Saturday, December 25, 2021

Hispanic, Latinx Americans push back against generalizations

Florida official called Latinx a 'ridiculous woke term.' Some LGBTQ+ people call it a lifeline

It's a word for those 'at the intersection of Latin American and queer,' one advocate says

Ana Goñi-Lessan and Katherine Kokal

Read Full Story Here:

Hispanic, Latinx Americans push back against generalizations

Some leaders are more hesitant to use "Latinx" because they say it's used to paint people with Spanish-speaking ancestry with too broad a brush — a criticism often launched at media organizations, universities, and governments that refer to Hispanic people and Spanish speakers as if they are a monolithic group. 

"Latinx is an attempt by leftists to rework our home language," said Rolando Chang Barrero, a Cuban LGBTQ+ community organizer, art gallery owner and member of the Palm Beach County Democratic Caucus. 

"Classifying us as Latinx or even as Hispanic is a misnomer that does not represent the 33 foreign countries represented in my community. Each country is as nuanced as the United States," Barrero added.

Pan-ethnic labels used to describe people from Spanish-speaking countries are not an invention of the 21st century, Barrero said. 

The 1980 U.S. Census was the first decennial count to ask respondents if they were "Hispanic." Previously, the Census attempted to quantify people by asking if they had Spanish surnames or whether they spoke Spanish at home. 

In 2020, the Census asked respondents whether they were of "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin." The question included a space to specify a person's country of ethnic origin. 

But even those terms are nuanced.

Hispanic origin refers to any person whose family comes from a Spanish-speaking country, whereas Latino or Latina refers to a person whose family comes from a Latin American country in Central or South America or the Caribbean. 

Barrero said the introduction of umbrella terms like Hispanic and Latinx lead to generalizations about people who hail from Spanish-speaking countries instead of a greater understanding of their cultures and traditions. 

"They’re using the word like 'the Hispanic market' and '(the) Hispanic voting block.' That has caused a lot of interference in understanding who we are as a people," Barrero said. "We share a language, but that’s where it begins and where it ends."

Barrero, a gay person who uses both he/him and ze/zir pronouns, said while he takes issue with non-Hispanic people using Latinx to describe many communities all together, people who are Hispanic and nonbinary or transgender should feel supported when they use it. 

"I completely respect someone's pronouns and their identity, but we should not (all) fall under that label." Barrero said. "We have many nuanced people in our community and that hasn't reached the mainstream." 

Barrero and others are pushing for an understanding of "intersectionality" — a respect for all of a person's identities when considering their life experience  — in Hispanic and Latin American communities. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Rolando Chang Barrero Guest Speaker at Give Miami Day for Florida Justice Center

Rolando Chang Barrero Guest Speaker Give Miami Day for Florida Justice Center

Starting at 9am and ending at 9pm, we will be
broadcasting LIVE from the CIC in Miami for a 12-hour livestream.

Tune in throughout the day as we raise awareness for the barriers faced by justice-involved people and raise funds to help provide FREE legal services throughout Miami-Dade County. 

Donate at

Click Here

Discussion of the challenges faced by returning citizens from jail and prison with
Rolando Barrero and Jonathan Bleiweiss

November 18, 202 at 1 PM

Our livestream will include guest speakers, Miami trivia, special cocktails by the Mexican Mixologist, a smoked pork
Cuban sandwich recipe by
BaconCartel’s Chef Jeffrey Schlissel,

The Box Gallery curator, Rolando Chang Barrero

and plenty of surprises! It is sure to be a day of fun, education, and philanthropy as we try to reach our fundraising goal of $60k.

Join the livestream by visiting any of our FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitterYouTube or on our homepage at starting at 9am.

Please share this link with your friends, family, and coworkers as we make this Give Miami Day our most successful one yet.

We encourage you to provide a contribution of any size as we try to make a meaningful change in our community. Your giving will go to expanding FLJC’s legal services and providing holistic care to more people in Miami.

