Monday, October 20, 2014

NACCS Midwest Focus: Latin@s in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future in Kansas City

Xánath Caraza

From October 23 – 25, 2014 in Kansas City, the Latina/Latino Studies Program (LLS), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) will host and organize the NACCS Midwest Focus: Latin@s in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future. The conference theme-Latin@s in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future–recognizes the rich historical and growing presence of Latin@s in this region. Our goal is to promote awareness and further develop knowledge and analysis of historic, current, and future developments that impact the Latin@ population.

Keynote Presenters:

Dr. Alberto Pulido: “Everything Comes from the Streets” Documentary on Lowrider Culture

Dr. Rogelio Saenz: “Demographics: Latinos in the Midwest”

Dr. Rusty Barcelo: “Navigating Our Midwest Latina/o Journey in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future”.

Latina/Latino Studies Program at UMKC

The mission of Latina/Latino Studies (LLS), a program based in the College of Arts and Sciences, is to function as a vehicle for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching, research and outreach focusing on Latinas/os-Chicanas/os in the U. S. The LLS program will provide an awareness and understanding of the wide diversity of Latino communities, cultures and backgrounds. The development and expansion of our curricula will serve to empower our students with the concepts and skills to better understand a rapidly growing Latina/o population. The LLS program will engage students, scholars and the greater Kansas City community in collaborative projects, programs and service learning efforts. These efforts will foster new curricula and advance research and outreach scholarship to create new knowledge to better understand the cultural, economic, and historical experiences and contributions of U. S. Latinas/os-Chicanas/os and their diasporic origins.




5:30-                                      WELCOME

Leo Morton, Chancellor 

Miguel Carranza, Latina/Latino Studies

Theresa Torres, NACCS

Juan Betancourt, ALAS

6:00               Introduction to the Video:  Everything Comes from the Streets

7:00               Question / Answer Session with Alberto Pulido, Director and Co-Producer and Rigo Reyes, Co-Producer

7:30               RECEPTION                                                  SU THEATER FOYER

Low Rider Car Display                                 Administration Bldg Parking Lot – Cherry Street        



10:00-11:30       CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Session 1.1          Moderator:                                                                                                        Room Bloch 211

ROUNDTABLE: Gustavo Carlo, Sarah Killoren Francisco Palermo Katharine Zeiders and Cara Streit

TITLE:  Socializing Agents and Experiences Associated with Latino/a Children and Youth Well-being

Session 1.2  Moderator:  Viviana Grieco                                                                                 Room Bloch #212

ROUNDTABLE: Valerie Mendoza, María Torrez Anderson, Fatima Rodríguez Al-Makhim, Christina


TITLE: Chicana Testimonios: Growing up Chicana in Kansas, Three  Generations of Experience

Session 1.3 Moderator: Morgan                McMichen                                                          Room Bloch 213

ROUNDTABLE:  María Vásquez Boyd, José Faus, Miguel Morales

TITLE: The Latino Writers Collective: Creating and Sustaining a Community of Writers, Advocates, and Educators

Session 1.4 Moderator: Erica Hernandez Scott                                                                    Room SU 302

WORKSHOP: Judy Ancel and Saira Gordillo

TITLE: They Just Cut Our Program’s Budget. Now What Do We Do?

11:30-12:00                 POSTER SESSION                   SU Theater Foyer

Victoria Santiago & Claritsa Santiago

TITLE: ESL Misconceptions: Making a Good Program Even Stronger.

Jessica Rodas

TITLE: An Evaluation of Organizations in Kansas City in Improving the Health of the Latino/Hispanic Community.

Joseph Salazar and Idaima

TITLE: Assessing Obesity of Latino Children in Southwest Kansas via Ventanilla de Salud para Niños

12:00-1:00 LUNCH           

1:00-1:30  POSTER SESSION                                      SU Theater Foyer

1:30-3:00                     CONCURRENT SESSIONS 2

Session 2.1 Moderator: DJ Ferman                                                                                           Room Bloch 211

ROUNDTABLE:  April Bermudez & Matthew García

TITLE: (dis)Placed Ecologies, (dis)Placed Communities: Social Art Practice and the Homeland

Session 2.2 Moderator: Jessica Rodas                                                                                     Room Bloch 212

ROUNDTABLE: Patricia Alvarez-McHatton, Dea Bermudez-Marx, and Erica Hernandez-Scott

TITLE: Maestras: Past, Present, and Future

Session 2.3  Moderator: Morgan McMichen                                                                        Room Bloch 213

