Virtual Latinx Heritage Month

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Opening Ceremony 

Keynote Speaker: Cherríe Moraga

Wednesday, Sept. 15
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Register to attend

Cherríe Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, essayist, and playwright. She has penned several collections, including A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness, Loving in The War Years, and Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood. Her writings have garnered her accolades, such as the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors. Click the speaker bio below to read more!

Speaker Bio
Cherríe Moraga

Cherríe Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, essayist, and playwright whose professional life began in 1981 with her co-editorship of the groundbreaking feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back:  Writings by Radical Women of Color. She has penned several collections, including A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness, Loving in The War Years, and Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood. Her writings have garnered her accolades, such as the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors. As a dramatist, her awards include an NEA, two Fund for New American Plays Awards, and the PEN West Award. Moraga’s most recent play, The Mathematics of Love, premiered at Brava Theater Center in San Francisco in 2017. That same year, she began her tenure as a Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Alongside her artistic partner, Celia Herrera Rodriguez, she instituted Las Maestras Center: Xicana[x] Indigenous Thought, Art, and Social Practice. Her latest work, Native Country of the Heart, a memoir, was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2019.

Panel/Plática: The Role of Hispanic Serving Institutions within the Context of the Anti-Critical Race Theory Movement

Thursday, Sept. 16
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

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With recent changes in Texas legislation banning the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in the K-12 public school system, teachers are now limited on how they teach on the topic of race and the history of racism in the United States. This panel will explain critical race theory, the impact of recent legislation, and the role of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) within the context of the anti-CRT political movement.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Enrique Alemán – Lillian Radford Endowed Professor in Education, Trinity University, Antonio, TX
  • Dr. Tanya Gaxiola Serrano - Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, the University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Dr. Soccoro Morales – Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, the University of Texas at San Antonio
Speaker Bios
Dr. Enrique Alemán

Dr. Enrique Alemán, Jr., is the Lillian Radford Endowed Professor in Education at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, Dr. Alemán has appointments as the Director of the Trinity Tomorrow’s Leaders Program and Director of the Center for Educational Leadership. A native of Kingsville, Texas, and a first-generation college student, Dr. Alemán’s research agenda includes studying the impact of educational policies on Chicana/o/x-Latina/o/x students and communities, the utilization of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in educational research, and the application of community-based research methods for the creation of pathways to higher education. 

In late 2013, he executive produced and co-wrote Stolen Education, a documentary about the forgotten history of a little-known federal desegregation court case from the 1950s, Hernandez et al. v. Driscoll Consolidated School District (1957). Stolen Education has been screened at universities, colleges, public libraries, and public. The film was also screened at the Ruby Mountain Film Festival in Nevada and the CineSol Film Festival in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. 

Dr. Alemán earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration, with a concentration in Educational Policy and Planning, from the University of Texas at Austin. He also completed a doctoral certification in Mexican American Studies while attending UT. He has an undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York, New York. 

Dr. Tanya J. Gaxiola Serrano

Tanya J. Gaxiola Serrano, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Gaxiola Serrano earned her Ph.D. from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies with a specialization in Race and Ethnic Studies. As a first-generation immigrant and college student from the Tijuana-San Diego borderlands, her research explores the racialized inequities faced by students of color when navigating higher education systems. She relies on the foundations of critical theories such as Chicana/Latina feminist epistemologies and critical race theory when examining issues of oppression in education. Dr. Gaxiola Serrano is a Ford Fellow. Her research has been published in book chapters and journal articles, including the Community College Journal of Research and Practice and the Journal of Latinos and Education

Dr. Socorro Morales

Socorro Morales, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was raised in Fontana, California, and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Education, Culture, and Society. Her research agenda focuses on educational equity for historically marginalized populations. Situating schools as institutions that embody and perpetuate white supremacy and colonial logic, Dr. Morales’ scholarship highlights how Latinx youth make sense of, navigate, and resist schooling institutions that view them and their communities as deficit. She draws from interdisciplinary frameworks such as Critical Race Theory, Chicana/Latina feminisms, and Critical Youth Studies. Dr. Morales is a queer Chicana, first-generation college student and faculty member.

