Author Archives:

New Publications

Titles were submitted to NACCS Chair for Noticias de NACCS

Land Uprising: Native Story Power and the Insurgent Horizons of Latinx Indigeneity by Simón Ventura Trujillo 

Simón Ventura Trujillo (Assistant Professor, NYU English) has published his first scholarly monograph entitled Land Uprising: Native Story Power and the Insurgent Horizons of Latinx Indigeneity (University of Arizona Press, 2020). The book engages with New Mexican land grant struggles to rethink the relationship between Indigenous land reclamation and Latinx and Chicanx Indigeneities.

Special issue on the 50th anniversary of Ethnic Studies for the Ethnic Studies Review edited by Dr. Xamuel Bañales and Dr. Leece Lee-Oliver

The special issue on the 50th anniversary of Ethnic Studies for the Ethnic Studies Review, published by the University of California Press, was released in December of 2019. Co-edited by Dr. Xamuel Bañales and Dr. Leece Lee-Oliver, the special issue features over twenty essays that engage with the foundations, meanings, and/or futurity of Ethnic Studies, illustrating critical dialogues and efforts to maintain the field as a liberatory project. The journal features essays from a variety of activists, artists, and scholars engaged in Chicano/a/x-Latino/a/x Studies, including: Ysidro Macias, Jennie Luna, Malaquias Montoya, and Nelson Maldonado-Torres. To access the journal please visit

The Tenure-Track Process for Chicana and Latina Faculty: Experiences of Resisting and Persisting in the Academy edited by Patricia A. Perez

This anthology addresses the role of postsecondary institutional structures and policy in shaping the

tenure-track process for Chicana and Latina faculty in higher education. Major topics include the importance of early socialization, intergenerational mentorship, culturally relevant faculty programming, and institutional challenges and support structures. The aim of this volume is to highlight practical and policy implications and interventions for scholars, academics, and institutions to facilitate tenure and promotion for women faculty of color. Patricia A. Perez is Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Fullerton. 20% Discount Available – enter the code FLR40 at checkout.

Mexicanos: A History of Mexicans in the United States (3rd. Ed.) by Manuel G. Gonzalez

Responding to shifts in the political and economic experiences of Mexicans in America, this newly revised and expanded edition of Mexicanos provides a relevant and contemporary consideration of this vibrant community. Emerging from the ruins of Aztec civilization and from centuries of Spanish contact with indigenous people, Mexican culture followed the Spanish colonial frontier northward and put its distinctive mark on what became the southwestern United States. Shaped by their Indian and Spanish ancestors, deeply influenced by Catholicism, and often struggling to respond to political and economic precarity, Mexicans play an important role in US society even as the dominant Anglo culture strives to assimilate them. With new maps, updated appendices, and a new chapter providing an up-to-date consideration of the immigration debate centered on Mexican communities in the US, this new edition of Mexicanos provides a thorough and balanced contribution to understanding Mexicans’ history and their vital importance to 21st-century America.

The Movement for Reproductive Justice: Empowering Women of Color Through Social Activismby Patricia Zavella I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, The Movement for Reproductive Justice: Empowering Women of Color Through Social Activism, which is based on ethnographic research in multiple sites. It will be published by New York University Press in May of 2020 ( Here is the book blurb: “Shows how reproductive justice organizations’ collaborative work across racial lines provides a compelling model for other groups to successfully influence change.

“Patricia Zavella experienced first-hand the trials and judgments imposed on working professional mothers: her commitment to academia was questioned because of her pregnancy; she was shamed for having children while ‘too young;’ and when she finally achieved a tenure track position in 1983, she felt out of place as one of the few female faculty members with children.

These experiences sparked Zavella’s interest in the movement for reproductive justice. In this book, she draws on five years of ethnographic research to explore collaborations among women of color engaged in activism on behalf of reproductive justice. Many organizations focused on reproductive justice activism are racially specific, such as the California Latinas for Reproductive Justice or Black Women for Wellness. Yet Zavella documents how many of these organizations have built cross-sector coalitions, sharing resources and supporting each other through different campaigns or struggles. While the coalitions are often regional—or even national—these organizations have specific constituencies diverse by race, sexual identities, legal status, or ethnicity, presenting unique challenges and opportunities for the women involved.

