This was a panel discussion on 9/26/2020.
A panel discussion platica on the reasons and implications of the labels we use to self-identify racially and ethnically. The names and labels our community has used have always been connected to the social and political climate we experience in this country. Mexican-American, Chicana/x/o, Native American, Hispanic, Latina/o/x are all terms currently used to identify us. Join us as the panelists offer their perspectives on the reasons why we must look more closely at the names and terms we choose for ourselves and the implications for these choices.
Jessica Tlazoltiani Zamarripa (moderator) is a long time Austin mami activist and community organizer working toward social justice within the Latinx community. She is the daughter of a long ago 1930’s San Anto
Chicano father and a mother from a South Texas vaquero family. Tlazoltiani is a mami to 3 children and is currently a co-founder and presenter with the community-based Institute of Chicana/o/x Psychology. She was an organizer for the collective, Latina Mami, for more than 15 years. Her community home is Kalpulli Teokalli Teoyolotl. The preservation of her culture and community is a driving force in her life. Jessica is a founding member of Academia Cuauhtli, a local language and cultural revitalization school program for Spanish speaking Mexican American elementary students. She is also a past council member of Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change and a Danzante de La Luna and danzante with Danza Mexica Xochipilli. Her writing, dancing and community work is medicine toward the liberation, healing, and flourishing of her children and her people.
Alejandro Martinez is originally from El Paso Texas, now living in Austin Texas. He is Native American from the Coahuiltecan people of the South Texas border and Anahuaca from one of the various Mesoamerican nations of central Mexico. He’s a teacher & project coordinator at Academia Cuauhtli, a school for bilingual children that reconnects them with their roots and various aspects of their cultures. He’s also involved in the area’s ceremonial community. Alejandro is part of a large group of Native Americans from Mexico to Canada helping to reconnect our southern relatives with their ancestral identity on social media and through public speaking and teaching events.
Manuel X. Zamarripa is the director and co-founder of the Institute of Chicana/o Psychology based in Austin, TX where he conducts community workshop platicas as well as professional development training for educators and mental health professionals on issues related to Chicana/o/x wellness, cultural identity, and mental health from a Chicana/o/x framework. Manuel’s publications and presentations in psychology and education focus on Chicana/o/x well-being, racial responsiveness, cultural revitalization, social justice and leadership.