From the NACCS Chair

by Aureliano M. DeSoto, Chair 2018-2019

Queridxs NACCS members,

Aureliano M. DeSoto, NACCS Chair 2018-19

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

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. 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).

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.

¡Palante, Siempre Palante!

Summer 2018 – Vol. 43 No. 1