The Aztlan Report aims at sowing the seed of a National Consciousness among La Raza. We will have speakers from several organizations speaking on the work they’ve done and or issues of significance from 2020 to the present. The Aztlan Report is in essence a “State of the Union” for La Chicanada.
Follow this link on March 31st 4pm PST for the report on the MeXicanos 2070 Facebook page.
BARRIO HOLLYWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
CENTRO-COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATION
FREEDOM ROAD SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION
LA MESA NACIONAL DE BROWN BERETS
PARTIDO NACIONAL DE LA RAZA UNIDA (LA RAZA UNIDA PARTY)
UNION DEL BARRIO
ASSOCIATION OF RAZA EDUCATORS
SERVICIOS DE LA RAZA
Ernesto Todd Mireles - MeXicanos 2070
Ernesto Todd Mireles MSW. Ph.D. has worked as a student, community, union, and electoral organizer. Coordinator of the Frantz Fanon Community Strategy Center at Prescott College, he organized for the United Farm Workers, United Steelworkers and American Federation of Teachers. Mireles is the co-director of the Social Justice Community Organizing Masters program where he teaches community organizing. He holds an MSW in organizational and community practice and a PhD American Studies from Michigan State University. His book Insurgent Aztlan was awarded an International Latino Book Award this year placing second in the Best Politica/Current Affairs category. Mireles does a weekly podcast called The Reality Dysfunction and is completing a documentary about student organizing called War of the Flea.
Scott Duncan Fernandez - MeXicanos 2070
Scott Duncan-Fernandez a.k.a. Scott Russell Duncan is a writer. His fiction involves the mythic, the surreal, the abstract, in other words, the weird. He is an Indigenous/Xicano/Anglo from California, Texas, and New Mexico. Scott is also a senior editor at Somos en escrito: The Latino Literary Magazine. In 2016, his story “How my Hide got Color” won San Francisco Litquake’s Short Story Contest. His nonfiction piece “Mexican American Psycho is in Your Dreams” won first place in Solstice, a magazine of diverse voices, 2019 Summer Contest. See more about his work, publications, and “Quasi-Vato” blog on Scott’s website scottrussellduncan.com
Rafael Avitia - La Mesa Nacional de Brown Berets
Rafael Avitia. Born in Sinaloa, Mexico. Migrated to the US with family while his father was in the bracero program. The family lived in South Central and East Los Angeles until they moved north to the Central Valley where he grew up working in the fields picking grapes. He graduated from high school and went to California State University, Fresno where he joined Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) and was active during the late 80’s and early 90’s. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and went on to work as a Social Worker. He started teaching History in 2000 and returned to graduate school to earn his Masters degree in Education. Subsequently, he earned his Juris Doctor law degree from San Joaquin College of Law. Rafael has always been a leader in the Fresno community organizing poor and indigenous communities against police brutality, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and for positive cultural change. He has traveled the world including Cuba, Mexico, London, Scotland, France, and Canada where he spoke in solidarity with working class people and about the Chicano Movement. Rafael helped for the Autonomous Fresno Brown Berets in 2008 and remains an active member. Today, Rafael is in his 21st year of teaching and is also Co-chair of La Mesa Nacional de Brown Berets and works at the national level with other activist groups.
Vanessa Bustamante - Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida (La Raza Unida Party)
Dr. Vanessa Marie Bustamante currently serves as the Student Services Specialist for Student Success and Support Programs at MiraCosta College, Oceanside, California Born and raised in San Fernando Valley, CA, Vanessa is a self-identified first-generation Xicana sCHOLAr, who attended California State University, Northridge where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chicano/a Studies and Communication Studies and later her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. In May of 2018, Vanessa earned her EdD degree, Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California.
As a founding sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., Delta Omega chapter, a member of MEChA, and community and grassroots organizations like La Raza Unida Party, Vanessa has continued to practice identity self-preservation, activism, and advocacy efforts while encouraging and assisting students in the community to pursue higher education. Vanessa has published research on student involvement and organizations created by and for students of color. She has also received various recognitions as an advisor to student organizations, most notably the Latina Leadership Network of the California Community Colleges “2020 Madrina Award” and AFLV-West “2018 Outstanding Fraternity/Sorority Professional Award”. Vanessa has a deep-rooted appreciation for on-campus and community involvement, engagement and advocacy. Vanessa’s passion for social justice, inclusion, advocacy, and identity development stem from her lived experience, research and work with students at various institutions.