Zavella argues that these organizations provide a compelling model for negotiating across differences within constituencies. In the context of the “war” on women’s reproductive rights and its disproportionate effect on women of color, The Movement for Reproductive Justice demonstrates that a truly intersectional movement built on grassroots organizing, culture shift work, and policy advocacy for women’s human rights can offer visions of strength, resiliency, and dignity for all.”

Patricia Zavella is Professor Emerita, Latin American & Latino Studies Department, at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Cabañuelas by Norma Elia Cantú

Nena leaves Laredo, Texas, and moves to Madrid, Spain, to research the historical roots of traditional fiestas in Laredo. Immersing herself in post-Franco Spain and its rich history, its food, music, and fiestas, Nena finds herself falling for Paco, a Spaniard who works in publishing. Nena’s research and experiences teach her about who she is, where she comes from, and what is important to her, but as her work comes to a close, Nena must decide where she can best be true to her entire self: in Spain with Paco or in Laredo, her home, where her job and family await her return.

Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor by Norma Elia Cantú

The poems are a celebration of culture, tradition, and creativity that navigates themes of love, solidarity, and political transformation. Deeply personal yet warmly relatable, these poems flow from Spanish to English gracefully. With Gloria Anzaldúa’s foundational work as an inspiration, Meditación Fronteriza unveils unique images that provide nuance and depth to the narrative of the borderlands.

meXicana Fashion: Politics, Self-Adornment, and Identity Construction edited by Aida Hurtado & Norma E. Cantú

Fifteen scholars examine the social identities, class hierarchies, regionalisms, and other codes of communication that are exhibited or perceived in meXicana clothing styles.

Insurgent Aztlán: The Liberating Power of Cultural Resistance by Ernesto Todd Mireles

Insurgent Aztlán: The Liberating Power of Cultural Resistance reconstructs the relationship between social political insurgent theory and Xicano literature, film and myth. Based on decades of organizing experience and scholarly review of the writings of recognized observers and leaders of the process of national liberation movements, the author, Ernesto Todd Mireles, shares a remarkable work of scholarship that incorporates not only the essence of earlier resistance writing, but provides a new paradigm of liberation guidelines for the particular situation of Mexican Americans. Mireles makes a solid case for addressing the decades-long decline of Mexican American identity within itself and broadly among sectors of American society by asserting the powerful role of culture and history, each value unable to exist without the other, in the preservation and political advancement of a people. In the case of Mexican Americans, which consists of an estimated 40 million people and boasts the highest birth rate in the U.S., they constitute “a nation within a nation”. The intellectual challenge, Mireles asserts, is connecting insurgent social political theory with the existing body of Xicano literature, film and myth. The organizing challenge is how to build an insurgent identity that fosters a “return to history” to build a consensus among Mexican Americans, who are a complex collective of culturally, educationally, politically, and economically diverse people, to reclaim their historical presence in the Americas and the world. Insurgent Aztlán must be read by students from high school to graduate studies, their professors, organizers in the fields and factories, union shops, and urban community organizations, wherever Mexican Americans sense the need to re-evaluate their goals and aspirations for themselves and their families.  

Released January 2020, Promotional video:

Somos en Escritos Literary Foundation, Ernesto Todd Mireles, MSW., Ph.D. Social Justice Community Organizer Master program Coordinator, Frantz Fanon Community Strategy Center Faculty, Prescott College

Spring 2020 – Vol. 45 No. 1

Awards, Honours & Promotions

Levi Romero was recently named the Inaugural New Mexico Poet Laureate. He is an assistant professor and Director of the New Mexico Cultural Landscapes Program in Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of New Mexico.  For more information about his work and the award, see,62291.

Mari Castañeda, former NACCS Chair, has been appointed Dean of the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Karleen Pendleton Jiménez has been promoted to full professor in the School of Education & Department of Gender and Social Justice at Trent University and will serve as the director of the Graduate Program in Education.

