Symposium 2015

woman_baby_flag_protest_IMG_1145March 12, 2015     CLLAS Symposium: “Public Engagement in Latin@ and Latin American Studies”

The symposium will be a space for students, teachers, researchers and activists to come together to hear about exciting work being done on issues of Latino/a equity, human rights, and culture. The panel presentations, keynote speeches, and reception are free and open to the public, but we encourage pre-registration. Please register online:

Panel Presentations — Knight Library, Browsing Room
  • 8:45 Registration/coffee
  • 9:00 Opening remarks
  • 9:15-10:45  Panel I: Advancing Latino Equity in Oregon: Education and Civic Public Participation for Empowerment
  • 10:45-12:00 Panel II: Human Rights and Social Memory
  • 12:00-1:00  Break
  • 1:00-2:45 Panel III: Latino History, Resources, and Public Education in Oregon
  • 3:00-4:30 Panel IV: Examining African Heritage and Blackness in Caribbean and Latin American Popular Culture
  • 5:00-6:30 Keynote Address/Reception  Gerlinger Alumni Lounge: featuring
  1. Lizbeth Mateo, Dream Activist; co-founder, National Immigrant Youth Alliance. Born in Oaxaca, Mexico Lizbeth Mateo moved to Los Angeles with her family at the age of 14. She is an undocumented second year law student at Santa Clara University School of Law. A few weeks before starting law school, Lizbeth and three other organizers from NIYA voluntarily left the US in order to return with six other youth who had been deported to Mexico. All nine successfully returned home in the US after spending 17 days in detention. This marked the beginning of the Bring them Home Campaign, a transnational effort that seeks to reunite families that have been deported under the current administration.
  2. Marco Saavedra, an undocumented poet & painter currently seeking asylum after participating in the Dream 9 & Bring them Home campaigns. He has self-deported, infiltrated detention centers & gone to jail to help bring about migrant justice. For more of his art & writing please visit
  • 7:30 Dance/Music by Puerto Rican Bomba & Proyecto Union in Aasen-Hull Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building*
    *Tickets sold separately; visit UO Ticket Office

The symposium will also feature:

  • Erasmo Gamboa, University of Washington
  • Alvaro Huerta, Cal Poly Pomona
  • Pablo Luis Rivera, Restauración Cultural, Puerto Rico, is a dancer, musician, and scholar.
  • Marisol Berrios-Miranda, University of Washington.

9:15-10:45 Panel I: Advancing Latino Equity in Oregon: Education and Civic Public Participation for Empowerment

This panel highlights research projects advancing Latino equity in Oregon. The focus will be on efforts to empower Latinos via interventions through education and community development. Dr. Lucero will present her research on bilingual and dual language immersion schools in Oregon. Dr. McWhirter will focus on Oregon Latino high school students and factors associated with their postsecondary plans for higher education. Dr.Sandoval will present on the Latino Civic Participation Project which aims to empower marginalized Latinos via involving them in participatory needs assessments. Dr. Huerta, from Cal Poly Pomona, will share insights on advancing Latino equity by discussing his new book, Reframing the Latino Immigration Debate: Towards a Humanistic Paradigm.


  • Alvaro Huerta, Assistant Professor at Cal Poly Pomona. “The Right to Migrate: Latina/o Immigrants in the U.S.”
  • Audrey Lucero, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon, Department of Education Studies. “Latino parent perceptions of Dual Language Education in Oregon schools.”
  • Ellen Hawley McWhirter, PhD, Professor, UO Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services. “Assets, Obstacles, Empowerment & Equity for Oregon Latina/o High School Students.”
  • Gerardo Sandoval, PhD, Assistant Professor, UO Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management. “The Latino Civic Participation Project: Empowerment through local knowledge.”
  • Chair: Dr. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, University of Oregon

10:45-12:15 Panel II: Human Rights and Social Memory

Participants in this panel will highlight research, teaching, and film production they have done in relation to the discovery and use of the National Police Archive in Guatemala. Discovered in 2005, the National Police Archive is an extensive resource for the study of Guatemalan history and human rights in the region, spanning a broad array of topics from Guatemala’s armed conflict between 1960 and 1996 to the sexually transmitted disease experiments performed at the behest of the United States government in the 1940s. UO faculty helped translate and publish a book and produced a film about the archive’s contents and its broad impact in Guatemalan society and beyond in the struggle to promote human rights and prevent future genocide.


