Monday, September 14, 2015

Welcome (Back)!

Hi everyone!  Welcome back.  The GSA is excited to start the new semester.  We have fun events planned for each weekend and hope to see you at one or more of them!

Fall 2015 Officers.  Left to right: Laylita Day, Haminton Lam, Sokha Ny and Moe Nanami.  Not pictured: James Medway.
 As some of you may know, we kicked off the semester with Week of Welcome (WOW) where students could meet our new officers and learn about what we have planned for this semester.  We even had a raffle for two AMC tickets, which was won by a new member Robert.  Congrats!  Our new officers this semester include our President Haminton Lam, Secretary Moe Nanami, Treasurer James Medway, Historian Sokha Ny and the continuing Vice President Laylita Day.  

WOW Fall 2015.  Left to right: Sokha Ny, Jennie Ramirez and Moe Nanami.
Our first meeting of the semester was Sep. 8 and was well-attended.  We played ice breaker games, a trivia-style battleship, ate green tea cupcakes and various cookies and learned about what will be happening this semester.  This month features learning all about Mexico.  Each month we will feature a different place in the world so come join us and "travel" around the world with us!

First GSA Meeting Fall 2015.
Our first event on Friday Sep. 11 was the free public lecture held by the Los Angeles Geographical Society (LAGS).  They have lectures every first Friday of the month and this month's was titled "The End of the Rainbow: Ethnicity in Los Angeles" by Gary Booher.  This was a great lecture showing through various maps, how ethnicity has changed in LA since the early 1900s.

Here are some of the highlights:
  • California has the largest population in the US with 38 million people.  It also is the 8th largest economy in the world with $2.3 trillion. 
  • 27% is foreign born with over 50% native born; both are the highest in 100 years.
  • Recently there has been a net migration of people leaving California but it is still a major destination for immigrants.  30-40% of US immigration occurs in California with about 80% coming from Asia and Latin America.  
  • According to US Census data, 39% of California's population is Latino/Hispanic.  The highest percentages are found in San Joaquin Valley because of the farm-related jobs.  50% of LA's population is Latino/Hispanic and most come from Mexico. 
  • Whites are 38%, located mostly in northern, rural California; Asian/Pacific Islander comes out at 14% with most at the San Francisco Bay area and Chinese are the largest group.  Black/African American is 6% with most found in the LA area.  And Native American makes up only 1% and are found throughout urban areas.    
  • An interesting trend being seen now is the creation of multi-ethnic cities where no one ethnicity is dominant.  
  • In the 1940s, there were only three locations that Blacks could live because of deed restrictions that forbid whites from selling their homes to Blacks.  This changed in 1947-48 when the law was overturned.  From then until the end of the 1980s, the Black population expanded.  Since 1990 the Black population has decreased as other ethnic groups have increased.
  • There was no category for Asians and Hispanics until 1970.  In the 1960s, there was "Spanish Surname," which also included Filipinos.  From the 1970s on, the Hispanic and Asian populations increased.  Hispanics were especially growing in central LA and moving into areas that were originally Black areas.  The Asian population mostly increased north of downtown LA (Alhambra, Monterey Park, etc.), Cerritos, Torrance/Palos Verdes and other various places.        
Our second event was Saturday Sep. 12.  This was a hike at El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach.  This nature center is 105 acres and has three different trails, a 1/4 mile, 1 mile and 2 mile one.  There are two lakes and streams, a visitor center and lots of wildlife.  On our hike we saw ducks, California ground squirrels, fox squirrels, a heron, dragonflies, butterflies, various lizards, turtles, unusual trees, beautiful flowers and snakes (those were in the visitor center).  It was a nice break from the normal urban landscape.  Our group walked all three trails and despite the humid heat and slight sprinkling of rain, we all had a good time and even went to lunch afterwards.

Here are some photos from the hike.  All photos by Laylita Day.

Please join us for our next events!

Saturday Sep. 19: Fundraiser at Pizza Rev.  20% of purchases will go to the GSA.  Starts at 7pm.  Carpool available.  Sign up here: GSA September Events.

Saturday Sep. 26: Bolsa Chica Beach Cleanup.  Starts at 9 am.  Wear clothes for working outside.  Carpool available.  Sign up here: GSA September Events.
Saturday Sep. 26: Cultural Night at Los Compadres.  Food and good company.  Starts at 7 pm.  Carpool available.  Sign up here: GSA September Events.

We hope to see you at one of our events or meetings!

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