In a collection of essays entitled We Gon' Be Alright, acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, Who We Be) takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country.

Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism.

Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about an upcoming museum exhibit: “Nuestras Abuelas de Holyoke: Empowerment and Legacy,” which is a photography and bilingual text exhibition at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The exhibit—opening on March 5th and funded by Mass Humanities—features stories of Latina grandmothers as shared by their grandchildren in Holyoke community and draws attention to issues of family, gender expectations, stories of migration, and understandings of home.

We are joined today by Penni Martorell, curator of collections at Wistariahurst Museum and Holyoke’s City Historian, and by Waleska Santiago, the guest curator at Wistariahurst who has put together the “Nuestras Abuelas” exhibit.

 Our Ideas Matter series allows us to check in with state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we’ll learn about Herencia Latina 2015-16, an nine month program featuring a multitude of films, exhibits, discussions, and festivals examining and celebrating Latino heritage in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts. The program is funded by Mass Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Library Association.

Our guests are Raul Gutierrez, Professor of Spanish at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Cliff McCarthy, President of the Pioneer Valley History Network.

  Cesar Chavez founded a labor union, launched a movement, and inspired a generation. He rose from migrant worker to national icon, becoming one of the great charismatic leaders of the 20th century. Two decades after his death, Chavez remains the most significant Latino leader in US history. Yet his life story has been told only in hagiography--until now.

In the first comprehensive biography of Chavez, Miriam Pawel offers a searching yet empathetic portrayal.

    Falling Back is a new book based based on over three years of ethnographic research with black and Latino males on the cusp of adulthood and incarcerated at a rural reform school designed to address “criminal thinking errors” among juvenile drug offenders.

State University at Albany professor Jamie Fader observed these young men as they transitioned back to their urban Philadelphia neighborhoods, resuming their daily lives and struggling to adopt adult masculine roles.

She looks to portray the complexities of human decision-making as these men strove to “fall back,” or avoid reoffending, and become productive adults. Jamie Fader is an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University at Albany, SUNY.

Nico Tucci/Courtesy Richard Blanco

    Richard Blanco, who last month became the fifth presidential inaugural poet, will be at Union College in Schenectady tonight at 7-PM to read from his works. Previous inaugural poets have included Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

Although his poems have appeared in top literary journals and anthologies, including The Nation, New Republic, Michigan Quarterly Review and The Best American Poetry, Blanco was not widely known until he was chosen by President Barack Obama as the inaugural poet.

Obama selected Blanco because his “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.” Blanco became the first immigrant, the first Latino and the first openly gay person to be named the inaugural poet. At the inauguration, Blanco read his poem, One Today – which is being released in book form today.

Connecticut's Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission is calling for Latinos to make their voices heard in the upcoming November election.

Commission chairman Isaias Diaz says Latinos have suffered disproportionately during the recession and they need to vote to play a role in the recovery.

The secretary of the state's office estimates the number of registered Latino voters in Connecticut at about 176,700, but only about a half of them typically vote.