Joselin Cisneros has a very special relationship with the elote. After her father suffered a debilitating workplace accident, she and her mother spent years making ends meet selling corn and fruit on Chicago’s streets. Inspired by her mother’s resilience, Joselin stared the challenges of being undocumented in the US right in the face, becoming the first in her family to graduate from college.
Joselin’s story is one of awakening and action. “I’ve learned that our parents make this country run and our students have a thirst for knowledge,” she shares. Calling on everyone in the audience...
In her poetic and revealing talk, Laura Rámirez shares her connection to her ancestors, her journey to find home, and the work to build a better world for those to come.
Laura tells a story of loss and suffering, but also one of beauty and resilience. She finds home with other Mexicanas―both in Chicago and in Iguala, Mexico who have faced heartbreak themselves but still struggle and fight for the sake of their children, often at their own risk.
“To make home and to reclaim our land,” Laura shares, “is to reclaim ourselves.”
Laura J. Rámirez
Sharing her own reflections on her first experiences in American schools, on her parents’ role in her life, her experience on an ivy league campus, and her own awakening, Beatriz describes her path to her chosen and self-defined career: “changemaker.”
In a tale that begins in 1968, a period of change for both the world and Beatriz’ family―Beatriz was born as the first US-citizen child to her mother and father, both Mexican immigrants. In her talk, Beatriz examines her place in the world, shaped by experiences and ideas at every age and through interactions with diverse groups of people.
Using dichos or sayings from her mother, Minerva Garcia-Sanchez walks through the development of her own identity as a Mexicana. In her talk, Minerva discusses facing a paradox as a Mexican living in the United States―experiencing, at the same time, pressure for being “too Mexican” and “not Mexican enough.”
Sharing advice given by her mother, her father’s prioritization of her formal education, and her relationship with her extended family, Minerva embraces her identity that, as her aunt puts it―”celebrates the Fourth of July with a taquiza.”
“One of the tragedies of being an historian is that you know too damn much.” ―Raymond Rodriguez, co-author of “Decade of Betrayal”
In his 2015 talk, Marty Castro examines the power of rhetoric in American political discourse, going back to the earliest known recordings of anti-Mexican sentiment during the Revolutionary War. With “Little Trump” (Marty’s costumed son, Nez) joining him on stage, Marty discusses the ramifications of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and its galvanizing of right-wing white nationalist supremacist groups.
“Words matter,” he shares, and words...