by V. June Pedraza, Ph.D. Chair

I want to thank everyone for a wonderful 2016 NACCS Conference.

We did great work in terms of discussing, evaluating, and synthesizing issues that effects Chicano/a studies in today’s socio-political climate.  In addition, collectively, we came together to combat many forms of systemic structural violence that we encounter on a daily bases and passed a long awaited resolution. It is with tremendous appreciation that I thank the membership for the work that you continue to do within Chicana and Chicano Studies, and that you came to our conference and share your findings with us.

Going into 2017, I would like to welcome the new board members: Jose Angel Hernandez – Chair Elect, Jennie Luna – Secretary, Brenda Valles- At Large Rep, and Alexandro Gradilla- At Large Rep.  I look forward to working with all of you this coming year, so we can continue to the custodial work that makes NACCS possible.

Leaving the board this year are: Ed Munoz – Secretary, Carlos R. Guerrero – Former Chair, Armando Ibarra- At-Large Rep, and Aureliano DeSoto- At-Large Rep.  I want to say thank you for all that you have done for NACCS, and we could not have done the work we needed to do in 2016 without your commitment.  I would also like to acknowledge the work of Nelia Olivencia, Chalene Lechuga, Julia Curry-Rodriguez, and Kathryn Blackmer Reyes, who continue to provide continuity and hands on knowledge to the NACCS organization.

Finally, we do know that NACCS will be going to Southern California in 2017, and the announcement as to which city will be be shortly announced.  Our new Chair-Elect, Jose Angel Hernandez has some great ideas for NACCS 2017 regarding Chicana/o Studies, STEM, and other ideas. I look forward to working with him on this year’s conference theme.

On a different note…

There is always sadness when we hear of a violent act against an individual or a community. As an organization we don’t often speak to such inhumane acts in our society. However, for the action that took place in Orlando, we find it in ourselves to mention how fortunate it is to have this organization, a space that we are all part of.

It saddens us that everyday we witness, experience, and express the deep shadows of American life. We do not need to turn the pages of history to see it happening live on televisions or social media. The violence has never been something that has been simply placed in the past and documented in our history books. Rather, it is a lived experience. Professor Antonia Castañeda reminds that we live with the continual dangers of cultural violence.

The nightclub for many has been described as safe space. And that particular night was Latino Night. Safe spaces are few and the leadership of NACCS has tried and created a safe space for all of our participants whether queer, transgender, young or female. As an organization, we acknowledge the need for such safe spaces in a world where we know that they are limited.

And thus, we send condolences to the families and communities affected by this violent act.

NACCS mourns the death of our LQBT+ brothers and sisters.

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