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Addressing Poverty in Peru’s Highlands

Wednesday, April 11
12:00 p.m.
Banister 102


Miguel Tinker Salas – October 5, 2011Miguel Tinker Salas – October 5, 2011
(Lecture “Venezuela: From Model Democracy to Bolivarian Republic”, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom)
Miguel Tinker Salas is one of the nation's foremost authorities on political and social issues confronting Latin America. He is the author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Citizenship in Venezuela (Duke University Press, 2009); co-editor with Steve Ellner of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and the Decline of an Exceptional Democracy, (Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007); co editor with Jan Rus of Mexico 2006-2012: neoliberalism, movimientos sociales y politica electoral, (Miguel Angel Porrua and Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas, 2006) and author of Under the Shadow of the Eagles, The Border and the Transformation of Sonora During the Porfiriato, University of California Press 1997.

His expertise includes: contemporary Latin America, society and politics in Venezuela and Mexico, oil, culture and politics in Venezuela, the drug war in Mexico, Mexican border society, Chicanos/as and Latinos/as in the United States, and Latin American immigration.

Miguel Tinker Salas is currently a Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a Latino/a Studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California.  (From
(This program is being sponsored by the departments of History and Latin American Studies)

The Cimarrón Project - October 14 & 15
Concert – Friday, October 14, 7:30 p.m., Stuzinski Hall
Music Workshop – Friday, October 14, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Gibson 101
Dance Workshop – Saturday, October 15, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Memorial 601

The Cimarrón Project is an ensemble interested in representing the diversity of Afro-Cuban music and dance in its most traditional form. The Project’s repertoire includes rumba, son, pilón, changüí, and other deeper forms belonging to the various Afro-descendant religious practices in Cuba such as Regla de Ocha batá drumming. The members of the Cimarron Project are: Román Díaz (musical director), Junior Terry, Mauricio Herrera, Onel Mulet, Abraham Rodríguez and other guest artists.
Cimarrón Project will be offering a workshop in which attendees can learn to play and sing Afro-Cuban drumming, workshop focusing on the associated dance, and a concert. All members of the Bowdoin community are welcome to participate in any or all of these events free of charge.
Building Stronger Communities with Fair and Affordable Housing:
(Panel discussion, open to the public, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge)
Ben Beach ’97, Elise Selinger ’10, and  Ian Yaffe ’09; Moderator, Professor Craig McEwen, Sociology
October 17, 2011

Using the example of a low-income Latino immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles where he worked for nearly a decade, Ben Beach ’97, attorney and Director of the Community Benefits Law Center, illuminates the power of campaigns for “community benefits,” including efforts to win standards that create affordable housing as a part of local economic development. Elise Selinger ’10, Project Associate at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) in New York City, illustrates how this organization preserves affordable housing and promotes self-sufficiency through a system in which low-income residents collectively own and democratically govern limited-equity housing cooperatives. Ian Yaffe '09, Executive Director of Mano en Mano/Hand in Hand (a nonprofit in Milbridge, Maine) highlights the importance of partnerships and community relations - especially in controversial projects - and the challenges of serving sub-sectors of the general population where the majority of residents can't afford basic rent.

Ben Beach ’97 is the Director of the Community Benefits Law Center, a nonprofit legal organization that works with community, labor and environmental groups on their campaigns to improve local economies for low-income communities. Previously, he was a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and taught the Community Economic Development clinic at UCLA School of Law. Much of his work has involved campaigns for “community benefits,” including affordable housing, at major development projects in cities across the U.S., and efforts to win standards that create affordable housing as a part of local economic development. He has represented groups in negotiating Community Benefits Agreements with developers, advocating for inclusionary housing measures in cities, and defending those measures in court. Using the example of a low-income Latino immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles where he worked for nearly a decade, Ben will talk about the challenges of revitalizing urban low-income communities while ensuring that existing residents enjoy the benefits.

Ian Yaffe '09 is Executive Director of Mano en Mano | Hand in Hand, a nonprofit in Milbridge, Maine working with farmworkers and Latino immigrants in the areas of education, access to social services, advocacy, and affordable housing.  After a long five years of planning, controversy, and construction, Mano en Mano opened Maine's first affordable housing project for farmworkers, Hand in Hand Apartments, on June 27.  The building is now home to six families who work in agriculture and aquaculture fields, cornerstones of the Downeast Maine economy.  Despite the success of this project, it was not without significant legal challenges as a small, but vocal group of residents moved to create a moratorium on construction based on perceptions that it would serve immigrants and not pay local property taxes.  Ian will talk about the importance of partnerships and community relations, especially when it comes to controversial projects in isolated locations, and the challenges of serving sub-sectors of the general population an area when the majority of all residents can't afford basic rent.

