MEChA Nationals Keynote

Yosimar Reyes

Yosimar Reyes is a nationally-acclaimed poet, educator, performance artist, and speaker. Born in Guerrero, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. The Advocate named Reyes one of “13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World” and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of “10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know.”

MEChA Nationals Speakers

Dr. Anita Tijerina Revilla

Dr. Anita Tijerina Revilla is an activist scholar, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies. She is also the director of Gender and Sexuality Studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her research focuses on student movements and social justice education, specifically in the areas of Chicana/Latina, immigrant, feminist and queer rights activism. Her expertise is in the areas of Jotería Studies, Chicana/o Education, Chicana and Women of Color Feminism, and Critical Race/Ethnic Studies. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, she earned her doctorate from UCLA Graduate School of Education in Social Sciences and Comparative Education with an emphasis in Race and Ethnic Studies. She is working on her book about feminist and queer student activists in the immigrant rights movement in Las Vegas titled, What Happens in Vegas, Does NOT Stay in Vegas: Social Justice Activism in Las Vegas. Her most recently completed project is a co-edited collection of art, poetry and academic essays by Queer and/or feminist of color published by Third Woman Press titled, Saving Our Own Lives: Queer, Indigenous, Muxerista, Womanist, and Feminist of Color Voices. She is very committed to working with and mentoring students, and has been the advisor for multiple student organizations, including MEChA de UNLV, UndocuNetwork, and the Alliance of Students Color.

Dr. José M. Aguilar-Hernandez

José M. Aguilar-Hernández is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic and Women’s Studies in the College of Education and Integrative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona. Aguilar-Hernández is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies for Spring 2018. He is the proud son of immigrant farmworkers from Zacatecas, México. Aguilar-Hernández grew up in the Ventura County and transferred from Moorpark Community College to UCLA where he earned a B.A. in Chicana/o Studies and History.

Aguilar-Hernández earned a M.A. in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA. His dissertation, Si Se Pudo!: A Critical Race History of the Movements for Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA, 1990-1993, is about the inception (and more) of the Chicana/o Studies Departmentalization process at UCLA. During his five years as a doctoral student Aguilar-Hernández served as a Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and additionally, he also taught courses in Chicana/o Studies at California State University, Northridge and CalState LA.

Aguilar-Hernández’ research publications and teaching interests include social movements, educational history, pedagogy, critical race theory, historical methods, and gender and sexuality.

Elizabeth Silva

Elizabeth Silva is a doctoral student at the University of Utah in the Education, Culture and Society program.  She is from Albuquerque New Mexico, where she graduated with an MA in Language, Literacy, Sociocultural Studies and a BA in Sociology from the University of New Mexico.  Her dissertation research is charting the feminist genealogy of MEChista collective identity evolution through a queer politic.  She teaches several classes at the U including Multicultural Education, U.S. Third-World Feminism, Gender and Social Change, and the Latina/o/x, Chicana/o/x Experience.

Gloria Lucas

Gloria Lucas is a body-positive activist, punx-feminist, entrepreneur, and a public speaker. In 2014, Gloria started Nalgona Positivity Pride – a Xicana-brown-indigenous body-positive organization that focuses on the link between historical trauma and eating disorders – after personally struggling with an eating disorder. Gloria’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, MiTú , Bitch Magazine, and The Body is not an Apology. She lives in Compton, CA with her boyfriend and their cats, Pepita and Mister Orange.