Category Archives: Latino

Trustee Morales? Yes, Please!


Comments Off on Trustee Morales? Yes, Please!

Filed under Diversity, JCCC, Kansas, Latino, NEWS, Trustees, twitter

Former JCCC Chef Passes

Former JCCC Chef Tim Johnson

Former JCCC Executive Chef Tim Johnson

I heard of Chef Tim’s death from a friend on Facebook. I was taken aback since JCCC recently lost another favorite, Fred Krebs.

I immediately checked Chef Tim’s Twitter account. He’d Tweet the lunch menu featured in the college’s eateries: Down Under and Cafe Tempo. But there were no clues, nothing to verify his passing. Then this morning a post appeared on the JCCC electronic mail server, Infolist:

Sad news: Tim Johnson, former JCCC executive chef, dies
     Tim Johnson, former JCCC executive chef, died Monday, Jan. 15.
     Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, Mo. A rosary will be said at 7 p.m., following the visitation, with time for sharing starting at 7:30 p.m.
     A memorial Mass is at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 815 East Meyer Boulevard, Kansas City, Mo.
     An online guest book and obituary can be found here.

When Chef Tim first came to JCCC, he dove into our sustainability effort by working to help create the Sustainability Expo and Dinner.

That first year, Chef Tim worked with the video production department to create a video to be shown at the Expo/Dinner. Chef send an email to the campus asking for people who had “farm stories.” I sent him an email saying I was a former migrant farmworker and though it may not be a cheery story fitting in with what they were trying do to, I’d be happy to share it. Within moments, Chef Tim replied saying he’d love to include it.

Unfortunately, I was going out of town and couldn’t make it on the day they filmed. Every so often, usually when the Expo/Dinner rolled around, we’d send emails trying to coordinate something where I could come and share my story but it never got beyond that stage. I appreciate that he never forgot about it and that he seemed to have the utmost respect for farmworkers.

I regret not making the time to meet him in person to shake his hand.

From the press release Johnson County Community College – Executive chef has a flair for food:

At JCCC, [Chef Tim] Johnson is involved in the college’s sustainability efforts. He holds a sustainability dinner and expo each year, at which people can meet local providers and vendors and enjoy a feast of local foods. He also starts a community-supported agriculture (CSA) market at JCCC, through which faculty and staff can enjoy fresh produce and locally made products throughout the summer.

Johnson’s resignation as JCCC’s Executive  Chef came in the December 12, 2012 board packet.

But if Johnson resigned in November, why was his JCCC Twitter account still active? And why was it posting messages two days after his death?


Filed under facebook, Infolist, JCCC, Kansas, Latino, NEWS, sustainability, Trustees, twitter, YouTube

Gift of the Fields

Writers Workshop for Migrant Youth

I’m always proud and humbled to participate in the Latino Writers Collective’s writers workshops for migrant youth. It’s one of the events I look forward to each summer.

In those workshops migrant youth find their long-silenced voices and speak of hidden truths. For many, it’s the first time they’ve ever spoken aloud about being from migrant families.

Just when their stories of pain, injustice and heartache are about to overpower and drown our souls, the hope these incredible students have for the future lifts us all to a place of beauty.

Anyone who has worked the fields knows that it … it takes. It takes everything you have and everything you are. It takes time away from your family. It takes time away from your school. It takes your childhood by making you become an adult sooner than you should. It takes your friends. It even takes the lives of people you love.  That’s a hard reality to accept as we witness these young people stand and share their stories.

But then, something extraordinary happens, it’s the moment I wait all year to experience.

Those magnificent students remind me that while the fields take so much from us, they also offer gifts. The gift of a bond that unites us all as migrants. The gift to see truth with young but experienced eyes. The gift to sense danger and to protect our families long before others could discern the threat. The gift of silent introspection that comes from physical labor. The gift to strive for a better life for our families and for ourselves. The gift to know that no matter how high we rise or how low we fall, we are of the fields … and we take care of our own.

When I was young, I hated summer because it meant going to work in the fields. Now, all these years later, I can’t wait for summer because it means I can spend another day with my migrant brothers and sisters.

And that is another gift of the fields.

