Jan 29, 2021 – 1st Annual International Lowrider Studies Conference

Who are the Organizers?

This conference was and is organized by lowrider clubs, members, youth, and formerly incarcerated people throughout the world. This is not a detached academic conference. This is a conference based on story-telling and experiences to appreciate lowrider culture. This conference is not about appropriation, commodification, exoticizing, elitism, or vulturing.

Presentations Overview

Presentations will be about Lowrider history, culture, politics, justice, community, style, geography, art, music, fashion, and other topics surrounding this cultural phenomenon and its global context for 30 minutes at at time.
For any questions please send an email to
XrisMacias@Gmail.com

_____________________________________

Co-Chaired and Facilitated by
John Ulloa, Xris Macias,

This virtual event has ended.

Please follow link to access recording.

SCHEDULE

The schedule is based on Mountain USA Time.

9am-6pm Western Time USA
10am-7pm Mountain Time USA
11am-8pm Central Time USA
12pm-9pm Eastern Time USA

1. Bouncing Across Borders: The Globalization of Lowriding
10:00am-10:20am – John Ulloa

Session Abstract: The origins of lowriding have been exhaustively debated.  While there have been many reasonable explanations regarding the genesis of lowriding along the lines of ancestry, ethnicity, culture, and geography, the safe agreement is that lowriding as cultural practice originates in the Mexican-American barrios of the Southwestern region of the United States. This chapter does not dwell on origins or the “lowriding creation myth”, nor exact points of origin. Ground zero for lowriding remains a controversial topic, and will continue to be. It is time to move past arguing the point (or points) of origin.  This chapter maps the global trajectories of lowriding by utilizing an interdisciplinary methodology of participant observation, ethnohistory, and virtual ethnography. When, why, and how did lowriding become a rapidly growing transnational, transcultural, and global phenomenon?  From the local to the global, this chapter offers an examination of the mechanisms that have allowed for lowriding to transcend the barrio experience and enjoy far reaching global presence and reach. From local lowriding events, media sources, and social media, what began as a blue collar, barrio cultural entity is now far-reaching parts of the world.

Biography: John Ulloa is Professor of History and Cultural Anthropology at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. His research examines the global diffusion of lowriding culture from the Mexican-American barrios to various countries outside of the United States including Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Thailand. He is an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area lowriding community, and he has owned five lowriders, his current work in progress is a 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan. He speaks regularly on lowriding, and he is the host of the “Lowride Worldwide Happy Hour” podcast.

10:20am-10:30am Q and A

2. Cruisin’ towards a Lowrider Education
10:30am-10:50am – Xris Macias

Session Abstract: Every time I take my car out on a cruise…. I call it research. Lowriders are a form of education. This culture encourages learning about history, identity and artistic expression. Lowrider culture alse serves as resistance to oppression and as a means to cultural preservation by communities who have long been ignored and discriminated against. In this session I will be explaining the connection that Lowriders have to education, and validating knowledge outside of formalized classrooms. I will also be providing some context for the goal of creating Lowrider Studies. Let’s cruise into a new Lowrider Pedagogy.

Biography: Xris Macias is the Director of the DREAM Center at the University of Utah where he works with undocumented students, mixed status folks, and their allies. He holds Bachelors Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, and a Master’s degree in Education Culture and Society, where he focused on Lowrider Pedagogy as his area of research. He is also a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellow, with the focus area of Latin America. Xris is also Co-Chair of the local Chicana/o Scholarship Fund and member of the local autonomous chapter of the Brown Berets. In his personal life, he enjoys watching movies, training Capoeira, and cruising his 1967 Impala on the weekends. Xris Speaks Spanish and Portuguese and enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.

10:50am-11:00am Q and A

3. Lowrider Bicycles, Youth Justice, Hip Hop Activism and the Punitive Abolition
11:00am-11:15am – Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II

Session Abstract: This presentation will speak about the history of lowrider bicycles. The presentation will also discuss in detail the elements, process, and bicycle parts that make a lowrider bicycles. The next part of this presentation will be examining how lowriders, Hip Hop, and youth justice work to end punitive justice. Hip Hop and lowriders have show truly prime examples of alternatives to punitive justice such as prisons, probation, police, and parole.

