Monthly Archives: July 2018

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From the NACCS Chair

by Aureliano M. DeSoto, Chair 2018-2019

Aureliano M. DeSoto, Chair 2018-19

Queridxs NACCS members,

Happy Summer! I hope you’re all enjoying a rejuvenating summertime. I bring you greetings and salutations from the Board of NACCS.

I would like to welcome and congratulate the newly elected members of the Board: Chair-Elect Karleen Pendleton Jimenez (Trent University), Secretary Lilia Soto (University of Wyoming), Treasurer-Elect Ernesto Colin (Loyola Marymount University), and new At-Large Representatives Francisco Villegas (Kalamazoo College) and Maria Gonzalez (University of Houston). I also wish to thank those who participated in the election for these positions, including Roberto Hernandez (San Diego State University) and Ron Lopez (Sonoma State University). Thank you all for your continuing service to NACCS.

Our new Chair-Elect Karleen Pendleton Jimenez is currently developing the 2019 Call for Papers. Please anticipate this CFP in August with an October submission deadline. We look forward to another exciting and invigorating meeting next spring.

Since we concluded our highly successful national conference in Minneapolis-Saint Paul this past April, your Board has been working to ensure that NACCS remains a key presence in matters concerning Chicano/Latino students, scholars, and communities across the nation. In particular, the Board has been working on organizational communiqués related to resolutions passed at the national conference, including a letter of support for the successfully passed California Assembly Bill 2772, which mandates required Ethnic Studies curriculum for students in California high schools, protecting and advocating for vulnerable faculty from threats to their academic freedom, and supporting formal campus sanctuary policies for undocumented students. Additionally, the Board is also working on a statement regarding the current administration’s family separation policies related to asylum-seeking refugees at the southern border.

We are currently living through a strange and tumultuous period, which may in fact reflect the birth of a new and horrific normal. Latin American immigrants in particular, and Chicano/Latino people in general, are increasingly the focus of nativist, xenophobic violence: rhetorical, physical, and systematic. How we respond as scholars and as an organization to this challenging moment is but one part of what will determine the future of Chicano and Latino people in the United States. Chicanxs are no strangers to struggle, and we must draw on the lessons of the past as well as develop new and innovative strategies for moving forward, securing increased civil, economic, and political rights for Chicanxs and Latinxs, and (re)establishing the fundamental legitimacy of Chicano and Latino communities as an integral part of the past and future of the United States.

It is difficult to advocate for optimism now, but we need to remain cognizant of the need for joy as well as struggle as we face these unparalleled challenges. As educators, scholars, and students, let us recall the words of Yuri Kochiyama: “Our ultimate objective in learning about anything is to try to create and develop a more just society.” So, let us gladly take up this challenge with the determination and the knowledge that, in the end, we shall win.

I encourage the membership to read two important pieces about our current political situation by our NACCS scholars,Kevin Johnson (2008) and Devon Peña (2013).

¡Palante, Siempre Palante!

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

Assets and Liability Reports July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

by Chalane Lechuga, Treasurer

Chalane Lechuga, Tresurer


Asset and Liability Report

July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

As of December 31, 2017, NACCS assets totaled $74,476.53. This total includes a checking account balance of $60,044.14, donations ($547.99), and membership dues paid ($10,297.85). The total assets also include 2018 conference income in the amount of $3,587.00. The liabilities include operating expenses in the amount of $14,898.56.  The total liabilities were $14,898.56. The Net Worth of NACCS as of December 31, 2017 is $59,577.97.

2017-18 NACCS Asset_Liability



Antonia Casteñeda Endowment

Asset and Liability Report

July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

On December 31, 2017, the total value of the Antonia Casteñdea Endowment was $27,868.95.   There was an overall increase in value of 218$2,020.16 from July 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017. The Net Worth of the Antonia Casteñdea Endowment as of December 31, 2017, is $27,868.95.

2017-18 NACCS AC Asset_Liability 

NACCS Membership Report

In 2017, NACCS members totaled 525. Graduate (169) and undergraduate students (102) constitute the largest contingent of NACCS members totaling 271. The largest Foco is Southern California with 219 members. The largest caucus is the Chicana caucus with 135 members. There are 41 NACCS scholars as of 2017.

2017 Membership 

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

Chicana and Chicano Studies Loses Another Warrior

By Julia E. Curry-Rodriguez, Executive Director NACCS

José Augustín Luz Díaz de León Villa

Chicana and Chicano Studies lost another warrior in June 2018! The San José community received the sad news from Joseph Villa, the son of José that his father had passed. We include his obituary here because it is important to remember the ones who came before us and whose courage, commitment and labor allowed us not only to develop an academic field of Chicana and Chicano Studies, but also to institutionalize departments and programs. At San José State University, Jose Villa was one of the founders of the first Mexican American Studies graduate program in 1969, with the name Mexican American Graduate Studies.