READING: Xanath Caraza, Natalia Treviño and Minerva Margarita Villarreal

TITLE: La Poetry en el Midwest y en México: Chicanas/Mexicanas con Ganas

Session 2.4  Moderator: Jorge Palomares                                                                              SGA Chambers/SU

ROUNDTABLE:   Moises Orozco, Eduardo Coronel, Daniel Muñoz, Jonathan Mendoza, Wendy Ramírez, Angeles Rivera-Centeno, Alberto Jimenez

TITLE:  Meaningful Connections between Latina/o students at a Community College in Illinois

Session 2.5          Moderator: Vanessa Aguilar                                                       Room SU 302

TITLE:  Researching Women and Gender in the Midwest

Linda Garcia Merchant: Five Layers Of Performance Art: Creating the Films, ‘An Evening with La Tess”

Andres Lazaro Lopez:  A Conceptual Note on Latino Professionals: The Future of Latina/O Scholarship On Paid Labor

Kandace Creel Falcón: Railroad Settlement Narratives: Invisibility And Chicana Feminist Interpretations Of Mexican Women’s Representations in Early 20th Century Kansas


3:15-4:45                     CONCURRENT SESSIONS 3

Session 3.1          Moderator: Norma Cantu                                                                            Room Bloch 211

Panel: Gloria Anzaldúa

Visnja Vujin:  Gloria Anzaldúa’s Female Borderland Identities in Sandra Cisneros’ Fiction

Sarah Becker: Beyond Borderlands: Spiritual Mining and the Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers, 1943-2004

Norma E. Cantú, Vanessa Aguilar Maritza Fernandez: Researching Latina Traditional Culture in Kansas City: An Anzaldúa Third Space feminist Approach

Session 3.2  Moderator: Patrica A. McHatton                                                                       Room Bloch 212

ROUNDTABLE: Randy López, Jackie Madrigal

TITLE:  ¿Qué hiciste en la escuela hoy?: How High Schools Can Make Meaningful Connections with Spanish-Speaking Households and Get Them College-Ready

Session 3.3  Moderator: Morgan McMichen                                                                        Room Bloch 213

ROUNDTABLE/READING:  Elizabeth Martinez, Xanath Caraza, Andres Rodríguez

TITLE: Gathering Words: A Special issue of Diálogo

Session 3.4          Moderator: Amelia Montes                                                                        Room SU 302

Panel:  Brown Mujeres Navigating Predominantly White Midwest Spaces

Belinda Acosta:  Brown Body: White Faces: The Brown Female Body as Authority Figure in The Predominantly White Classroom

Bernice Oliva: Naming The Whole World A Borderland: Performance of the Teacher Self

Amelia Montes: Directing an Ethnic Studies Program in the Midwest: Challenges and Successes

4:45-5:00                                              BREAK

5:00-5:30     FEATURED SESSION                                                                      SU Theater


5:30-  Plenary Talk                                                                                                SU Theater

Dr. Rogelio Sáenz, Dean, College of Public Policy, University of Texas at San Antonio

Title:  Latinos and the Changing Demography of the Heartland: Implications for the Future of the Midwest

7:30        RECEPTION                                                                                                                         SU THEATER FOYER


8:00—11:00       REGISTRATION—                  STUDENT UNION FOYER

8:30 A.M.            BUSINESS MEETING                                           SU Theater

9:00-10:30          CONCURRENT SESSIONS 4

Session 4.1      Moderator: Jessica Rodas                                                                   Bloch 218

Panel: Education Matters

 Heather Hathaway Miranda: ¡Sí Se Pudo! ¿Sí Se Pudo? Latina/Latino Student Activists in The 1990s

Hannah K. Noel:  Developing a Responsible Pedagogy

Uzziel Pecina: Leadership for English-Language-Learner Programs: Uniting Policies, Practices, and Parents to Support Secondary Students

Session 4.2 Moderator: Alice R.                                                                                                                 Bloch 213

Panel:  Chicana Studies at Kansas State University

Yolanda Broyles-González:

TITLE:  Jenni Rivera Enacting Mujerismo (Womanism): Change And Continuity Of The Oral Tradition

Isabel Millá

TITLE:   Engineering Chicana Heroism In Border Dystopian Sci-Fi Film

Norma A. Valenzuela

TITLE:  The Evolution Of A Transnational Imaginary In United States Latina Drama: Mujeres In Search Of “Home”

