Night of Ideas

People

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Rebecca Bowman

Writer

How Latino Creators Express their Mixed Identity

Rebecca Bowman was born in Los Angeles but lived for many years in Mexico. She has won grants from CONACULTA and the State Council for the Arts and Culture of Tamaulipas and was awarded the Juan B. Tijerina State Prize for Short Story, the State Prize for Short Story ISSSTE and the Manuel Acuña International Playwriting Prize. Her books include Los ciclos íntimos, La vida paralela, Horas de visita, Unfinished Business and Other Stories, and Portentos de otros años. She co-created Ink Reactions/Reacciones en tinta with Veronique Hahn. Her short stories and poetry have been anthologized and her plays have been staged many times. A new collection of short stories, Lugar de aguas, was just published by FlowerSong Press. Rebecca also paints and writes children’s literature.

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Tricia Cortez

Executive director of RGISC

How to Overcome Ecological Challenges Along the Rio Grande River

Since 2011, Tricia has served as executive director of the Rio Grande International Study Center (RGISC). Under her tenure, RGISC has become a highly active change agent within South Texas. She works closely with the Board of Directors on RGISC’s strategic focus of water security, river restoration, science and design, and climate justice.  

Through coalition building and grassroots mobilization, Tricia has tackled environmental justice issues that threaten fragile and threatened ecosystems, and marginalized communities. She’s helped lead advocacy campaigns on single use plastics, ethylene oxide, the border wall, and green space preservation. 

She was recently appointed to serve on a binational working group by the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico to build a binational river park project for Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. 

A mom of two littles ones, Tricia holds a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in public policy with a minor in Mandarin Chinese. 

(c)Danny Zaragoza
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Ivonne Cruz

Contributing expert at the Baker Institute for Public policy

How to Overcome Ecological Challenges Along the Rio Grande River

Ivonne Cruz, Ph.D., is a contributing expert at the Center for the United States and Mexico. She is also the administrator of the Puentes Consortium and a faculty member of the Masters of Global Affairs program, both at Rice University. 
Cruz’s research primarily focuses on sustainability issues, specifically the social impact of corporations, climate change topics and the human dimensions of global environmental changes. She has been an independent researcher and consultant for over 15 years and has served in a variety of roles in academia and at international agencies and public sector entities. Her published work has covered social policy issues and sustainable development strategies, and she has participated in the advancement of sustainability reports for private and public sectors. 
Cruz holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in sustainability from the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Spain. 

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Tony Diaz

Writer and activist

How the Texan-Mexican culture comes alive through different disciplines 

Writer, activist, and professor Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, founded Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say in 1998. He is the author of the novel The Aztec Love God and the nonfiction book The Tip of the Pyramid: Cultivating Community Cultural Capital. Diaz was the first Chicano to earn a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.  

Diaz is a political analyst on What’s Your Point on Fox 26 Houston, and he hosts The Nuestra Palabra bilingual radio show on 90.1 FM KPFT, Houston. 

Diaz was the leader and co-founder of the Librotraficantes who defied Arizona’s ban of Mexican American Studies by organizing the 2012 Librotraficante Caravan to smuggle books banned in Tucson back into Arizona. The Librotraficantes returned to Texas and fueled the state’s campaign for Mexican American Studies, which led to the TX SBOE unanimously endorsing MAS statewide.   

 

(c)Liana Lopez
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Delfina C. Domínguez

Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso

How to Overcome Ecological Challenges Along the Rio Grande River

Dr. Delfina C. Domínguez was born in Fabens, Texas and grew up in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico where she obtained her basic education until high school. She completed her BS and MS from the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Texas, and her PhD is from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces New Mexico (Biochemistry Department, Molecular Biology Program). She was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Ford foundation at The University of Virginia School of Medicine at Charlottesville, VA. Her area of expertise is in microbiology. Her research interests include: microbial physiology, antimicrobial resistance and molecular diagnostics. She has received various awards at federal, state and local levels. She has written several book chapters, served as editor for peer review journals and books and she has published several dozens of papers in peer reviewed journals. 

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Jocelyn Frelier

ACES Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of International Studies at Texas A & M

Keynote: Cultures of Crisis: US/Mexico and Mediterranean Migration in the Media and in Popular Culture

Dr. Frelier is affiliated with the Department of International Studies at Texas A&M University, where she has taught classes on global migration, decolonization, and cultural studies. This semester, she is teaching “French film.” Before arriving at Texas A&M, she earned a PhD in Romance Languages & Literatures at the University of Michigan. Her book, Transforming Family: Queer Kinship and Migration in Contemporary Francophone Literature, is forthcoming with the University of Nebraska Press in November. 

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Joey Guerra

Music critic at the Houston Chronicle

How the Texan-Mexican culture comes alive through different disciplines 

Joey Guerra is the music critic for the Houston Chronicle and covers various aspects of pop culture. He has reviewed hundreds of concerts and interviewed hundreds of celebrities, from Little Joe Hernandez to Thalia, and has covered Selena extensively through interviews, online posts and special tribute sections. He’s appeared as a regular correspondent on Fox26 and has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, the BBC, NPR and Entertainment Tonight and been named journalist of the year multiple times by both OutSmart Magazine and the FACE Awards. 

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Tina Hernandez

Artist

How Latino Creators Express their Mixed Identity

Tina Hernandez was born on the border town of Brownsville, Texas but was raised in Houston all her life as a first-generation Chicana/Tejana. She received her B.F.A. in Photography/Digital Media from the University of Houston in May 2003. She has always worked with self-portraiture and is branching out in photographing other women as well. Her work centers on being female and on her Mexicanidad and the issues, questions, aesthetics and greatness that comes with it. She is a big advocate of the representation and exposure of Chicana and Latina art to give a creative voice to the Latina woman experience through any kind of artistic expression. 