Spring 2020 – Vol. 45 No. 1


  • Murales de mi tio translated means my uncle’s murals. The uncle and artist featured in this exhibition is Daniel “Chano” Gonzalez, a muralist during the Chicano movement in the 1970s. His nephew, Fresno State instructor Phil Gonzales, has photographed and documented the work on display. This exhibition took place at Fresno State in 2018 and was planned for NACCS 2020. Phil has made a video link available to us to experience the exhibition and presentation:
  • Norma E. Cantú, as the current President of the American Folklore Society, invites NACCS members to the Society’s next meeting that will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 14-17, 2020. Note: AFS Rebooks Tulsa Annual Meeting for 2022 but Continues to Plan for a Smaller Fall Meeting. See:
  • The Tecnológico de Monterrey and la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla will host a Coloquio Internacional on Gloria Anzaldúa September 23- 25, 2020 in Puebla. Stay tuned for further information.
  • Norma E. Cantú announced that she will no longer be hosting El Mundo Zurdo, the international conference on Gloria Anzaldua held every eighteen months since 2007. More than likely the conference will be held biannually at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
  • Spring 2020 – Vol. 45 No. 1

    Call for Noticias de NACCS Submissions

    Dear NACCS Member,

    I invite you to submit your contribution towards our summer edition of – Noticias de NACCS – NACCS Newsletter.  Submissions due July 1, 2020.

    Types of submissions sought:

    I propose two themes for the newsletter:

    • Chicana/o/x (Studies) experiences, perspectives and contributions during Covid-19
    • Share with us some of what you had wanted to present had NACCS 2020 in Seattle taken place

    In addition, we welcome any of the following:

    • Reports: Please send in any reports (from focos, caucuses, board members) that highlight any of your work and activities during the past year.
    • Regional Conferences/Activities – report with highlights and photographs
    • Member News –  completed a Ph.D., have a new job or a new book? Let’s celebrate!
    • Photos/Artwork
    • News Stories
    • Poetry/Story
    • Obituaries

    Please contact me if you have any questions, and/or submit your entries to by July 1, 2020.

    Submissions received will be selected by the Editor for publication and may be edited for length.

    Spring 2020 – Vol. 45 No. 1

    2020 NACCS Scholar

    Professor Albert M. Camarillo

    At its Midyear meetings in Seattle, Washington, the NACCS Board unanimously selected the Northern California Foco nomination of Dr. Albert M. Camarillo for NACCS Scholar.  Camarillo has been a pillar in the Chicano/a community, training a cadre of Chicana/o Historians and working on the front lines to create and include Chicano/a Studies within the Academy. He was part of the initial wave of Chicanos and Chicanas to attend college in the 1960s before affirmative action programs and laid the foundation for generations of students and faculty.

    Professor Camarillo earned his Ph.D. from UCLA in History in 1975 and promptly became a professor in the Department of History at Stanford University where he spent his entire academic career (42 years) until his retirement this year.  During his tenure at Stanford Dr. Camarillo held numerous academic and administrative positions including Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Diversity (2007-2019), Founding Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (1996-2002), Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies (1992-94), Founding Director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUP) (1985-88), and the Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Chicano Research (1980-1985).

    Professor Camarillo taught thousands of students at both graduate and undergraduate levels.  Among his students are Antonia Castañeda, (Ph.D. 1990), David G. Gutierrez, Monica Perales, Stephen J. Pitti, Vicky L. Ruiz, George J. Sanchez, and William Deverell.  It is fitting to note that in many ways Dr. Camarillo has paved the way for students to become historians in his numerous leadership roles in the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Urban History Association, and in the National Association for Chicano Studies (sic).  He served as a co-editor of the 1979 NACS proceedings “Work, Family, Sex Roles, Language” along with Francisco Hernandez and 1999 NACCS Scholar Mario Barrera.

    His dissertation, “The Making of the Chicano Community:  A History of the Chicanos in Santa Barbara, California, 1850-1930”, was nominated in 1975 as one of the best Ph.D. theses in American History in the nation and augured the impact he would have in documenting Chicana and Chicano History in the future.  Author of multiple books and articles focusing on the experiences of Mexican Americans and other racial and immigrant groups in North American Cities. Dr. Camarillo is widely regarded as one of the founders of Chicana and Chicano Studies history from his very first article and beyond.  

    The NACCS Scholar award was established in 1981 to recognize “life achievement” contributions of scholars to Chicana and Chicano Studies. 

