Huntington Fellows Herman Luis Chavez and María Guadalupe Partida from the Library's Hispanic Reading Room speak with community activists, scholars, and and Congress members about Latinx civil rights in the United States. Guests include librarian María Daniela Thurber; former HACU intern Bianca Napoleoni; lawyer Antonia Hernandez; activists Crista Ramos, Daphne Frias, and Myrna Pagan; journalist Paola Ramos; U.S. Congress members Teresa Leger Fernandez and Joaquin Castro, and scholars Carlos Manuel Haro (UCLA), Cecilia Menjivar (UCLA), Marie Cruz Soto (NYU), Ed Morales (Columbia), and Ruth Ellen Wasem (University of Texas).
Huntington Fellows Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe Partida speak with former Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) President Antonia Hernandez and discuss the civil rights class action lawsuit Madrigal v. Quilligan. The episode also includes an introduction to season two of La Biblioteca and the research guide it derives from, featuring Reference Librarian Dani Thurber.
Hernández is President and CEO of California Community Foundation, one of Southern California’s largest and most active philanthropic organizations which holds assets of more than $1.9 billion. During her tenure, California Community Foundation has granted nearly $2 billion, with a focus on health, housing, education, immigration programs. Previously, Hernández was president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a national nonprofit litigation and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of the nation’s Latinos through the legal system, community education and research and policy initiatives. She currently serves on the boards of the Automobile Club of Southern California Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Forest Lawn Memorial-Park Association, Grameen America, Urban Institute and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute.
Dani Thurber (she/her) is a Reference Librarian in the Hispanic Reading Room, where she assists users navigate and make connections with the Library of Congress treasures in the reading room and online, as well as develop access tools such as Research Guides. As a Reference Librarian, Thurber reviews resources for the Handbook of Latin American Studies and recommends materials for potential acquisitions to build the national collections, recommending materials in all formats from or about Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, and US Latinos. Thurber holds a Library Science degree from the Catholic University of America, where she also attained her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Theology. As an advocate for the important role libraries play in society, Thurber currently serves as President of the District of Columbia Library Association.
Huntington Fellows Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe Partida speak with youth activist Crista Ramos and scholars Dr. Ruth Wasem and Dr. Cecilia Menjívar to discuss the immigration legislation known as Temporary Protection Status (TPS). TPS recipients receive temporary immigration status, work authorization, and protection from deportation until it is safe to return to their home countries without a direct path to permanent residency status.
Dr. Cecilia Menjívar isthe Dorothy L. Meier Chair in Social Equities and Professor of Sociology at UCLA. Her research falls in two areas: on immigration from Central America to the United States and on violence in Latin America. She has researched the effects of immigration laws and enforcement practices on immigrants and their families and communities. Her most recent publication is The Handbook of Migration Crises (Oxford 2019). She has received several recognitions, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Fellowship, and in 2020 was elected as President of the American Sociological Association. Menjívar is also a contributing scholar of the Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS), a bibliography on Latin America works edited by the Hispanic Reading Room of the Library of Congress.
Crista Ramos is a 17-year-old activist who is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit Ramos v. Nielsen. Her mother is a TPS recipient from El Salvador since 2001. In 2018 when TPS was terminated, she became an advocate to speak out about her family’s situation. She continues fighting to keep over 400,000 TPS families together around the country that are in the same situation as her.
Ruth Ellen Wasem is a Professor of Policy Practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, where she teaches courses on immigration policy and legislative development. For more than 25 years, Wasem was an immigration policy specialist at the U.S. Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service. She has testified before Congress about asylum policy, legal immigration trends, human rights, and the push-pull forces on unauthorized migration. Wasem earned masters and doctoral degrees in history at the University of Michigan, largely funded by the Institute for Social Research.
Huntington Fellows Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe Partida speak with youth activist Daphne Frias and scholar Dr. Manuel Haro to discuss Latino student activism. The episode focuses on the 1968 East Los Angeles school walkouts, one of the largest student-led marches in American history, alongside the contemporary justice pursued by Gen Z students at the intersection of disability, educational, and civic activism.
Daphne Frias is a 23-year-old youth activist. She is unapologetically Latina. Having Cerebral Palsy, and using a wheelchair she is fiercely proud to be a loud champion for the disabled community. She got her start shortly after the Parkland shooting by busing 100+ students from her college campus to the nearest March For Our Lives (MFOL) event. In August of 2019, she was appointed as the NY State Director for March For Our Lives.
Carlos Manuel Haro, Ph.D was raised in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles; he graduated from Roosevelt High School and then attended UCLA, where he received three degrees, including a doctorate from the UCLA Graduate School of Education. He joined the staff of UCLA in 1975 and remained with the university his entire professional career. In 2008, Haro retired from UCLA after 33 years on the staff during which he served as the Assistant Dean of UCLA’s International Studies and Overseas Programs for eighteen years, and as Program Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) from 1975-1983, and then as Assistant Director of the Center from 2002-2008. Dr. Haro now serves as Assistant Director Emeritus and as Postdoctoral Scholar in Residence at the UCLA CSRC.