Maria Zavala - Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida (La Raza Unida Party)
María Zavala is a social justice activist, changemaker, and visionary. But the title she holds most dear is being the proud mother to her three amazing daughters: Hermila (Mila), Estrella, and Mayeli. She is in a lifelong partnership of love, respect, mutual understanding, lifelong activism, and continuous spiritual and mental growth with prison and social activist Efren Paredes Jr. She is a graduate of Michigan State University (MSU) where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a specialization in Xicano/Latino Studies.
Maria has appeared in various media outlets and featured on a number of blogs and websites, proudly discussing Xicano/Latino issues. She has also been a speaker and presenter at numerous conferences across the nation. Maria’s activism is featured in the book “500 Years of Chicana Women’s History in Pictures” written by the iconic Dr. Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez.
In 1994, María founded the Día de la Mujer Conference (DDLM), which is held annually at MSU. The idea of having a conference arose from María’s vision to create a space for Xicanas/Latinas to be recognized for their relentless efforts and selfless contributions at home, school, work, and in their community.
María developed her passion for activism deep in the Texas Rio Grande Valley at an early age with the help of her loving parents, Hermila and Adalberto. Through their labor organizing work with the United Farm Workers (UFW) they modeled how to harness the power of the people to protect the rights and dignity of farmworkers and create durable social change.
While at MSU María served as Chair of Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlán (MEXA), a student Xicano organization. She also served as Secretary of Chicano Hispanic Students of Progressive Action (CHISPA), currently known as Culturas de las Razas Unidas (CRU), and in 1994 she was also a Minority Aide, now entitled Intercultural Aide. Maria is an active member of La Raza Unida Party and resides in Michigan.
Matt Zedillo - Poet/Telejaguar
Matt Sedillo has been described as the "best political poet in America" as well as "the poet laureate of the struggle" by academics, poets, and journalists alike. He has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, spoke at University of Cambridge and at numerous conferences and forums such as the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, and at more than one hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge and Stanford University. He is the current literary director of the dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, California. Matt is also author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (Flowersong Press, 2019), which is currently being taught at California State University, Northridge and Monterey Bay, as well as at Mission College. His Three Act Poem structure has been taught as capstones of coursework at University of California, Los Angeles and Occidental College. His recent poetry collection, City on the Second Floor, was published in January 2021.
Born in El Sereno, California in 1981, Matt Sedillo writes from the vantage point of a second generation Chicano born in an era of diminishing opportunities and a crumbling economy. His writing - a fearless, challenging and at times even confrontational blend of humor, history and political theory - is a reflection of those realities.
The poetry of Matt Sedillo is in turn a shot in the arm of pure revolutionary adrenaline and for others a sobering call for the fundamental restructuring of society in the interest of people not profits. Passionate, analytical, humorous and above all sincere, a revolutionary poet fortunate enough to be living in interesting times, the artistry of Matt Sedillo is a clarion call for all those who know a new world is not only possible but inevitable.
Vanessa Mazon - Poet
Vanessa Mazón, a second generation Xicana, was born and raised in San Diego, California.
As a child she loved to read, draw and write. As she grew older, her love for the arts turned into a great therapeutic tool. When Vanessa was 15 , she began work in a medical office , and quickly found her love for helping others. She pursued a degree in public health and received her Bachelor’s degree in 2015. Now she focuses on her love for her art, her culture and her community. She lives with her one son, Theo and her husband Guillermo.
The title of the work she will recite is Corazon Ancestral.
Marisol Marquez - Centro Community Service Organization/ Freedom Road Socialist Organization (CSO/FRSO)
Sol Márquez is a Chicana Marxist-Leninist and recent mother. She organizes in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California with the FRSO for Chicano self-determination and liberation of all oppressed people.
Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona - Union del Barrio/Association of Raza Educators
Guadalupe Carrasco Cardona has been an Ethnic Studies, English, Social Studies and Journalism educator for 21 years and has taught in three states; California, Arizona and Texas. She is dedicated to developing critical curriculum and facilitating a student-centered classroom environment based on mutual respect, critical thinking, and collaboration. She accomplishes this by fusing her classroom instruction with community cultural knowledge and a focus on auto-biographical counter narrative.
