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Monday, September 25, 2023

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Nevada organization calls for greater Latino engagement in politics; Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to change course on transgender rights; Nebraska Tribal College builds opportunity 'pipelines,' STEM workforce.'

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House Republicans deadlock over funding days before the government shuts down, a New Deal-style jobs training program aims to ease the impacts of climate change, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared at donor events for the right-wing Koch network.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

New Film Examines Women's Dual Roles of Ethnicity, Athleticism

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Friday, October 14, 2022   

A new three-part documentary film series examines the intersection of sports and identity within a community.

"Outlier" looks at what it means to be a Latina woman and a backcountry snowboarder. Danielle Reyes-Acosta, the film's executive producer and co-director, said the inspiration for the series was looking at how she, as a Latina, fit into the predominantly white mountain areas she calls home.

Skiing since she was a child, Reyes-Acosta went into marketing - but after some personal tragedies, decided to become a backcountry skier. She described one possible misconception about the film.

"I think that it's that these worlds can't coexist, and I do think they can," she said. "And so, I challenge anyone that says, 'A storytelling piece can't also have adrenaline in it,' to watch it - and vice versa. You think that adrenaline pieces can't also have plotlines and character development that leans into the core essence of our humanity?"

The film's title is a reflection of how Reyes-Acosta identifies as an "outlier," much like the mountain ranges where she snowboards. Those mountains provided some challenges in making the film. It will be screened at the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival, and released on Vimeo next spring.

In making the film, Reyes-Acosta said she felt anxious about confronting the vulnerabilities of action sports and her cultural identity. But she said it's just one part of a journey of self-discovery. She added that it also is intended to provide a different perspective on what it means to be Latinx.

"The Latinx community is certainly overrepresented in low-wage, service industry jobs," she said, "and we haven't been seen as leaders; whether it's in the outdoor space, corporate America and the creative world."

She was afraid about whether the film would be accepted or erased, but she's found an outpouring of support in the Hispanic community. Reyes-Acosta said she hopes people who see the film take away the impression that being "different" can be beautiful.


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