This Latina Broke The Marathon World Record At Just 16 Years Old And We’re Starting To Think She’s A Super-Human

At 12, Blanca Ramirez broke a global marathon record. At 16, she’s running to top her only competition: herself.

In 2015, The La Puenta, Calif.-based teen became the youngest female runner to complete seven marathons in seven different continents, running in Rwanda, New Zealand, Paraguay, China, France and Antarctica.

Her interest in international marathons started when she was 10 years old. She had just completed a long-distance running race in Disneyland and was hungry for more. She told her dad she wanted to beat the world record, but he thought she was joking at first.

“It seemed like it was something impossible,” her father Dimas Ramirez told NBC News. “I told her to prove to me she could run a marathon. She ran a 5K, then a 10K and-a-half marathon and then I let her do the Los Angeles Marathon.”

After proving to her dad that she’s fully capable of running around the world, and beating records while she’s at it, the Mexican-American teen is doing it once more — this time with the accompaniment of her younger brother.

Jordan, 9, completed his first marathon in Australia at age 8. He then ran in Egypt, crossed Europe off his list when he did 26.2 miles in London and then took to Thailand. Now, he and his big sis are headed to Antarctica and then South America. He plans to finish off in the US next April.

For Blanca, who has already accomplished the task her brother faces, joining him has been a way to show support and have some fun competition.

“At the end, we try to have a competition of who can cross the finish line first, even though we’re standing next to each other,” she told KTLA 5. “So we can be still next to each other, but I’ll make sure my foot passes it first.”

As for their dad, he’s proud of both of his children meeting their goals — but he’s also looking forward to it for reasons of his own.

“Dad’s very exhausted and I need a break,” he said. “Or they need to pick another sport.”

Read: This Indigenous Woman From Mexico Ran An Ultramarathon In Huaraches Sandals And Won Big

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Latinx Kindergarten Teacher Pens Bilingual Children’s Book To Teach Youth About Gender-Neutral Pronouns


Latinx Kindergarten Teacher Pens Bilingual Children’s Book To Teach Youth About Gender-Neutral Pronouns

The Spanish language has a gender problem. Nouns ending in an “a” are regarded as feminine and those ending in an “o” are considered masculine. In addition to its limiting duality, the tongue has also been called sexist, particularly because preference is given to male pronouns. Case in point: A crowd of nine women is referred to as “Latinas” until the moment one man joins the group, turning them into “Latinos.” People have increasingly resisted this linguistic male superiority and binary by introducing gender-neutral identifiers like Latin@, Latinx, and Latine. While it’s simple to understand the rationale behind the new terms — making the Spanish language more inclusive to people of differing gender identities — it hasn’t been as easily adopted by Spanish-speakers. To break gender-neutral language down and introduce it to individuals at earlier ages, a California-based elementary school teacher has written a bilingual children’s book on the topic.

They Call Me Mix” (“Me Llaman Maestre”), written by nonbinary kindergarten teacher Lourdes Rivas.

The autobiographical book is about the instructor’s life, starting from being assigned a girl at birth to learning the fluidity of gender as an adult and identifying as nonbinary. In their classroom at the Sylvia Mendez Elementary School in Berkeley, Rivas has long had to answer students’ queries about calling them “maestre” instead of the more common “maestra” or “maestro,” and this picture book aims to answer that question in a way that’s simple and engaging.

“I wrote the book so I can use it in my classroom to explain why I use non-binary pronouns,” Rivas told the Oakland North, adding that they hope it will allow children to challenge gender binaries earlier, before the social constructs are more deeply embedded in their way of thinking, and encourage them to ask people their gender pronouns before assuming them.

While critics might say that school-aged children are too young to be introduced to topics on gender identity, Rivas disagrees.

According to Rivas, the earlier that one can engage in these conversations the better — but approach, and remaining kid-friendly in these discussions, are key. That’s where “They Call Me Mix” comes in.

“I think about my mom and how she had her way of doing things because she didn’t know any better. But now she does because she’s experiencing it with me and she’s trying her best to use the correct pronouns,” Rivas said.

The author, who began writing “They Call Me Mix” in 2016, created a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of publishing the book in August 2017, surpassing their goal by raising $12,545. Since then, Rivas has teamed up with local Afro-Latinx illustrator Breena Nuñez, who produced the artwork for the literature.

“They Call Me Mix” is in final technical review at the Ingram Spark Publishing House, where printing is expected to begin on December 26.

Read: Breena Nuñez Peralta Is An Afro-Salvadoran-Guatemalan Artist Making Cartoons About Black Central Americans

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(h/t Remezcla)

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L.A. Does Away With The Daily Price It Costs Families To Keep Their Kids In Juvenile Detention Centers

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L.A. Does Away With The Daily Price It Costs Families To Keep Their Kids In Juvenile Detention Centers

Juvenile Centers can cost more than a child’s future. Oftentimes, there’s also a literal price tag attached to incarceration. In Los Angeles, families of kids in juvie had to pay $26.63 a day before 2009, when the county banned the practice. In the years following, however, the government there continued collecting debts incurred before the law was passed. That changed earlier this month when L.A. County supervisors voted to wipe out the fee debt.

On October 9, Los Angeles County supervisors voted to stop collecting juvenile delinquent fees, canceling nearly $90 million in fees. The motion, sponsored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn, aims to help families of formerly detained children get back on their feet.

“Collecting fees for juvenile detention undermines youth rehabilitation and public safety,” Solis said in a statement. “It also unnecessarily increases the financial insecurity of vulnerable families. As part of a larger, transformative reexamination of how we serve our justice-involved residents, including our re-entry population, L.A. County is reexamining our approach to juvenile justice. Today’s action helps families and our youth in detention while setting up future generations for success rather than incarceration.”

The move is also being praised by criminal justice advocates, who say detention fees, in addition to hitting marginalized Black and poor communities the hardest, don’t contribute to rehabilitation.

“The two main purposes of the juvenile justice system are to rehabilitate kids and to protect public safety, and it turns out these fees undermine both of those,” Jeffrey Selbin, director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law, told the Los Angeles Times.

As reported by the newspaper, a study of more than 1,000 young people in Pennsylvania found that the combined cost of fines, fees and/or restitution increase the likelihood of recidivism, the child returning to juvie, within two years.

L.A. County’s decision to forgive the debt of 52,000 accounts is one of the largest discharges to date, and officials hope that it will encourage the rest of the country, where juvenile justice agencies still bill the families of detained youth in 19 states, to follow suit.

Read: Maryland Officer Arrested And Charged For Allegedly Raping An Undocumented Latina

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