Skip to Content


Hispanic Heritage Month


In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the West Los Angeles College Department of Modern Languages and Cultures presents Latinx Speaker Series 2021.


Speaker Series

Presenter Description

Dr. Oriel Siu

Thursday, September 16 from 12-1p.m.

Zoom ID: 94333598619

“Rebeldita the Fearless in Ogreland with Dr. Oriel Siu”

Dr. Siu is a writer and cultural studies scholar specializing in the Central American diaspora. Her first children’s book, Rebeldita the Fearless in Ogreland was published in Spanish (2020) and English (2021). The book’s theme confronts issues of immigration, unaccompanied minors, and border issues from the perspective of Rebeldita, an Afro-Latina child. The book centers current conversations about family separation and inhumane policies and how our children can learn about these complex issues. Dr. Siu has created and provided a free teaching resource guide in Spanish. Her follow-up book, Christopher the Ogre Cologre, It’s Over! will be published this summer 2021.

Latino Health Access logo

Thursday, September 23 from 12-1p.m.

Zoom ID: 82946314527

“Luchando contra Covid: Outreach and Advocacy”

What are the social determinants that have impacted the Latina/o community and those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic? What factors and data need to be considered in order to advocate for a community in need of positive health behaviors? Latino Health Access’ Associate Director, Nancy Mejía, M.S.W./M.P.H., will discuss how the organization along with its determined advocates, bilingual speaking immigrant Latina women (known as ‘promotoras’) are presently working to address the disproportionate conditions within Latino Public Health in the era of Covid-19. They will also provide insight on what we can do as a community to protect each other. This will be a bilingual Spanish-English panel.

Dr. Alejandro Lee

Thursday, September 30 from 12-1p.m.

Zoom ID: 92642571491 

“Asian Latinos and Global Realities with Dr. Alejandro Lee”

Whether local, regional, or transnational, the names individuals use to describe who they are and to affirm their identity is complex, varied, and almost infinite. And it is especially true for people of Hispanic descent. This roundtable discussion focuses on some of the more nuanced expressions of the diversity of thought seen in the vibrant exchanges between Latin American and Latinx identity today. Using the reference of a kaleidoscope–a constantly changing pattern or sequence of elements– the panelists will discuss What is the ‘x’ in Latinx and global diasporas such as those of Asian-Latinos. Dr. Lee is a Spanish heritage language and cultures scholar.

Dr. Lilliana Patricia Saldaña

Thursday, October 7 from 12-1p.m.

Zoom ID: 97886859816

“Indigenous Foodways in the Borderlands”

Descriptor: Dr. Lilliana Patricia Saldaña is from Yanawana, occupied territory known as San Antonio, Texas, and is an Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas San Antonio. Her research draws from Chicana/x/o Studies methodologies, Chicana feminist thought, and decolonial studies. This presentation will focus on ancestral foods from present day central Mexico to their medicinal and culinary uses. Dr. Saldaña will also talk about her educational journey, her family history on migration, education and health and its connection to shifts in our diet, and the challenges of reclaiming these foods in the U.S. Southwest Borderlands (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas).

Esmeralda Bermúdez

Thursday, October 14 from 12-1p.m.

Zoom ID: 99572260608

“Writing the Times: Food, Culture, and Politics”

Descriptor: Esmeralda Bermúdez is a homegrown SoCal voice who is creating an invaluable written record of food, culture, and politics for The Los Angeles Times as she chronicles stories about Latinx peoples. Her presentation will weigh in on a series of questions involving her background as a first-generation college student, why and how she got into journalism, and what her work focuses on to create spaces for Latino storytelling at the newspaper. Join us in learning how she is making Los Ángeles visible in print media and digital spaces: the importance of telling all kinds of stories as a way to build community, tolerance, respect, and love.