Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, IXth edition

The REP Planning Committee is happy to announce that the Race, Ethnicity, and Place (REP) Conference, co-sponsored by both Texas State and UT-Austin Geography Departments, will be held from October 23-25, 2018 at the beautiful Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB MACC) in Austin, Texas. The ESB MACC is located adjacent to Town Lake and the Rainey Street Historic District in downtown Austin and the nearby hotels are within walking distance of many opportunities to enjoy the lake and live music. The theme of the conference is “Engaged Scholarship: Fostering Civil and Human Rights,” with an opening reception on Tuesday evening, paper and poster sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, field trips on Friday morning, and great food, music, keynote speakers and local artist & activist participation throughout the conference. Please mark your calendars and we hope that you will be able to participate.


Background credits: Collective Mural from the ESB MACC, Austin Silhouette of undocumented migrant by Victor Blue


Keynote Speakers

Ms. Cristina Tzintzùn

Executive Director, Jolt

Ms. Cristina Tzintzùn is a nationally recognized advocate and leader in the Latino community. She was named “Hero of the New South” by Southern Living Magazine and was hailed by the New York Times for her success with Workers Defense Project (WDP). At just 24, Cristina co-founded WDP and helped pass half a dozen local and state laws to protect the rights of hundreds of thousands of workers, guaranteeing them higher wages and safer working conditions. Cristina was also named a “changemaker” by the Texas Observer, and her work has been featured on NPR, USA Today, Univision and MSNBC’s Up Late with Alec Baldwin. Cristina is the author of the book “Presente! Latino Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice” and other works on race, class and gender.

Ms. Rebecca Flores

Pro Immigrant Coalition Founder, Former United Farm Workers of America State Director

Beginning in 1975, at the UFW offices in San Juan, Texas, Ms. Rebecca Flores established a large membership among the Rio Grande valley farm workers. With these organized farm workers, Ms.Flores and her committed staff provided social services where there were none. After being trained by the Cesar Chavez and Fred Ross, she and farm workers organized dozens of committees in the colonias of the Rio Grande valley. From 1983 to 1988, she helped pass legislation improving farm workers conditions. She led annual campaigns in the Texas onion fields, organized mushroom pickers in Florida, and strawberry and grape pickers in California. For three years she was State Director of the National AFL CIO. In December 2005, Ms. Flores retired from her union job. Since 2014, she began to listen to the issue of the refugee mothers and children being detained in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas, and whose detention was based on the determination by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that they create a national security risk. After Governor Abbot signed SB4, she with the help of 2 other women formed the Pro Immigrant Coalition in San Antonio, a grass roots organization with 300 members, that supports advocates for policy changes for undocumented immigrants. Along the way she raised three children, all committed to justice in their work.

Dr. Edmund T. Gordon

Vice Provost for Diversity & Chair of the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Edmund T. Gordon is an anthropologist whose work focuses on power and social transformation in the Black Diaspora. His teaching and research interests include power and identity in the African Diaspora, critical race and gender theory, and the racial economy of space and resources. In order to bring his scholarship into public engagement, Dr. Gordon has conducted collaborative research projects with communities in Central America funded by Ford Foundation and World Bank. He also received a major grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, which supported his development of the African Diaspora Program in the Department of Anthropology at UT and the expansion of the Center for African and African American Studies. Under his leadership, the Department of African Diaspora Studies was founded in 2010. He continues his service through the creation of a Racial Geography Tour of UT Austin’s campus and is an elected member of the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees. In 2014, Dr. Gordon received UT’s highest honors, a Presidential Citation and the Pro Bene Meritis award in 2016 from the College of Liberal Arts.

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