Keynote Speaker: Lalo Alcaráz

Tuesday, Sept. 21
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

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Lalo Alcaráz is an award-winning visual/media artist and television/film writer. He was Cultural Consultant on the Oscar-winning Day of the Dead-themed animated global hit Pixar movie Coco. A prolific political cartoonist, Alcaráz has won six Southern California Press Awards for Best Editorial Cartoon. Alcaráz’s graphic novel and cartoon books include the New York Times bestseller A Most Imperfect Union, Latino USA: A Cartoon History, 15th Anniversary Edition; Migra Mouse: Political Cartoons on Immigration; and La Cucaracha. He has a forthcoming graphic history novel, UNIDOS, is about the historic civil rights group UnidosUS, formerly National Council of La Raza.

Speaker Bio
Lalo Alcaráz

Lalo Alcaráz is an award-winning visual/media artist and television/film writer. A Los Angeles resident, he has been chronicling the ascendancy of Latinos in the U.S. for over a quarter-century. The Chicano artist created the syndicated daily comic strip La Cucaracha, as seen in the L.A. Times and other newspapers nationwide. A prolific political cartoonist, Alcaráz has won six Southern California Press Awards for Best Editorial Cartoon. Alcaráz’s graphic novel and cartoon books include the New York Times bestseller A Most Imperfect Union, Latino USA: A Cartoon History, 15th Anniversary Edition; Migra Mouse: Political Cartoons on Immigration; and La Cucaracha. He has a forthcoming graphic history novel, UNIDOS, is about the historic civil rights group UnidosUS, formerly National Council of La Raza.

Alcaráz is also a highly sought-after Hollywood consultant and producer. He was Cultural Consultant on the Oscar-winning Day of the Dead-themed animated global hit Pixar movie Coco. Alcaráz also served as a cultural consultant, consulting producer, and writer on the animated series The Loud Houseand now on Nickelodeon’s The Casagrandes. He is a former illustration faculty member at Otis College of Fine Art & Design in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of San Diego State University (BA in Art) and UC Berkeley (Master's in Architecture). Alcaráz was born in San Diego, California, to Mexican immigrant parents from Sinaloa and Zacatecas. He is married to a public-school teacher, and they have three children.

National Voter Registration Day

Panel/Plática: Latinas in Public Service

Tuesday, Sept. 28
1–2:15 p.m. 

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Palo Alto College commemorates National Voter Registration Day with a panel focused on Latina civic engagement through public service. While Latinas have been historically underrepresented in political leadership positions, the Latina vote and participation in public service are vital to the political representation of Latinx communities. Panelists will discuss strategies and personal experiences related to voting mobilization, community organizing, and public service.

Panelists:

  • Teri Castillo – San Antonio City Council Member, District 5
  • Joleen Garcia – Economic Justice Coordinator, Texas Organizing Project (TOP)
  • Dr. Loraine Pulido – Alamo Colleges District Board Member, District 4
Speaker Bios
Teri Castillo

Teri Castillo is a life-long, generational resident of District 5, raised on and resident of the West Side of San Antonio, and proud daughter and granddaughter of migrant farmworkers. Castillo is a Burbank High School alumnus and holds a Master’s degree in History with a focus in Urban Policy from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Castillo is a housing organizer, a historian of urban policy, has organized statewide for health care with the Texas Organizing Project, served on the Tier 1 Neighborhood Coalition Steering Committee, and since 2019 has been an active member of the Historic Westside Neighborhood Association. She has worked in District 5 public schools for six years. Elected to the City Council in June of 2021, the District office priorities will be infrastructure and affordable housing.

Joleen Garcia

Joleen Garcia is passionate about building "people power" and fighting alongside the underdog. She is going on 20 years as a local San Antonio organizer and activist on environmental protection to voting rights and free speech. Currently, Joleen is the lead community organizer on the Housing Justice campaign at Texas Organizing Project.

Dr. Lorraine Pulido

Lorena “Lorraine” Pulido, Ph.D. is a bilingual public relations expert with more than 25 years of combined experience in the marketing, corporate, and non-profit industries. She currently serves as the communications manager and public information officer for VIA Metropolitan Transit and is the former public relations manager for the City of San Antonio’s Department of Communications and Public Affairs and MetroHealth. 