Session 4.3 Moderator: Alberto Villalmandos                                                                                      Bloch 324

READING:  Miguel M. Morales, Ruben Quesada, Joseph Salazar

TITLE:  Queridos: Midwestern Gay Latino Poets

Session 4.4. Moderator: Theresa Torres                                                                                                                SU 302

WORKSHOP:  José García

TITLE:  West Side Chronicles - City Life Chicano Style

Session 4.5 Moderator:                                                                                                                                 SGA Chambers

ROUNDTABLE: Gabriela Díaz Sabates and Marcelo Sabates

TITLE:  Reshaping the Multicultural Landscape at a Midwestern University

10:30  BREAK

10:45        CLOSING PLENARY

Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló, President, Northern New Mexico College

TITLE:  Navigating our Midwest Latin@ Journey in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future

In Other News

Reyna Grande in Kansas City, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Norma Cantú, Reyna Grande and Xánath Caraza


Las Esmeraldas, ESU

Gregory Robinson, Ph. D., Xanath Caraza, Kevin Rabas, Ph. D., ESU

During my keynote at Emporia State University


University of North Georgia: “Exploring Linguistic Diversity among Latinas”, October 7 – 8

Univesity of North Georgia, Dahlonega Campus, lunch with LASO
After lunch with Alvaro Torres, Ph. D. and Maria Guadalupe Calatayud, Ph. D. with LASO students 

University of North Georgia, Dahlonega Campus

University of North Georgia, Gainesville Campus, LSA

Festival del Libro y la Palabra, Acapulco en su Tinta 2014, October 9 – 11 

Before my poetry presentation
My poem "Frente al mar"

Poets Chistian Peña, León Guillermo Gutiérrez and Xánath Caraza

Poets and authors, Nadia Villafuerte, Ángel Vargas, Xánath Caraza, Beatriz Pérez, León Guillermo Gutiérrez, Juan Mireles, Luis Zapata and Luis Armenta Malpica

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Six-Word Memoirs Rock This Blog

Olga García Echeverría

Wonderful things can happen while procrastinating...

I was putting off writing the day I bumped into Six-Word Memoirs on the Web.  I love writing, but unlike the truly disciplined who sit down at a set time everyday and go there, I struggle.

I am all over the place.

I have no set time to write. Nor do I have a specific format. My words end up on scraps of paper, on the computer, in journals, on the "Notes" section of my phone. Sometimes my writing time is in the middle of the week at noon. Sometimes in the wee hours of the night. Sometimes in the mornings. Sometimes, sadly, not at all. Still, the constant desire and effort to keep the words flowing is present and persistent.

Erratic writer constantly seeks literary inspiration.
I found some of that inspiration in Six-Word Memoirs recently. Larry Smith and Tim Barko, founders of SMITH Magazine, debuted the Six-Word Memoirs project in 2006. The idea for the project was inspired by Ernest Hemingway who is said to have once been challenged to write a novel in six words. According to literary legend, Hemingway answered the challenge (over dinner and on a napkin) with: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." There are different version of this story, some with doubts that it ever really happened. Whether it happened or not, the legend has functioned as muse, first for SMITH Magazine and now for over a million people who have joined in on the fun, trying to script their memoirs into six words. Scripting one's life in six words may initially seem impossible. When I first started playing with the format, I found it difficult because I was trying to find the right six words to say it all.
Can six palabras encapsulate una vida?
I doubt it. But really the idea of the Six-Word Memoir is to capture a fragment of the self, to express in an abbreviated space an idea, a memory, a snapshot of who we are or who we were or who we are becoming. The more of these little memoirs that I write, the more I realize that what is captured in this format doesn't have to be extraordinary. The everyday is perfect food for these memoirs.
Usually go to bed thinking, "Pancakes!"

What I love about the Six-Word Memoir is that it is highly accessible and it can be birthed anywhere--while in line at the grocery store, while walking or driving, in the shower, when taking a break from grading, while cooking. Counting words on fingers is addictive, and yes, there's an App. Also alluring is that these short snapshots can be fleshed out. One of my favorite sections of the Six-Word Memoirs website is the Featured Backstory, where writers share the story behind their six words. This is where the real writing practice can happen. I most likely won't go back and flesh out every six word memoir I have written...

Got chorro from too many churros...

But there are a few that triggered something deep and tugged at the heart. What writer doesn't need or want a strong literary jalonazo? Since my serendipitous encounter with Six-Word Memoirs, I've written dozens, and I've gone back and fleshed out a few on my computer. Maybe they will become future poems or stories. Or maybe they will remain just what they are--little memoirs that sprouted and then disappeared into oblivion. Es todo.