    It is our sincere honor to welcome Dr. Camarillo as the NACCS 2020 Scholar in recognition of his life’s dedication, mentorship, and leadership in the field.  We invite everyone to celebrate Dr. Albert Camarillo in Seattle, Washington at the NACCS 47th Annual Conference during the Awards Dinner on Friday evening.

    Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1


    April 15-18, 2020
    Seattle, WA

    New Fire: The Flowering of a Union of Free Pueblos

    Submit your Proposal Today

     Deadline to submit a presentation for the 2020 conference is November 1, 2019.

    The year 1968 has long been heralded as a year of global revolution. From the Tet Offensive to Tlatelolco, and from Black, Red, Yellow and Chicano Power to Brown is beautiful and the Blowouts, the stage was set for the emergence of Chicana and Chicano Studies. The following year witnessed the Santa Barbara and Denver conferences where, respectively, the blueprint for Chicano Studies and MEChA were born and for the first time Chicanas/os declared themselves a People, a Nation, a Pueblo among other Pueblos, and Aztlán itself as a Union of Free Pueblos. As we commemorate the various 50 th anniversaries of many of these events and accomplishments, as well of several respective departments, let us also heed the call of the Zapatistas for the need to rethink our cartographies and calendars. So rather than the uncritical mapping of Aztlán premised on the national-territorial borders of western colonial nation-states or the marking of yet another decade or half-century as is the hallmark of western temporalities, let us use this upcoming 2020 conference to develop the critical hindsight and conceptual clarity on the need for a New Fire – the ceremonial rebirthing ceremony that occurs every 52 years among several Pueblos of the misnamed territories currently named Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.

    Building on last year’s theme to engage with the ways Indigenous knowledge informs our lives and work, we invite further exploration of building relationalities with the diverse Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of las Américas Profundas, Turtle Island, Abya Yala, Pachamama. A New Fire Ceremony is the basis for a rebirth, one that marks the end of four cycles of 13 years, which is integral to the cosmologies of several “Meso-American” and “Southwestern” Indigenous Nations and Peoples. Let us thus disobey the cartographic and temporal conventions of western disciplines and nations and reignite a New Fire within Chicana and Chicano Studies to intellectually, politically, epistemically and spiritually combat the violence, destruction, and displacement that characterize the civilization of death and its various modalities (racism, sexism, compulsory heterosexualism, patriarchy, genocide, classism, coloniality, epistemicide, Christian-centrism, eurocentrism, ableism, ageism, etc) that we have accepted as the norm.

    In 2020, the Peace and Dignity Journeys, an intercontinental spiritual run to reunite Eagle and Condor nations by building on the autonomy and interrelationship of all Pueblos of the northern and southern continent, will devote its prayer to the Sacred Fire. Similarly, Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress has pointed out that, “¡Ha llegado el tiempo del florecimiento de los Pueblos!” – The time of the flowering of the Pueblos has arrived! Chicanas, Xicanos, Chicanxs, Raza of all nations, genders, colors and ages have been part of and accompanied both movements from the start. So let us revisit that original call of our own for a Union of Free Pueblos to think about how Chicana and Chicano Studies can serve to (re)light the embers and kindlings of new temporalities, cartographies, epistemologies and relationalities in Abya Yala.

    Towards these “ends” or rather openings and distinct forms of walking and being in this world, we welcome papers, panels, workshops, and presentations that address the following types of questions and topics, by no means exhaustive:

    • How can we foreground a rigorous, yet combative spirit in our work, without losing sight of a creative and rasquache aesthetics and poetics ?
    • How do we dispense with pretensions to objectivity that continue delimit the possibility of decolonial imaginings and openings in academia?
    • How do we better elucidate the ways Chican@ Studies, Ethnic Studies, Queer Studies, and related fields produce knowledge above and beyond the limited myopic scopes, national imaginaries, disciplinarian divides and accompanying methodologies of traditional
    • How can we re-ignite the fire of action research in defense of our pueblos, barrios, communities, territories, lands, bodies, waters, climate, earth?
    • What might be the bases for a collective and shared understanding and refoundation of a decolonial Chicana and Chicano Studies?

