BELatina’s Weekend Recap: MJ Rodriguez, Winter Olympics, And More

Photo courtesy of BELatina
Photo courtesy of BELatina

Happy Monday, dear readers, from our desks and with our first coffee of the day.

Today is one of those mornings when we wish the weekend would last four days. However, we’re still in high spirits to start a new week bringing you the best stories from our community.

But first of all, let’s take a look at the most important news of the past few days.

From the well-deserved Stephen F. Kolzak Award for MJ Rodriguez to the closing of the Winter Olympics, these are the most important news of the weekend.

MJ Rodriguez to receive GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak Award

“Pose” star Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, also known as MJ Rodriguez, will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 33rd annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on April 2, the LGBTQ media advocacy group announced Wednesday.

The annual award, named after a casting director who dedicated his life to raising awareness in the entertainment industry about discrimination faced by LGBTQ people and those living with HIV, recognizes queer media professionals who promote acceptance.

These Latinas run a Planned Parenthood in Texas and fight through education

Latinas run a Planned Parenthood BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of NBC News.

Miranda Aguirre and her colleagues run a Planned Parenthood clinic in El Paso, Texas, and are standing up to the state’s new abortion ban. In addition to offering financial support to families, this group of women offers educational resources to other Latinas about family planning, birth control, and taking control of their reproductive health.

Melissa Lucio could be the first Latina to be executed in Texas

Melissa Lucio BELatina Latinx Weekend Recap
Photo courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.

Melissa Lucio, a 52-year-old mother of 14, is on death row. Her execution is scheduled for April 27, and if executed, she would be the first Latina in Texas history to be executed and the first Texas woman in nearly a decade. Her mother, sisters, and some of her children say there is no evidence of murder and that it was an accident that Lucio’s 2-year-old daughter Mariah fell down rickety stairs outside their Harlingen home. But two daughters say Lucio abused and neglected Mariah and is responsible for her death.

Puerto Rico workers take to the streets to protest

Puerto Rico workers BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of AP.

Puerto Rico’s public employees shut down the streets of the capital on Friday to demand better wages and pensions. In recent weeks it’s a call that has resonated throughout Puerto Rico as government employees and their supporters take to the streets, encouraged by the thousands of public school teachers who walked out of classrooms in early February to demand raises and better pensions.

The protests have multiplied, and the unrest poses one of the biggest challenges for Governor Pedro Pierluisi a year into his term.

Winter Olympics close with futuristic spectacle

Winter Olympics BELatina Latinx Weekend Recap
Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

The events ended Sunday night just as they began: with a futuristic performance before a warm crowd that filled nearly half of the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest. With Xi watching through binoculars, the athletes entered under a three-dimensional image of a red Chinese knot, a good luck charm symbolizing unity and longevity. In a speech, Beijing Communist Party chief Cai Qi said he was proud of the epidemic prevention workers and volunteers for keeping the events safe and warm.

Queen Elizabeth II Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Queen Elizabeth II COVID BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

After being away from the public for long periods of the pandemic, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II tested positive for coronavirus and was experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms,” Buckingham Palace announced Sunday in a statement.

The 95-year-old monarch expected to continue with “light duties” at Windsor Castle for the next week and would continue to “receive medical care and follow all appropriate guidelines.”

Latinos are once again the contested vote among Democrats and Republicans

Latino Vote BELatina Latinx Weekend Recap
Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Hispanic voters are more open to GOP attacks on Democrats and lean more Republican on major issues in this year’s midterm elections, according to data released this week by the House campaign arms of both parties.

On the economy, immigration and crime, Latinos see congressional Republicans as more trustworthy than Democrats, a new poll released Thursday by the National Republican Campaign Committee suggests. 

The figures match the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s own research, which was presented to Democratic officials Tuesday.

Mexican government proposes an intellectual property law

Mexico intellectual property law BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Senado de México

The Mexican government has put an intellectual property law on the table to fight plagiarism and theft of indigenous art. The law recognizes the collective right to the intellectual property of these communities, calls for the creation of a National Registry of Cultural Heritage, and allows the government to prosecute the theft of cultural work. On the surface, it is a bold step to address cultural appropriation and remedy some of the ways in which these communities continue to be marginalized.

And ICYMI: AOC electrified crowds during a campaign rally

With a golden microphone in hand and dressed in an aqua green pantsuit, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez energized the San Antonio crowd with her vision for flipping the state of Texas to Democratic control.

“It will happen,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a rally earlier this month. “The only question is when, Texas.”

As the crowd cheered, she added: “The work that you put in today, the work that you put in tomorrow, the work that you put in on Monday – when you go one more door when you’re tired, when you make one more call when you feel exhausted, you’re bringing that day one day sooner.”