On July 19 Kathy Blackmer Reyes and I were in a community of southern Colorado engaging in research and made a pilgrimage to the New Mexican town of Alcalde to attend the mass and reception for Profesor Villa. The ceremony was moving and inspirational. It was amazing to learn about this gentleman who committed all of his adult life to bettering the lives of others, preserving his culture, and making the pathway for race and ethnic studies.

At the reception we were asked to leave a written memory of our awareness or interactions with José. I concentrated on being thankful for his work and for his inspiration. I met and spoke with Joseph and promised to follow up on the development of an archive of his father’s work at SJSU. I offered him my NACCS pin because without José Villa, his contributions and actions in the years of what his family states was “the Chicano Revolution” we would not have a present or a future as Chicana/ Studyists.

I was especially moved by the acknowledgement that my home department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at SJSU was inspired by activist people who were dedicated to work and not only to their personal professional development. José Villa and his fellow revolutionaries (including Dr. Ernesto Galarza, Dr. George Castro, Dr. Hector Cordova and many others) were in fact professional in every aspect of their collective work in the community. They used their research skills to develop their positions, to introduce policy, and to make demands on various institutions. I am thankful that Profesor José Villa made it possible for me to come many years later. I pledge to continue his work in the most humble manner – recognizing that much of the heavy lifting of institutionalization had taken place. Following his memorial I left Alcalde and his family with the renewed commitment to not forget the ones that offered their lives to ensure we can engage in our academic discipline but not without a commitment to our people and our culture. His grandson Jesús helped me to focus while he sang with a beautiful Spanish baritone voice as he strummed on his guitar, las canciones de su abuelo activista. Thank you, Profesor José Villa for your faith in us. Que en paz descanse compañero!

This obituary was shared with me by his son Joseph Villa.

José Augustín Luz Díaz de León Villa, 87, longtime resident of La Villita, NM, died peacefully at his adobe home on June 27, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. The last of his generation, he was preceded in death by his parents, Encarnación and Luz Díaz de León Villa, seven brothers and seven sisters. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Clare Cresap Villa and his eight children: Daniel (Jennifer), Mariluz (Tom Reynolds), Christopher (Margo), Gregory (Lisa),Virginia (Michael Hansen), John (Meli), Joseph (Kathleen), and Angela (Thollem McDonas); thirteen grandchildren: Jesús (Lily) Villa, Cipriano (Devin) Villa, Roxanne Jackson, Joseph Reynolds, Nicolás Villa, Emma Villa, Samuel Villa, Artemis (Matt) Ettsen, Persephone Eglaine, Alejandra Villa, Jessica (Christopher) Carbajal, Louis Villa and Lydia Villa; one great-grandchild, Lilith Ida Ettsen; numerous nieces and nephews of several generations, and a grateful community of co-workers and friends.

José was born in Clovis, NM, to Mexican immigrant parents with whom he and his siblings worked the cotton and broomcorn fields of Eastern New Mexico and West Texas for many years. He attended Our Lady of Guadalupe elementary school and Sacred Heart High School in Clovis, as well as St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, OH. He earned his BA in Inter-American Affairs from UNM in Albuquerque, his MSW from Arizona State U in Tempe, AZ, and his MA in Education from San José State U. in San José, CA.

In 1955, after completing four years in the Air Force serving in Korea and Japan, he married his high school sweetheart, Clare, and began on a life journey which took the family to Lovington and Albuquerque, NM, Yuma and Phoenix, AZ, San José and Felton, CA, until his retirement in 1992 when the couple returned to New Mexico to live in the adobe ruin in La Villita that they and their extended family had been restoring every summer since 1982.

José, a gifted community organizer, left his mark on every community that he touched. He helped develop the Community Council in Phoenix at the time of the War on Poverty under President Johnson; after appointment in 1969 as the first faculty member of the School of Social Work at San José State University in San José, CA, he helped in the formation of that School, taught Community Development classes for many years and served as Interim Dean for two years. He developed the Mexican American Community Services Agency into a major force in San José during the Chicano Revolution in the 1970’s, and served two years as director of the Mexican-American Graduate Studies Department at SJSU. He also worked several years for the San José Unified School District in Bilingual Education projects.

