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Immigrants, Immigration and the New Latino Activitst Focus of CMAS Conference

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One year ago, images of immigrant-rights marches around the country filled headlines and newscasts. Now, the University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) examines the implications of those historical actions in a two-day conference, “¡Sí se Puede! Immigration, Latino Growth and the New Voices in American Politics.”

The free event is Thursday and Friday, April 12—13, at the Hilton-University of Houston Hotel.

“This is a significant time,” Lorenzo Cano, associate director of CMAS, said. “There are a lot of new voices out there, but many are from a critical mass of immigrant activists, not the old Chicano voices.”

The annual CMAS conference features experts on various aspects of immigration, including Armando Navarro of University of California-Riverside discussing Chicano and Immigrant Empowerment and the 2008 Election; Nestor Rodriguez, professor and chair of the UH Department of Sociology, lecturing on the Battle for the Border, and Ramiro Martinez, UH visiting professor with CMAS, discussing Latinos, Immigrants and Crime: Challenging the Nativists.

Acclaimed photojournalist David Bacon will display photos from his latest book, “Images and Voices of Indigenous Mexican Migrants,” which also will be available for purchase. In addition, filmmaker Yolanda Cruz will screen her film “Suenos Binacionales,” which chronicles the struggles of indigenous Mexican migrants in California.


  • Ramiro Martinez, UH visiting professor, Latinos, Immigrants and Crime: Challenging the Nativists During Election Time
  • Maria Theresa Hernandez, UH professor of modern and classical languages, Undocumented Students, Higher Education and Legislative Initiatives
  • Eliseo Medina, vice president, Service Employees International Union, Latino Immigrants and Revitalization of the American Labor Movement
  • David Bacon, photojournalist, Communities Without Borders: Images and Voices of Indigenous Mexican Migrants
  • Maria Jimenez, UH visiting professor, On the Road to Immigration Reform: Social Movement Building in the 21st Century


  • Nestor Rodriguez, professor and chair, UH Department of Sociology, The Battle for the Border
  • Yolanda Cruz, filmmaker, Suenos Binacionales, film screening
  • Adolfo Santos, professor and chair, UH-Downtown Department of Political Science, Political Participation Among Naturalized Latinos
  • Armando Navarro, University of California-Riverside, professor of political science, Chicano and Immigrant Empowerment: Implications for the 2008 Elections and Beyond

WHAT:     “¡Sí se Puede! Immigration, Latino Growth and the New Voices in American Politics”
WHEN:    8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 12-13
WHERE:  Hilton-University of Houston Hotel