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Latinos in Heritage Conservation: Past, Present, and Future of LHC

Congreso 2022

LHC Board Co-Chairs will reflect on the organization’s origins and major achievements. They will introduce LHC’s first Executive Director who will share exciting things to come.

Facilitator: Laura Dominguez, Latinos in Heritage Conservation


Desiree Aranda, Latinos in Heritage Conservation

Dr. Sarah Zenaida Gould, Latinos in Heritage Conservation

Sehila Mota Casper, Latinos in Heritage Conservation

Laura Dominguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at USC, where she studies race, heritage, and place-making in the American West. Her research examines the making and unmaking of settler histories, memory sites, and ancestral practices among Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Los Angeles. Born and raised in Southern California, Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree in historic preservation from USC. She previously served as Communications and Programs Manager for San Francisco Heritage and Preservation Manager for the Los Angeles Conservancy. An advocate for preservation justice and equity, she is also a founding board member of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and chairs its Education & Programs Committee. From 2019-2021, she was a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group. Her writing has appeared in the Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of American History, California History, and Lost L.A. She is a new mother to Diego.

Desiree Aranda is an urban planner and heritage specialist based in Phoenix, Arizona where her family has lived for over five generations.. She is a founder and the current co-chair of Latinos in Heritage Conservation. With nearly a decade in the historic preservation and planning fields, Desiree specializes in identifying, documenting, evaluating, and designating historic properties, as well as developing community-based cultural heritage programs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Planning from the University of Arizona.

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.

Sehila Mota Casper is a historic preservationist with a decade of experience working in heritage conservation, community building, and preservation equity. Previously, Sehila worked at the City of Austin to assist in preserving marginalized histories, and was a senior field officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, working nationwide to protect America’s one-of-a-kind historic treasures. Sehila is the recipient of the 2014 National Trust for Historic Preservation Mildred Colodny Diversity scholarship and a 2013 Texas Historical Commission Preservation Scholar. Until recently, she served on the Board of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, and is an active Board of Director for the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, Preservation Texas, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, the Texas Historical Commission’s State Board of Review, and the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission. Sehila is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University Department of Visual Arts and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives in Bastrop, Texas, with her husband David and two dogs, Osito and Paul.

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