Huntington Fellows Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe Partida speak with journalists Ed Morales and Paola Ramos to discuss the Latinx identity and the communities that identify with that term. Key concepts include immigration, gender and sexuality, race, and intergenerational communication.
Ed Morales is an author and journalist who has written for The Nation, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Jacobin, and the Guardian. He was staff writer at the Village Voice and columnist at Newsday. He is the author of Latinx: The New Force in Politics and Culture (Verso Books, 2018), Living in Spanglish (St. Martins, 2002), and The Latin Beat: From Rumba to Rock (Da Capo Press, 2003). Morales is a lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Paola Ramos is an author, Emmy-award winning journalist and Latinx advocate. Ramos is a host and correspondent for VICE and VICE News, as well as a contributor for Telemundo News and MSNBC. Ramos was a political appointee during the Obama Administration. She is the author of “Finding Latin-X: In Search of the Voices redefining Latino Identity,” published by Penguin Random House in October 2020.
Huntington Fellows Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe Partida speak with United States Representatives Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03) and Joaquin Castro (TX-20) to discuss the Latinx electorate. Key concepts include voter engagement, history of Latino elected representatives, cross-community solidarity, and congressional internship programs.
Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) represents Texas’ 20th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Serving his fifth term, Rep. Castro is a member of on the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact, and is the immediate past Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Rep. Castro also founded the Congressional Pre-K Caucus, the U.S.-Japan Caucus, and the Congressional Caucus on ASEAN. Before Congress, Rep. Castro graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and served five terms in the Texas Legislature.
Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez represents New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. Congresswoman Leger Fernandez has been appointed to the House Committee on Education and Labor, the Committee on House Administration, and the House Committee on Natural Resources, where she serves as the Chair of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. She is a 17th generation Northern New Mexican, who grew up as part of a large rural ranching and farming family. Before coming to Congress, Leger Fernandez worked as an attorney and advocate, and won important legal battles to advance voting rights, promote tribal sovereignty, and protect our environment and acequia waters. She has helped secure nearly a billion dollars for, and then helped build, schools, rural health clinics, broadband, businesses, affordable housing and critical infrastructure for New Mexico.
Huntington Fellows Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe Partida speak with scholar Dr. Marie Cruz Soto and environmental activist Myrna Pagan to discuss Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. The episode also includes a conclusion to season two of La Biblioteca and the research guide it derives from, featuring former Library intern Bianca Napoleoni.
Bianca P. Napoleoni Gregory is from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. She has an M.A. in English Education and a B.A. in English Education with Multimedia Technology. She currently owns her own ceramic studio in which she offers courses. She aspires to continue teaching clay techniques and provide a space for self-care and healing through clay making. Napoleoni is also the author of On Language and Colony, a Story Map on the linguistic trajectory of Puerto Rico's identity as the world's oldest colony.
Marie Cruz Soto teaches at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and writes about how imperial/colonial interventions in Vieques have created a vulnerable and unruly population. In addition, Cruz Soto is a peace activist who has participated in Vieques-centered initiatives and transnational networks of solidarity against militarism.
Myrna Pagan is a protector of the environment, an artist-activist dedicated to the defense of peace, justice, and equality. The will to make a difference with an open heart and compassion has inspired decades of activism in Vieques and taken her to places around the globe to share the story of her beloved, brave community. As the mother of five and abuela of nine she is committed to the development and empowerment of the younger generations on this journey of healing and transformation of our world so that they can play an active role in creating a good life for all.
Herman Luis Chavez
Herman Luis Chavez (he/they/él) is the child of Bolivian immigrants. At the Library of Congress, Chavez was a Junior Fellow and Huntington Fellow at the Hispanic Reading Room, where he published research on Latinx civil rights and conducted research and outreach for the PALABRA Archive. They are a student of Ethnomusicology and Comparative Literature at UCLA, where they are a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Chavez also serves as the Transfer Student Representative for the Undergraduate Students Association Council, representing and advocating for a constituency of over 6,000 students. Outside of UCLA and the Library of Congress, he has worked with local libraries, literary arts non-profits, cultural centers, and in higher education to combine their twin passions for advocacy and creative expression. Chavez plans to pursue graduate studies in the fall of 2022.
María Guadalupe Partida
Maria Guadalupe Partida (she/her) graduated from St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in May 2020. She was born and raised as a first generation Latina in Laredo, Texas. Lupita was a Junior Fellow and Huntington Fellow at the Library of Congress’ Hispanic Reading Room, where she published research on Latino/x civil rights and a Story Map titled Stolen: An Indigenous Own Account of the Aztec Conquest. Previously, she has worked with local, national, and international nonprofits and government entities while advocating for humanitarian policies that benefit Latinx and immigrant communities. Lupita’s life-long commitment to public service empowers her to amplify the voices and needs of marginalized communities. Partida plans to pursue graduate studies in the fall of 2022.