Muchisimas gracias to UCSB graduate student Ester Trujillo for spontaneously posting to our Facebook page this series of three daily reports from the Summer Institute (mirrored here with photos added). Ester is a graduate student in Chicana/o Studies who works in Salvadoran-American culture and identity formation; Latinas/os and new media; Pan-Latinidad, diasporas and globalization.
I arrived at the UCSB Campus on the morning of the last day of the MALCS Summer Institute sad, knowing it would be the final day to say hi to the amazing women present but my sadness soon faded when I heard the melodic sounds coming from the registration tables. Elisa and Mayra were playing music that filled my heart with joy.
During session VIII, I attended a panel titled “Striving for Social Justice: Women of Color Lawyers’ Reflections on Education and Careers” which was composed of three tremendously amazing attorneys, discussed by Jessica Lopez Lyman, and moderated by Aida Hurtado: Chair of the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCSB and Chair of the Summer Institute. Public Defender Jessica Delgado, Arcelia Hurtado of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Simona Farrise of the Farrise Law Firm spoke about the challenges and strategies they have engaged on their journey as women of color lawyers in different types of law practice. The presence of several undergraduate students at this panel demonstrated that relationships of mentorship and guidance make MALCS tick and give it its signature essence.
During Plenary III, titled “Creative and Spiritual Healing Practices: Transforming Violence for Social Justice,” I and approximately 110 other mujeres were truly in for a treat!
The first presenter Yvette G. Flores gave a talk titled “Healing from Institutional and Interpersonal Violence” Her testimony of being a Central American trying to find her identity in a Chicano Studies department in the 1970’s was definitely something I can identify with due to my Central American background. Flores’ explanation of the identity politics she met with during that time period and its effects on her professorial and publishing career also made me think of some of the issues I have put to query at times. Yvette encouraged us to understand the nature of trauma from a feminist social justice perspective and to look at the processes available for healing to begin.
Second speaker, Adelina Anthony spoke about the act of honoring our creative selves and about making public the re-membering of trauma. She explained the performance of her second birth at the Stanford University campus around the time during which her mother passed away and about how this performance gave her the ability to express trauma and healing that she lacked the language to describe verbally. She spoke of giving the plenary a gift of humor by explaining that through her performance she recovers her mother from the violence that was inflicted against her. She showed a clip on www.comediva.com/hocicona from “La Chismosa!!!” Anthony then transformed her presentation into a full performance where she instructed the audience of Mariconas and Mariconas who are lying to themselves how to achieve self-gratification in less than 4 seconds. The performance cannot be adequately explained in words on a page; it was absolutely spectacular. Anthony instructed us to “Get out of your heads and back into your bodies.” As the Zen Ranchera, she spoke of not letting addictions get the best of you while she was grinding up against Keta Miranda and Antonia Castañeda and insisted that she was going back to the Rancho to learn new meditation techniques as she concluded her performance.
Now that the 2012 MALCS Summer Institute is over I am overwhelmed with emotions as my sisters return to Ohio, D.C., Texas, Arizona, Spain and various locations around the world and across the country. I feel so grateful and so fortunate to have met so many amazing mentors and so many new friends. I can’t wait to see everyone again next year at Ohio State University for the 2013 MALCS Summer Institute!
The MALCSistas from UC Santa Cruz: from back left, Chela Sandoval, Josie Mendez-Negrete, Aida Hurtado, Maylei Blackwell, three unknown women (sorry!), and Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs. Front women unidentified as well (sorry!)
First image above: Outgoing chair Monica Flores and new chair Theresa Delgadillo, wrapped in MALCS traditional mantle of leadership, the rebozo. Rita Urquijo-Ruiz is our new chair-elect.
Second image above: Annemarie Perez with Karen Mary Davalos and Karen Mary’s daughter
All images in series by Susana Gallardo