Tag Archives: digital activism

Renewal at Mujeres Talk

September 30, 2013

We have news of departures and changes at MT to share with our readers today. We hope you will join us in thanking Sara A. Ramírez, Elena Gutiérrez and Ella Díaz for their service!

Our extremely talented Co-Editor/Moderator from 2012-2013 Sara A. Ramírez is stepping down from this role. A graduate student in Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley, Sara will be devoting her time and energy this academic year to work on her dissertation, which promises to be a smart, ambitious, and innovative contribution to Ethnic and Gender Studies. While we will all dearly miss working with Sara, we are excited for her that she has reached this stage in her work and wish her wonderful and inspired writing days ahead. If we were thinking only of ourselves, we might be tempted to say that her departure is not good news, but knowing how long and hard Sara has worked to make it to dissertation stage we share her joy in taking this next step. We hope she knows that she can continue to rely on all of us for support in her journey.

Since joining the Mujeres Talk Editorial Collective last year, Sara A. Ramírez has been a phenomenal contributor and collaborator. As both a lead editor and a second reader, she has corresponded with authors and solicited and/or reviewed no less than eight essays during this past year. Her commitment, dedication and collaborative skills impressed us all as exceptional, especially for a young scholar. We know that these will serve her well in her future career in academia. Sara always brought new ideas to our editorial discussions and successfully followed through on them. She was responsible and forthright in consulting with colleagues on the Collective when thorny issues surfaced. She deftly managed to incorporate varied feedback into editing suggestions to authors. Sara is a terrific editor, both careful and caring in her comments to authors. Most importantly, in her every action Sara conveyed her strong feminist ethics to build, contribute, and deepen opportunities for Chicana, Latina, and Native American women, queer and transgender folks in the academy. For these reasons, we want to take this moment to publicly thank Sara A. Ramírez for her exceptional service to Mujeres Talk and MALCS.

A second member of our Editorial Collective is also moving on to an exciting new project. Associate Professor Elena Gutiérrez is leaving Mujeres Talk to take on leadership responsibilities on another digital project: the Reproductive Justice Virtual Library. On the Mujeres Talk Editorial Collective, Elena reviewed submissions, contributed to discussions about our editorial guidelines, solicited essays for the site, and wrote an excellent essay for Mujeres Talk on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade earlier this year. Elena will be curating the Reproductive Justice Virtual Library site with movement activists and scholars across the nation. We have no doubt that Elena’s many talents in editing and writing will make RJVL a great site. We are excited about this new site, which expands the digital and online presence of women of color even further, so we wish Elena Gutiérrez every success in this exciting new endeavor!

Ella Díaz, who has contributed several excellent essays to Mujeres Talk on adjunct faculty, Latina art, sexuality and politics, mentoring, and the importance of digital publication for women of color, and who has also been a careful, generous, and keen reviewer of submissions to Mujeres Talk, will return to her earlier role as an occasional contributor to Mujeres Talk rather than a regular member of the Editorial Collective. Readers may remember that Ella joined the Collective earlier this year and contributed to the further development of editorial policy guidelines for this unique format. Ella’s enthusiasm and energy as well as her expertise in art and performance and excellent collaborative and critical skills will continue to make a valuable contribution to Mujeres Talk in this more limited role. We also wish her every success in her continued role on the MALCS Coordinating Committee and in her academic career — students at Cornell are lucky to have Ella as a professor!

Finally, we’d like to announce that Mujeres Talk will become an independent website as of October 2013! Look for an announcement of our new site soon! We plan to be up and running later this month and will be returning to our previous biweekly publication on Mondays. We developed Mujeres Talk as a project within MALCS to serve the mission and goals of the organization in an online format. In any growth process there are transitions and transformations. We have determined that continuing to grow and evolve Mujeres Talk and its capabilities will be best accomplished as a site independent of MALCS. We support the principles and goals of MALCS as we continue to build space for Chicanas, Latinas, and Native American women in the academy. We have put forward a proposal for preserving a digital archive of our site from its inception in January 2011 through today, September 2013, to the MALCS national leadership. We hope that our regular readers will continue to contribute to and follow the site. We are excited to embark on this new journey with you and your support!

