October 28, 2022

Latin American and Latino Studies Holds First Annual “Encuentro”

The 2022 Latin American and Latino Studies Minor hosted Encuentro: Culture & Diaspora on October 27th with keynotes speakers Isa Noyola and Marcia Ochoa, as well as roundtable guests Giancarlo Castro, Marian Gutierrez-Curiel, and Bonnie Reagan.

Isa Noyola and Marcia Ochoa’s presentation drew on their 15 years of collaboration, which has resulted in the creation of a social movement to respond to the disposability and disenfranchisement of translatinas, transgender women of Latin American descent living in the global North. As a key organizer of the movement to End Trans Detention, Isa brought the lessons she’s learned sitting across the table from ICE representatives to get people out of their custody, and shared her vision for trans immigrant justice to abolish oppressive systems that criminalize all of our communities, especially trans and queer immigrant communities of color. Marcia shared the guiding principles for the vision of El/La, and how those principles materialize in our day-to-day actions. 

A panel focused on the El Sistema music education program founded in 1975 by Venezuelan economist and musician, José Antonio Abreu. Internationally recognized for its transformative influence in young lives, the program’s communal ethos has been emulated worldwide as a model for training orchestral musicians, developing confident and empathetic citizens, and promoting social justice. The speakers considered the legacy of Abreu’s visionary work, the role of Venezuelan musicians in expanding El Sistema’s global reach, critical perspectives on the history of the program, and the strategies adopted by El Sistema-inspired US-based organizations to serve local communities in the United States, including Portland’s Bravo Youth Orchestras.

The first event of Encuentro’s program was a Round Table discussion on Culture & Diaspora in Latin American & Latino Studies. It was led by LC faculty of various departments: Vanesa Arozamena, Kim Cameron-Domínguez, Matt Johnston, Magalí Rabasa and Elliott Young.