Plenary I: Immigration and Human Rights
Angela sanbrano was born in the border town of Juarez, Mexico. She holds a BA in psychology from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges and received a law degree from People’s College of Law of Los Angeles, California. For Angela personal and community empowerment has been a motivating force throughout her life. A belief in “Si Se Puede” gives her determination to struggle for social justice and human rights.
While in law school Angela came into contact with Salvadoran refugees fleeing the civil war and realized the urgent need to build a solidarity movement to prevent a Vietnam-type war in Central America. As the Executive Director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), she traveled throughout the country building solidarity and calling for an end to U.S. intervention in Central America.
From 1995 to 2007 Angela served as the Executive Director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the largest Central American community center in the United States serving more than 50,000 women, youth and children annually with immigration legal services, after school programs and civic participation.
Angela is a long time activist for immigrant rights and was a key organizer of the Los Angeles massive immigrant rights march in 2006.
Presently, Angela serves as the President of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) a network of immigrant led organizations working to improve the quality of life of their communities both in the United States and in their countries of origin. She also serves on the boards of CARECEN; CHIRLA; The Latino/a Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys; The Alliance for Better Communities of Los Angeles and is President of the Hazen Foundation of New York.
In the past she served on the Boards of the National Council of La Raza, and the National Immigration Forum. She has received several awards in recognition for her leadership and commitment to social justice. She lives in La Verne, CA with her husband Jim Sanbrano.
Angelica Salas was born in Mexico and immigrated at the age of five. She became the director of teh Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in 1999. During her leadership, she has helped win in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students and established day laborer job centers that have served as a model for the rest of the nation.
She is a leading spokesperson on federal immigration policy. Among her accomplishments at CHIRLA has been the transformation of a coalition of social service providers into an organization that empowers immigrants to engage in advocacy on their own behalf. As part of the national coordinating committee. Salas helped convene a coalition of organizations in Southern California which have successfully mobilized millions of immigrants to demad comprehensive immigration reform including legalization with a path to citizenship, family reunification, and the protection of civil and labor rights.
She has been recognized as “one of the most gifted activists and organizers in the country” (Hispanic Business: a 100 influentials LA Focus) and has won multiple recognition awards such as the 2011 California state assembly’s Woman of the Year Award.
Ms. Salas sits on teh Executive Committee of the Fair Immigrant Rights Movement (FIRM) and the Management Team of the national Campaign to Reform Immigration for America. She is also a Board Member of Americ’s Voice and teh National Immigration Forum, and of organizations including United LA, Los Angeles Alliances for a New Economy (LAANE), and is the President of the CHIRLA Action Fund.
Plenary II: Central american women’s political & cultural activism
Azalea Ryckman Vasquez
Azalea Ryckman Vasquez was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the U.S. in 1996. She lost both of her parents and is a survivor of violence. She completed 4 years of study in Economics and one year of Journalism at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala; 2 years of study in Economics at University Mariano Galvez.
She is co-founder and producer of Alternative Communication Project Women Open Road (www.abriendocaminos.info) which includes a blog (www.radiomac-radiomac.blogspot.com) and a radio program transmitted in the U.S. and Guatemala through Women’s Voices Radio Universidad 92.1 Guatemala City (www.radiouniversidad.tk).
She has taken part in solidarity networks such as the recent Honduran coup crisis and has been a longtime advocate lobbying for the U.S. government to grant TPS for Guatemalans living in the U.S. and for their right to vote in their home country elections. She served as secretary of public relations for the Network for Development and Peace for Guatemala. She is an importer of handmade products from Central America and owns Hecho De Mano.
Dora Olivia Magana
Dora Olivia Magana was born in El Salvador in 1961. She lived in Guatemala as a child and adolescent. Since 1977, she became involved in the Salvadoran Student Movement. Her organizing work culminated in her joining the revolutionary struggle during the 70s and 80s about which she has written a moving portrait of the hopes and dreams for which many youth joined the movement titled, “Album Para Amarte Patria II.” She honors the memory of those who lost their lives in this collection of poems that she nurtured in her heart for 27 years.
She has been living in the United States since the 1990s and has been an advocate for refugee and immigrant rights. She is co-founder of the Centro Cultural Centroamericano and the Museo de Arte e Historia de Centroamerica; transnational spaces of hope, optimism and solidarity for immigrant communities and their descendants.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Cal State LA at the age of 35 years. She earned her Masters of Science in Nursing at UCLA in 2002 at the age of 40 years. She works as a Nurse specializing in family practice at Clinica Monseñor. Oscar Arnulfo Romero.