Shortly after retiring to the Española area, he co-organized the Española Valley/Los Alamos Habitat for Humanity group, which continues to thrive enthusiastically in the community. He worked two years for the Española Middle School as Parent Liaison, after which he set about uniting the local faith communities to take action against drug abuse in the Interfaith Leadership for the Advancement of all People (ILEAP) effort. He lobbied on behalf of AARP for two legislative sessions and helped raise funds for many local non-profits including the Española Valley Arts Festival and the Abiquiú Library. His last, and perhaps most beloved, project targeted designation of the northern Rio Grande as a National Heritage Area, which was achieved after many years of preparation by a dedicated group of local heritage aficionados.

He was a devoted member of the Hermandad at the Morada de Nuestra Señora de Dolores del Alto in Abiquiú, NM, as well as a Lector and Eucharistic Ministerat St. Anne’s Church in Alcalde.

Rivera Family Funeral Home is in charge of cremation. Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Anne’s Church in Alcalde at 9:00 AM on Thursday, July 19, preceded by a Santo Rosario at 8:00 AM led by his Hermanos from Abiquiú and followed by a reception at 10:00 AM at the Oñate Center in Alcalde.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Habitat forHumanity Española/Los Alamos (726 N Riverside Dr, Espanola, NM or St. Mary Indian Mission (P.O. Box 39, Tohatchi, NM87325;

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

The Legal Rights of Asylum-Seekers: A Primer for the Trump Administration

by Kevin Johnson, NACCS Scholar 2008

Kevin Johnson, NACCS Scholar 2008

With a focus on aggressive enforcement of the immigration laws, President Trump has kept immigration in the headlines. And few committed to the humanitarian treatment of immigrants believe that the administration can be trusted.

The latest issue concerns migrants, including many women and children, from Central America. Many of these migrants have come to this country seeking asylum under U.S. law, which they have the right to do. Migration from this troubled region is nothing new, but the President has responded like no other president in recent memory. President Trump first adopted a heartless family separation policy and then abandoned it for a policy that will detain immigrant families together. What has gotten lost in the shuffle and political rhetoric, however, are the legal rights of the migrants in question. Although the President claims that the immigration laws must be enforced, his administration is not committed to protecting the legal rights of immigrants.

Working diligently to deliver on his campaign promises to crackdown on immigration enforcement, Trump has taken a number of steps to implement a “zero tolerance” policy. This was the motivation behind his original decision to separate families, which officials hoped would deter future immigrants. After unified political pressure (including from Republican congressional leaders), Trump backed down and issued an executive order ending the policy.

The White House also announced that the family separation policy would be replaced with one allowing for the detention of entire families. President Barack Obama’s administration operated family detention centers in Pennsylvania, Texas and, for a time, New Mexico. Critics argued that family detention was inhumane. There is no reason to believe family detention authorized by Trump wouldn’t be the target of similar legal challenges as well as political ones. And humanitarian concerns represent only one aspect of Trump’s potential legal problems.

First of all, keeping families in detention during the pendency of legal proceedings would require changing the consent decree from the class-action lawsuit that was initially brought against the Reagan administration as Flores v. Meese and was eventually settled by the Clinton administration in 1997. Known generally as the Flores settlement, this landmark decision limits the detention of migrant children.

Anticipating this, Section 3(e) of the executive order instructs the attorney general to modify the Flores settlement agreement “in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.”

There are also important constitutional concerns involving the rights of unauthorized immigrants and asylum seekers to due process. These concerns can only be fully understood if we look at the general rights of noncitizens seeking asylum under the U.S. immigration laws.

U.S. law allows noncitizens who flee persecution on account of race, political opinion, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group to seek asylum in the United States. Central Americans fleeing violence have been seeking asylum since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980.

Under the applicable regulations, noncitizens apprehended in the U.S. by immigration authorities still have the constitutional right to a removal hearing that complies with the due process clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. (President Trump has stated that hearings are not required and has called for summary deportations, an idea that nobody is picking up on.). An immigration court at the removal hearing is tasked with evaluating whether noncitizens should be allowed to remain in America.

But the immigration courts are backlogged, and it can take months and sometimes years before a hearing is held. In the past, noncitizens have been eligible for bond during this period, provided he or she does not pose a flight risk or danger to public safety. President Trump referred to this practice, which the law requires, disparagingly as “catch and release.” He signed a memo in April ending the so-called “catch and release” of immigrants into the community.

Some critics argue that those who are released on bond fail to appear in court when the time comes. But data show that the vast majority of families who are apprehended and bond out of custody subsequently appear at their removal hearings. Thus, a policy ordering the indefinite detention of families must be viewed in large part as a way to force desperate families to abandon possibly valid asylum claims.

