Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Culture > Music > Songs protesting racism is focal point of new Latino music contest

Songs protesting racism is focal point of new Latino music contest

LatinaLista — Music isn’t just lyrics set to music in the Latino community. For generations, it’s also been a way to chronicle various protest movements within the history of Latinos in the United States.


The most recent has been the immigration marches of 2006, and now the newly signed Arizona Senate Bill 1070 is inspiring a whole new round of music dedicated to singing about the injustice this bill provokes.

Corridos, boleros, cumbias and mariachi are only a few of the music genres accepted in the protest music contest.

Encouraging this form of traditional Latino art is the theme for a new protest music contest called Sing for Hope and Justice and Immigration Reform!

Spearheaded by Dr. Paul Ruiz, senior advisor and co-founder of The Education Trust, Ruiz is a 35-year educator focusing his professional work on improving achievement and closing the Latino and African-American achievement gap.

Originally hailing from South Texas, Ruiz is familiar with the protest songs of old and was inspired to help a new generation leave their impressions about the current injustice in lyrical form.

According to the guidelines of the contest: “Protest songs should serve to advocate against bigotry, educate and inform the Latino community and general public about the racism embedded in Arizona-like immigration law. And, advance the hopes, dreams and pride of all, especially immigrants and Latinos in the USA.”

The music can take the form of a corrido, cumbia, ranchera, bolero, mariachi or pop. The contest is open primarily to Tejano/Mexicano/Latino songwriters and music groups from South Texas.

Submissions for this contest must be received by Friday June 11, 2010 at 5pm. Entries should be mailed to: Dr. Paul Ruiz, Chairperson, 222 Melliff Dr, San Antonio, TX 78216, or emailed in Mp3 format to (please include all contact information).

Contest Details: Final contest entries must be submitted in Mp3 format; need not be of commercial quality, along with completed registration form. A panel of civic leaders, local activists and artists will listen to and screen all entries and select the 15 best songs before a live audience. These recordings will be given air time, as time may allow, on local radio stations prior to the formal performance.

The Top 15 songs will be performed live on June 30, 2010 at a local San Antonio-area venue (to be announced). Each of the top 15 contestants will perform their respective songs before a live audience.

On the night of the performances, four winners will be announced. A panel of seven judges comprised of civic leaders, local activists and artists will vote on the winners.

Thanks to some generous support, there are some nice prizes:

First Prize: $6000 Prepaid Visa check card

Second Prize: $2000 Prepaid Visa check card

Third Prize: $1200 Prepaid Visa check card

Fourth Prize: $800 Prepaid Visa check card

Yet even without the dinero, all participants have the satisfaction of knowing that their songs will live on and play an important part of giving future generations a peek into the life of Latinos at this time in history.

Related posts


  • phyllis freedman
    May 11, 2010 at 6:50 am

    The bigotry behind law SB1070 is what people with common sense are taking issue with and that Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona government is in denial that there is any bigotry involved. This has as much latent bigotry as the Cherokee removal out of Georgia to Oklahoma in 1830’s epic TRAIL OF TEARS because every argument for the law surprising is where the popularity of speaking who the act targets from supporters of the law against its target- that being illegal Mexicans- have been attacked with a volley of hate since and to which this law is supposedly the answer.
    If a bad law like this can be made by a Governor for people who are of Mexican decent today then one can be made for Irish in Massachusetts tomorrow; or African-American next in Florida; even for Jews in New York; or for Chinese in California; or for Italians in New Jersey. It’s the beginning of boldly going after people with use of the law by race.
    Governor Jan Brewer should repeal this law and allow President Obama to work on the matter which takes more thinking and less draconian restrictions than she feels personally allowable by our Constitution. That Governor Jan Brewer has become stubborn is why nationally and internationally the economy in Arizona will continue to suffer from a necessary boycott which America feels desperately is needed to counter the hardline Governor Jan Brewer has taken in regards to leaving SB1070 law on the books in Arizona.
    That is not America’s way of doing law. That is the way Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany did business, that being blame a race of people for the lack of your leadership to govern those who reside under your roof amicably.
    It would have been a better solution if Adolph Hitler had personally moved out of Germany and lived in a tranquil place of his choosing rather than to stir up his population to war against America in WW II, and it would be a simple solution if Governor Jan Brewer moves to another area where she is feeling happy again rather than trying to stay sad and bring economic unhappiness to Arizona.
    Is this what fellow party Republicans really want from all this chaos of disagreement of law SB1070 law? Loss of important tourist revenue? The analogy I use is like if people were stranded at sea together in a rubber lifeboat.
    In the lifeboat are about 100 people. 50 percent do not like the other 50 percent in the boat with them and so they say to that 50 percent they do not like, “If you don’t get out of this lifeboat then we’re going to punch a hole in it?”
    That is what Governor Jan Brewer has in essence said, except with taking it to the final step and punching the whole in the lifeboat. Then her supporters seeing that their lifeboat is sinking are saying to everyone as though we are too to stupid to see why the lifeboat is sinking, “you see people, you being in the lifeboat too and you wouldn’t leave so now look at us all sink? It’s your fault!”
    Sure, you’re punching a hole in the rubber lifeboat had nothing to do with it sinking, it was the fact that they stayed in the lifeboat with you making you act like a ding bat that caused the hole?

Leave a comment

1 Comment