Theresa Delgadillo
Inés Hernandez-Avila
Felicity Amaya Schaeffer
Elena Gutiérrez
Lucila Ek
Lourdes Alberto
Ella Díaz


  1. Anonymous    October 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Dr. Diaz’ article both impressed me and saddened me, as I remember well my first three years as Lecturer(hired in a tenure-track position), 5 years as Assistant Prof, 21 years as a Lecturer(with employment security). People gave me much advice, but I could not lfollow it. I had a destiny to fulfill. Me and a large number of other people, faculty, staff, and students,working in UC System set out to transform it. Were we demented? Did we make a difference? I have no answers, but would do it all over again if I could. In the academic world, everything is negotiable. ASR

  2. Sara A. Ramírez    October 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Thank you to the MT Collective for being such fantastic mujeres with whom to work. My experience with MT–especially under the guidance of Theresa Delgadillo and Seline Szkupinski Quiroga–has helped me to understand the complexities of feminist editorial work. Many thanks for this wonderful opportunity.

  3. Theresa Delgadillo, Co-Editor/Moderator    October 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Many thanks to the many who have emailed us personally to express your continued support for Mujeres Talk as an independent site — we’re looking forward to continuing to hear from and work with all!

A Fotonovela on Predatory Lending

August 13, 2012 By LeighAnna Hidalgo During my undergraduate years at Arizona State University I worked on a diverse range of research projects for the South Phoenix Collaborative, studying current and historic risk factors such as migrant status, poor quality of neighborhood amenities, lack of access to affordable healthcare and healthy food, and erratic income. My commitment to South Mountain families led me to become a politically active researcher in solidarity with the segments of the community most affected by anti-immigrant legislation. I became painfully aware of the differential socio-spatial distribution of banks and predatory lenders in Phoenix area urban spaces. Under the tutelage of Dr. Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, I undertook a historical and spatial analysis on the access to credit and finance in South Phoenix for an undergraduate seminar class. This work demonstrated how space in the city is constructed and functions to produce economic and social inequality. After graduating from ASU, I entered the Applied Anthropology Masters of Arts program at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). While there, I expanded on my undergraduate thesis research on fringe financial services and followed my principle of democratizing anthropology by designing a multimedia interactive fotonovela using maps generated from GIS, archival and contemporary photographs, and video taped interviews in order to make my research knowledge accessible to the public and provoke dialogue on salient economic and immigration issues. My fotonovela comes from the tradition of rasquachismo,relying on resourcefulness to learn ‘just enough, but not too much’ GIS & Final Cut Pro and repurposing and reinventing western technologies like YouTube and Calameo from their original intent or function into a creative improvisation. My next goal is to recreate this fotonovela in Spanish and make it available for illiterate Spanish speaking populations. Currently I am experimenting with a printed version of the fotonovela with embedded videos procurable for those with smart phones. This fotonovela has been requested by ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy, it has been presented in undergraduate level courses at ASU and CSULB, and in the future I hope to share it with the civil rights and advocacy organization Arizona Hispanic Community Forum. [calameo code=000553314fbaac851f9af width=420 height=272] LeighAnna Hidalgo is a first year Ph.D. student at UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies. This is her fourth year as a MALCSista. Comment(s):