Here, again, the Trump administration should anticipate legal trouble. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court in Jennings v. Rodriguez sent a case back to the lower courts to decide whether detention without a bond hearing and possible release violated due process.

Although the Supreme Court has not addressed the lawfulness of such tactics, the lower courts have. For example, in Orantes-Hernandez v. Thornburgh, a court of appeals in 1990 found mass immigrant detention and various related policies by the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and the first President George Bush to be unlawful. The policies included detaining immigrants in remote locations where it was difficult for them to retain legal counsel. The court found that the policies represented a concerted effort to deter asylum claims.

More recently, a court found that the Obama administration’s mass detention of Central Americans violated the rights of migrant children. In Flores v. Lynch (2016), the court of appeals found that detained children must be released after 20 days in accordance with the original Flores agreement. Trump’s executive order instructs Attorney General Sessions to try to amend the original Flores settlement in order to allow for indefinite detention of children, which seems like an uphill battle.

There remains some confusion as to what the Trump administration’s detention policy will look like going forward. A report published by the Washington Post claims that noncitizens who were detained at the border with children would not be held at this time due to a lack of resources. Meanwhile, a Justice Department spokesperson told the Washington Post that there “has been no change to the Department’s zero tolerance policy to prosecute adults who cross our border illegally instead of claiming asylum at any port of entry at the border.”

What is clear, however, is that whatever decision the administration makes will be carefully scrutinized by legal experts and advocates working to protect the rights of everyone, citizens and noncitizens alike, who steps foot on American soil.

Kevin R. Johnson is dean and Mabie-Apallas professor of public interest law and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Davis School of Law. He is NACCS Scholar 2012 and an active member of his Foco. This piece is adapted from a post on the NBC News blog.

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BIOPOLITICS: Child gulags in ‘telluric’ America

by Devon G. Peña, NACCS Scholar 2013

Devon G. Peña, NACCS Scholar 2013

“Autochthonous defenders of the home soil, who died for our altars and our hearths, the national and patriotic heroes who went into the woods, all elemental, telluric force in reaction to foreign invasion.”

—Carl Schmitt, The Theory of the Partisan, 52.

The Washington Post ran a story last week (May 15) about how the Trump administration is implementing a policy separating children from their parents or other relatives if they are caught trying to enter the U.S. without the standing to do so legally. The headline read: “Trump administration preparing to hold immigrant children on military bases.” It was featured under the topical by-line “NATIONAL SECURITY”, a problematic choice I will return to because it merits criticism about the role of the mainstream media in normalizing Trumpian national security policies.

Many of these families are from indigenous and working-class communities in Central America and Mexico and are fleeing the effects of decades of U.S. foreign, military, and trade policies associated with the violence of neoliberal shock doctrines in place since the early 1970s.

The idea of splitting up families apprehended and detained during unauthorized border crossings is one facet of an over-reaching and over-arching fully-militarized policy of direct repression of people in transmotion based on an ultra-nationalist ideology that declares white people must defend their imagined homeland from threatening (criminal, unintelligent, unassimilable) others. This from the descendants of the true invaders and settler colonists.

It must be noted this draconian measure has a longer history. During the Obama Administration in 2012, there were cases of young children in foster care for two years or longer, while parent(s) languished in federal detainment facilities awaiting deportation for being in the country without legal status (see the report by Ryan J. Stanton in the Ann Arbor News, April 15, 2012).

We can go deeper and mention the history of Native American children forced into missionary boarding schools to be stripped of their language and cultural memory. Xicanxs also faced forced deculturation in Americanization classrooms, often staged in the broom closet for “special ed” kids. It would seem white America has a problem with a nasty history of basically kidnapping or segregating and then mistreating other people’s children. Surely the courts will find this constitutes cruel and unusual punishment to the children and their relatives? We will have to wait and see how the policy unfolds and is challenged.

I wish to make two points about the split-the-children-from-their-parents policy: First, a point about the deplorable base of racists, white supremacists, and other telluric partisans mobilized by Trumpian racism: They may be ‘nativists’ but they sure as hell are not native.

We must end the self-righteous legitimizing narrative and brand it as false before the public discourse and popular imagination. This will starve the white supremacists of the type of resentiment they need to thrive. Everyone needs to remind white people how many are descendants of violent and interloping settler colonial populations and other less fortunate arrivants whose genealogies are not indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, unlike Mexicans, Guatemalans, and others with millennial indigenous roots across the entire continent and who now face the terror of the status of illegality.