Was born in San Salvador, El Salvado. As a young philosophy student, she was accused of revolting against the government and she was imprisoned for her participation in the popular movement. After being release from prison, she immigrate to the United State in 1983. wehn she arrived to Los Angeles, she began her community work with the Solidarity and Sanctuary movements, to stop the war in El Salvador. She helped to co-found El Rescate and Clinia Monseñor Romero. She also helped the founding of the first Central American Studies Program, in the nation at Cal State University at Northridge in 1999. There she taught experimental courses. After twenty years in community work, she went back to school in 2003, and obtained her BA in English and Literature from Cal State University, Northridge on December, 2009.
She had a book published in 2007 by APP. “Flight to Freedom, The Story of Central American Refugees in California.” This book compiles the stories of eight people from El Salvador, who were among the pioneers in the foundation of the Community organizations that to this day still provide services to the Central American and Latina community at large.
Carolina Rivera is an educator, writer, performer and filmmaker born in Antiguo Cuscatlán, El Salvador. In El Salvador she received a theater arts diploma. She completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature with emphasis in Creative Writing at University of California, Los Angeles. She is a fellow in the Pen Center USA Rosenthal Foundation Emerging Voices Program. She has been published variously online and in anthologies. Her current projects include her first novel, tentatively entitled…After…She endeavors to create a body of literary work she can regularly interpret as theatrical performances in various venues. Filmmaking is a recent addition to her skills and activities. Most recently she is the director and producer of the documentary Manilo Argueta, Poets and Volcanoes. Her story “The Funeral” is part of the Pen Emerging Voices Anthology entitled Strange Cargo.
Rivera’s characters are often women who must deal with exile, displacment, and nostalgia, within all definitions of these themes. Even though exile is most ofen defined by leaving one’s homeland, memory of homeland already ofthen incarnates economic exile, social class alienation, political oppression, and most of all, displacement within one’s own world. In “Prosperity” as both short story and theater adaptation, Rivera explores the relationship between two first cousins, Isabel and Rubi, both living in Los Angeles, California. With the inevitable departure from their country, both expatriated from their homeland for different reasons. Isable leaves her children behind; Rubi leaves her parents and her dreams as a young artist behind. Nevertheless, once outside their country, they become the main economic support for their families.
Plenary III: LBT Caucus
ANITA TIJERINA REVILLA, Ph.D.
Anita Tijerina Revilla is an assistant professor in Women’s Studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses in the department, including several core classes and WMST 473/673 Chicana/Latina Feminism and WMST 477/677 Critical Race Feminism. Her research focuses on student movements and social justice education, specifically in the areas of Chicana/Latina, immigrant, feminist and Queer rights activism. Her expertise are in the areas of Chicana/o Education, Critical Race Feminism, and Race/Ethnic Studies. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA Graduate School of Education in Social Sciences and Comparative Education with an emphasis in Race and Ethnic Studies. Her most recent publications are a co-authored book titled, Both Sides Now: The Stories of Desegregation’s Graduates (UC Press) and an article in the National Women’s Studies Association Journal, Are All Raza Womyn Queer: An Exploration of Sexual Identities in a Chicana/Latina Student Organization. She is working on two new books: Marching Students: Chicana/o identity and the Politics of Education 1968 and the Present and Raza Womyn Re-constructing Revolution: Teaching Social Justice through Muxerista Consciousness. She is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the William Morris Teaching Award and UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award.
J. Frank Galarte
J. Frank Galarte was born and raised in Brawley, California. He holds a Bachelor’s degrees in Chicano/Latino Studies and Political Science from UC Irvine, a Master’s Degree in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and recently graduated with his PhD in Educational Policy Studies with minors in Latina Latino Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. He is currently working on a book manuscript based on this dissertation entitled, “El Sabor del Amor y del Dolor: Affect, Violence and the (Trans)Body in the Chican@ Historical Imaginary”. His hero is Chavela Vargas and he loves listening to Morrissey. His research interests are in Chicana/o Studies, Queer Studies, Affect Studies and Transgender Studies.
Karina Oliva Alvarado
Karina Oliva was born in El Salvador and grew up in the LA region of Pico Union. A mother of three, she returned to school in her late twenties. Eventually, she earned a B.A. in English and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, with the focus on Central American literature and cultural production as part of Latina/o Literature in the United States.
Karina strives to recreate a space and the experience of peace in her paintings through the concept of “vision,” meaning, to look beyond the ordinary and beyond our social, physical and other boundaries and constraints in seeking to decolonize ourselves. Though she did not formally study art, she worked as a graphic artist for ten years. At UC Berkeley, she was mentored by the incredible Xicana artist, Celia Rodriguez Herrera. Karina’s art centralizes the Xicana, indigenous Mestiza woman, and more specifically the consciousness that drives the Xicana to be all that she is: an active and vociferous agent of social change, the sage and historian, the healer and transformer of ourselves and our communities, the storyteller, and visionary of an equitable and dynamic past, present and future. Karina has exhibited her art work at various cultural centers such as La Peña in Berkeley, Corazon del Pueblo in Oakland, and Galleria Corazon del Pueblo in Los Angeles. Her paintings have been published in Mujeres de Maiz zine.