Donate at

Click Here

Join Me in Making a Change with Florida Justice Center

I am proud to be the Community Relations Manager at Florida Justice Center. I'm asking you to support this revolutionary organization that is changing lives in Miami this #GiveMiamiDay

As the only nonprofit legal aid organization serving Miami that’s dedicated to providing free holistic legal and social services, FLJC stands for what I believe in: justice, equality, and second chances.

My personal goal is to raise $2,500 to aid returning citizens. By giving you're supporting programs that help Miamians get better jobs and get back on their feet.

Last year, FLJC touched the lives of 153 people, but so far in 2021 we've already served over 2,000 people! In 2022, Our goal is to reach over 4,000 people and to increase the number of legal clinics in the Miami community.

Thank you for supporting me and this very important cause.

-Michelle Damone

9AM – Coffee Talk with Alex and Jonathan: Discussion of Give Miami Day, FLJC, and the day to come

10AM – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Natalie Robinson Bruner of Glad Ed Solutions: Discussion of unconscious bias

10:30AM – George Floyd Movement Retrospective and Look Forward with Melba Pearson, Esq.

10:50AM – Miami Beach Ordinance Criminalizing Recording of Police: Discussion with Alex Saiz and our client Bree.

11:00AM – Immigration topics with Jessenia Rosales, Esq., Alex Saiz, Esq., and William Sanchez, Esq.: Effects of a conviction on immigration status and the importance of identification documents

11:20AM – Temas de inmigración con Jessenia Rosales, Esq., Alex Saiz, Esq., Y William Sanchez, Esq .: Efectos de una condena en el estado migratorio y la importancia de los documentos de identificación

12:00PM – Chef Jeffrey Schlissel of BaconCartel shows how to make a Smoked Pork Cuban Sandwich followed by relaxing music, trivia, and a discussion of the news.

12:50PM – Know Your Rights: Protesting

1PM – Discussion of the challenges faced by returning citizens from jail and prison with Rolando Barrero and Jonathan Bleiweiss

1:45PM – Know Your Rights: Traffic Stops

2PM – Representative Matt Willhite provides legislative updates and discusses issues of concern to Floridians

3PM – History of Cubans in Miami

3:30PM – Know Your Rights: If Immigration Arrests You with Gina Fraga

4PM – Know Your Rights: What To Do If You’re Arrested

5PM – Give Miami Day Cocktail #1 with Mexican Mixologist

5:05PM – Criminal law’s disproportionate affect on the Transgender community

5:25PM – History of Gay Miami

6PM – Give Miami Day Cocktail #2 with Mexican Mixologist

6:05PM – Discussion of Cannabis Topics, Sponsored by Green Thumb Industries

7PM – Give Miami Day Cocktail #3 with Mexican Mixologist

7:05PM – Discusión sobre temas de cannabis

8PM – Give Miami Day Cocktail #4 with Mexican Mixologist

8:05PM – Wrapping up the day and what’s next

Friday, November 5, 2021

Jason World Interview

Rolando Barrero, an artist and political activist, cancer survivor and incredible person
- the first hero of our Bounce Forward! Tour!

This interview is about how many aspects of life are miraculously outweighed into one work of life and
become an inspiration for changes in the world around.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

West Palm Beach artist discusses the importance of equality on WPBF News

West Palm Beach artist discusses the importance of equality on WPBF News
By Brando Lopez
Rolando Chang Barrero
October 4, 2021

While Cubans and other Hispanics continue to struggle for equality, a West Palm Beach artist is at the root of that crusade. His art may make you think twice – whether it’s in a subliminal message or one of his more controversial exhibits.

Inside The Box Gallery in West Palm Beach, curator Rolando Chang Barrero, also known as “The Bird Man,” creates his next piece.He’s not only an artist but an activist.

“It’s a powerful means of communication,” Barrero said. “Whether it deals with Cuba, homosexuality, because I am gay, the artwork also stems from that larger-than-life image. So, it hits you.”

Rolando uses current headlines and historical events as his influence. He exposes problems and gives them a silent voice of expression.

“We’ve taken the time to deal with social issues, which includes race and ethnicity,” Rolando said.