Memoirs can be fleshed or flushed.

In any case, they're writing exercise and writing seed, two things I consider essential not just for me but also for my students. Anyone who has ever taught writing knows it's a hard job, and I am always looking for engaging ideas for writing assignment. In the past weeks, I've incorporated Six-Word Memoirs into my classes. In one class, I had students write six words about a significant memory, and then pair up with a classmate and share the backstory. Imagine 40 students all jabbering about their lives at the same time. Music to my ears. For homework, they had to write a 600 word vignette that incorporated figurate language and fleshed out the memoir. I'm still reviewing my students' papers, but thus far the assignment has resulted in some pretty amazing stories. I am not the first teacher to take the six word format into her class and create a lesson around it. Many others have being doing it for years, and some of them have shared their results on YouTube and/or on the Six-Word Memoirs site. Students seem to respond well to the six word format for reasons already mentioned--they're fun and accessible. They also reinforce that good old writing teacher mantra:

We all have stories to tell.
We all have stories to tell.
We all have stories to tell.

This past week, I reached out to a few dozen people and asked them to help out a blogging sister and write a Six Word Memoir for this blog. Here are the memoirs of those who responded. Mil gracias amig@s, your memoirs were the highlight of my week and they truly rock this blog.


"I flip tortillas with bare hands."
--Catherine Uribe
"Things that should not be said."
"Cosas que no hay que decir."
--Gloria Alvarez
"Need an opinion? I got one."
--Sandra Munoz

Portrait of Urrea by Eric Nishimoto

"Married Cinderella: lived happily ever after."
--Luis Urrea

"La Dolce Vita Vida Loca sometimes."
--Suzanne Lummis
"Bronx girl. All on the page."
--Lilliam Rivera

"She read to me. I wrote."
--Cheryl Klein
"A decolonized mind frees the spirit."
--Maritza Alvarez


"Lived a thousand lives in one."
--Liz Vega


"Lottery winner of love, not money."
--Deidre Harris


"Full of shit and feeling satisfied."
--Doug Carroll

"Ewok Feminism: The Myriam Gurba Story."
--Myriam Gurba

"I like you but you're stinky."
--Alazne Carroll Vega

"El cielo often speaks to me"
--Amelia Montes

"Mind is full no more comments."
--Gabby Carroll Vega

"She has scars on her head."
--Pat Alderete

"Mom said never marry a Mexican."
--Persephone Gonzalez

"Saved by dog and Betty White."
--Wendy Oleson

"My dedos danced mambo every day."
--Sonia Guiterrez

"Nice Southern girl fights the power."
--Bronwyn Mauldin

"First loves are nice, I bet."
--Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

"Gooks as silent villains--rewrite erasure."
--Bao Phi

"I haven't had time for babies."
--Celina Martinez

"Dead immigrant father. Pochafied fourth-generation daughter."
--liz gonzalez

"Meditations on Street Vendors and Salvation."
--Erika Ayon

"My greatest passion is to think."
--Manuel Velez

"Stop holding-out on my treats, bitches!"
--Xiquis The Great

"Chaotic mornings but not with donuts."
--Maria Figueroa

"I awaken
turning boulders
to dust"
--Alejandra Sanchez

"Too young
an existential
--Geronimo Flores


"Push pedal word! Breathe green Poet."
--A.K. Toney

"Malflora poet scripted in East LA."
--Veronica Reyes

"I've got a costume for this!"
--Cristy McMahon

"My Tongue is a Snazzy Tool."
--tatiana de la tierra

"I dreamed. I danced. I wrote."
--ire'ne lara silva

What about you, Bloga readers? Wanna share your own Six Word Memoir? Post it in the comments section. We'd love to read it.
Wait! There is a literary announcement... 
Five Queer Women With Loaded Tongues. 
If you're in Los Angeles, please join us this coming Wednesday, Oct 22, at 9PM
for The LA Word: Exploded Guns where 5 LA women writers take out their literary pistolas and shoot out some verse.
Cheryl Klein, Pat Alderete, Wendy Oleson, Bronwyn Mauldin, and Olga Garcia Echeverria will be reading at the Laemmle 7 in North Hollywood (lobby area) as part of the 2014 NoHo Lit Crawl.  
5240 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Bueno, gracias. Goodbye. Hasta next time.
Long live the Six-Word Memoir!