Biography: Anthony J. Nocella II, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology in the Institute of Public Safety at Salt Lake Community College. He is the editor of the Peace Studies Journal, Transformative Justice Journal, and co-editor of five book series including Critical Animal Studies and Theory with Lexington Books and Hip Hop Studies and Activism with Peter Lang Publishing. He is the National Director of Save the Kids and Executive Director of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies. He has published over fifty book chapters or articles and forty books. He has been interviewed by New York Times, Washington Post, Houston Chronicles, Fresno Bee, Fox, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, and Los Angeles Times.

11:15am-11:30am Q and A

4. Lowrider Feminism: In Front of and Behind the Lens
11:30am-11:50am – Gloria Moran

Session Abstract: Gleaning from her work as a lowrider scholar and filmmaker, Gloria discusses the ways in which women’s labor has often been omitted or seldom recognized in lowrider/lowriding spaces. The response to her investigation culminated in a short documentary, The Unique Ladies, with her theoretical and cinematic lens focused on underscoring the complicated relationship of sexism and misogyny within lowrider culture and how women lowriders navigate (pun intended) these issues. A Chicana feminist herself, Morán has wrestled with her love of lowrider culture–she would read her dad’s Low Rider Magazines and wondered why she never saw any women owned lowriders. A link to view The Unique Ladies will be available to conference participants. 

Biography: GLORIA MORÁN is an award-winning media creative named among “Top Ten Latinx Filmmakers to Look Out For.” Morán directed the short documentary, The Unique Ladies, about San Diego’s only all-women lowrider club. She later published short story reflecting her journey with lowrider culture, titled, “Cruising into the Future,” in the lowrider anthology “LowWriting: Shots, Rides, and Stories from the Chicano Soul”–regarded as a “standout,” and a “personal favorite” for user “FXM” on Amazon(dot)com. Additional film productions of Morán’s have partnered and distributed with ITVS, American Experience, WORLD Channel and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional credits include social video work with mitú, attn: media, All Def Digital, and a self-produced organic viral videos–garnering more than 20 million views. Currently, Morán serves as a Post Production Supervisor at Seeker of Group Nine Media, as well as teaching Cinema at San Francisco State University. Morán has an M.F.A. in Social Documentation and a B.A. in Latino Studies and Journalism both from UC Santa Cruz.

11:50am-12:00pm Q and A

5. Authentic Self-Expression
12:00pm-12:20pm – Manuel Gonzales

Session Abstract: Using culturally relevant performance poetry, Manuel Gonzalez demonstrates the emotional power of his chosen art form and discusses healing from past trauma and ancestral trauma through authentic sincere self-expression.

Biography: Manuel González, City of Albuquerque Poet Laureate (2016-2018), began his career in the poetry slam and has represented Albuquerque four times as a member of the Albuquerque poetry slam team. After working in Albuquerque’s poetry community for 6 yrs, Manuel began to use slam poetry to help local youth find positive and constructive ways to deal with life’s pressures. Manuel began teaching workshops on self-expression through poetry in high schools, youth detention centers and also started facilitating art therapy programs to help at-risk and incarcerated youth. In 2014, Manuel started Low Writing at El Chante, a free bi-monthly writer’s group open to all members of the community. In 2016, Manuel was selected as Albuquerque’s 3rd poet laureate and has continued his passion for helping others heal and express themselves through poetry. Manuel has appeared on the PBS show, ¡COLORES!: My word is my power and on ¡COLORES! 9/23/2017and has two collections of his poetry published entitled, But my friends call me Burque….  and  Om Boy (Swimming with Elephants Press) with his third collection Duende de Burque: Albuquerque Musings (UNM Press) coming Spring 2021. Currently, Manuel is working with the University of New Mexico Chicana/Chicano Studies program as a consultant.