In addition to running her own PR consulting business, LPR Strategic Marketing and Public Relations, Dr. Pulido has played a leadership role in marketing and public relations for numerous organizations and companies, including the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, CityView, Edgewood Independent School District, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), University Health System, and several advertising agencies. Her media experience includes serving as a producer for San Antonio’s KSAT-TV and KVDA-TV, and as a reporter for La Prensa. Previously, she served as an intern for ABC’s “PrimeTime Live” with Diane Sawyer. Dr. Pulido has also taught communications, marketing, and journalism for 21 years at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University, Palo Alto College, and currently, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

Dr. Pulido is a member of several professional organizations and has served on numerous advisory committees and boards. She is currently vice chair of the Brooks Authority Board of Trustees; vice chair of the Brooks Foundation (Brooks Gives Back); and secretary for the Public Relations Society of America – San Antonio (PRSA-SA) chapter. In December 2020, she was elected a trustee for the Alamo Colleges District Board, representing District 4. 

She has received numerous awards, including 16 PRSA Awards and a 2008 Gold Addy award from the San Antonio Advertising Federation. Dr. Pulido is a proud magna cum laude graduate of Harlandale High School who went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism, and a Ph.D. from Our Lady of the Lake University’s School of Business and Leadership Studies. She has a 33-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son.

 
Panel/Plática: Latinas in STEM

Wednesday, Sept. 29
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

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Representation is growing for women of color, including Latinas, in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). This panel highlights the importance of increasing this representation and provides personal insight and advice from Latinas currently studying and working in various STEM fields.

  • Adriana Abundis – Dual Language Mathematics Teacher, Lanier High School
  • Dr. Elizabeth Borda – Assistant Professor of Biology, Texas A&M University, San Antonio
  • Desirae Morales – Current Student, Master of Science Program in Cell Systems & Anatomy, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Palo Alto College Alumna
Speaker Bios
Adriana Abundis Alonzo

Adriana Abundis Alonzo is a community-centered, social justice advocate and culturally responsive maestra at the Westside historic Lanier High School in San Antonio Independent School District. Abundis teaches dual language Algebra and Mexican American Studies. She earned a Texas Educational Agency Master Teacher designation as well as campus, district, and regional Teacher of the Year recognition for the 2019-2020 school year.

Abundis is a Texas Teacher of the Year finalist and Westside San Antonio muralista who engages in transformational liberatory pedagogy. She received two master's degrees in Secondary Mathematics and Bilingual/ Bicultural Studies. She is a first-generation graduate and a legacy scholar. Abundis identifies as a Xicana feminist and seeks to support scholars towards a liberated consciousness, staunch identity formation, and constructing a transformational testimonio.

Dr. Elizabeth Borda

As an evolutionary biologist, Dr. Liz Borda’s research focuses on the use of integrative systematic approaches, including genetic, genomic, phylogenetic, ecological, and morphological evaluations. These approaches uncover the evolutionary processes that drive diversity, shape life-history strategies, adaptations, and biogeographic distributions to improve our knowledge of tropical terrestrial, freshwater, and marine invertebrate species found in biodiversity hotspots around the world.

Desirae Morales

Desirae Morales is an Academic Peer Coach at the Palo Alto College's STEM Center and a full-time student at UT UT Health San Antonio in the Master of Science program in Cell Systems & Anatomy. She received an Associate of Science in Biology from Palo Alto College in 2017 and a Bachelor of Science in Cell & Molecular Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Morales plans to apply for Ph.D. programs in biomedical science and focus on immunometabolism and its role in obesity. She hopes to transfer the skills and knowledge acquired from work and school to conduct research and eventually teach and mentor young aspiring students.

Artist Talk/Plática and Workshop with Lisette Chavez
Wednesday, Oct. 6
1–2:15 p.m.

