Insight Center + Arte Público Press Launch Events

LMB_6On Thursday, December 3rd we held two public events in Los Angeles and San José, CA where the Insight Center and the University of Houston’s Arte Público Press (APP) publicly released this new webspace and a seminal new book on Latino Young Men and Boys, Testimonies.

This new body of work complements evolving new efforts driven by the Insight Center to lift up first voice expressions of the lived experience of young males of color in areas ranging from their interface with economic, social, legal, and educational institutions in America to their sense of opportunity, cultural identity, belonging, and creativity.

The Los Angeles event, hosted by the California Community Foundation was undertaken in partnership with Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP).

The San José event was convened at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, also in collaboration with HIP, as well as the San José Mayor’s Office, through Angel Rios, City Director of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services.

Together, nearly 200 individuals, mainly Latino youth and youth advocates participated in these initial launch events.

During 2016, additional events will be convened in Oakland and Sacramento, as well as select locations across the nation, outside of California.

Los Angeles Event:

The Los Angeles gathering featured iconic leaders of the Latino Restorative Justice movement, including Jerry Tello of the National Compadres Network, Alex Sanchez of Homies Unidos, and Javier Stauring of the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese.

A subsequent panel moderated by the theatre group Company of Angels Artistic Director, Armando Molina featured renowned Latino comic, playwright and film director Richard Montoya (co-founder of the performance art group Culture Clash), as well as actor Danny Villarreal (Stand and Deliver, American Me), and Homeboy Industries Photography and Social Media Director, Salvador “Pocho” Sanchez.

The Southern California event was capped by a keynote address by renowned Chicano writer and social activist Luis Rodríguez, poet laureate of Los Angeles and author of the best selling book Always Running: La Vida Loca.

San Jose Event:

The San José event was attended by various community dignitaries, including in addition to City Parks and Neighborhood Services Director, Angel Rios, City Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco, incoming Interim Police Chief, Eddie García, and Mario Maciel, Director of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force.

Important panel discussions in San José additionally featured leading Northern California Latino/multicultural education and youth leaders such as Rubén Lizardo of U.C. Berkeley, George Galvis of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, OT Quintero of Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos, and Sonny Lara of the Firehouse.

The event also included a compelling reading by Latino poet Freddy Gutierrez, and a discussion about the role of arts and culture in encouraging the fuller economic, social, and educational integration of Latino males in American civic and public culture.

A closing panel exchange included Pastor Danny Sanchez of the San José City Peace Project, Roberto Romo, a graphic designer and arts instructor affiliated with the Mexican Heritage Plaza School of Art and Culture, and Mario Maciel of the City Gang Prevention Task Force.