12:20am-12:30pm Q and A

6. Lowrider Bodies in Motion: Body Art in Steel and Flesh
12:30pm-12:50pm – Guillermo Aviles-Rodriguez

Session Abstract: Lowrider culture in southern California and within Chicana/o and Latinx social relations is a powerful example of minoritarian cultural production and an important yet undertheorized aesthetic, political and gendered cultural object. An object that asserts an alternative understanding of lowrider identities, not through segregating the lowrider enthusiast’s body from that of his or her vehicle, but rather by linking these two canvases and stretching them into a continuous signifying spectrum of self-inscription. From the first recorded broadcasting of a lowrider on the 1970s sitcom Chico and the Man to several other present-day hip-hop music videos, various groups deploy lowriders as signs of wealth, sexual appeal, and urban excess. For example, Marilyn Manson’s 2001 music video titled Tainted Love begins with the band pulling up to a party in a custom black lowrider with a front license plate reading “Goth Thug.” A 2016 film titled Lowriders features Academy Award-nominated actor Demian Bichir as a lowrider-obsessed father trying to hold his family together. The 2018 “Lowrider Super Show Japan” remains indistinguishable from a lowrider show in Los Angeles, Phoenix, or San Diego. In this paper these phenomena and others like them are discussed, explored and analyzed.

Biography: Guillermo Avilés-Rodríguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Theatre and Performance Studies department at UCLA and a lecturer in the Chicana/o Studies department at California State University, Northridge. His articles include: “Theatre and Transit: A Transit-Oriented Site-Specific Triptych” in Theatre Forum; “Darning Zoot Suit for the Next Generation” in Aztlan; and “Ethics and Site-Based Theatre: A Curated Discussion” in Theatre History Studies and the forthcoming Hopscotch in Traffic in the Cambridge Opera Journal. He has also written Discovery Guides for en un sol amarillo by El Teatro de los Andes, Culture Clash’s Palestine, New Mexico, and Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez.

12:50pm-1:00pm Q and A

7. Lowrider Photography: Expanding the Visual Narrative
1:00pm-1:20am – Kristin Bedford

Session Abstract: While working on my book, Cruise Night, which explores the Mexican American lowrider community in Los Angeles, I studied the prevalent photographic depictions of lowriding. As I discovered my own voice and style of photographing lowriding, I realized that I was expanding the visual narrative around this movement. I will present and discuss images from my book and talk about the history of lowrider photography. 

Biography: Kristin Bedford’s photographs have appeared in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe and are held in numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the U.S. Library of Congress and the Archive of Documentary Arts at the Rubenstein Library. Bedford’s work has been published in the New York TimesEsquire and other national publications. Born in Washington, D.C., she lives and works in Los Angeles.

1:20pm-1:30pm Q and A

8. Lowrider Style: Aesthetics in Everyday Life
1:30pm-1:50pm – Ben Chappell

Session Abstract: Lowriders I have met often emphasize that their style is “not a fad” but “a lifestyle.” This emphasizes the importance of commitment in lowriding- it is not merely a style of consumption but a set of practices and relationships that endure over time. Across different local scenes, lowriding is “community of practice,” a network that forms between people who share certain principles and values of cultural production. These values are deeply interconnected with Mexican American history and Chicana/o/x identities. They are embodied in the distinctive lowrider aesthetic. The fact that aesthetics can be so important that people choose to base their “lifestyle” on it means that lowrider knowledge should inform general theories of what the aesthetic dimension of experience is and what it can do. In this talk I will review a few arguments about this that have emerged from my ethnographic work as well as questions that arise in moments of cultural appropriation. I will touch on aesthetics as the assertion of difference, as a performance of space, and as an organizing point that fuels mutual aid and mentorship. I will also discuss the problem posed by Google’s use of a lowrider in an advertising installation during the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, an event which serves as a reminder that aesthetic forms may be pulled out of their context, but their semiotic power remains rooted in the experiences of people in everyday life.

Biography: Ben Chappell is an Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas. He was trained in the tradition of critical anthropological folklore established by Américo Paredes, and is the author of Lowrider Space: Aesthetics and Politics of Mexican American Custom Cars (2012). While researching the book, he was awarded an honorary membership in the Knights of Pleasure car club in Austin, Texas. His studies of lowriding have been covered by the New York Times, Vice, and the History channel, and most recently published in the textbook The Everyday Life of Urban Inequality and The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Pop Culture. His next ethnography is due out from Stanford University Press in 2021, entitled Mexican American Fastpitch: Identity at Play in Vernacular Sport.

1:50pm-2:00pm Q and A

9. The Lived Experience of La Raza’s Membership in Lowrider Car Clubs: A Phenomenological Study
2:00pm-2:20pm – Elizabeth Ramos

Session Abstract: In summary, it looked at how Raza (individuals of Mexican descent) have experienced being members of a lowrider car club. I looked at factors associated with identity, culture, intra- & inter-personal perspectives. My goal was to add to the psychology literature on Raza in lowrider car clubs, informing clinicians working with Raza, and emphasizing the positive aspects of the lowrider culture and community.   