Now about the Washington Post topic by-line of NATIONAL SECURITY. The only way I can see this as a national security issue is by noting how the regime in the White House is violating the constitutional rights of children and their relatives. This a threat to the prospects for security in democracy in a settler colonial nation-state bent on exercising the constituted power of white supremacists. The by-line follows the Trumpian logic of misconstructing immigration law reduced to a policy analog of national security. This has been part of a decades-old discursive strategy seeking to criminalize all immigrants by misrecognizing them as the moral equivalents of terrorists in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. This is especially painful and harmful to displaced indigenoustransborder travelers who are only guilty of trying to escape death squads, narco-drug cartels, and other forms of structural violence unleashed by neoliberal shock doctrine policies of all recent U.S. administrations including Obama and Clinton had she won (never forget Berta Caceres).

Our social justice movements must foment awareness of these facts and punctuate the narrative by focusing attention on the legal and political consequences of the criminalization of those displaced by the American empire.

Second, this sort of draconian action has happened before. The case of the legal targeting of children as part of the pogroms of the Nazis in Germany is instructive to the point that it renders the question – is Trumpian ideology a form of fascism? – moot. This does not mean the U.S. is fascist. It does suggest we have an Executive intent on being a charismatic strong man like the killer Duterte he so admires and is a threat to any future, strongly indigenized, democratic prospects.

On being the new ‘Rhineland Bastards’

Ina Friedman is among the historians and social scientists focused on the “other victims” of Nazi laws. She notes how it was not just Jewish children who were affected but rather “…the lives of black children, who were the offspring of German women and African soldiers stationed in the Rhineland after World War I. Many of these so-called ‘Rhineland Bastards’ were picked up from the streets or from classrooms and sterilized, often without anesthesia. Due to the application of the “Law for the Prevention of Off-spring with Hereditary Defects,” which was passed in 1933, approximately 400 of these children were deprived of their right to reproduce.”

Following the Kristallnacht pogrom (commonly known as “The Night of Broken Glass”) on November 9-10, 1938, Nazi legislation barred Jews from all public schools and universities, as well as from cinemas, theaters, and sports facilities. In many cities, Jews were forbidden to enter designated “Aryan” zones. Sound familiar? (as recounted in The Holocaust Encyclopedia).

Let us therefore resolve to understand how #BlackLivesMatter, #Not1More, and similar movements are justified forms of civil disobedience against the real existing threat of daily lived violence at the hands of white telluric partisans, who are like the Schmitt irregulars, white men like Zimmerman who murdered Trayvon and got away with it because grandma had her way with stand you ground laws in Florida.

Illustrating this will further empower our indigenous social justice movements to challenge as unfounded, the claims over the policing and regulation of citizenship as articulated by fake telluric partisans with their questionable status as righteous natives. By overthrowing the nativist mythos and revealing the settler colonial origins of Trumpian white nationalism we may take a vital step across racially-politicized and polarized differences to advance movement toward a rethinking and indigenized  remaking of the very meaning of citizenship and territory. There really is nothing more repugnant than the children of invaders assuming the position of the elemental telluric force. The only telluric partisans in this conflict are the indigenous peoples of this hemisphere.

It is worth recalling Carl Schmitt in The Theory of the Partisan on the nature of the telluric partisan for it reveals how compelling the need is for us to challenge the delusion of nativity used by the deplorable base of white nationalists to justify the violence encouraged by the current strongman in the White House:

The partisan has then a real, but not an absolute enemy. That proceeds from his political character. Another boundary of enmity follows from the telluric character of the partisan. He defends a patch of earth to which he has an autochthonic relation. His basic position remains defensive despite his increasing mobility. He comports himself just as St. Joan of Arc did before her ecclesiastical court of judgment. She was not a partisan; she fought the English in a regular way. When asked a theological trick question by the judge—whether she claimed God hated the English—she responded: “Whether God loved or hated the English, I do not know, I only know that they must be driven out of France.”We have a choice: Allow the friend and enemy distinction to continue functioning as a primary driver of white nationalist politics, or reclaim our status as the true telluric partisans who really are the natives in this world-transformative dispute. We are the Helots among the Spartans at the gates of Athens, all elemental and fiercely grounded in our, for now, transborder homeland.