    Topics may include, but are not limited to:

    Unthinking Nation-States
    The history and politics of MEChA
    Bridging or reengaging with our various Pueblos
    Learning from the land
    Indigenous foundations of Chicana/o/x Studies
    Chicana/o/x, Latina/o/x, and Indigenous Relationships
    Internationalizing Chicana/o/x Studies
    Decentering state-centric migration subjectivities
    Returning to self, ceremonia spirit and healing
    Indigenous Knowledge and Language reclamation
    Decolonizing eating and farming
    Two-spirit identities  
    Autonomies and the politics of naming
    The future of autonomies and sovereignties
    Politics of Recognition and its limits
    Critiques of appropriation
    Practices of reconciliation
    Reconceptualizing Aztlán
    Aztlán as praxis, Chicana/o/x ethnogenesis, emergence and axis mundi
    Aztlán as kinship, migration story, performativity, and queer nation
    Chicana/o/x, Latina/o/x, and Indigenous community organizing
    Urban Zapatismo
    Asambleas, caracoles and other social formations
    Collectivity as praxis
    Indigenous theory and research methodologies
    Indigenous feminisms
    Social media and technology
    Danza, Folklórico, and traditional dancing
    Youth and restorative justice
    Decolonizing borders
    The future of Ethnic Studies
    The Works of Early Chicano Thinkers and Writers
    The Historical Moment of Chicana/o/x Studies
    Xican@ Time
    Un Nosotros sin estados
    Xican@ futurities, or, the ashes of Chingon Politics

    Fall 2019 – Vol. 44 No. 1

    Conference Hotel Information

    Sheraton Grand Seattle
    1400 6th Ave
    Seattle, WA  98101
    Conference date: April 15-19, 2020
    Reservation information available soon.

    Conference Dates: Participants can begin their stay at the hotel starting April 13 and/or stay until April 20 with the conference rate based on availability. For additional dates and/or room options, please contact the hotel directly.

    The 2020 conference will be hosted at the Sheraton Grand Seattle
    Located in the heart of downtown at 6th and Pike, the Sheraton Grand Seattle provides a gateway to the diverse sights and sounds of the Pacific Northwest.

    Rates: (not including taxes) Reservations must be made by March 15 to guarantee the conference rate.  Room Rate: $159.00. Triple/Quads rooms are limited and are in high demand. Make your reservations early.

    If you plan to travel to Canada before or after the conference make sure to bring your U.S. Passport.  Canada is only a ferry ride away.

    Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

    The Antonia I. Castañeda Prize

    The award is in recognition of a published scholarly article or book chapter of an historical orientation on the intersection of class, race, gender, and sexuality as related to Chicana/Latina and/ Native/Indigenous women. The piece must have been published in November 2018 – 0ctober 2019 by a woman who is an ABD graduate student, pre-tenured faculty member, or an independent scholar. The award is designed to promote and acknowledge scholarship of an historical orientation by Chicana/Latina and/or Native/Indigenous scholars working on issues of intersectionality. No books or creative writing considered. Deadline: November 1.

    Application/Nominations Process:  Both applications and nominations are encouraged. Submit  a PDF copy of the published manuscript, paper, or article and a two-page curriculum vita of the applicant or nominee.  The submission must include a short letter by the applicant or nominee addressing the merits of the article or book chapter’s contribution to the field.   Applicants are also required to solicit a letter from a third party to that effect (e.g., from an adviser, a chair, a colleague). In all cases, applicant or nominee contact information, email address, telephone number, and mailing address, must be included in the application/nomination letter.  Submissions of all materials shall be delivered electronically by the deadline directly to:

    November 1:  Application due to NACCS at

    Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

    Immigrant Student Beca Award Extension

    EXTENDED TO JANUARY 15th, 2020

    NACCS Board has agreed to extend the deadline to accept applications for the NACCS Beca Award from students.   NACCS offers scholarships for current undocumented immigrant students who are committed to furthering the well being of Chicanas and Chicanos. Applicants must be members of NACCS, be enrolled in an accredited degree-granting institution and be an immigrant of Chicana/o heritage. The NACCS Immigrant Student Beca Fund was founded in 2008 to help Chicana and Chicano college students complete their education. The scholarships are available on a competitive basis for community college, four-year college, and graduate students. Awards range from $100 to $500. Application form at: Link Here

    Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1

    NACCS – Statement on the Climate Crisis

    The NACCS board believes it is important to have our voice as part of the global movement against climate chaos, and we have asked NACCS environmental scholars Dr. Devon Peña and Dr. Gabriel Valle to compose the following statement:

    The climate change crisis is affecting all living organisms and ecosystems on the planet but the enduring effects of decades of environmental racism are resulting in disparate impacts. Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), including Chicanx/Latinx populations, are already suffering major deleterious effects from this global process of environmental violence. It is important to understand first of all that climate chaos is not simply driven by anthropogenic (human-caused) forces but by the type of ravenous destruction of the planet’s life support systems of the global capitalist economy. The combination of extreme heat and cold weather events illustrates for us how so-called “global warming” and even “climate change” are inadequate terms to describe what is occurring and that the concept of climate chaos illustrates how the entire climate system is characterized by unpredictable disruptions with cumulative effects that scientists are only now recognizing and understanding. It is also important to understand how the effects of climate chaos are destroying ecological systems that we depend on to produce our food, medicine, clothing, and shelter. Climate chaos destroys the natural conditions of material cultures.

    We are facing a crisis in which Native communities from the Arctic to the Andes and the Pacific Rim island nations are already being devastated by the chaos of climate change. We are facing a crisis in which BIPOC and low income persons are already being killed or displaced by the effects of climate change.

    The evidence of disparate impacts must be weighed when we consider what our policy and political needs are in light of these devastating processes:

    1. Urban heat islands. Research confirms that African Americans are 52% more likely than whites to live in “urban heat islands” (UHIs) defined as microclimates that can get an extra 5 to 10 degrees hotter during heat waves. Asian Americans are 32% more likely and Latinxs are 21% more likely to live in UHIs. In the Phoenix area, the mostly Native American neighborhood of Guadalupe suffered more than a dozen deaths during the summer heat wave of 2017 which led to 155 people dying. That set a record for the state of Arizona, passing the 2016 total of 150. Most of these deaths involve BIPOC communities. These differences are results of the longstanding shameful practice of residential segregation and a lack of open green spaces and tree cover in these segregated neighborhoods.

    2. Extreme Cold Weather Mortality and Illness. Beyond the effects of heat waves, BIPOC populations are also suffering higher rates of mortality and illness as a result of extreme cold weather events affecting urban low-income barrios and rural communities including reservations.

    3. Farm and other natural resource workers. There are 2.5-3 million farmworkers in the United States. Of these 80% are Latinx and more than half of these are Mexican-origin workers an increasing number of whom are Native Mesoamericans. Between 2000 and 2010, 359 occupational heat-related deaths were identified in the U.S., for a yearly average fatality rate of 0.22 per 1 million workers. Highest rates were found among Latinx males in the agriculture and construction industries. Farm and construction workers accounted for nearly 58 percent of occupational heat deaths from 2000 to 2010, and Latinxs had three times the risk of heat-related death on the job than did non-Latinxs.[1]

    4. Climate refugees (Central America, Mexico). The so-called “Dirty Wars” and decades of neoliberal “Shock Doctrine” (including NAFTA) initiated a set of violent forces that – combined with severe drought and climate change impacts – have led to a mass forced migration of mostly Indigenous populations. These are the same populations that are being dehumanized and terrorized by US border and immigration control forces that are separating families and placing their children in cages.

    5. Displacement of ‘cultures of habitat’. Indigenous peoples are recognized for their deep traditions of resilient inhabitation of ancestral territories and are renowned for providing ecosystem services to the Earth. This is why ethnoecologists the world over have long defended “ecosystem peoples” or “cultures of habitat” and their resilient and regenerative livelihood traditions and practices.[2] The same corporate and settler colonial nation state agencies that are underlying forces of climate chaos are actively engaged in the forced relocation of Indigenous communities. In the Southwest, Native American/Chicanx acequias communities are facing the prospect of extinction and displacement due to declining mountain snowpack that serves as the water source for these celebrated community irrigation systems.[3] The cultural landscape and ecological services of the acequia systems are being damaged by the effects of drought, past and ongoing deforestation, and extreme fluctuations in weather patterns. In Alaska, the Iñupiat village of Kivalina is being relocated due to rising sea levels and it is only one of many dozens of such Arctic communities directly affected by climate chaos.

