Earlier this week, I had the pleasure to attend part of Congreso 2016: The Latino Memphis Conference, a gathering of influential organizations, leaders and companies to share first-hand insight on how to better work with and serve the Latinos in the Memphis area. As SFA looks ahead to our 2017 theme, El Sur Latino, we have much to learn from such gatherings.
Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, Deputy Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at National Council of La Raza, began her powerful—and personal—keynote address with the announcement that the day marked her quinceañera as a citizen of the United States. Like so many latinos in the South, Martínez came to the U.S. as a minor. She struggled to find her way home from high school those first few days, before she mastered the route. When she got a job across town, she had to figure out which buses to take to get there and which to take back home.
With each new destination, Martínez explained, “My universe expanded just a little bit more.”
Bit by bit, she found her place in her new country.
This is what we hope to accomplish at SFA each year. We want to take our audiences, guests, and members somewhere they haven’t yet explored through the films we make, the writing we publish, the podcast we produce, and the oral histories we collect. In doing so, we come to better understand our own place in the South.
Ven con nosotros. Come with us as we expand our universe just a little bit more in 2017.