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Pencil This In: Race Relations, the Stimulus and Health and Gumbo

Flower Pot by GarySe7en via LAist's flickr pool.
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Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! Laissez les bons temps rouler...

Dakota Lounge, the space formerly known as Temple Bar, is having a New Orleans party to celebrate Mardi Gras. They'll be serving up $2 Fat Tires, gumbo, jamabalaya and crawfish with a Lousiana-style Blues Band to help usher in Lent.

Renowned LA-based Black and Latino writers will come together to explore the topic “Blacks and Latinos in Conflict and Cooperation: Writing Race in LA” tonight at USC’s Davidson Conference Center (Embassy Room). The panel (Hector Tobar, Dana Johnson, Helena Maria Virmontes) and moderator Erin Aubry Kaplan will discuss the intersections the arts, politics and urban conflict and invite “conversation for imagining a new Los Angeles. This free event begins at 7:30 pm and will be followed by a book signing and reception.

The economic stimulus package and health care take center stage at the Center Scene panel discussion at The California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities tonight at 5:30 pm. “Stimulus and Health Care: Where Will the Money Go?” features panelists J. Mario Molina, M.D., of Molina Healthare, Gloria Rodriguez of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County and Jeremy Cantor of the Prevention Insitute. Moderated by Daniel Zingale of The California Endowment, the panel will discuss where the stimulus money’s going and how it may affect your health. There will be a coffee reception to follow. Admission is free, but RSVPs are required.