From the Editor – October 2018

From the Editor – October 2018
Elsa Mejía, Editor

Dear Reader,

When I took on the role of editor earlier this year, I envisioned a more all-inclusive progressive newspaper in the Valley. A print and online forum where those who speak are not homogenous in age, race, socioeconomic status or gender. I also found it critically important to ensure editorial content is not restricted to one language.

As a Hispanic woman growing in up in this blazing red Valley, I know all too well the damage that language barriers inflict upon people and to our communities. It has been an ever-present source of conflict, not only for those who struggle speaking another tongue aside from their native one but also for those who are bilingual. I’ve been in both situations and, in addition to the difficulties of mastering spelling, grammar, composition and pronunciation, we are too often met with discrimination for choosing to speak any language other than English.

It is ironic to be raised in a first world nation while facing so many with such a backward mentality. I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Europe, where I learned that other cultures not only embrace but also encourage plurilingualism. It was encouraging and inspirational—to say the least. That is why the Spanish section of the Community Alliance, or Alianza Comunitaria, is pivotal. Not only do we foster inclusiveness, but we also take advantage of the medium to ensure more people have the opportunity to express their progressive points of view.

This month you can be a part of that push while learning about a Mexican tradition. The Noche de Calaveritas hosted by Alianza Comunitaria is a fund-raising event to benefit local Spanish independent journalism.

The term calaveritas literally means small skulls, but in Mexican literature, the term refers to poems written about people in the form of epitaphs. They often express feelings a writer would otherwise have difficulty writing in another context.

In the 19th century, calaveritas were frequently censored in newspapers because they often expressed dissatisfaction with politicians of the time. They are still used to express these views today.

Our Noche de Calaveritas will feature a calaveritas poetry contest, live music, delicious Mexican bites, tasting of traditional Mezcal and a 50/50 cash drawing from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Bitwise Industries (700 Van Ness Ave.).

Admission is $25. Participate in the contest by e-mailing your best calaverita to, and buy tickets by contacting Spanish editor Lourdes Medina at 559-908-4692. And gracias for your continued support of the Community Alliance and Alianza Comunitaria.


  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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