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Featured Speakers

Yolanda Chávez LeyvaYolanda Chavez Leyva
University of Texas-El Paso & Museo Urbano

Yolanda Chávez Leyva, (Associate Professor and Acting Director of the Institute of Oral History), received her Ph.D. in U.S. history at the University of Arizona in 1999. Her specialization is borderlands history with a focus on public history.    She is director of Museo Urbano, a museum without walls that highlights the rich and vibrant history of the borderlands, particularly Mexican barrios in El Paso. In 2013, Museo Urbano received the NCPH Outstanding Public History Award from the National Council on Public History. She is currently revising a manuscript on the history of ethnic Mexican children on the border, Creating and Contesting the Border: Mexican Children in El Paso, 1880-1940, which is under preliminary contract with the University of Arizona Press.  In 2013, she received the Distinguished Service to Students and the University Award and in 2012 the La Mujer Obrera Award for promoting and uplifting the rights of women on the border. She has been awarded grants from the NEH, Humanities Texas, the Texas State Historical Association, and was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. She served as Chair of the Department of History from 2010-2015.


Yadira_Perez_HazelYadira Perez Hazel
Center of Ethnic Studies in the Borough of Manhattan, City University of New York

Dr. Yadira Perez Hazel is currently an assistant professor at the Center of Ethnic Studies in the Borough of Manhattan, City University of New York and an Oral Historian at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, NYC. She completed her PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia with a dissertation entitled “Blanqueamiento (whitening) in Paradise: Nation-building, Japanese Immigration and Race in the Dominican Republic,” under the direction of Dr. Richard Handler. From 2010-2011, she was a postdoctoral fellows at Waikato University and Auckland University in New Zealand and, before that, a qualitative researcher on several public health programs and research projects for the Latino Commission on Aids in NYC.   At the Tenement Museum, Dr. Perez Hazel is the Oral History Manager collecting life histories of the Latino community (mostly, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans) who lived and/or worked in the Lower East Side. She also serve as the museum’s resident Puerto Rican and Dominican historian and cultural expert, conducting talks for the Tenement’s educators and speaking to media outlets on issues related to Latino immigration.  Concurrently, she is conducting ethnographic research in the Lower East Side with the Puerto Rican, Dominican and Chinese communities on the ways that socio-economic issues and citizenship status are narrated as privileges and/or burdens within and across each ethnic community.