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Tejas Foco 2015 News

Tejas Foco Highlight: Early Chicano/a Cinema

by Tony Diaz on 02/08/15

Tejas Foco Highlight:

Early Chicano/a Cinema

2015 NACCS Tejas Foco Conference

Lone Star College-North Harris

Feb. 26-28, 2015

Date: Friday, Feb. 27, 2015

Registration powered by RegOnline

Session: III 2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Room: ACAD 161

85. Monos/Movies desde los Barrios: Early Chicano/a Cinema

Oral histories of Chicano/a cinema of the micro-businesse type that emerged in the barrios of South Texas and Houston, Texas are rare. Only until 2014 have they been discovered that adds to the current body of knowledge of Chicano/a cinema. A handful of entrepreners made cinema available to the masses, mostly drawing from film productions from Mexico and Latin America in the early 30s and 40s. Social and cultural segregation prevailed in the U.S. during this time, and it has been the subject of Chicano film studies. This panel presentation hopes to shed new light on the early history of the Chicano/a community, drawing from video documentaries and oral history as prime sources that have been the efforts of Sembradores de Aztlan Oral History Project, Houston, Texas. Several related questions deem our attention: (1) what was the economic contribution of these barrio-based micro-businesses to current entertainment venues in Houston, Texas and the state of Texas?; (2) how have these films impacted first-generation Mexican Americans in regards to passing on cultural literacy contained in the films with regards to successful film icons of Mexico; and (3) what impact have these films have on current Chicano/a film festivals in terms of programmatic planning and presentations? The panel presentation will be composed of activists of cinema-related micro-businesses and the founder of Cine Cuauhtemoc Pan American Film Festival, the first Chicano-oriented festival in Houston, Texas. The information to be presented will surely impact our view of Chicano/a film history, and it will be a prime source for Chicano/a Studies related to film.

Presenters: Jesus Cantu Medel, M.Ed., Museo Guadalupe Aztlan, Houston, Texas; Dr. Antonio Gonzalez and Daniel Antoon, Chicano/a Studies Network, Houston, Texas

Here is a link to a shortened version of this post for your texting and social media convenience: http://bit.ly/ChicanoCinema

Address to Lone Star College-North Harris is:
2700 W.W. Thorne Drive
Houston, Texas 77073

Campus Map:


For those coming from out of town:

La Quinta Inn & Suites Houston 1960

415 FM 1960 Rd E, Houston, TX-77073
(281) 784-1112
Special rate for the Tejas Foco:

$89 a night for 2 queen beds.


Additional hotel listings:


The Entire Community is invited to the 2015 NACCS Tejas Foco Conference titled "Putting More Community in Commuinty College and Beyond."

by Tony Diaz on 02/01/15

Can you name 5 Latino authors?

Can you name 5 Chicana Professors?

Can you name 5 Tejanos who have made hsitory?

After you attend the 2015 NACCS Tejas Foco, you will know way more than that.

Our conference is not just for students, professors, or writers. We also want members of the community to join us and spread the powerful history, cultura, and literatura we will share. Also, this event is not just for Latinos. This is a great way to get to know more about the hearts, imaginations, and talents of Tejanos.

By attending our Tejas Foco Conference you get to find out about the history, literature, and culture that has not been taught enough in our schools. The best part is that you get to experience it with high school and college students who are looking for their cultura, and with the professors and scholars who are archiving and putting so many moments into context, and you get to meet the authors and activists who are changing the world and the way we are imagined.

You can also convene with the policy makers who are shaping our educational system. And they all need to hear from you.

If you are new to conferences such as ours, we've created 5 tracks to help you navigate through all the brilliant panels we've lined up for you. Over the course of our 3 day conference there are 3 plenaries-or presentations that are the only panels going on at that time. There are also 6 sessions, each one hour and 15 minutes long, that consists of 10 - 15 break out presentations.

When you register, you can save your place at all 3 plenaries, and up to 6 break out panels.

The Awards Luncheon is Friday, February, 27, at noon. This will feature a sit-down lunch, and a key note address by internationally acclaimed author Dagoberto Gilb. This is $15 in addition to your registration fee.

All panels are cut off when their full seating capacity is reached. So sign up right away.

We included the following 5 tracks to help you choose which of the up to 15 break out panels you want to attend during each session. Of course, you could just pick panels at random and you still would not go wrong. Most attendees are stunned at the number of intellectuals, writers, and activists who attend the Tejas Foco. We just wanted to make choosing a little bit easier. Below are the break downs of our tracks. We look forward to meeting you and celebrating cultura together.

Teaching MAS: Recent reports verify that middle and high school students who took Mexican American Studies (MAS) were a lot more likely to graduate and pursue higher education. This track focuses on specific ways to implement MAS courses. This ranges from the specific procedures to adopt MAS courses in high schools for dual credit to such topics as how to teach the classic Chicano novel BLESS ME, ULTIMA.

Teaching M.A.S. Más: We received so many great panel proposals on how to teach MAS that we added a second track. That means there are at least 12 panels on how to help Latino students succeed using MAS. This track is not just ideal for teachers and administrators but also for parents who want their students to benefit from this material, and also for concerned citizens who want to find out how to help our schools edify and inspire our youth.

Student Panels: At last year's Tejas Foco student leaders told the organizing committee that they wanted more representation and more involvement. This year's conference delivers that and more. This track features 6 of over a dozen student planned or conducted panels ranging from their testimonies on how MAS has inspired them to succeed to their own research or creative writing. It is truly thrilling and inspiring to hear these young women and men share their insights with such amazing talent.

