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Final Reception with Keynote and Author, Raymond David Vela

Congreso 2022

Join us for our last evening in Denver. Our final keynote will be David Vela, the former acting director of the United States National Park Service and author of Hola Ranger, My Journey Through the National Parks. We will be closing out Congreso 2022 at Museo de las Americas, a museum that is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the diverse arts and cultures of the Americas from ancient to contemporary, through innovative exhibitions and programs. Featuring small bites from Chef Edwin Sandoval of Xatrucho Concepts. Books will be available for purchase following the discussion. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Location: Museo de Las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204

COST: Free with advanced registration

Sponsored by Mexican American Civil Rights Institute


Dr. Sarah Zenaida Gould, Mexican American Civil Rights Institute and Latinos in Heritage Conservation


Raymond David Vela, former acting director of the United States National Park Service

Sarah Zenaida Gould, Ph.D. is Interim Executive Director of the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute, a national project to collect and disseminate Mexican American civil rights history. A longtime museum worker and public historian, she has curated over a dozen exhibits on history, art, and culture, she was formerly founding director of the Museo del Westside and lead curatorial researcher at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Gould is co-founder and currently serves as co-chair of Latinos in Heritage Conservation. Additionally, she serves on the boards of El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, on the council of the American Association of State and Local History, and is an active member of the Westside Preservation Alliance, a coalition dedicated to promoting and preserving the working-class architecture of San Antonio's Westside. She received a BA in American Studies from Smith College and an MA and PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. She is a former fellow at the National Museum of American History, the Winterthur Museum, and the American Antiquarian Society, and is an alumna of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Leadership Institute.

David Vela retired from the National Park Service in September 2020 after 30 years with the agency, most recently serving as Deputy Director, Exercising the Authority of the Director. He also served as Chair for the Committee for the Preservation of the White House. Previous executive and leadership assignments included Associate Director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion and Regional Director of the NPS Southeast Region. In addition, he served as the Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, and Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site. David also served as Director of the Texas Child Support program under the Attorney General of Texas. David serves on nonprofit boards to include the National Park Foundation National Council, Eastern National Board of Directors, The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton National Leaders Council, Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Board of Trustees, and Texas A&M University AgriLife Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board. David is a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation and parks. He is the recent author of Hola Ranger, My Journey Through The National Parks. David and his wife Melissa have two children and seven grandchildren.

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