Portraits in Color

Dr. Frank Mirabal

A unique look at race in America through the stories of artists, entrepreneurs, educators and culture creators. The series takes a provocative look at what it's really like to survive and thrive in a society that has been built without people of color in mind. Dr. Frank Mirabal’s experience as an artist, academic, political appointee, and cultural critic brings a unique aesthetic to the conversation.
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Soul Divine UncoveredThe Story of DowntownStop the Asian HateCan White Evangelical Church Leaders Eradicate the Racism the Church Helped Create?The Reciprocity ProjectThe Vespa DiariesFinding Family TreesMovement Music with BaracutangaLatino Decisions 2020The Worldwide Appeal of Lowrider Culture
Historians trace Lowrider culture back to the early 30’s and 40’s as an extension of pachuco culture.  If you’re unfamiliar with pachuco culture, check out Edward James Olmos in Zoot Suit.  Yes, he was in other movies beyond Stand and Deliver! Some historians trace its origins to the El Paso/Juarez region, while others say it originated in the barrios of East LA.  We’ll leave that debate to the Tejanos and the East Los crowd.  Post World War II, many ex-military men from the southwest migrated to Los Angeles to work in aircraft factories, bringing along their passion for customized rides.  By the 60’s, lowriders became identified with the Chicano movement, as these cars began to symbolize a proud cultural identity that still exists today. These cars are an artistic expression of familia, culture and religion.  They glow with brilliant colors, religious symbols, and wired rims. You might see the sparks fly from their bodies scraping the pavement as they creep down the street “low and slow” or hear the squeaks of the hydraulics as they bounce from side-to-side.  Lowrider culture has had significant influence in the worlds of music, fashion, and art.  Back in the 70’s, you could hear War’s Chicano Rock anthem Lowrider pulsating from car speakers on downtown streets from Burque to LA.  The marriage between car culture and music re-emerged in the 90’s with videos featuring South Central LA rappers Eazy E and Dr. Dre.  Remember the G-thang video?  Lowrider influenced fashion even made its way into mainstream pop music.  Do you remember Gwen Stefani rocking the chola look in her early No Doubt days?  Lowriders as an expression of mobile art can be found in prominent art galleries, in national museums like the Smithsonian, and adorning international avenues from Japan to Australia. Facebook groups highlighting Lowrider Culture have six-figure followings and towns, like Española, NM have branded themselves the Lowrider Capital of the World.   I think it’s safe to say, the culture has officially moved from the underground to the mainstream.Dr. Frank releasing had the opportunity to catch up with two OGs from Duke’s Car Club--Frank Chavez and Albert Muniz to learn more about lowrider culture and its worldwide appeal.
Oct 19 2020
28 mins
Achieving Equity in the Workplace#MaskUp: Are Masks Effective in Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19?Decolonizing Wealth with Edgar VillanuevaBreaking Down Walls with Dana CortezThe Fight for Economic JusticeI'm Fed Up! Black Lives Matter, Silent Protests, and the Work Ahead for Racial JusticeAlways in My Head: Our Family's Story of Living with Borderline Personality DisorderThe Story of Elias: How a Community is Tackling Opioid Addiction and Treatment
Elias was a joker and a prankster. He loved getting a "rise" out of people by playing practical jokes. He had an intellectual curiosity that could be both a blessing and a curse. Like most kids, if he wasn’t being challenged in school, he could easily turn the classroom into his personal performance space. He definitely knew how to command a room.However, things dramatically changed for Elias the very first time he tried opioids. “He referred to the sensation he felt as ‘the affinity affect,’ says Steve Lucero, Elias’ father and long-time health care professional. “Once he experienced this sensation, his whole life revolved around his next high.”After an extended struggle that included multiple stints in treatment and recovery, Elias passed away at the age of 19 from opioid overdose. His story reveals the stigma associated with addiction and some of the major challenges with access to treatment services, at the time of his death, that could have potentially saved his life.In this episode, we share Elias’ story and talk about some of the challenges associated with accessing care, harm reduction as a treatment strategy, and addressing other social determinants of health in the treatment and recovery process. My guests include Steve Lucero, Christine Mintz, and Pelatia Trujillo from the Bernalillo County Community Health Council (BCCHC) and Anjali Taneja from Casa de Salud.If you live in the Albuquerque area and need help finding addiction treatment services, contact the Bernalillo County Community Health Council at http://www.bchealthcouncil.org/ or by phone at 505-246-1638.
May 13 2020
41 mins
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