Environmental Justice: If you have never heard of Houston's Manchester barrio on the East End that is just one major reason that it's urgent to better understand the Environmental Justice Movement and how it impacts our communities. These panels range from an over view of Houston's role in this international campaign to a showcase of books that link the environment with the academic wold and with  . . .food!!!

Librotraficante Studies: Houston is the base of the Librotraficante Movement which was created to defy the banning of Mexican American Studies in Arizona, and to champion Freedom of Speech and Intellectual Freedom. This track will feature panels about the evolution of this grass roots campaign that is changing the world and making an impact locally, nationally, and internationally. You'll also get an update on the status of the court case against Arizona's ban of Ethnic Studies. You will also be the first to find out about the major caravans, tours, and conferences planned for the near future. Tejas has a major role in the Chicano Renaissance.

Tejas Foco Highlight: Gang-Related Narratives and the Irony Employed in Contemporary Chican@ Literature

by Tony Diaz on 01/30/15

Tejas Foco Highlight:

Student Panel Track-

Gang-Related Narratives and the Irony Employed in Contemporary Chican@ Literature

2015 NACCS Tejas Foco Conference

Lone Star College-North Harris

Feb. 26-28, 2015


Register Now!

Registration powered by RegOnline



SESSION I:  Friday, February 27 2015 

                     Time: 9:00 am- 10:15 am

                     Room: ACAD 161


Student Panel Track: Gang-Related Narratives and the Irony Employed in Contemporary Chican@ Literature

Panelists address Barrio Writers, a collection of poems and short “fictional” pieces by young folks; Virginia Grise’s play blu; Ana Castillo’s novel The Guardians; and Helena María Viramontes’ novel Their Dogs Came with Them. These works involve narratives about youth whose lives for the most part, but not entirely, have fallen on hard times. Not all these youth are Mexican American, as a few are Mexican nationals tied to family here in the US. These Chican@ writers explore themes covering gang-related narratives long receiving a great deal of attention in movies and television media productions but which overlook important aspects of Mexican American life.

The panelists will show how these works counter stereotypes by showing ironic dimensions about the lives of the youth they portray and which complicate their narratives in significant ways. Panelists analyze these works to show how these authors deliver messages complicating stereotypes commonly held about Mexican Americans and Mexicans.


Panelists all come from Texas State University

Adriana Requejo

Alejandra Vizcaino

Stephen Mendoza

Catharina Reyes

Sabrina Rodriguez

Chair: Jaime Armin Mejia, Ph.D

This is a shortened link to this blog post for your multimedia convenience:

Tejas Foco Highlight: Break Out F: Panza Poderosa: An introduction to Panza Fusion, a performance genre, combining the ancient art of belly dance with Tejana culture and social justice.

by Tony Diaz on 01/25/15

2015 NACCS Tejas Foco Conference

Lone Star College-North Harris

Feb. 26-28, 2015

Registration powered by RegOnline

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015,

Session V: 9 am – 10:15 am

ACAD 126

Break Out F: Panza Poderosa:  An introduction to Panza Fusion, a performance genre, combining the ancient art of belly dance with Tejana culture and social justice.

Presentation will include an all female panel from Zombie Bazaar Panza Fusion.  Panelists will discuss the different aspects of the dance genre created by Giomara Bazaldua, director and choreographer of the company.  Group will discuss how Panza Fusion has added movimiento to the social justice movement in San Antonio, through a diverse dance catalogue that dives into immigration, the rights of the LGTBQ, and womyns issues. 

A short workshop on movement will also be facilitated a by Zombie Bazaar in order to allow the freedom for everyone to move together and bond through the energies created when a group dances together.  This movement workshop will also be used to show how you can express a certain feeling and project in order to provoke thought.  We will close with a reflection on the movement and what was discussed and end with a slow cool down/ meditation that will clear our minds and empower our bodies for the rest of the day. 

The presentation will also include a live performance of “Polly”, a serious piece that centers on womyns issues and the struggles womyn have over the ownership of their bodies.


Giomara Bazaldua:  Zombie Bazaar

Martha Saenz Buchanan  

Paloma Sifuentes

Michele Nicole Simpson

Marisa Gonzales

Stefany Nightly

Victoria Garcia-Zapata Klein 

Tejas Foco Highlight: Teaching M.A.S. Más: Mexican American Topics in schools…NOW!!!

by Tony Diaz on 01/25/15

2015 NACCS Tejas Foco Conference

Lone Star College-North Harris

Feb. 26-28, 2015

Registration powered by RegOnline

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015,

Session II: 10:30 am – 11:45 am

Teaching M.A.S. Más: Mexican American Topics in schools…NOW!!!

CMED 202/205

This last year has been one of struggle in order offer our students unbiased looks at the history and legacy of the contributions of the Mexican American people to our nation.  Texas, with a growing Latino population, has a responsibility to help our students understand how Latinos have shared in the shaping of the state’s history and how they will continue to have a stake in the future, economically, socially, and culturally.  Unfortunately, our youth have not received this opportunity in traditional history classes, or even in elective social studies classes, frustrating the efforts of educators that want to present the positive impact that Mexican Americans are having.  This presentation will show how there is a way to implement the class into the classroom now, through LOTE (languages other than English), as well as some of the topics that are discussed in the class, including projects and readings.


Agustin Loredo, Mexican American Topics Instructor, South Houston High School   , School Board Trustee-GCCISD, Librotraficante,

Laura Acosta. CTE Coordinator-BHHS, NHI Project Administrator Greater Baytown, Librotraficante