Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Event at UTSA focuses on poverty, racial justice and labor struggles

Event at UTSA focuses on poverty, racial justice and labor struggles

APRIL 14, 2022 — The UTSA Democratizing Racial Justice (DRJ) Project is hosting a panel discussion on oppressive conditions in the workplace from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, in the Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326) at the UTSA Downtown Campus. The event, Workers on the Rise: The State of Labor in San Antonio, is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required.

UTSA launched its DRJ project in January 2021 to support its community partnerships in advancing racial justice. Made possible through a $5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project is a collaboration between UTSA’s Women Studies Institute and the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and community partners to work on pressing racial justice issues. It also seeks to increase student access to ethnic studies as a pathway for learning about and creating more just societies.


“If we are to live up to the values of equality we often espouse as Americans, issues of poverty, racial justice and labor struggles must be elevated and addressed.”



Over the last year, participants built relationships with the university and San Antonio communities, including hosting a series of virtual discussions. Workers on the Rise is the DRJ project’s first in-person event.

“Poverty, racial justice, and labor struggles need to be discussed more because they are interconnected topics that seldom receive the attention they deserve at both the national and local levels,” said Jose Villagran, a UTSA postdoctoral fellow with the project. “Nationally, the country is often framed as a land of ‘exceptionalism’ where immigrants from all over have been able to make a good living for themselves through perseverance and hard work. This narrative obfuscates the reality for millions who have had to fight to earn a living and whose stories resemble a nightmare more than a dream. If we are to live up to the values of equality we often espouse as Americans, issues of poverty, racial justice and labor struggles must be elevated and addressed. This event is a good platform to do so.”

The event will feature a panel of local workers and organizers who will discuss how they have resisted oppressive conditions in the workplace, and how the public can become involved in the city’s labor movement.

Panelists include:

  • Mario Compean, Academia América (co-founder of La Raza Unida party)
  • Fred Garza, Texas United Farm Workers
  • Rebecca Flores, Texas United Farm Workers
  • Petra Mata, Fuerza Unida
  • Alejandra Lopez, The San Antonio Alliance
  • Araceli Herrera, Domesticas Unidas
  • Richard Oppenheim, American Federation of Musicians, Local 23
  • Teri Castillo, San Antonio City Councilmember

EXPLORE FURTHER
Explore and register to attend Workers on the Rise: The State of Labor in San Antonio.
⇒ Learn more about the Democratizing Racial Justice Project.

The event will also feature a stringed quartet performance by the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony.

To make the event more accessible to the public, the RGV Language Justice Collective will provide live Spanish interpretation.

Free parking is available in the Cattleman’s Square Lot, located on the corner of S. Pecos–La Trinidad St. and Buena Vista St.

Breannah Ruesga



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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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