Turning Latinas/os/x Into a Month: Mediatizing a Heterogeneous Culture

October 20, 2021
4:15 pmto5:30 pm

Each September, corporations, educational institutions, and media outlets, invest heavily in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. While the effort is meant to acknowledge the unique contributions of Latinxs, it has, for some organizations, become a way to publicly assert their commitment to diversity without promoting any substantive change. In this panel discussion, three Latinx scholars discuss the role of Hispanic Heritage Month in contemporary society. As part of that discussion, panelists will explore the impact of such celebrations on the actual lived experiences of Latinxs, including which facets of Latinx life are considered worthy of public celebration, and which are obscured and left unaddressed.

Aztlan Topializti Mural, Erb Memorial Union

Join this remote collaborative panel between CLLAS and the Department of Latina/o Studies at the University of Illinois!

Dr. Angharad Valdivia (Chair of the Department of Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois) will lead a conversation with Dr. Audrey Lucero (Associate Professor, Department of Education Studies, Director, Critical & Sociocultural Studies program, Director, Latinx Studies Program), Ariana Cano (Doctoral Student in the Institute of Communication Research in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), and Chris Chávez (Director, CLLAS, Media Studies, Advertising, and Latinx Studies, School of Journalism and Communication, UO).

This is a remote event. Zoom login information is sent out via CLLAS emails. Please subscribe, or email cllas@uoregon.edu today!

Air, Water, Land: Fall 2021 Symposium

November 4, 2021
9:00 amto5:00 pm

Air, Water, Land 

Native/Indigenous, Black, and Afro-Descendent Relationalities and Activism 

November 4, 2021

This symposium will feature three remote panels that explore connections and intersections in activism through air, land, and water, a keynote conversation, and a final discussion and demonstration of sustainable food systems. This event is organized by the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS), Native American and Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, Black Studies, the Global Justice Initiative, and the Common Reading program of the University of Oregon.

Climate change, environmental racism, settler colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, north/south divides, and unequal access to basic environmental resources by communities of color have inspired ongoing environmental justice activism in the Americas.

This symposium will center Indigenous and Black voices, leverage the campus residencies of Maya activist and teacher Irma Alicia Velasquez Nimatuj (in residence through the Global Justice Initiative and the Department of Anthropology) and Muskogee/Creek artist and activist Amber Starks (in residence through the UO Common Reading program) and focus on environmental justice and sustainable food systems. Designed to foster critical conversations from Indigenous and Black/Afro-descendant communities across the Americas, this event is organized around themes of air, land, and water, with a committed focus to issues impacting local communities. 

Coast Fork, Willamette River, Kalapuya ilihi

The University of Oregon is located on Kalapuya ilihi, the traditional indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people.

Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their indigenous homeland by the United States government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon.

Today, Kalapuya descendants are primarily citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and they continue to make important contributions to their communities, to the UO, to Oregon, and to the world.

Symposium Description in Spanish

Filmmaker Alex Rivera Named MacArthur Fellow

Alex Rivera, 2021 MacArthur Fellow

October 1, 2021—Alex Rivera, the filmmaker who last October delivered the CLLAS Distinguished Lecture The Border as a Way of Seeing and also led a CLLAS teach-in, has been selected as a 2021 MacArthur Fellow. Known popularly as the MacArthur “genius grant,” the Fellowship is a $625,000 “no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.” Twenty-five people from a variety of disciplines were selected this year to receive this prestigious award.

The MacArthur Foundation website lists three criterion for selection of Fellows: 1) exceptional creativity; 2) promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments; 3) potential for the Fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. 

Rivera has been telling ground-breaking Latinx stories for more than twenty years. His first feature film, a cyberpunk thriller set in Tijuana, Mexico, Sleep Dealer, won multiple awards at Sundance and was screened around the world.  Rivera’s second feature film, a documentary/scripted hybrid set in an immigrant detention center, The Infiltrators, won both the Audience Award and the Innovator Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.  Rivera’s work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the Open Society Institute, among many other sources.

Oregon Water Futures

UO Professor Alaí Reyes-Santos Collaborates with OEC to Elevate Water Justice

“A changing climate, aging infrastructure across the state, and lack of ongoing investment in clean water have left Oregon’s water systems stressed, putting our health, safety, economy and environment at risk. Communities of color, particularly those that are rural and low- income, are often on the front lines of these impacts, facing a wide range of threats, including rising utility rates, disparities in drought and flooding vulnerability, and exposure to nitrates, pesticides, and heavy metals. In some rural counties, Native peoples and communities of color represent 30–40 percent of the population, yet face significant barriers to participating in state policy and infrastructure discussions. In metropolitan areas such as Eugene, Salem, and Portland, low-income communities and communities of color find themselves at high risk for water insecurity and climate-related disasters as documented during wildfires and seasonal flooding events.” — Project Overview / Oregon Water Futures Project Report

