Parent Page: Upcoming Events id: 29302 Active Page: Becoming Latino/a/x/eid:32988
Becoming Latino/a/x/eBecoming Latino/a/x/e

Wednesday, September 6, 2023  |  3:00-4:30 PM Central Time

 (4:00-5:30 PM Eastern, 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain, 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific; convert other time zones here)

Registration is $25.00. You must have a Zoom account and use the associated email address during the registration process.




This workshop is geared for those committed to self-examination and reflexivity in a collective (inclusive) space focused on the effort to understand the complexity of a collective sociocultural and political identity, Latina/o/x/e, that cuts across constructed categories in ways that acknowledge and move beyond the role of historical trauma in shaping the experiences and identities of Latina/o/x/e communities. Identity development within Latinx culture is complicated by the intensifying political climate and intersections of nationality, gender, language, religion, class, ethnicity, race, etc., which significantly impact how students and professionals are viewed in this country, particularly those who are labeled or identify as Latina/o/x/e. Where ever we are across the spectrum of identity? Whatever we may call ourselves and whoever includes themselves in this category, we collectively encounter critical choices and continue engaging in the intra-personal & inter-personal identity tensions or embrace the dominant U.S. narrative in its essentializing stances. 

This workshop creates a space for participants to better understand how to identify possibilities to be effective leaders and educators, and should particularly benefit students, practitioners, scholars, cultural community workers whose focus on the identified group Hispanic, Chicano/a/x/e, Afro-Latinx, Latina/o/x/e, etc. We aim to unpack, name and heal, through a process of historicization and reflexivity, including deeper engagement with intersections of whiteness, anti-blackness, religious imperialism, and 'Machismoism' within Pan-Latino/a/x/e cultural spaces and practice. This workshop invites participants into a collective space of decolonization and deep self-inquiry in order to examine our identities, trending issues and professional practices in ways that transform how we lead and take action to decolonize our minds and practices. The intended outcome includes a personal development and leadership transformation that will manifest in a professional network to move forward equity agendas that serve Latina/o/x/e and other minoritized communities.


Michael Benitez, PhD 

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion 

Associate Professor, School of Education

Metropolitan State University, Denver 


A nationally-acclaimed activist-scholar, practitioner, and educator in higher education, Dr. Benitez is known for his down-to-earth, insightful commentary and critical perspectives on social and cultural issues. Part of Dr. Benitez's success lies in his ability to speak heart-to-heart while bridging theory and scholarly inquiry with everyday life and peoples' lived realities. Including his use of accessible language that multiple audiences can relate to, and demonstrated success and deep knowledge and practice of innovate equity and inclusion based strategies and approaches to address some of higher education's more pressing campus climate issues of today. This includes but is not limited to Latino/a/x/e identity formation, academic freedom and civic discourse, racial justice and equity and inclusion and critical pedagogy and practice. Dr. Benitez provides multi-context and -issue frameworks for empowerment and transformation, making him one of today's most highly sought out speakers and workshop leaders at colleges and conferences nationwide. Dr. Benitez is co-editor of the anthology, Crash Course: Reflections on the Film "Crash" for Critical Dialogues About Race, Power and Privilege (2007), and has contributed to Being Latino On-Line Magazine, the American Mosaic Online Database, Culture Centers in Higher Education: Perspectives on Identity, Theory, and Practice (2010), and Rebel Music: Resistance through Hip Hop and Punk (2015). His most recent work on supporting faculty of color can be found in AACU's Liberal Education (2017), and his work on creating campus community participatory frameworks for difficult conversations and institutional action, in New Directions in Institutional Research (2017). Benitez has been featured in educational documentaries, such as "Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity" (2012), and has appeared on talk shows such as Worlds Apart, Speakout with Tim Wise, and Hard Knock Radio. Most recently, Dr. Benitez was awarded Iowa State University's 2022 College of Human Sciences Alumni Achievement Award.


David Barragan a.k.a. Olmeca, MA

Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist and scholar (from Kennedy Center article)

Adjunct Lecturer / Recording Artist and Producer (from LinkedIn)


Olmeca is a Bilingual Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist and scholar who has been featured on Complex Magazine, Billboard, NPR, Huffington Post, Noisey, and Democracy Now.  His work has been featured on various documentaries on PBS, BBC World, as well as, featured films. He has written music for tv shows including ""Sons of Anarchy,"" and new series, ""The Mayans"" on FX and toured Latin American, U.S. and Europe. Currently, Olmeca is celebrating the release of his new album, ""DEFINE"". The album can be found on multiple playlists on Spotify and itunes where some of the singles are reaching 100k plays.  He is faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Interdisciplinary Gender and Ethnic Studies Department teaching Latin American History, Latinx in the U.S. and Hip-Hop courses. For the next year, Olmeca will be a Kennedy Center Artist Fellow and is finishing a poetry book to accompany the album. Noisey says, ""Olmeca is a 21 century shaman and one of the reasons bilingual music is a thing today." 


Olmeca grew up in the barrios of L.A. and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity.  His bilingual music has earned him respect and praises in both English and Spanish news outlets and genres (Hip-Hop and Latin Alternative). Olmeca has collaborated with Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Latin Alternative band, Ozomatli, Hip-Hop legend, Ras Kass, and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver).  Olmeca has toured Canada, Latin America and Europe and has helped spawn a new trend of bilingual Hip-hop. While everyday people respect his lyrical content, music connoisseurs value the production, and educators utilize Olmeca's music in their classrooms. This, along with his social commentary and community efforts makes Olmeca a stand-alone artist in how he can intersect various identities and demographics. It is also for this reason that he is not only a gifted performing artist, but a university lecturer doing guest lectures, residencies and keynote speeches in universities throughout the U.S.  His capacity to bring various campus programs, offices and academic departments together is not only unique, but also necessary.   His work has been noted by social justice dignitaries speaking alongside Dolores Huerta, Naomi Klein and many others.


Important Details:

  • Download the latest version of Zoom on your device BEFORE the webinar begins. Launch and sign into Zoom, click on your profile picture (top right corner) and select Check for Updates. 

  • A recording will be sent to registrants approximately one week after the webinar.

  • Live captions and sign language interpretation provided. Email for assistance.


Questions? Email