Biography: I’m, Elizabeth Ramos, a second-generation Latina scholar in my family. I am of both Mexican and Salvadorian descent. Bilingual. I am working on my doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.). I have a bachelor’s in both Psychology and Accounting. A master’s in Clinical-Community Psychology. I’ve worked in the mental health field since 1998 (22yrs). I am employed as a clinical auditor for a local psychiatrist. I have worked with individuals of all ages. In group-homes, schools, clinics, and hospitals. I have worked with community mental health agencies, the APS or (now called) Aging and Independence Services call center/hotline, outpatient forensic programs, inpatient psychiatry (including addiction issues, chronic mental illness, forensics, and geriatrics), and outpatient psychiatry/psychology services.

2:20pm-2:30pm Q and A

10. Viva The Lowrider Movement
2:30pm-2:50pm – Johnny Lozoya

Session Abstract: As a member of the Pioneering staff of Lowrider Magazine I began by delivering magazines throughout California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. While in these areas I would set up photo sessions, and scout out locations for car show. At that time we called them “Lowrider Happenings” which had more of an informal festive atmosphere ring to it. We coined the phrase “Super Shows in 1980 when we began to produce the events at convention centers We produced the first official organized Super Shows in Convention Centers and developed a “Lowrider Tour” across the southwest ,we all know as “AZTLAN”! In 1985 Sonny Madrid decides he did not want to pursue Car Shows, so I took the cue and began doing the tour under the name SUPER EVENTS ENTERTAINMENT”!.I continued to produce the shows for 30 years left the arena during the recession in 2009. I currently work in the Phoenix, Arizona community as a Photo-Journalist and work the national political arena, regional scholarship. organizations, local political arena arts community , business community and Lowrider Community. I am a 15 year member of LULAC and recently documented LULAC’s 2018 Convention here. I work with City Council Members, Arizona State Legislators and Senators. I continue to cover Lowrider events for Lowrider Magazine and many other organizations. I recently produced a “Get Out The Latino Vote” with local politicos and the Mayor of Phoenix. I am currently producing a project titled “LOWRIDER LEGACY EDUCATION PROJECT” which will tell the true history of Lowriding in The Southwest! I am the only Original Lowrider Magazine Pioneering Staff person still cultivating the community.

Biography: Hello my name is Johnny Lozoya  I had the opportunity to be part of the pioneering staff of the Original Lowrider Magazine with original publisher Sonny Madrid, since October 1978. My Car Clubbing days began in Oxnard “Chiques”, California in1972 joining STYLISTICS Car Club and then in 1974 I started a club called “NEW IMAGE”. I began cruising “Whittier Boulevard” in East L.A. and began networking with various car clubs and attending car shows, picnics and cruising many other spots.

2:50pm-3:00pm Q and A
                             

11. Cholas, Lowriders and the Homegirls Who Love the Hood: A presentation on Xicana Chola Photography and Activism
3:00pm-3:20pm – Madeline Alviso Ramirez, Jessica Vasquez and Vanessa Alviso

Session Abstract: This session will discuss experiences as a Xicana Chola Activist and sCHOLAr in documenting Xicanx Barrio Culture, in particular Chola Pinup photography. The importance of including lowriders in various photo sessions from the West to the East Coast.  I will share what I as a sCHOLAr have noted as similarities and differences in barrio culture throughout the collection of my work.  I will have two guests (Jessica Vasquez and Vanessa Alviso, board members of IxChel and models for my work) share their thoughts on their participation and how our organization supports and works dedicatedly with car clubs throughout Aztlan, united in supporting the barrios! 

Biography: Vanessa “Bashi” Alviso is a Xicana artist, poet, educator. Her work reflects self discovery and preservation through ancestral indigenous and Barrio cultural practices. She is co-owner of Chola Vida Brand, and serves as Internal Vice President of IxChel Executive Board. 