  1. Sara Ramirez  August 14, 2012 at 10:20 AM Wow! This is a fierce project can certainly bring attention to systemic reproductions of economic inequality. I appreciate LeighAnna’s care and thoughtfulness to provide access to those who don’t have computers and/or smartphones as well as those who can’t read. I’m super excited that I’m part of a generation of Chicana/Latina thinkers who understand the value of multi-media to effect change.I wonder in what other ways today’s generation of Latina/o feminist dissertators can make our work accessible to those subjects about whom we write.Best of luck to you, LeighAnna. I’m in your cheering section!
  2. La Chica Mas Fina  August 14, 2012 at 3:29 PM Thank you very much for your thoughtful and encouraging comment Sara Ramirez! I really appreciate it! Auto-title loans and the predatory nature of these businesses is something that affected my family and me personally when I was a chamaca. I too am very excited by the possibility of multi-media for effecting change and I hope that more Chican@s will start to think about how we can start democratizing our research, so that it truly serves the communities where we come from. Writing an article or a thesis is not enough when what we want is justice for our communities! Not only does it benefit our communities when we work hard to create accessible research, but it also benefits us as researchers to be humbled, to remember our own humanity, and give back to the places that raised us.
  3. Theresa (Mujeres Talk Co-Moderator)  August 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM LeighAnna, Thank you for sharing this careful work in interviewing community residents and collecting and analyzing data to show trends in financial services available to minority communities. Hope this finds many, many readers! A few years back there was a campaign here in Ohio to limit the amount that payday lenders could charge in interest which I believe was successful, but your research points to a deeper problem of inequalities in financial services more broadly.
  4. Sandra D. Garza   August 15, 2012 at 8:09 PM I love this Fotonovela! What a creative use of technology! Have you thought about submitting some of your written work to the MALCS journal?
  5. La Chica Mas Fina  August 16, 2012 at 11:13 AM Thank you Dr Delgadillo! Thats great to hear about the law that passed in Ohio. In Arizona a law passed in the summer of 2010 making payday lending illegal, but since then all the payday loan places turned into auto-title loan or income-tax loan outlets. My data was collected before this change occurred, so I would like to do a re-study to reflect all these changes. You are right that there is a deeper problem of inequalities that allow these financial service disparities to continue multiplying and mutating and I am glad that was clear in my fotonovela. Gracias for letting me share my work. -LeighAnna Hidalgo
  6. Theresa (Mujeres Talk Co-Moderator)  August 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM Yes! The same thing happened here: they morphed into other “financial services” that weren’t covered by the changed legislation. I wonder if banks that got bailout money could be required to provide services in low-income areas?
  7. Theresa (Mujeres Talk Co-Moderator)  August 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM I agree with Sandra, too, the Chicana/Latina Studies Journal will be a great venue for dissemination of your research work!
  8. Monica Russel y Rodriguez August 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM LeighAnna, Thank you for sharing your excellent work with us. I find the nature of your work and the mode of communication fierce indeed. I am so encouraged by the possibility of a broad readership here. That is to say, getting our research into the hands of people who can use the information powerfully. Additionally, I am encouraged by the possibilities of moving away from the narrowly constructed essay. Your work and this blog (props to Theresa!) move us in a better direction.
  9. La Chica Mas Fina   November 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM Monica Russel y Rodriguez, Thank you so much for your encouragement! I apologize for responding so late to your message. I am only now seeing it. I am very excited about the possibilities of using this digital fotonovela methodology in my other research projects, specifically my work with taco vendors in Arizona. As you say, these methodologies can allow us to “get our research into the hands of people who can use the information powerfully”. Exactly! Gracias por tu apoyo!
  10. Alicia Gaspar de Alba   November 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM LeighAna, I think this would make a fascinating subject for a lecture in 10A, and hence your final paper in 200. Let me just clarify, however, that the name of our department is the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. We do not have Latina/o Studies in our title, and we are very proud of the Chavez name. Profe Gaspar de Alba
  11. La Chica Mas Fina  November 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM Thank you Dr. Gaspar de Alba for reading and commenting on the digital fotonovela and for welcoming me into the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies program. I really value your work and look forward to incorporating the Alter-Native perspective into my final paper. Gracias!