UNT to hold events for Chicano history series

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
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DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas' Mexican-American studies program and several campus departments will host several free events as part of the 2011 Historia Chicana Plática (Chicano History Talk) series.

Dallas author and attorney Sol Villasana, who specializes in civil litigation, administrative law and legislative representation, will present a lecture, Transitions of an Urban Neighborhood: Dallas' Little Mexico April 20 (Wednesday). The lecture, based on Villasana's recently published book, Dallas' Little Mexico, begins at 6 p.m. in Room 102 of UNT's Physics Building, which is located one block west of Welch and West Mulberry streets at 210 Avenue A.

Villasana, a Dallas native, is a former board member of the Dallas Mexican American Historical League and a former chair of the Dallas Independent School District's Hispanic Advisory Committee. His book provides a history of "Little Mexico," a distinct and vibrant neighborhood on the edge of Dallas' downtown area that resulted from many Mexicans fleeing to Texas and the Dallas area following the 1910 Mexican Revolution. By the 1930s, Little Mexico had more than 15,000 residents. But by the end of the 20th century, the neighborhood had all but disappeared in the wake of Dallas' construction projects, urban renewal plans and land speculation by developers.

On April 25 (Monday), UNT's Immigrant Research and Policy Center and the Department of Anthropology will present Undocumented Lives, Unheard Voices, a symposium on undocumented immigration in the U.S. The symposium is scheduled from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Golden Eagle Suite of UNT's University Union, which is located one block west of Welch and West Prairie streets at 1155 Union Circle.

The speakers and the topics that they will discuss are:

  • Roberto G. Gonzales, assistant professor in the University of Washington's School of Social Work; Learning to Be Illegal: Undocumented Youth and the Confusion and Contradictory Routes of Adulthood
  • Ramiro Luna, founding member of the Texas DREAM Act Alliance, which coordinates campaigns to urge Congress to pass the Development, Relief, Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act to provide legal residency to students who came to the U.S. as children and desire to seek higher education or serve in the U.S. Armed Forces; Texas DREAM Act Alliance
  • Anna Ochoa O'Leary, assistant professor in the University of Arizona's Department of Mexican-American and Raza Studies; In the Footsteps of Spirits: Migrant Women's Testimonies in a Time of Heightened Border Enforcement
  • Jannell Robles, staff member of the Central American Resource Center in Washington, D.C.; Human Rights and the Grassroots Movement
  • Felipe Vargas, doctoral candidate at the University of Indiana at Bloomington; Undocumented Youth and Activism: Unafraid and Unapologetic

Dr. Denis Paz, UNT professor of history, will close the 2011 Historia Chicana Plática Series April 27 (Wednesday) with his lecture, "Cuba in a Time of Change: Preserving the Patrimonio Cultural." The lecture begins at 5 p.m. in Room 310 of UNT's Language Building, which is located on the southwest corner of Avenue A and West Hickory Street at 108 Avenue A.

Paz, a UNT faculty member since 1995, will discuss historical preservation and other aspects of Cuban life at a time of historic change, which began in July 2006 when Cuban President Fidel Castro temporarily delegated his duties to his brother, First Vice President Raúl Castro. Since then, Fidel Castro has officially resigned as president, and Raúl was elected as the new president, promising in his acceptance speech that some of the restrictions that limit Cubans' daily lives would be removed.

For more information on the 2011 Historia Chicana Plática series, contact the Department of History at 940-565-2288.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108