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Lisette Chavez was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, located on the southernmost tip of Texas near the Mexican border. She is a multi-disciplinary artist with interests in lithography, drawing, and installation-based work. Mirroring everyday life as she sees it, her work teeters on the edge of beauty and suffering. Chavez will be conducting a virtual ‘zine workshop in which participants will learn how to create their DIY magazine, or ’zine, focusing on family photos and family narratives.

Also, be sure to checkout her Exhibit in Gallery100 From the Horse's Mouth from Sept. 14 – Oct. 14.

Speaker Bio

Lisette Chavez was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, located on the southernmost tip of Texas near the Mexican border. She is a multi-disciplinary artist with interests in lithography, drawing, and installation-based work. Mirroring everyday life as she sees it, her work teeters on the edge of beauty and suffering. Although hesitant to expose her family history and traumas, she understands how sharing personal experiences, both positive and negative, produces discourse to help us better understand the human condition.

Chavez earned her Master of Arts degree from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona. Her work is held in museums, universities, and private collections. Chavez’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Estonia, France, Egypt, Australia, and Mexico. She currently resides and works in San Antonio, Texas. ​

Chavez will be conducting a virtual ‘zine workshop in which participants will learn how to create their DIY magazine, or ’zine, focusing on family photos and family narratives.

National Poetry Day

Artist Talk/Plática: Lupe Mendez, 2022 Texas Poet Laureate

Thursday, Oct. 7
11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

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Originally from Galveston, Texas, Lupe Mendez is a writer, educator, activist, and the 2022 Texas Poet Laureate. He is the founder of Tintero Projects, which works with emerging Latinx writers and other writers of color within the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Mendez is the author of WHY I AM LIKE TEQUILA (Willow Books, 2019), winner of the 2019 John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters.

After Mendez’s artist talk, student contributors for Palo Alto College’s Eleven Rivers Review (11RR) will provide a poetry reading of their works. While the event will feature 11RR student contributors, all students are welcome to join and read their poetry. The 11RR is the College’s award-winning literary and arts journal. It is produced each spring entirely by student writers, artists, and editors. The publication allows students to share their talent and learn valuable skills for their portfolios.

Speaker Bio

Originally from Galveston, Texas, Lupe Mendez is a writer, educator, activist, and the 2022 Texas Poet Laureate. He is the founder of Tintero Projects, which works with emerging Latinx writers and other writers of color within the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Lupe earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas, El Paso, and has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Macondo, and the Crescendo Literary/Poetry Foundation’s Emerging Poet Incubator. Mendez’s work can be seen in print and online formats, including the Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast Journal, the Texas Review, Split This Rock, Poetry Magazine, and Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets. Mendez is the author of WHY I AM LIKE TEQUILA (Willow Books, 2019), winner of the 2019 John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters.

Indigenous Peoples' Day/Día de la Raza

Film Panel/Plática: Truly Texas Mexican: Honoring Native American Histories through Food

Monday, Oct. 11
1-2:15 p.m.

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Palo Alto College honors Indigenous Peoples’ Day/Día de la Raza with a panel/plática on the award-winning documentary Truly Texas Mexican: The Native American Roots of Texas Mexican Food (2021). The film explores the regional indigenous roots of contemporary Texas Mexican food and pays homage to the history and survival of indigenous food traditions in the face of racism and the erasure of Native American history. The film also highlights the significance of women in creating and maintaining the tradition of Texas Mexican food. Panelists include the filmmaker and contributors to the film.

Panel attendees can view the film beforehand via Amazon, Apple TV, YouTube, Google Play.

Panelists:

  • Adán Medrano – Executive Producer/Writer, Truly Texas Mexican
  • Christine Ortega – International Advisor and Philanthropist
  • Isaac Cárdenas – Traditional Native American Practitioner/Spiritual Leader, Tap-Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation
Speaker Bios
Adán Medrano

Adán Medrano is a food writer and chef, specializing in the indigenous foods of Texas and the Americas. His book, Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes, published by Texas Tech University Press, received the "Finalist, Book of The Year" award from Foreword Reviews. In his most recent history and cookbook, Don't Count The Tortillas – The Art Of Texas Mexican Cooking, Medrano focuses on the aesthetic aspects of comida casera, the home cooking of Mexican American families.