Guadalupe is the chair of The Association of Raza Educators (Los Angeles chapter), co-founder of XOCHITL Los Angeles, a member of Los Angeles Unified School District’s Ethnic Studies Curriculum Committee, a member of Ethnic Studies Now Coalition’s Coordinating Committee, California Teachers Association and Stanford University’s Instructional Leadership Corps, and a founding member of the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Coalition. She is also a proud member of the political organization, Union del Barrio.
Rudolph “Rudy” Gonzales - Servicios de La Raza
Executive Director of Servicios de La Raza. Rudy joined Servicios de La Raza in November 2008. Since joining Servicios, Rudy has reignited the mission of the agency and its prominent role among Chicano founded andChicano run agencies in Denver, and now across Colorado. He has also re-energized the advocacy and activism for which Servicios has historically been so well known. Rudy brings a wealth of experience in the human services field and with the Latino community.
The son of Rodolfo Corky Gonzales and Geraldine Gonzales, Rudy was raised and tempered in Denver’s significant Chicano Movement and The Crusade for Justice (CFJ). A 1976 graduate of Escuela Tlatelolco, he participated, supported and worked first hand alongside his father and family in many of the watershed events of the Chicano Civil and Human Rights Movement in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and beyond. Rudy is extremely active and remains steadfast and consistent in his commitment to inclusion, social justice, equity and peace issues in communities of poverty, color and the oppressed.
La Raza Park was “liberated” in 1971 by young North Denver residents, and Crusade For Justice members including, but not limited to, Anthony Archuleta, Arturo Rodrigues, Ed Prado, Paul Roybal, Tony “Big T” Marquez, Donnie Marquez, Roxanne Pacheco. Mentored, Taught and resourced by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales and the CFJ, these young people were joined by Chicano youth from throughout Denver’s barrios to “liberate” Columbus Park/pool and transform it into a genuine community-controlled park/pool.
Patrick Valencia McKenna - Barrio Hollywood Neighborhood Association
Patrick Valencia McKenna was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1980. Abandoned by his father before he was born, his mother a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, worked hard as a Nurse to raise him as a single parent. Patrick's Tata, Manuel McKenna, used to take him to traditional Yaqui ceremonies since he was a baby and he grew up surrounded by Indigenous Chicano and Yaqui culture. Patrick's Nana, Carmen Valencia McKenna, taught him from a young age to always conduct himself with honor and respect as a reflection of his family and community.
As a 7th generation Tucsonan, Patrick represents a long line of Chicanos who lived in Tucson before it became occupied Aztlan. Patrick's Tia, Margaret McKenna, taught him the value of community involvement by her example as a Chicana community organizer in Barrio Hollywood, where his family has lived for five generations. By the time he was a young teenager, Patrick became involved in many inter-tribal ceremonies on the Yaqui reservation, and co-founded a "Telpochcalli" on the Rez, recruiting many young Chicanos to participate in ceremonies and reconnect with their Indigenous heritage.
Patrick became politically involved in the Chicano movement during the mid-90s. Attending and helping to organize many marches and protests, he was elected the President of Tucson High MEChA. Patrick was one of the main organizers who successfully pushed Tucson Unified School District to create a very successful Mexican American/Raza Studies Department which raised the consciousness of an entire generation of young Chicanas and Chicanos in Tucson. During his senior year in high school, he was hired as an intern for Pima County Supervisor and eventually became the Special Assistant to the County Supervisor for almost 13 years. Patrick continues to be involved in his Tribal and Barrio communities to this day. He currently serves as the President of the Barrio Hollywood Neighborhood Association in Tucson, Arizona..
Ernesto Ayala - Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida/MeXicanos 2070/Telejaguar:
Ernesto Ayala is a lifelong member of el Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida, a proud Chicano father to a Chicanita, an organizer, a student, a bus driver and a future educator. In late 2019, Ernesto co-founded Telejaguar and in 2020 joined MeXicanos 2070. He and his daughter reside in Pacoima, California.
Tanya Celeste Villalobos - Partido Nacional de La Raza Unida
Tanya is a Chicana community organizer from Southern California. She is interested in international solidarity between oppressed nations.