Monday, September 22, 2014

Dr. Theresa Torres Receives Community Outreach Award in Kansas City y más.

Por Xánath Caraza



Dr. Theresa Torres

Kansas City Chican@s are celebrating el otoño with a bang.  Firstly, this year’s Community Outreach Award granted by Guadalupe Centers, Inc. went to Dr. Theresa Torres, who has a long trajectory in Kansas City.  Next, NACCS will have its Midwest Focus Conference at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and Sílabas de viento/Syllables of Wind has its debut in Kansas City as well.


Dr. Theresa Torres

Associate Professor Theresa Torres, Ph.D., of UMKC, has recently received the Dr. Thomas E. Purcell Award for her outstanding contributions to the Guadalupe Centers,Inc. at the Blanco y Negro Annual Awards Gala in Kansas City, MO.

The award is given in recognition of the man {or woman} who impacted the growth of the Westside community in the early 1900s.  Purcell was concerned about the plight of the growing Mexican immigrant community and dedicated much of his life to improving the quality of life of Kansas City’s new arrivals.

Torres has served on the Guadalupe Center Board for ten years including three years as the Board secretary and Program Committee Chair.  She currently serves on the Guadalupe Educational System (Charter School) Board and is chair of the Curriculum Committee.  The fund raised each year at the gala benefit the Guadalupe Center and to honor outstanding individuals who have contributed to the growth and development of the center and the Latino Community of Kansas City, MO.

 Dr. Theresa Torres is Associate Professor in the Latina/Latino Studies Program and Department of Sociology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  Her areas of expertise are Latina Latino Studies, immigration, race and ethnic relations, religious studies, and gender studies.  Her current book, The Paradox of Latina Religious Leadership in the Catholic Church is an in-depth description of the on-going dynamics of religious identity and gender among Kansas City Latinas in the religious organization of the Guadalupanas and published Dec. 2013 with Palgrave MacMillan.  Her most recent publication is an article, “A Latina Testimonio: Challenges as an Academic, Issues of Difference, and a Call for Solidarity with White Female Academics.” In Why We Can’t Be Friends: Women of Color and White Women in the Academy, ed. Karen Dace. New York: Routledge Press, 2012.

She has been a professor at the University of Missouri for nine years and has taught a variety of courses since she is an interdisciplinarian, which means she has diverse research and scholarship from a number of fields: Race and Ethnicity, Latina Latino Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Religious Studies.  Currently she is teaching two classes on Latina/o Studies with a focus on immigration.  She also engages students in community service learning projects and internships.  She places students in projects that serve the inner city by having them working with non-profit agencies or participate in research projects studying the community.  She serves on several boards for non-profit groups and previously worked with non-profit agencies, particularly the Guadalupe Center Inc. and Guadalupe Education System School Board that serve the Latina/o community of Kansas City.  As a scholar, she has direct contact on a regular basis with the urban populations of Latina/os in the Midwest.

Muchas felicidades Theresa!





In Other News





NACCS Midwest Focus: Latin@s in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future in Kansas City

From October 23 – 25, 2014 in Kansas City, UMKC will host and organize the NACCSMidwest Focus: Latin@s in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future.  The conference theme–Latin@s in the Midwest: Past, Present, and Future–recognizes the rich historical and growing presence of Latin@s in this region. Our goal is to promote awareness and further develop knowledge and analysis of historic, current, and future developments that impact the Latin@ population.


Keynote Presenters:


Dr. Alberto Pulido: "Everything Comes From the Streets" Documentary on Lowrider Culture

Dr. Rogelio Saenz: "Demographics:  Latinos in the Midwest"

Dr. Rusty Barceló: "Navigating Our Midwest Latina/o Journey in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future"

Latina/Latino Studies Program at UMKC

The mission of Latina/Latino Studies (LLS), a program based in the College of Arts and Sciences, is to function as a vehicle for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching, research and outreach focusing on Latinas/os-Chicanas/os in the U.S. The LLS program will provide an awareness and understanding of the wide diversity of Latino communities, cultures and backgrounds. The development and expansion of our curricula will serve to empower our students with the concepts and skills to better understand a rapidly growing Latina/o population. The LLS program will engage students, scholars and the greater Kansas City community in collaborative projects, programs and service learning efforts. These efforts will foster new curricula and advance research and outreach scholarship to create new knowledge to better understand the cultural, economic, and historical experiences and contributions of U.S. Latinas/os-Chicanas/os and their diasporic origins.





With a full house on September 12, 2014 at The Writers Place Juanita Salazar Lamb and I had a poetry and narrative presentation.  What a delightful evening and gracias a nuestra Arkansan Chicana for being part or the Riverfront Reading Series.  Here are a couple of photos of the event.


Juanita Salazar Lamb at The Writers Place in Kansas City, MO

Xanath Caraza at The Writers Place in Kansas City, MO

Finally, on September 15 Sílabas de viento/Syllables of Wind (Mammoth Publications, 2014) was released.  Thank you to Park University’s Ethnic Vocies Poetry Series, Woodneath Library and New Letters on the Air, hosted by Angela Elam, for hosting this event.   Great evening and audience.  Lastly, my upcoming appearances in September will be starting today at Carver Dual Language Elementary School, where I will share some poesía y cuento as part of their month long celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.   Next, I will participate in the reading at the Raven Bookstore on September 25 as part of the Big Tent Reading Series.  Then on September 30 at the University of Kansas I will have another poetry reading as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.  The Raven Bookstore and KU events will be in Lawrence, KS.  Viva la poesía!  


Xanath Caraza and Angela Elam, Ethinic  Voices Poetry Series and New Letters on the Air



Giora said...

Congrats Theresa Torres for the Award recognizing your good work.

Amelia ML Montes said...

Felicidades Dra Torres! So many lovely academic and creative recognitions and events going on in Kansas City, Missouri!