September 27, 2021—In fall 2020 Alaí Reyes-Santos, a UO associate professor of indigenous, race and ethnic studies, along with others working collaboratively in the Oregon Water Futures Project, interviewed more than 100 people in Native, Black, Latinx, and migrant communities throughout Oregon, holding conversations with them about water challenges and culturally specific resiliency. They collected a range of stories that underscored the threats and impacts to Oregonians, particularly Native peoples and communities of color, of an aging water infrastructure, climate change, and lack of public investment in clean water. They found that many of the people they interviewed did not trust their drinking water, and that they often faced significant barriers in participating in policy discussions.

A synopsis of their findings, along with the full report, can be found at:  https://oeconline.org/new-report-elevates-water-justice-in-oregon/. The project website holds relevant op-eds, interviews, and report summaries in four languages.

Alaí Reyes-Santos

In a letter sent mid-September 2021, Prof. Reyes-Santos offers a gracious thank you to CLLAS and other UO units that supported her research on Oregon Water Futures. Starting out in 2019 as a collaborative effort with the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC), this project has since attracted “a historic 340 million dollar investment on water in the 2021 legislative session; with 1.5 million dedicated to engaging communities of color and other historically underserved communities in conversations about water in the state,” Reyes-Santos wrote.

CLLAS was among the first to provide seed funding for Prof. Reyes-Santos’s Oregon Water Futures Project, awarding her, along with the OEC, a CLLAS Faculty Collaboration Research Grant in 2019. Other UO funders include the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, the Center for Environmental Futures, and the Vice-Provost Office for Research and Innovation. The collaborative later received funding from Meyer Memorial Trust, the Collins Foundation, and the Lazar Foundation. The Meyer grant was renewed and now includes a collaboration with UO’s School of Law’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. 

CLLAS Executive Board Member John Arroyo Named Faculty Fellow

Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from Around the O / September 23, 2021

Faculty fellows program begins for UO’s Environment Initiative

The Environment Initiative at the University of Oregon has announced a new faculty fellowship program funded by the Office of the Provost and has named its first faculty fellow.

John Arroyo

The Environment Initiative Faculty Fellows Program aims to enhance transdisciplinary research and advance the Initiative’s strategic priorities. Faculty fellows will receive a course buyout to complete a project that contributes to the goals of the initiative, which include a just and livable future that addresses the intersections of environmental research and teaching with social and environmental justice.

John Arroyo, assistant professor of engaging diverse communities in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the College of Design, has been appointed as the inaugural faculty fellow for fall 2021. Arroyo is also the director of the Pacific Northwest Just Futures Institute for Racial and Climate Justice, a regional collaboration led by UO.

Arroyo’s research, teaching and work in these roles aligns with the mission of the initiative and exemplifies the initiative’s guiding principles

“Professor Arroyo is an excellent choice as the inaugural fellow for this fellowship,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Patrick Phillips. “He is an outstanding, inclusive contributor and his work models the innovative, relevant and responsive research that the Environment Initiative was envisioned to support.”

Adrian Parr, dean of the College of Design, also praised Arroyo’s new role.

“John’s work to combat intersectional environmental disparities makes him an excellent choice to represent the College of Design in this role,” Parr said. “By studying ways to restructure marginalized communities’ access to resources, education and representation, John demonstrates his commitment to a holistic approach, which is exactly what the Environment Initiative Faculty Fellows Program seeks to promote, support and celebrate. We hope everyone at the University of Oregon will join us in congratulating John.” 

As the Environment Initiative Faculty Fellow, Arroyo will draw on the work of the Just Futures Institute to develop a workshop and resources around transdisciplinary research, best practices and implementation for faculty members interested in developing or furthering their equity-oriented environmental research. Details of this upcoming workshop will be announced soon.

“I am delighted that Professor Arroyo will be serving as our inaugural fellow,” Environment Initiative Executive Director Adell Amos said. “His fellowship project is designed to help all of us consider the nature and structure of our research in light of historically excluded communities. Further, I am thrilled that the Environment Initiative is able to launch this fellowship program and can’t wait to see the difference these fellows can make.” 

The Environment Initiative is now accepting applications for a second faculty fellow for spring 2022. All teaching and research faculty are welcome to apply. Those who are interested can learn more about the process on the Environment Initiative website.

By Anna Glavash Miller, University Communications


New grant will create an institute for racial and climate justice

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UO professor’s family history detailed in Common Reading book



Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies Gift Fund

Access the above link for giving to the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies Gift Fund. Online gifts may be made using the form available at this link; all gifts are processed by the University of Oregon Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization responsible for receiving and administering private donations to the University of Oregon.