Original Article Appeared in Mexmigration

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

New Board Members Reflect Upon Their First NACS/NACCS Experience

NACXS 1993: Queer Chicanas on the Move

Karleen Pendleton Jiménez, Chair Elect

Karleen Pendleton Jiménez, Chair-Elect

Nineteen Ninety-two was my first NACXS, but 1993 is when I got hooked.  In the months leading up to the conference on early morning Saturdays, I’d hop into the back of Prof. Curry’s car in Albany.  She’d throw me a warm foil wrapped burrito and she and Kathy would drive and talk sociology and literature to me before my brain was working; it still felt like I was getting smarter hearing it though.  We’d arrive at San Jose State into a room full of older guys who were part of the conference organizing committee. 

I was the queer rep for the San Jose site committee and I felt young and intimidated surrounded by these established straight scholars.  I spoke up a couple of times.  I fought to have a bright pink queer tip sheet included in everyone’s folders, with local queer friendly hang-outs and resources listed.  I got us a queer greeting table too.  Both seemed like a huge deal. 

For their part, when it came to deciding on a major speaker, they seemed torn between Anzaldua and Moraga.  At the time I thought, “wow, the lesbians aren’t in the room, but they’re the biggest stars these guys could think of.”  We’ve made some ground.

At the conference itself, I presented my first ever paper, “New Languages of Love Entre Chicanas” and Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano was in the audience and I was floored.  We also packed a room with a dyke fashion show panel with an mc, music, outfits, and awards, including Deb Vargas, Sandra Soto, myself, Lisa Arellanes, Marcia Ochoa, and others.  If the academy could be a room full of dykes talking, laughing, theorizing, and dancing, then I thought I could be part of it. 

Later that night, we chose a queer club off the list to celebrate, and danced til closing.  Arriving back at the hotel around 3 am, one of the women in our group was punched by a young straight male NACXS participant.  We hurried to get hotel security, but they turned on us, deciding that we were too young to be out this late.  We called members of the coordinating committee, but they weren’t interested in assisting us either.  Finally, I called Prof. Curry from my foco.  She called others and finally got Kathy to come down.  They stayed with us to meet the police and to submit our report.  

The next day, we went to the Lesbian Caucus [now known as the LMBT Caucus] to tell them what happened and to ask for some kind of support.  Rusty was leading the group, full of concern and outrage, and she brought us to stand together in a long line at the front of the next plenary.  We condemned the violence, and asked NACXS members to take seriously the danger of homophobia, my friend’s wounded queer body an example of the consequences.  I felt the shock of the room, and their warmth.  They were appalled that we had been hurt. 

NACXS 1993, for me, was queer Chicana celebration, vulnerability, and solidarity with our membership.


First Recollections

Ernesto Colín, Treasurer-Elect

Ernesto Collin, Treasurer

My first recollections of NACCS are hazy, but the impact has been long-lasting. I attended high school in San José, CA and, as a first-generation high school student within an all-boys private school, I found a safe and generative space in a school-club called La Raza Unida. There, I developed my Xicano identity and learned about Chicanx art, literature, history, and activism. My world opened up substantially in those formative years. We had mentors from MEChA at San José State University who invited us to community events in those days: I remember marching with the UFW, a Francisco X. Alarcón Snake Poems reading, and going to an American Me film screening/discussion. Meanwhile, the NACCS conference came to San José (1993). I was in school during the week, but did make it to the conference for a bit on Saturday. I remember walking around the hotel, dazzled by the number of students and scholars who looked like me and who presented on topics excluded from my entire schooling career. I felt invigorated, thirsty for more. I didn’t not know it at the time, but in the rooms and halls of the Fairmont hotel were future professors, colleagues, scholars, and artists who I would read, admire, and who would leave an imprint on my life and scholarship.

Sustained by the ethnic studies we carved out for ourselves in high school, I chose Chicana/o Studies as one of my college majors. I kept attending MEChA statewide conferences and other academic meetings. This propelled me to graduate school and soon I was presenting and taking part in NACCS regularly (Guadalajara, Seattle, Pasadena, Chicago, SLC, San Francisco, etc.) Completing a circle perhaps, I presented in San José in 2007. I came into leadership in the organization, took my own students, helped hold space for ceremony and elders, and established professional relationships that supported my work and path to university tenure. I have appreciated the friendships, the evolutions, and the frictions within the organization. I am gratified to be a part of the fabric of the organization.


Home Coming

Francisco Villegas, At-large Representative

Villegas (right side) with his students and Prof. Josie Mendez-Negrete (center). NACCS Irvine, 2004.

