I am, Yo Soy, Mwen, Eu Sou Latina and More…

We are pleased to announce the Latina Empowerment Symposium at the University of Florida. The Symposium was created to cultivate an intentional interdisciplinary investment in critical consciousness about Latin America and the Latinx community in the U.S. The theme of the Symposium this year is “I am, Yo Soy, Mwen se, Eu sou Poderosx: Resisting violence against Womxn.” The theme aims to bring awareness to gender violence throughout the diaspora and specifically highlight various intersectional identities that are often erased. Hosted during Women’s Heritage Month we are hoping that the Latina Empowerment Symposium highlights the existence and contributions of Latina women which are often times hidden in the shadows or erased from history. We hope that you may join us as we enter a transformative event in further exploring our power as Latinas.

Intended Outcomes
By Participating in the Latina Empowerment Symposium participants will:

1: Be exposed to current research on critical issues involving intersections of gender and racial violence toward cis and transgender women.

2: Engage in relevant conversations about approaches and resources to combat gender, race, and class oppression across the globe.

3: Recognize and discuss the impact of patriarchy in lives of minoritized womxn across the world (I.e., Black, Latinx, and Indigenous), considering the increasing rates of domestic violence during the pandemic.

For further questions please email: mcdahispaniclatinoaffairs@ufsa.ufl.edu

9:00-9:30 am Registration & Light Breakfast
9:30-10:30am Welcome and Dr. Garcia Hernandez
10:30-10:45am Break
10:45- 11:45am Session Block 1
11:45am-12:00pm Break
12:00-1:00pm Session Block 2
1:00-2:00pm Lunch
2:00-3:00pm Community Conversation hosted by Dr. Hernandez and Dr. Busey
3:00-3:15pm Break
3:15-4:15pm Session Block 3
4:30-5:30pm Dr. Leslie Quintanilla and Closing remarks.

Leslie Quintanilla organizes around the goal of autonomy beyond borders and seeks decolonial possibilities with a network of grassroots organizations at the US///Mexico border. As a Salvadoran activist, she was most recently involved with on-the-ground solidarity efforts with folks from the Central American caravan/exodus in Tijuana/San Diego.

She received her PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego and is currently an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University in the Women and Gender Studies Department where her research focuses on the intersections of anti-border movements, climate justice, and transnational feminist artivism. She is also the co-founder of the Center for Interdisciplinary Environmental Justice currently working alongside Indigenous communities in South America combatting lithium-mining extraction.

Dr. Jillian Hernandez is a scholar, community arts educator, curator, and creative. Her work is inspired by Black and Latinx life and imagination, and is invested in challenging how working-class bodies, sexualities, and cultural practices are policed through gendered tropes of deviancy and respectability. She studies Blackness and Latinidad as relational formations and attends to the political, cultural, and communal dynamics of aesthetic production. Dr. Hernandez received her Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University and is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research at the University of Florida. Her book, Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment, is in production with Duke University Press for Fall 2020 publication. Her articles have appeared in venues such as Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies, among others. She is also the founder of Women on the Rise!, an insurgent collective of women of color artists who work with Black and Latina girls in Miami, Florida. Over the course of a decade, the Women on the Rise! collective engaged thousands of girls in art making and critical dialogues about gender and society through feminist art.

Dr. Christopher L. Busey is an assistant professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. He is also affiliate faculty for the Center for Latin American Studies and the African American Studies program. Dr. Busey’s teaching and research are grounded in the study of the black experience across the African Diaspora in the Americas in which he situates education as a key site of contestation. Specifically, Dr. Busey’s teaching and research interrogates and engages the disciplinary borders of education, Black Diaspora studies, critical race theory (CRT), Afro-Latinx/Afro-Latin American Studies, and Latinx Studies as the fulcrum for understanding the functions of gendered global anti-Black racism and political responses to global white supremacy by Black interlocutors and collective Black social movements across the Americas.


Dr. Yessica Garcia Hernandez is an Assistant Professor in the Latina/Latino Studies Department at San Francisco State University. She received her Ph.D. from the Ethnic Studies Department at University of California, San Diego. She currently teaches courses that focus on gender and sexualities. Her research has been awarded grants from the Ford Foundation, AAUW, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, UC-MEXUS, Critical Refugee Collective, and MANA Latina Foundation. She is currently working on two book manuscripts. The first examines the fandom around late singer Jenni Rivera’s phenomenon in Intoxicated by Jenni Rivera: Erotics of Fandom and Sonic Pedagogies of Deviance. Her second manuscript, Latinx Perversities: Porn, BBW, and Dirty Talk (tentative title) explores the representation and labor of Latinas in the adult industry particularly their participation in the BBW genre.