Cafe Cultura at the Santa Rita Center

So a few months back I met an amazing organizer, Jose Cortez, and he invited me to the Santa Rita center’s first Cafe Cultura. He organized artsits, from 2-D to 3-D to spoken word. I wanted to share some of the images with them here and say how thankful I am to see artists in Phoenix getting together and sharing their creativity. I’m even more thankful for people like Jose who have a vision that goes far enough to realize the importance of sharing art in a way to teach youth about their heritage. I also had a chance to swing by a protest at the Mexican Consulate on Human Rights Day where protests were held for the return of the missing 43 ayotzinapa students.
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Rumain Brisbon Protest

I recently covered the protest in Phoenix against the death of Rumain Brisbon, a Phoenix resident who was shot by a Phoenix police officer. The officer believed Brisbon was reaching for a gun and fired several shots at close range, upon later inspection they found a bottle of pills but no weapon. This case has garnered a fair amount of attention and organizing by community members who believe there is a different standard according to the race of the suspect. It was interesting to cover shooting photographs and video. Brisbon’s young daughter pictured below, led the protest to the Phoenix police department.

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Las Adelitas Arizona 4th Annual Posada

I had the privilege of shooting the Las Adelitas 4th Annual Posada where they named Raquel Teran of Mi Familia Vota the first “Adelita del año.”
The group raises money each year and award scholarships, in 2014 to both young ladies below, and this year they honored Teran for her work civically engaging her community. This years winners are pictured below. The event was held at Petroglyphs Gallery in the Lost Barrio area in Tucson, Ariz.



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Fight for $15 Protest

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Walmart Black Friday Protest in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Photographed a protest on Black Friday against Walmart by striking employees and different valley groups. Here are a few of the photographs of different protestors that demonstrated outside the Walmart on Thomas and 32nd Street in Phoenix, Arizona.

Protests against the failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Protesters gathered outside the Sandra Day Oconnor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix to voice their opposition to the grand jury’s decision to ‘not indict’ in Ferguson Monday evening. Protestors spoke about their experiences with racial profiling by police, their hopes for change in the future and the need to create dialogue about the realities of race.

Veterans Day Parade

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Sometimes it’s nice to head out and just shoot for myself and I remember shooting this parade seven years ago for the East Valley Tribune. Full of stress of getting names, taking newspaper appropriate photographs so it was enjoyable to just go out and shoot for myself. The image above was on my way out, a little girl scout was holding a flower she just picked with her friends. There was something so nice about the children, who don’t care about staying on the sidewalk or screaming and jumping while holding little flags. There isn’t as much reason in their actions as just enjoyment of a moment and it makes them wonderful to photograph.


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Maryvale YMCA Carshow

A friend of mine, Jose Cortez, invited me to come visit the Maryvale YMCA car show. The idea being to raise money to help at risk youth, a place for artists to exhibit work, danza Azteca and local rapper RDL. It was an impressive set up and I was glad Jose invited me to come see it, I’ve uploaded some of the photos here to share with those who were there.
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Our Walmart Protest

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I spent the afternoon covering the Our Walmart protest today organized into two parts. The first found the protesters and Walmart employees, from different states, organizing a protest for a higher living wage and consistent hours at the Walmart at 3712 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix, Ariz.

Some went inside to give “thank you” notes and tell Walmart employees that the were appreciated. I was surprised by how friendly employees were, even in the midst of their work. Two women were surrounded by three carts full of bras but took time to speak to a protestor. At the same time others stood outside gathering petition signatures that would eventually be delivered to the home of Walmart’s chairman of the board of directors: Robert Walton. It included a parade and demonstration outside Walton’s Paradise Valley home. A variety of faith based leaders, politicians and organizers spoke before protestors eventually delivered their signatures to the front gate.

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What did surprise me was the image I made of one former Walmart employee and veteran peeking into the gate and underneath it to “see” Walton’s home. The desire to “see” Walton’s home isn’t surprising but it says something to the fact of the difference between company owner and employees.

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Mementos Left Behind

On 9/11 I visited Tempe Town lake to see the flag memorial, one of the largest in the country, and I was struck by how many items were left behind at the base of many of the flags. According to one worker, only one flag belongs to a native Arizonan, but clearly there are many connections that I don’t understand. This morning at 6 a.m. the tear down of the memorial began and I decided to photograph the items that were left at the bases of the flags, or tied to them. These ranged from flowers, to photographs and in some cases ribbons showing who were first responders. One flag had a photograph and small stuffed tiger and it makes me wonder about these mementos and those who came and left them behind.

I also photographed the tear down of nearly three thousand flags, which couldn’t have been possible without the hundred plus volunteers that materialized seemingly out of nowhere before 6 a.m. and had every flag down and packed before 8 a.m.

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