    6. Food system and food sovereignty impacts. BIPOC communities are already disproportionately affected by hunger and malnutrition. A USDA study of so-called “food insecurity” demonstrates that Mexican immigrant children suffer the highest rates of hunger and malnutrition in the U.S. BIPOC communities have long faced death by “nutricide” and are already increasing experiencing the loss of traditional foods, foodways, and heritage cuisines and of the agroecosystems and land and waterscapes that support our direct livelihood traditions and food cultures. Climate chaos is intensifying these deleterious losses of heritage cuisine, and traditional foodways and undermining our agroecosystems and our access to traditional hunting, foraging, and fishing areas.

    7. Air Quality. In 1987, the Commission for Racial Justice at the United Church of Christ released the groundbreaking report, Toxic Waste and Race in the United States.[4] The report was one of the first documents to use the term “environmental racism” to explain how communities of color are more likely to be exposed to unhealthy air, which can lead to conditions of asthma, among other things. The report shows that three-fifths of BIPOC communities live in or near areas of toxic waste. These conditions are not simply because many of these communities live in urban areas, but because of the historical process of urban planning and policy making that dictates where industrial business reside, where freeways are built and expanded, and even the flight patterns of air traffic. The commission released a second report, Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty 1987-2007, and their findings show that in spite of laws and policies created to promote justice, the conditions in many BIPOC communities remain much the same.[5] In the coming years, the climate crisis will exacerbate these conditions. In urban communities, the heat island effect (see item 1) will worsen air quality and increase the prevalence of asthma. In rural communities, the climate crisis will compound drought conditions. Air quality in Fresno, CA, recently received an F by the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2019 report.[6]  Today, approximately 43.3 percent of Americans live in counties that have unhealthy ozone and/or particle pollution – that is more than 141 million people exposed to unhealthy air.

    8. Water and Water Quality. The availability and the quality of water are both exacerbated by the climate crisis. A recent report notes that half the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas by 2025. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Even in non-water stressed areas, the quality of surface water could deteriorate as more rain and storms drive erosion and the release of toxins. These dynamics could affect everything from the availability of drinking water for people to a shortage of water for livestock and crops (with negative effects for the food supply) to decreases in hydroelectric power generation.”[7] These water quality impacts are already affecting the health of U.S. urban BIPOC communities. We have learned that Flint, MI, is not an isolated incident, but just the tip of the iceberg. Municipalities access the country are being to realize this. In predominantly Latino, agricultural communities that rely on groundwater, community members experience elevated and long-term exposure to nitrates in their drinking water. Epidemiological evidence suggests an elevated risk of cancer and congenital disabilities in communities that experience nitrate exposure at levels below U.S. EPA’s drinking water standard (10 mg/L NO3-N).[8] Recent findings have shown high levels of lead in public schools. In California, the Community Water Center conducted as state-wade report that concludes from 2003-2014 over one million students attended schools that did not meet primary safe drinking water standards. The report also finds the schools impacted by unsafe drinking water had higher percentages of BIPOC students.[9] The struggle over water, while frequently framed as an environmental problem (i.e., drought), is, in fact, a highly political matter that influences the livelihood and wellbeing of urban and rural BIPOC communities. Climate chaos is only worsening these problems aided and abetted by the perverse logic of neoliberal policies that eliminate the investments in environmental quality and the protection of the Earth’s life-support systems like air, land, and water.

    Therefore, the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies declares the climate crisis the most paramount issue of our time. The systems and institutions that destroy the environmental conditions needed for clean air and water are the same systems and institutions that have historically denied Chicana/o and Latinx peoples a means to self-determination. The climate crisis is not amendable through “technological fixes” or “green consumerism,” because the climate crisis is deeply rooted in a particular type of settler colonialism and capitalism that prevents, and even erases, the sustainable livelihoods of Chicana/o and Latinx people and communities. The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies recognizes that while the climate crisis becomes more perilous by the day, Chicanas/os and Latinx peoples have always been engaged in struggles to improve our environments. From the acequia farmers improving soil health and agrobiodiversity through traditional agricultural practices,[10] to the mujeres organizing against polluting industry,[11] we have been there. From the campesinxs resisting pesticides,[12] to the ciudadanxs reusing coffee tins,[13] we have been there. The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies declares that in order to truly address the climate crisis, we must remake our social, political, and economic systems to promote diversity, autonomy, resilience, and a just sustainability.

