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American Latino Heritage Initiative Retrospective
[Theme: Resources]

Congreso 2022

A “Scholars Expert Panel” advised the National Park Service’s American Latino Heritage Initiative (2011-16) and produced American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study (2013). Members of this panel will reflect upon and discuss their work with the NPS, its significance, its legacies, and the work that remains unfinished.

Facilitator: Dr. Ray Rast, American Latino Scholars Expert Panel


Dr. Ray Rast, American Latino Scholars Expert Panel

Dr. Antonia Castañeda, American Latino Scholars Expert Panel

Belinda Faustinos, American Latino Scholars Expert Panel

Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, American Latino Scholars Expert Panel

Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, American Latino Scholars Expert Panel

Chicana feminist historian Antonia I. Castañeda was born in Crystal City, Tejas, and raised in Washington State. She received her BA at Western Washington State College, her MA at the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in U.S. History at Stanford University. Professor Castañeda has taught Chicano Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of California in Santa Barbara and in the Departments of History at the University of Texas at Austin and at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio. The author of numerous scholarly articles including the prize- winning “Women of Color and the Re-Writing of Western History: The Discourse, Politics, and Decolonization of History.” Castañeda co-founded and coedited the Chicana Matters Book Series, University of Texas Press, with Deena J. González (2000-2014). This unprecedented book series published 18 scholarly monographs, and 2 novels by Chicana scholars and writers. A collection of Castañedás scholarly essays, Three Decades of Engendering History: Selected Works of Antonia I. Castañeda, edited by Linda Heidenreich, was recently published by the University of North Texas Press (2014). Castañeda is a member of the Scholars Advisory Board of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project and of the Recovering the Hispanic Texas History Project. She is a founding member of the Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS, 1982); in 2007 the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) awarded Castañeda its highest honor, naming her NACCS Scholar of the Year.

Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, anthropologist, historian, and Indigenous slavery scholar, is the Executive Director of Native Bound-Unbound: Archive of Indigenous Americans Enslaved, an unprecedented digital project centered on millions of Indigenous people whose lives were shaped by slavery. Dr. Ráel-Gálvez previously served as the state historian of New Mexico, executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and senior vice president of historic sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He served on the Scholars Panel of the American Latino Heritage Initiative, who fashioned American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study. Currently also CEO and the founding principal of Creative Strategies 360°, he received his B.A. at the University of California at Berkeley and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. An heir to these complex legacies, a native son of New Mexico, with ancestral and living ties to both Native American and Hispano/Chicano communities, Raél-Gálvez is completing his book on American Indian slavery and legacy.

Ms. Faustinos currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to Los Angeles Waterkeeper focused on integrated, equity based, community investments in parks, water, transit and housing. She previously served as the Executive Director of Nature for All. Prior to this position she served as the Executive Officer of the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) for 10 years and as Deputy Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy for over 17 years. She retired in May of 2011 after 40 years as a California State employee. She is on the Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and is an alternate California Coastal Commissioner. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar appointed her to the National Park Service Advisory Board in 2010 and she was re-appointed in 2014 by Secretary Jewell. As a member of the NPS Advisory Board she Co-Chaired the American Latino Heritage Scholars Experts Panel and served as Chair of the Urban Committee. She was born in Boyle Heights, attained her BA at Pitzer College in 1973 and for the last 38 years she has lived in South San Gabriel. For recreation she enjoys spending time with familia, biking and exploring parks, mountains, beaches and cultural heritage spaces in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Ray Rast is an Associate Professor of History at Gonzaga University, where he teaches courses in U.S. history, public history, and American Latina/o history. He served as the lead historian for the National Park Service’s Cesar Chavez Special Resource Study (2013), he served on the Scholars Panel for the Park Service’s American Latino Heritage Initiative, and he has written several National Register and National Historic Landmark nominations. He currently serves as a board member for Latinos in Heritage Conservation and for the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and he is a member of the Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission.

Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez is Associate Professor, Journalism, Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas, Austin; Founder and Director of the VOCES – Oral History Project at UT, Austin; and was a member of the American Latino Heritage Initiative, and on the panel of scholars who fashioned American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study. Her research interests include the intersection of oral history and journalism, U.S. Latinos and the news media, both as producers of news and as consumers. Rivas-Rodriguez founded the Voces Oral History Project (formerly the U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project) in 1999, which has videotaped interviews with over 960 men and women throughout the country. She was on the committee that organized and founded the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 1982. Rivas-Rodríguez received her Ph.D. as a Freedom Forum doctoral fellow from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her masters is from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and her bachelor of journalism degree is from the University of Texas at Austin.

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