Whether it’s the 2018 Parkland school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School or showcasing other artists, like Dominic Esposito’s “The Opioid Spoon Project,” Rolando said he knows what it’s like to struggle growing up in Miami.

His parents are from Cuba and sought political asylum in the United States.

“It was the '60s, and there was no Hispanics,” Rolando said. “And racism was at its peak. Life changed in kindergarten. We had to go out and mix with other kids. We were the ones that stood out. It wasn’t once or twice that we would come home beat up. That was a sign of the times in this country.”

He said inequality is still rampant, but he uses it to promote positive change in the community.

Rolando said it’s important to value yourself, adding that fighting for that value is the only way Hispanics will be on an equal playing field.

Rolando said he has always drawn outside the lines – using art to make people think outside the box, which he said he wants to instill in young artists.

“As soon as they put a drawing pencil to paper or a brush to a canvas, that’s a powerful medium. And if you’re going to paint flowers, make sure it’s the most beautiful flower in the world and that it resonates with the broadest amount of people," he said.

WATCH: WPBF 25 News 'Celebrating Hispanic Heritage'

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Box Gallery Exhibition Blank Slate: Domenic Esposito on cover of Mondo Italiano!

The Box Gallery is finally back on track and opening to the public with much care and safety measures! 

Artist + Social Activist Domenic Esposito tackles mental health in new series of works to be shown at The Box Gallery kicks off with a national roundtable discussion with mental health leaders.

Artist and social activist Domenic Esposito to exhibit new work this 
March at the Box Gallery in West Palm Beach, Florida 

The Box Gallery
Blank Slate Fine Art Exhibition

Roundtable national discussion on mental health leaders and Press Preview
March 6, 2021, 7-9 PM

March 13, 2021, 7-10 PM

Artist Talk: 
March 20, 2021, 7-9 PM


Rolando Chang Barrero
Other images and interviews are available upon request. 

West Palm Beach, FL 01-22-2021--Domenic Esposito will be showing his new series of artwork entitled Blank Slate, along with select pieces of his signature work addressing the Opioid Crisis, at the socially conscious Box Gallery in West Palm Beach's “Cultural Corridor.” 
The exhibit will be curated by The Box Gallery owner and curator Rolando Chang Barrero. 

Esposito's new series titled "Blank Slate" represents the artist's reflections upon current times and the era of fear, depression, and loneliness experienced in the "new normal." Esposito explores the isolation of those living with mental illness and those suffering from substance abuse whose challenges have been exacerbated and laid bare.  
All the figures depicted in Blank Slate are hooded; their faces are either totally or partially hidden from view. Many pieces contrast bronze patinas with painted backgrounds illuminating the hooded figures' hidden, inner world, alluding to the wearer's identity. Through the combination of two and three-dimensional media, the artworks push the hooded subject into our visceral space creating conflict between the figure's desire to be hidden and the viewer's own incompatible impulses to ignore, expose and understand. 
The Blank Slate Exhibition will open with a reception on on March 6th and continue through March 29, 2021. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11-6 p.m. or by appointment.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

MMERI Survey

Information for the course is gleaned from community forums held around the state, MMERI Forum Radio Podcasts, evidence-based pedagogy, and research from various areas, including the Florida Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Health (NIH), etc.

Your feedback is important. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Thank you again for your participation and feedback. Stay safe!

Direct Link for Course Survey
> QR Code for Course Survey

Saturday, January 23, 2021

“In Time of Protest Art Exhibit” on Display at Miramar Cultural Center Curated by Rolando Chang Barrero

Self Portrait with Found Object(ive) by Rolando Chang Barrerro
Self Portrait with Found Object(ive) by Rolando Chang Barrerro

“My response to the murder of George Floyd was to listen. What I heard and saw was a clear call for unity and justice. What I did was to gather those voices and images, so others could bear witness to our history; our American History as it was in the summer of 2020. Black History is not a version of American History, Black History is that part of the American truth that questions… “and justice for all.”
-Rolando Chang Barrero