By Tracy Dingmann
On Aug. 4, our friends at the SouthWest Organizing Project launched “El Grito: News and Views from New Mexico’s Grassroots.”
The exciting new website aims to use digital media to evoke the deep cultural traditions of New Mexico communities as well as the rich legacy of struggle through alternative media for justice, equity, and opportunity that exists in New Mexico.
In English, El Grito means “The Cry,” and in this context it refers to several things, including the traditional shouts made during cultural celebrations and dances in New Mexico, as well as to El Grito de Dolores, the battle cry of the Mexican revolution for independence from Spain.
El Grito also refers to El Grito del Norte, a community newspaper founded in Espanola in 1968 that chronicled the grassroots struggles of traditional New Mexico communities.
Writers and activists from El Grito del Norte later moved to Albuquerque’s Los Duranes neighborhood, where they founded the Chicano Communication Center to advance grassroots communication across the state.
As explained on the site:
SWOP’s roots in alternative media extend back to those days at the Center, and the spirit of grassroots powered media lives on in our work today through blogging and our magazine, Voces Unidas. We hope that spirit is embodied here at El Grito, where we’ll bring community based analysis about the burning issues we face today, as well as news of the happenings in our communities.
In an interesting nod to history, two of El Grito’s writers, George Lujan and Clearly New Mexico alum Juan Reynosa, are from families that were well represented in the Chicano Communication Center.
The site will have several sections, including space for community event notices and for short pieces on current events El Grito finds noteworthy. There will also be longer articles from El Grito writers.
Submissions from the public are encouraged and welcome.
From the site:
Our lens is critical analysis of our society, our focus is the landscape experienced by New Mexico’s traditional and low-income communities. We reserve the right to only publish those pieces that further the debate in a constructive and positive manner.
El Grito is strictly non-partisan, and will not publish any content referring to political elections or written by a person seeking elective office.
From the site:
We pledge to offer a space here for the diversity of voices that exist in New Mexico, and to continually seek out and share the stories and views of New Mexicans who may not always have access to a medium that will let their cry be heard across the state. And we sincerely hope you’ll check in often and add your “grito” to the debate.
Please join Clearly in welcoming this much-needed voice to the New Mexico blogosphere!