    The NACCS Board of Directors specifically calls for the following actions in support of the vital climate justice movement:

    • NACCS endorses the climate strike actions that youth across the U.S. and the rest of the planet have launched and call for continued widespread activism by BIPOC youth and their allies in these campaigns for climate justice.
    • We call on U.S. universities and colleges to divest themselves of stocks in fossil fuel and other extractive industries that are the principal drivers of this environmental violence.
    • We further call on higher education institutions to end their participation in the global “land grabs” that are displacing Indigenous and other land- and water-based communities because this robs the first peoples of their ancestral lands while the world as a whole suffers the consequences of the loss of these sustainable, resilient, and equitable cultures of habitat that protect the planet.
    • We resolve that the Green New Deal is an essential tool for education and civic engagement and especially call on the shapers of this initiative to include community-based and grassroots-led projects for ecological restoration of our wounded watersheds and ecosystems.
    • We call for legal recognition of access to safe water and culturally appropriate food as basic universal human rights.
    • We support reparations associated with climate chaos and the harm this has caused to Indigenous and other land and water-based communities in the U.S. and the world. The primary reparations must involve investments to return Native lands to rightful Indigenous care-giver heirs and to heal the colonial wounds suffered by the land, water, air, and people.

    [1] Gubernot, Diane M et al. 2015. Characterizing occupational heat-related mortality in the United States, 2000-2010: An analysis using the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries database. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 58:2: 203-11.

    [2] Nabhan, Gary P. 1997. Cultures of Habitat: On Nature, Culture, and Story. Washington DC: Counterpoint. Nazarera, Virgina, Ed. Ethnoecology: Situates Knowledge, Located Lives. Tucson: U. Arizona Press.

    [3] Elias, E. H., et al., 2015. Assessing climate change impacts on water availability of snowmelt-dominated basins of the Upper Rio Grande basin. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 3: 525-46. URL: Peña, Devon G. 2019. “Climate Chaos, Acequias, and Land Grants Sin agua no hay vida, sin tierra no hay paz.” Paper presented at the 46th Annual Conference of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, Thematic panel: “Land and Water Wisdom: Exercising Cultural Resistance and Sustainability Practices.” Albuquerque, NM, April 4-6, 2019.

    [4] United Church of Christ. 1987. Toxic Waste and Race in the United States. Commission for Racial Justice. New York.

    [5] United Church of Christ. 2007. Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty. Commission for Racial Justice. New York.

    [6] American Lung Association. 2019. State of the Air Report

    [7] Goldman Sachs. 2019. Sustainable Growth: Taking a Deep Dive into Water. URL: Accessed October 10, 2019.

    [8] Schaider, Laurel, Lucien Swetschinski, Christopher Campbell, Ruthann Rudel. 2019. “Environmental justice and drinking water quality: are there socioeconomic disparities in nitrate levels in U.S. drinking water?” Environmental Health 18(3) URL:

    [9] Community Water Center. 2016. “Are We Providing Our School Kids Safe Drinking Water? An Analysis of California Schools Impacted by Unsafe Drinking Water.” Full Report available at URL:

    [10] Gallegos, Joseph. 2017. “Chicos del horno: A Local, Slow, and Deep Food.” In Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements: Decolonial Perspectives. Eds. Devon G. Peña, et al. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press.

    [11] Pardo, Mary. 1998. Mexican American Women Grassroots Community Activists. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

    [12] Pulido, L. 1996. Environmentalism and economic justice: Two Chicano struggles in the Southwest. University of Arizona Press.

    [13] Diaz, David. 2005. Barrio Urbanism: Chicanos, Planning and American Cities. New York: Routledge.

    Fall 2019 Vol. 44 No. 1