Thanks to the writers and poets who donated copies of their books, many of them autographed, so that we could give the students a small gift for sharing their stories. You work will serve as a reminder of the session and will continue to inspire them as you do us. Thanks, again.

Comments Off on Gift of the Fields

Filed under Diversity, Kansas, Latino, Walking on the Ledge

JCCC Trustee Mtg. Summary

From: InfoList
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 8:03 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: [infolist] Trustee meeting summary

On April 21 the JCCC board of trustees met for their regular monthly meeting and the annual budget workshop. Continue reading

Comments Off on JCCC Trustee Mtg. Summary

Filed under budget, Diversity, Infolist, JCCC, Kansas, Latino, NEWS, Trustees

Give a Book to Migrant Youth

Walking on the Ledge

brown like me

farmworker youth

2011: "Year of the Farmworker Child"

As many of you know, I grew up working as a migrant farmworker/child laborer. You also know I’ve fictionalized some of those memories as part of the Latino Writers Collective of Kansas City.

I’m proud to help LWC provide writers workshops to migrant youth on both the Kansas and Missouri side of the state line. In the workshops we work to identify, validate, and listen to the long silenced voices of migrant youth — voices that have been pushed down, hidden, ignored, and abused. For many of the youth in the workshops, it is the first time they’ve acknowledge the devastation migrant life has them and their families. Yet, it is also inspiring to see the youth realize the gift that comes from the fields and the power of their words and voices.

Cesar Chavez

Chavez would be 84 today

Today, Cesar Chavez’ birthday, is special for migrant youth. And that is why today, I ask — no, I beg you Latino authors to donate a book to LWC’s migrant youth project. Our writers workshops for migrant youth don’t just help students tell their stories, we help them learn about other stories, other voices, other lives. Last year, we gave out free copies of Sandra Cisneros’ “House on Mango Street” — many of them autographed by Sandra. We’d like to continue this tradition but we need your help.

If you are a Latino author, and believe in the message of Cesar Chavez, please consider donating an autographed copy (or copies) of your book (or books) to the Latino Writers Collective migrant youth program.

Perhaps you aren’t a Latino author but have a favorite or maybe you treasure a Latino-themed book, please consider gifting it to our program.

A book, a voice, a word can change their world — and ours.

Comments Off on Give a Book to Migrant Youth

Filed under Diversity, Kansas, Latino, Latino Writers Collective

Why I’m not running for JCCC Trustee

Walking on the Ledge

2009 Campaign

photo by Nathan Lang

I owe you an explanation

Several people have been asking me why I am not running for a seat on the JCCC Board of Trustees this election cycle.

After all, I was on the short list to fill the seat vacated by Virginia Krebs, the colleges’ first employee. When that seat went to a former JCCC instructor, I filed to run for one of four open seats on the board in spring 2009. Despite not having secured a seat, I vowed to my supporters to run again in the next election, which made a few people nervous.

So, why then, will my name not appear on the ballot this spring?

The answer is simple: I’m not done yet. Continue reading

Comments Off on Why I’m not running for JCCC Trustee

Filed under Diversity, JCCC, Kansas, Latino, ODEI, Trustees, Walking on the Ledge

Trust Miguel in 2011

It seems my modest (and infrequent) posts earned your attention in 2010. Thanks so much for that.

I launched the blog in 2009 when I decided to run for a seat on the JCCC Board of Trustees — hence the name “Trust Miguel.” After the election, it evolved from a campaign blog to a hyper-local blog on JCCC.

Keep watching the blog as I’m working on some postings focusing on the people and events that shape JCCC and the campus community.

Follow me on Twitter @TtrustMiguel

Trust Miguel 2010 year in blogging

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 41 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 95 posts. There were 57 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 20th with 68 views. The most popular post that day was Latinos Students Question JCCC Policy.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for johnson county community college, jccc, trust miguel, miguel morales jccc, and college templates.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Latinos Students Question JCCC Policy May 2010


Hay Salary Study Info June 2009


Mandatory Census for Kansas Students October 2009


Media February 2009



ENDORSEMENTS February 2009

1 Comment

Filed under JCCC, Latino, Trustees