The UMass Amherst campus recently hosted the 2019 Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS) Summer Institute, attended by more than 150 women and gender non-conforming people dedicated to advancing Chicana/Latinx and Native American students, academics and activists.
Mari Castañeda, professor of communication and College of Social and Behavioral Science Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion, took primary lead in hosting the summer institute on campus and co-chaired the local site committee.
This year’s theme was “Sin Fronteras Ni Barreras: Mujeres Activas and the Unmaking/Remaking of a New World.” It reflects the ongoing commitment to resistance, community making and identity formation and affirmation.
According to the conference program, members “join together in creative work and scholarship focused on gender non-conforming, transgender, queer, Chicanx, Latinx, Afro-Latinx, Asian-Latinx, Native American and Indigenous individuals and communities, to challenge and resist structures of oppression and exploitation in local, national and international contexts.”
The three-day conference was held primarily in the Integrative Learning Center, along with the Old Chapel and Smith College’s Campus Center, where an awards dinner was held.