Elise Selinger ’10 is a Project Associate at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and preserves affordable housing throughout the City of New York through a resident-led model of self-sufficiency. Since 1973, UHAB has assisted in the preservation of over 1,700 buildings and created home ownership opportunities for over 30,000 households. At UHAB, she works with homeowners who collectively own and democratically govern limited-equity housing cooperatives. In this capacity she provides technical assistance and need-to-know management skills to potential and current co-op homeowners for effective building maintenance, governance, and financial management. Elise will talk about the history of the limited-equity co-op in New York City and the challenges that co-ops face in ensuring that they remain permanently affordable to current low-income shareholders and future generations.
(This event is being sponsored by the following departments: McKeen Center for the Common Good, Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies, Economics, Sociology, Government, and Career Planning)

Journalist Mary Jo McConahay, author of Maya Roads: One Woman's Journey Among the People of the RainforestAn Evening with Mary Jo McConahay - October 19
(Reading, open to the public, 7:00 p.m., Searles 315)

Journalist Mary Jo McConahay, author of Maya Roads: One Woman's Journey Among the People of the Rainforest, covered Central America as a war correspondent and lived in Mexico and Central America for fifteen years. Her award-winning work has appeared

in more than thirty magazines and periodicals and is collected in a half-dozen books, including True to Life Adventure Stories by Women and Best Travel Writing 2011. She co-produced the PBS documentary Discovering Dominga, which was awarded the Cine Golden Eagle and numerous other film honors, and is widely used in college classrooms.

Mary Jo will visit us for a reading and discussion, including: the classic Maya world and contemporary Maya, Zapatistas, violence and justice, 2012, the rainforest and the 'drug war.'

For more information on Mary Jo McConahay, visit her website,

Mark Schuller - November 3
(Movie screening, Open to the Public, Kresge Auditorium) 7 p.m.
 Poto Mitan
Professor Schuller will visit us for a screening of the movie and a forum to take place the evening of Thursday, November 3 in Kresge Auditorium.
Told through compelling lives of five courageous Haitian women workers, Poto Mitan gives the global economy a human face. Each woman’s personal story explains neoliberal globalization, how it is gendered, and how it impacts Haiti: inhumane working/living conditions, violence, poverty, lack of education, and poor health care. While Poto Mitan offers in-depth understanding of Haiti, its focus on women’s subjugation, worker exploitation, poverty, and resistance demonstrates these are global struggles. Finally, through their collective activism, these women demonstrate that despite monumental obstacles in a poor country like Haiti, collective action makes change possible.

The women’s own astute analyses are supported by interviews with Haitian NGOactivists, government ministers, and scholars providing global, economic,and political context. The women’s struggles to unionize and images of their deplorable working conditions (captured by spy cameras) are juxtaposed with contradictory interviews of factory owners. Ultimately, these resilient women’s hardships are offset with positive images of them organizing and uniting their communities.

Throughout the film, the women’s stories are woven together by close-upshots of a mother’s hands braiding her daughter’s hair, while acclaimed novelist Edwidge Danticat narrates a “krik krak”, traditional folklore.This poetic story demonstrates Haitian women’s historical depth of struggle and resistance, while providing an homage to Haiti’s oral storytelling culture. The krik-krak grows and weaves with the film, until finally the two resolve together, with hope and resilience. In addition to these beautiful spoken words, Poto Mitan showcases a range of contemporary Haitian music by Emeline Michel, Boukman Eksperyans, Brothers Posse, Manze Dayila and the Nago Nation, and Awozam, along with empowerment songs by the women in the film.

Mark Schuller is Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology at York College (CUNY). He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on globalization, NGOs, civil society and development in Haiti. His insights have been published in public media,including: Huffington Post, Counterpunch, Common Dreams, and the Center for International Policy, and media interviews, including the BBC, Al Jazeera, and Democracy Now! He is co-director / co-producer of documentary Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (Documentary Educational Resources, 2009). He also co-edited Capitalizing on Catastrophe: Neoliberal Strategies in Disaster Reconstruction (Alta Mira, 2008) and Homing Devices: the Poor as Targets of Public Housing Policy and Practice (Lexington, 2006). He chairs the Society for Applied Anthropology’s Human Rights and Social Justice Committee and is active in many grassroots efforts, including earthquake response.

José Ovejero – November 9 4:30 p.m.
Lecture, “The Ethics of Cruelty”
Spanish author, José Ovejero, will be on campus on November 9.  He will be giving a campus lecture called "The Ethics of Cruelty".  Ovejero's writings deal, among other things, with the presence of the Latin American immigrants in present day Spain. This is the subject of his novel "Nunca pasa nada".
Born 1958 in Madrid, José Ovejero graduated in Geography and History. He lived for several years in Germany and now lives between Brussels and Madrid.

He has published novels, collections of short stories, travel books, poetry and drama. He has been awarded the Ciudad de Irún prize for his poetry book Biografía del explorador, the Grandes Viajeros prize for China para hipondríacos and the Primavera prize for Las vidas ajenas.

His articles and short stories have been published in many journals and reviews in Spain and abroad.

He has given lectures and directed creative writing workshops in universities and cultural institutions in Spain, Italy, USA, Belgium, France, Argentine, Mexico, Ecuador, etc.

He is a member of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cine Españoles Siglo XXI (Alces XXI).  (From


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