Throughout her academic career, Karina has organized poetry performance events as well, bringing poets together at various university campuses. She assisted poetry workshops for prisoners when she worked with the Chicano poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, and has also volunteered weekly art and drawing workshops for young Latinas and youth of color in Los Angeles and Richmond. She is also a published poet, and has performed her work throughout the West and East coasts. Her book of poems, Transverse, can be found on Izotepress.com
In 2004, Karina took part of a passive resistance protest through Fast4Education. During a time of massive state cuts of the educational budget by 2 billion dollars taken when Proposition 98 was not fully funded, Karina along with a group of organizers brought attention to the issue, with a focus on the West Contra Costa Unified School District and Richmond Elementary specifically, on a water-only fast that lasted 26 days of which she fasted 21 days. On day 13 of the fast, she was honored to speak at the Chicana/o graduation as she received her M.A. in Ethnic Studies. Her contribution in the fast is noted in Betita Martinez’s 500 Years of Chicana Resistance.
As an academic, Karina has taught on Central American and Latina/o communities in the US, on the Salvadoran Diaspora in the US, and Latina/o literature. She taught at the Claremont Colleges on US Central American literature, a first of its kind. For the last three years, she has also taught at California State University, Los Angeles as a temporary lecturer in the Chicana/o Studies Department which included teaching an online course on Environmental Racism. As an academic and artist, she continues to bring our community and people together.
Latina Dance Project
Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the College of Arts and Letters.
Licia Perea, a native of Albuquerque, NM holds an MA from the University of New Mexico in choreography and performance and is a certified teacher of Classical Pilates in Los Angeles. Perea was awarded two Choreographer Fellowships from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts), has taught/performed throughout the United States, Germany, Mexico and Russia, is a recipient of COLA (City of Los Angeles Performing Arts Fellowship) and a co-founding member of the Latina Dance Theater Project.
Juanita Suarez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College at Brockport, NY serves the Department of Dance/Arts for Children Program. Suarez contributed a chapter from her dissertation in Fields in Motion: Ethnography ‘At Home’ in the Art Worlds of Dance (Wilfred Laurier University Press, Canada: 2011). As an interdisciplinary improviser (dance, voice, theater), she is part of the surrealist improvisation movement of Birmingham, Al. Suarez is a co-founding member of the Latina Dance Theater Project.
EVA ZORRILLA TESSLER
Eva, Associate Artistic Director of Borderlands Theater, Tucson, AZ, co-wrote and toured THIRTEEN DAYS: HOW THE NEW ZAPATISTAS SHOOK THE WORLD and directed BETWEEN PANCHO VILLA AND A NAKED WOMAN (Sabina Berman), EL DESEO (Victor Hugo Rascon Banda), and SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS (Jose Rivera). Tessler received the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award (Tucson, 2009), LULAC’s Latino Individual Artist Award (2008) and is a co-founding member of the Latina Dance Theater Project.
JOSE GARCIA DAVIS
Garcia Davis has performed in film/theatre/opera productions in the U.S., China, Europe, Mexico and Canada. He created Tito, one of the most important works of Latino Theatre of the 1980’s (Time Magazine). He taught theater in China for TEA (Theater for Environmental Awareness), was Artistic Director for Evidence Room’s rampART youth Theater project, LA, Homeland Cultural Center’s Theatre Initiative in Long Beach, CA, Teatro Consejo, and La Compañia de Teatro de Alburquerque.
GABRIELA ZORRILLA NUGENT (intern)
Gabriela, a native of Tucson, AZ attends Tucson High Magnet School. Acting credits include the “Sheep” and various other roles in “A Tucson Pastorela” (Borderlands Theater). Nugent currently studies dance at Ballet Arts in Tucson and serves as an apprentice for the Latina Dance Theater Project.
Las Cafeteras sprouted in 2005 as students who enjoyed free Son Jarocho classes decided to share the magic of this folk music from Southern Veracruz with the public. Las Cafeteras create a vibrant musical fusion with an avant-garde East LA sound and a community-focused polictial message. Their Afro-Mexican rhythms, zapadeado and inspiring lyrics tell stories of a community who is looking for love and fightls for justice in the concrete jungle of this great city of Los Angeles.
Their mission is to learn, share and practice the beauty, culture and energy of Son Jarocho music for the purpose of building autonomous communities. By telling our stories of life in the concrete jungle, L@s Cafeter@s strive to make this ancient music relevant to everyday people in everyday places.ro-Caribbean marimbol and cajon, poetry in English and Spanglish, and instruments like jarana, requinto, a donkey jawbone and a wooden platform called the Tarima.
Las mujeres de las Cafeteras will featured performers at the MALCS Conference Banquet. Check them out at www.facebook.com/lascafeteras.