While I have been part of NACCS since 2004, I was unable to attend a national meeting until thirteen years later. I would often hear about the different conference from friends and colleagues and look forward to being able to attend. When I finally had my opportunity two years ago in Irvine, I loved it. I brought six of my students and everyone was incredibly kind and generous to us. It was a sense of coming home and everyone welcomed us as family. We were so impressed that this year, with it being held in the Midwest, we brought 17, ten of whom shared their work. My students had never seen so many people in academia that looked like them, talked like them, and came from communities like theirs. They had also not experienced the type of spaces that valued our ontologies and epistemologies. It not only made it look possible for them to reach that space, but also to do so without selling out to hegemonic ideas about our communities. In this way, NACCS has been an important space for me to develop a sense of home within academia and to find work that is relevant to my community. Having spent so much time away, it has been a great experience to find connections to my own roots and I appreciate the opportunity to play a bigger role in the organization.


First Time

Maria C. Gonzalez, At-large Representative

Maria Gonzalez, At-Large Rep.

Editor’s Note: Although this is not the first time Maria is part of the NACCS Board, as she has held several posts as a caucus chair, a foco representative and as an At-large representative (until 2017). So she did leave us for a short time and was reappointed when an At-large rep resigned mid-term from his post. We are pleased that she was elected/reelected by the membership.

The first NACCS I ever attended was in San Antonio in 1992 when NACCS was NACS – National Association for Chicano Studies.  With or without “Chicanas” in the name, it has always been welcoming conference. I was a newly minted Ph.D. out of a large Midwestern University with very little direct connections to NACS.  I only knew the names of presenters through reading their books and articles.  Today, I consider many of its longtime members good friends.  And while I have seen my share of the struggles within the organization, I can say I would rather be at any NACCS conference than to ever have to attend another MLA meeting again.


Lilia Soto, Secretary

Lilia Soto, Secretary

My first NACCS experience was in 2003 Los Angeles. I presented with my fellow Ethnic Studies classmates from UC Berkeley in 2004, Albuquerque. But it took me, to take my students to the 2015 NACCS meeting in San Francisco to remind me how I felt attending NACCS as a student.  My colleague and I took four students from the Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Wyoming, who had been accepted to present their research.  The title of the panel, “The Neglect of Mexican Immigrants in the Equality State,” included papers by four of our brightest undergraduates who were interested in exploring the meaning of being Chicana/o in a state like Wyoming where the majority of the population does not look like them.  They were interested in exploring migration in a non-gate state that everyone seems to forget.  I had the pleasure and privilege of working with these students from the initial stages: putting the proposal together, completing their papers, and rehearsing their papers out loud.  For all of them, this was their first NACCS.  The panel was well attended and the audience was quite interested in understanding what it meant to be Chicana/o in a state like Wyoming, when and how they arrived, how they survive, and what they hoped to pursue upon graduation.   As someone from California who grew up surrounded by Chicana/o/Latinx communities who moved to Laramie, I have become used to such questions.  For the students, however, this was new, which made their lived experiences and research projects all the more special and important as the audience was receiving first-hand accounts of life beyond the Southwest.

Upon returning home, we debriefed.  The students spoke to what it felt like to be surrounded by so many people who looked like them, by scholars whom they had read, and overall by the collegiality and camaraderie they received.  Friendships were forged.  Attending NACCS allowed our students to ponder on pursuing M.A. and Ph.D. degrees and return to their state and make changes at various levels.  Sometimes we forget what such intellectual spaces mean. It is wonderful to be reminded and I thank my students for reminding me of how I felt attending my first NACCS back in 2003.

Board Secretary Says Adios y Gracias!

Dear NACCSistas,

Jennie Luna, NACCS Secretary 2016-2018

As outgoing Secretary of the Board, I want to share a few notes from our annual meeting and a few observations of the work ahead of us. In our recent board election, we had 138 members vote out of the 397 paid members. While this is actually a significant number of voters in comparison to past years, I want to encourage our members to take a more active role in our organization, not only in voting for your national representation, but in taking on leadership roles in your regional focos.

Please remember to keep your membership updated annually and encourage others to become members of our organization. Your membership dues sustain our operations as an organization, while your registration at our annual conference is what pays for the conference itself. This year, in the days leading up to the conference, we had 200 pre-registered attendees, but 400 people listed as presenters on the program. The earlier you register, the more accurate our account can be as we prepare for the conference. Further, it is vital that presenters and all attendees pay their membership and conference registration. So many of us have benefited over the years professionally and personally from NACCS. For many of us, it is where we first presented at a national academic conference. It has given us a platform to share our research and engage in important discussions about our field; it has provided a space to bring together scholars, activists, and community in order to advocate for all that we value in Chicana/o Studies. It has been a space to cultivate the next generation of Chicana/o Studies scholars. Therefore, it is critical that we invest in NACCS through our membership fees, conference registration, website and program advertisement purchases, and donations. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Third World Liberation Front and the birth of the Plan de Santa Barbara, it is important to reflect on the next 50 years of our discipline and how we can continue to grow NACCS.