  • Gabriela Martinez, UO School of Journalism and Communication, “Documenting the Documents: The Making of Keep Your Eyes On Guatemala”
  • Carlos Aguirre, UO Department of History, “Archives, Memory, and Human Rights: The Case of Guatemala’s AHPN”
  • June Black, JSMA, Assistant Curator for the Arts of the Americas and Europe, “Teaching Human Rights through Photography.”
  • Chair: Carlos Aguirre, UO Department of History

1:15-2:45 Panel III: Latino History, Resources, and Public Education in Oregon

Participants in this panel will discuss three different projects which provide significant public resources in Oregon Latino History which are housed at the University of Oregon. Drawing on the Latino Roots Project, the Oregon Latino Heritage Collaborative, and the PCUN-UO partnership—all housed at UO, this panel will share insights in how Latino history archives are created, successful strategies for engaging schools, libraries and other institutions in using Latino history materials, and suggest concrete steps that organizations can engage in to produce their own histories. The panel will begin with a broad outline of significant events and themes in Oregon Latino history and move on to discuss current and future themes and how to engage in documentation, archiving, and public engagement. The final speaker will make connections between his historical work on Bracero workers in Oregon and more contemporary Oregon Latino history.The panel will begin with a broad outline of significant events and themes in Oregon Latino history and move on to discuss current and future themes and how to engage in documentation, archiving, and public engagement.


  • Lynn Stephen, Anthropology, and Director, CLLAS, University of Oregon. “Shifting Borders: Conceptualizing, Researching, and Teaching on Latino Roots in Oregon.”
  • Lidiana Soto, School Of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon, MA student. “Public Engagement with the Latino Roots Project in Oregon.”
  • Gabriela Martinez, School of Journalism and Communication, Associate Director, CSWS, University of Oregon, and Sonia De La Cruz, School of Journalism and Communication, UO. “Documenting Oregon Latino History on Film: Lessons from Making Latino Roots Films.”
  • David Woken, History and Latin American Studies, UO Libraries. “The PCUN and Latino Roots Archives: Building Latino History with Communities and Students.”
  • Erasmo Gamboa, American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington. “From Mexican Railroad and Bracero Workers to Contemporary Oregon Latino History.”
  • Moderator: Julie M. Weise, UO Department of History
  • Chair: Julie M. Weise, UO Department of History

3:00-4:30 Panel IV: Examining African Heritage and Blackness in Caribbean and Latin American Popular Culture

This panel’s presenters examine the different but intertwined concepts of Blackness and African heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean and how they have affected popular culture there. While many of the presentations focus on music and/or Puerto Rico, the conclusions are more widely applicable to other forms of popular culture and to Latin America more broadly.


  • Marisol Berríos-Miranda, PhD, Visiting Scholar, School of Music, University of Washington, “500 years of African music and culture in Cangrejos/Santurce, Puerto Rico”
  • Alai Reyes-Santos, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon, “Secretos a Voces: Blackness, Class, and the Dominican-Puerto Rican Family”
  • Pablo Luis Rivera, PhD, Catedrático Auxiliar de Humanidades, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Carolina, Director, Restauración Cultural, “La Bomba Puertorriqueña y sus Transformaciones a través del tiempo”
  • Juan Eduardo Wolf, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, University of Oregon, “Placing Expectations on Blackness: Conceptualizing the Music of the African Diaspora”
  • Chair: Ana Lara, PhD, CLLAS Visiting Scholar

Symposium sponsors include the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS); College of Arts and Sciences; School of Architecture and Allied Arts; the Latin American Studies Program; the Departments of Anthropology, History, and Romance Languages; School of Music and Dance; School of Journalism and Communication; Counseling Psychology; Division of Equity and Inclusion; Academic Affairs; and UO Libraries. This event was cosponsored with funding from a Department of Education UISFL grant for Latin American Studies.

Contact for more information: Eli Meyer, CLLAS Assistant Director, (541) 346-5714, emeyer(at)