's a terrific sports story. They literally were perhaps one of the best high school basketball teams in history.

José Cárdenas: This was before the schools were divided up into divisions. They played Phoenix Carver for the championship.

James E. Garcia: They played Phoenix Carver which was a major school at the time. So I was attracted by this great sports story but also attracted by the fact that here were these young kids, mostly Mexican, Mexican American kids, who were superstars on the court but living a segregated life when they went back to their neighborhoods. Because it was '51, and it was rural Arizona. I liked the contrast of that and what that said about the community.

James E. Garcia: Mr. Trujillo, we talked in the introduction about the beating the odds off and on the court and James referred to the fact it you came from a poor background in what was basically a segregated town.

Fito Trujillo: Yes, I was born and raised there, born in 1932. My mom and my dad came from Mexico. They came into the country in 1924 and went to work for the mines. At that time, the only thing a Hispanic job you could get in the mines was laborer. He worked as a laborer. I had four sisters and three brothers, and all of them went into the service.

José Cárdenas: The elementary schools you went to were segregated.

Fito Trujillo: Yes. I went to an elementary school that was separated. The high school was the only high school in town. When we got out of the elementary school, 8th grade, we went into the high school we were integrated together.

José Cárdenas: As I understand it from some discussions we had earlier, basketball wasn't necessarily your first passion and you had to struggle a little bit before you made the team.

Fito Trujillo: Yes. When I was in high school I was very small. I was only about maybe five-six, five-seven. I bet you I weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet.

José Cárdenas: Quite a jumper I understand.

Fito Trujillo: Yes. I had a lot of spring in me. But I played J.V. ball for two years, freshman and sophomore year. I was lucky if I played maybe 15 seconds, maybe 40 seconds some games. That's about all I really played. One of the things that really got me was when we first started playing as a freshman the coach, he kept 25 players on the team, I was in the 5th team, and he would send the first team to get the uniforms, then the second team, then the third team, then the fourth team. I was on the fifth team. By that time all was left was making the trunks, maybe 40 inches wide and we had to cinch them up.

José Cárdenas: You made the starting five. The championship game against Phoenix Carver High School. What was that like?

Fito Trujillo: Oh, that was a very exciting game. It was nip and tuck from the beginning to the end.

José Cárdenas: I assume everybody predicted Phoenix Carver would win.

Fito Trujillo: Yes. They were the favorite.

José Cárdenas: I want to talk to you about what life has been like for you since then, but James, before I do that, a central figure in your story, in the play, in this whole success of the team was the coach. Tell us about that.

James E. Garcia: Coach Ernie Kivisto, showed up somewhat magically in 1947. He had played for Marquette and for Notre Dame and had quite a career in college but magically showed in 1947 in Miami, Arizona, decided to coach this team and coached it for four years, promising his wife when they won the state championship they would go home and that's what he did. Four years later they went undefeated, they won and he left.

José Cárdenas: That's you in the middle as I understand it, Mr. Trujillo.

Fito Trujillo: Yes.

José Cárdenas: The other thing the coach did for you was make sure you got into college. You and several teammates played for NAU for four years. Then you ended up with the life of public service including serving on the board of supervisors.

Fito Trujillo: Actually, I had one semester to finish school when I got orders to be drafted into the service. Then I put in for a deferment and they gave the deferment. In May when I graduated I got my orders in August to serve in the service for two years.

José Cárdenas: Then you went into politics.

Fito Trujillo: I came out of the service and went and I served eight years as a city council member for the town of Miami, and then I served 20 years as County supervisor for Gila County.

José Cárdenas: Great story. James, what are you trying to show here?

James E. Garcia: First I think we're trying so show there's great history in Arizona. This is not the first story I have done about Arizona, but this is a great one and it often involves our Latino communities very often. This is also a story about perseverance on the court, perseverance off the court. Because these were kids that struggled. The five starters ended up going to college. Most were Mexican Americans, Croatians or Serbians. They managed to go to college at a time when kids like them didn't go to college. So it’s a great lesson for young people to watch as well.

José Cárdenas: It’s a terrific story. Thank you both so much for joining us. Mr. Trujillo, it's an honor to have you here.

James E. Garcia & Fito Trujillo: Thank you.

José Cárdenas: That is our show for tonight. From all of us here at Horizonte, I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.