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The Hispanic Discussion Roundtables is an event to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the University of Pittsburgh (September 15-October 15, 2020).  Join the University Library System (ULS) as we host 5 Hispanic and Latin/a/o/e/x identifying individuals from various parts of Latin America to share their culture, their family structure, and experiences in small group settings in a virtual platform.

The goal of the Hispanic Discussion Roundtables is to build understanding and challenge stereotypes and prejudices associated with Hispanic and Latin/a/o/e/x identifying individuals through friendly dialogue at the ULS. These open conversations can lead to greater acceptance and inclusion in the community.

This event requires registration. Registrants will receive the access link and instructions to the virtual platform prior to the event. 


Chester ThompsonDr. Chester Thompson - Pan-Africanism: The premise of my presentation will be about the Pan-American diaspora from my personal lens. As an Afro-Costa Rican who migrated to the United States at the tender age of 6-years old to the Bronx, New York, I aim to share my lived experience and shared experience with the audience and other interested parties. Today, more than ever we live in a world that is undergoing rapid change in how we perceive one another. The objective of this discussion is to reveal the common thread between all of us as we contribute to the American experience.


Karina ChavezKarina Chavez - Being Brown in a White Life: As a third-generation Latina, I am the daughter of my Russian and German mother who married my Mexican American father. My father was born in Wyoming to migrant farmworkers, who traveled up through Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and eventually settled in Yakima Valley, Washington. His family lived in a segregated community, not being allowed to attend white schools, live in white neighborhoods, or have access to certain jobs. With a family impassioned in civil rights, workers’ rights, and racial justice issues, I welcome you to come learn about my family’s experience.


Diana LeyvaDr. Diana Leyva - From Bogota to Pittsburgh: I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, and moved to the U.S. seventeen years ago to pursue my PhD in Psychology. I lived in the northeast for 11 years, then moved to the south for 5 years, and I’m now in the mid-Atlantic, which has allowed me to experience widely different subcultures within the U.S. I will share my journey as an immigrant and a Latina scholar.


Dr. Miguel OrtizDr. Miguel Ortiz - Trauma, Sacrifice, and Action: I was born in Guatemala City in a very ordinary lower-middle-class way. There was a civil war going on in the mountains surrounding my city, but I did not think it strange. Those days my world was limited by cinderblock walls, broken glass, and barbed wire. Inside the walls, we were safe, outside the walls was a different world. Moving to the U.S. is the greatest gift my parents will ever give me. A lifetime sacrifice of family and culture in exchange for opportunity and security. I am at Pitt to discover how to best honor this gift and to re-connect with my past.


Monica RuizMonica Ruiz - Hispanic Leadership in Pittsburgh: I am the Executive Director at Casa San Jose’, the Latino Resource and Welcome Center located in Pittsburgh, PA.  I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and have Latino roots from Guatemala and Puerto Rico, where my mother and father are from respectively. As a powerful advocate for Hispanic and Latin/a/o/e/x identifying individuals on legal, housing, development, and educational issues, I look forward to speaking about my work with assisting the local Hispanic community.




Tuesday, September 22, 2020
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Event, Online / Webinar
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Michael Thompson