(c)Tina Hernandez
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Aurora Losada

Head of content at BakerRipley

The processing of the information in different communities: objectivity and polarization

Aurora Losada is a bilingual digital communications strategist, branding expert, and journalist.

A Spaniard-American based in Houston, Texas, Aurora was born and raised in Spain and attended grad school in the US, where she has developed the best part of her career. She is an alum of the Graduate School of Journalism and the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University in New York. She shifted progressively from journalism to communications and digital marketing, and she loves it. Aurora is currently the Head of Content at one of the largest regional non-profits in Texas, Houston-based BakerRipley, and started her own digital brand business during the pandemic. 

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César Morado Macías

Professor

The processing of the information in different communities: objectivity and polarization

César Morado Macías is professor and Director of the Center for Social Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.

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Daniel Centeno Maldonado

Professor and writer

How the Texan-Mexican culture comes alive through different disciplines 

Daniel Centeno Maldonado is a writer and professor at the University of Houston.

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Adán Medrano

Food writer and chef

How the Texan-Mexican culture comes alive through different disciplines 

Adán Medrano is a food writer and chef, specializing in the indigenous foods of Texas and the Americas. His book, Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage In Recipes, published by Texas Tech University Press, received the “Finalist, Book Of The Year” award from Foreword Reviews. 

In his most recent history and cookbook, Don’t Count The Tortillas – The Art Of Texas Mexican Cooking, Medrano focuses on the aesthetic aspects of comida casera, the home cooking of Mexican American families. 

Medrano is Executive Producer/Writer of the 2021 food documentary, Truly Texas Mexican, which won “Best Documentary” at the New York Independent Cinema Awards and took the coveted “Audience Choice” award at the Hill Country Film Festival. 

 

© US Embassy
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Yvonamor Palix

Art gallery owner and curator

How Latino Creators Express their Mixed Identity

Yvonamor is a French-Mexican art historian. She opened her first gallery in Paris in 1990 in the Bastille quarter, later she opened a branch in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma in 1996. In the Gallery’s adoptive Houston, the exhibits include established European and Latin American art as well as emerging local artists. 

Yvonamor Palix’ commitment to art history and contemporary art has lead her to not only curate shows for her Gallery, but also to curate international exhibitions for art institutions and venues in Europe and the Americas including the Cultural Ministries of both France (AFAA) and Mexico (Relaciones Exteriores, Conaculta), “Flor y Canto” 2002. “Hygiene”, 1998, “Sous la Grisaille de Mexico”, 1999.

(c)Samuel Herrera
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François Picard

Journalist

The processing of the information in different communities: objectivity and polarization

François Picard is a freelance journalist. Since the end of 2020, he has worked for AFP (Agence France-Presse), one of the largest news agencies in the world. For AFP, he produces video, written and photo reports in the Southern United States, and more particularly in Texas, where he lived for a few years during his childhood, and decided to settle with his family a few years ago. He is interested in environmental, societal and economic issues.

HOU_Picard_François
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Antonietta Quigg

Professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston

How to Overcome Ecological Challenges Along the Rio Grande River

Antonietta Quigg serves as Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Provost. She also serves as Chief Academic Officer for Texas A&M University at Galveston. She advises the leadership team on critical issues related to Galveston and participates in ongoing discussions related to implications for the Path Forward recommendations at Galveston and branch locations.

A professor in the Department of Marine Biology, Quigg’s expertise lies in phytoplankton ecophysiology, physiological adaptation, photosynthesis, biological oceanography, biochemistry and biophysics, molecular biology, plant physiology and evolution. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and chemistry from La Trobe University, and Monash University, both in Australia.

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Marcela Quiroga Garza

Professor of visual arts

How the Texan-Mexican culture comes alive through different disciplines 
How Latino Creators Express their Mixed Identity

Marcela Quiroga Garza is Professor of visual arts and Director of the Center for Research, Innovation and Development of the Art (CEIIDA) at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.

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Mari Carmen Ramírez

Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the MFAH

How Latino Creators Express their Mixed Identity

Mari Carmen Ramírez is the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and founding director of the ICAA. 

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Rose Mary Salum

Writer and publisher

The processing of the information in different communities: objectivity and polarization

Rose Mary Salum is founding editor of the bilingual literary magazine Literal: Latin American Voices and Literal Publishing. She is the author of the forthcoming nouvelle The Water that Rocks the Silence (Translated by C.M. Mayo and the winner of the International Latino Book Award and the prestigious Panamerican Award Carlos Montemayor), Tres semillas de granada. Ensayos desde el inframundo (Vaso Roto, 2020) winner of the Florida Book Awards 2020 and the International Latino Book Award 2020 , Una de ellas (Dislocados, 2020), El agua que mece el silencio (Vaso Roto, 2015), Delta de las arenas, cuentos árabes, cuentos judíos winner of the International Latino Book Award) and Spaces in Between.

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Olivia P. Tallet

Journalist at the Houston Chronicle

The processing of the information in different communities: objectivity and polarization

Olivia P. Tallet (pronunciation: Talé) is a senior reporter with the Houston Chronicle and has covered Latinos for 20 years. She has won numerous awards and is a fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation and the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has worked in several countries, including in Mexico covering the 2017 earthquake in Mexico City. Before working with the Chronicle, she was a correspondent and columnist for the international agency EFE News Services and managing editor of a financial newspaper in Venezuela. She is Cuban American.

HOU_Tallet_Olivia

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