Medrano has spent 23 years working throughout Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and during his travels, he came to recognize the cultural importance of food. His professional work in restaurant kitchens includes fine dining at Restaurant Ten Bogaerde in Belgium and volunteering as the Chef of Houston's Casa Juan Diego shelter for homeless families. He has lectured about food and culture at academic institutions, including the Harvard University Co-op and the University of Leeds. He has showcased his recipes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Culinary Institute of America; the American Book Center in Amsterdam; and the Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival in Great Britain.

Medrano is Executive Producer/Writer of the 2021 food documentary, Truly Texas Mexican, which won "Best Documentary" at the New York Independent Cinema Awards and took the coveted "Audience Choice" award at the Hill Country Film Festival. It is distributed internationally in both English and Spanish.

Christine Ortega

Christine Ortega has over three decades of experience in creating impactful corporate and nonprofit partnerships. Starting in the nonprofit world of mass media and higher education, she advanced to leadership roles in corporate social responsibility and strengthened communities through her commitment to building strategic relationships

Ortega began her professional career in media communications, where she garnered national recognition in the field of television production with PBS. Her growing experience in the nonprofit world established a unique, community-minded trajectory that evolved into her community-minded corporate leadership role at Southwest Airlines. She contributed to the company's growth and development from marketing to public engagement roles, including media, government, and community relations.

Now, as the president & CEO of CO-Effect Enterprises, Ortega delivers valuable advice to leaders for collaboration – generating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive social engagement for both business and community investments. Ortega has shared her influence and insights in civility, anti-human trafficking, Latino arts and culture, education, and disaster preparedness and recovery. She has been featured in podcasts and national panels and serves as a subject matter expert in corporate social responsibility, race relations, and community engagement.

In addition to the executive leadership of CO-Effect Enterprises, Ortega has successfully run Piquín Properties for over 15 years. Piquín uses a non-traditional model to create "homescapes" for mid-to low-income families in neglected neighborhoods as a means to create meaningful, vibrant spaces for families to enjoy a higher quality of life and sense of dignity through connecting to their culture and community.

Ortega currently serves on the board of the National Council of Nonprofits, the Texas Indigenous Food Project, and the Smithsonian Institution Latino Center. Believing in service with a sense of purpose, Ortega combines her love for community, the drive to make a difference, and her passion for social justice to leave the world better than when she arrived.

Isaac Alvarez Cárdenas

Isaac Alvarez Cardenas is the son of an Apache mother and a Coahuiltecan father. He is a Tap-Pilam Coahuiltecan Native American Indian raised in the inner-city westside of San Antonio, Texas. He holds a Master's degree in Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University and designs culturally competent and culturally inclusive native programs for Native American Indians.

In 2017, Cardenas retired as Director of Programs for the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Mission's (AIT-SCM) Rites of Passage Program, which works with young men living in the inner-city westside of San Antonio. Cardenas also served as a Mental Health Counselor for AIT-SCM's Healing the Wounded Spirit Program, where he worked with children, youth, veterans and their families at mental health clinics locally, statewide and nationally.

Cardenas and his family have chosen to reside in the inner city, working with high-risk, minority males and youth for over thirty years to strengthen families and the community by providing cultural and spiritual support, health education, parenting education, and social and emotional enlightenment. Cardenas is a Traditional Native American Indian practitioner and serves as prayer and spiritual leader for the Tap-Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation. He is also a musician, playwright, actor, and producer of various public programs and entertainment.

Cardenas has been married to his high school sweetheart, Sylvia Ann for 45 years and is the father of two young adult sons, Michael Isaac White Cliff and Jason Adam Black Cliff and is grandfather to Nico and Kylee.

Palo Alto College Ozuna Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Virtual Art Exhibit: Life and Experiences in the U.S./Mexico Borderlands – Mexic Arte Museum, Austin, Texas

Sept. 15-Oct. 15

Visit virtual exhibit

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

For information, please contact us.

Phone: (210) 486-3044

Email: lrodriguez645@alamo.edu

Sponsored by: Center for Mexican American Studies, Student Life, PAC Working Writers Series, PAC STEM Center, and Student Activities Fee.