As a board, we discussed the need to restructure the way we pay for membership and registration online. The current invoice structure is extremely labor intensive and will be retired. The board will work on developing a more streamlined way of handling payments in the future, with clear instructions for our members. We are exploring how to make our website more accessible and how to add links to pay caucus dues and give donations.

I am excited about our National board leadership and look forward to the work they will continue to produce for our organization. I look forward to supporting the incoming secretary, Lilia Soto and have confidence in all the new incoming leadership on board that they will continue to good work of NACCS.

Lastly, I want to publicly thank and express my admiration for the Executive Director, Associate Director and the entire board for your leadership, collegiality, and perseverance. I have learned and gained so much over the past 2 years as secretary and encourage others to consider service to NACCS in the future.

Con respeto,

Jennie Luna, Board Secretary: 2016-2018

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

FINALLY, I get to be Past Chair!

by V. June Pedraza – NACCS Chair, 2016-2018

V. June Pedraza, Chair 2016-18

I have been a member of NACCS since I was in graduate school, and I have always believed in the work that this organization cultivates and engages in.  My work in the Tejas foco lead to my nomination for NACCS Chair.

The Foco and its membership taught me about what it was to be a Chicana in academia and in our community. I continue to draw support from the leadership in my foco as I continue to participate on the board.  As the chair of NACCS for the last two years, I find myself more engaged in keeping the organization alive and thriving.  I know that this year’s board will thrive and bring new ideas.   While I still have one more year remaining on the Board, I will always care for this organization and look forward to working with our new board members.

While technically I should have transitioned off the Board this year, I was drawn back to complete another year as Chair for 2017-2018. So now, as I finally take my role as Past-Chair, I have a greater appreciation for the work it takes to put on the national conference, as this is my third one that I have seen from beginning to end.  I must thank everyone for their participation at the NACCS 2018 conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It was an amazing conference, and “The Queer Turn” brought about so many needed and great conversations within the academy.

Of course, I want to thank the hardworking NACCS board members for making this year’s conference happen. In addition, much appreciation is extended to the Midwest Foco for all the energy and work that made the conference memorable.

I am also very excited about this year’s NACCS board, and I am happy that Dr. Aureliano M. DeSoto will serve as the 2019 NACCS Board Chair.

Thank you again to all the NACCS members, and I look forward to NACCS 2019.

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

New Foco and Caucus Reps 2018

New Foco and Caucus Reps 2018

• Pacific Northwest Foco: Norma Cardenas;

• East Coast Foco: José A. de la Garza Valenzuela;

• Tejas Foco:Felipe Hinojosa;


• Lesbian BiMujeres Trans Caucus: Nadia Zepeda;

• Joto Caucus: Meño Santillana:

• Chicana Caucus:Yvette Saavedra; and

Isabel Millan;

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1

2018 NACCS Resolutions and New Procedure

From the Board:

NACCS 2018 Resolutions:

  1. Defending Academic Freedom on all College and University Campuses, Northern CA Foco
  2. Establishing Ethnic Studies as a Graduation Requirement in California High Schools, Northern CA Foco (endorsed by SoCal Foco)
  3. University/College Sanctuary policies Resisting Anti-Immigrant Discourse and Federal Immigration Policy,Northern CA Foco
  4. Resolution in defense of academic freedom and freedom of speech for Professor Abdulhadi, Palestinian scholar-activists, student-activists, and their allies, Indigenous Caucus

Approved the following resolution at the business meeting:

  1. Treasurer-Elect Resolution

Link to Full Text NACCS Resolutions 2018

New Resolution Procedure Introduced (Update July 2018)

After many years of discussion, a change to the procedure for submitting resolutions was used for the 2018 conference. The Board asked Foco and Caucus leadership to work with their members to deliberate and begin the procedure prior to the conference. The new calendar for submission asked for resolutions be sent in fourteen (14) days before the beginning of the conference to allow the Board to review, comment, and begin communications with the Leadership giving everyone sufficient time to prepare the documents to be presented the membership for voting and/or deliberation.

Five resolutions were submitted and voted on at the annual meetings. In general, Foco Reps and Caucus Chairs were favorable to the new process as it also gave them greater time to do work ahead of the conference which freed them for greater engagement during the conference. No negative comments were received regarding this process. Therefore, we will have a pro-forma resolution from the board to integrate this process into the existing by-laws.

Here is the link to the New Resolution Procedure.

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1