Biography: Madeline Alviso Ramirez  is the middle child of migrant farm workers and artists, whose work is heavily influenced by her Xicana Chola identity and environment.  Her work covers Chicana spirituality and barrio culture, specifically reflective of her Chola community.  She’s been documenting barrio culture through art and photography for about 25 years. Alviso Ramirez’s work has appeared in various publications and has inspired scholarship and community identity in both real and digital spaces.  She is a published poet and writer and has established herself as a madrina type in the sCHOLAr movement. She is the founder and co-owner of Chola Pinup and Chola Vida and founder and president of IxChel, a non-profit organization dedicated to Chola Scholarship and community projects aimed to support and illuminated the Xicanx barrio community. She resided in Central Washington with her husband Juan and their 6 children. 

Biography: Jessica Vasquez is a Xicana activist, artist, poet, lowrider pinup and co-owner of Chola Vida brand. She has been documenting and archiving Barrio culture since 2011 and also sits as Treasurer on the IxChel Executive Board. 

3:20pm-3:30pm Q and A

12. Lowriders in the Library 
3:30pm-3:50pm – Shane Curtin, Kathryn Blackmer Reyes, and Estella Inda

Session Abstract: The panelists will discuss the creation, planning and hosting of the lowrider exhibit “Story & King: San José’s Lowrider Culture.” The planning for this exhibit was a collaborative effort of the public library, academic library, and the San José lowrider community.  Our 3 month long exhibit hosted a variety of historical items important to the foundation of lowrider culture and featured several community panels. San José has a historical importance in lowrider history as it was where Lowrider Magazine was founded and published for many years.  Estella will introduce the exhibition “Story and King: San José’s Lowrider Culture”. She will discuss how the project came to be and the process of how the exhibit came to be. Kathryn will discuss the importance of collaboration between San José State University Library and San José Public Library. Shane will discuss the outcome of the lowrider exhibition, provide statistical information and feedback received from visitors and participants, and finally the impact the exhibit has impacted future projects for the San Jose Public Library’s California Room.  

Biography: Shane Curtin is the archivist at the San Jose Public Library’s California Room, where he oversees the preservation and development of historical collections with an emphasis on San Jose and Santa Clara County. His historical interests include the history of Mexicans in California, vintage audiovisual media, and free speech controversies on university campuses in the mid to late 20th century.  

Biography: Kathryn Blackmer Reyes is the Director and Librarian of the Africana, Asian America, Chicano, and Native American Studies Center in SJSU King Library. Since 1997 Kathryn has been a librarian that has worked primarily with the Chicano/Latino university communities. In 2007 when arriving at SJSU she has overseen the growth, development, and programming of this collaborative space and its collections.  Kathryn has been working on creating digital collections on the Acequias with Prof. Devon Peña, El Excéntrico magazine with Mr. Bert Garcia, WEB DuBois collection from Ghana with Prof.  Michael Cheers, personal papers of the late Prof. Jose Villa, and also a collection of the U.S. race/ethnic student voices on campus.  

Biography: Estella Inda is a graduate student in Library and Information Science and has worked for the San José Public Library for over 17 years in different branches and departments. Currently she works in the California Room (the library archives of state and local history) where she organized a major exhibit- “Story and King: San José’s Lowrider Culture”- from December 2018 through March 2019. Estella’s current focus is building California Room collections to be more representative of the history of minority communities, particularly those in San Jose’s east side.

3:50pm-4:00pm Q and A

13. The Making of “Lowriding in Aztlan”
4:00pm-4:20pm – Daniel Osorio, East Side Hero

Session Abstract: “Lowriding in Aztlan” was his biggest success as the film garnered much praise nationally and eventually was distributed nationwide by Code Black Entertainment (now Code Black Films/a division of Lions Gate). The mission of “East Side Hero” and our projects is to serve as a tool to relate to the lives of low-income at-risk youth in underserved schools and neighborhoods.  Our goal is to inspire our targeted youth to have more positive decision making and resolutions to challenging life situations. Our mission is to empower low income at risk youth in urban communities especially those who attend underserved schools- To disrupt the generational cycle of violence between Latino communities in Northern California- To show youths that it is possible to break free from the limitations being imposed on their identity from the time they are born. I will discuss the film I directed/produced called “Lowriding in Aztlan” the process, meaning, the importance of lowriding and preserving its culture amongst our Raza, and what I feel the next step for Lowriding is to have another huge growth within our gente.

Biography: Daniel Osorio was born and raised in East San Jose and graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Communication. Daniels most recent work has included the award-winning music videos “The Message” and “Stand Up!”  Two powerful songs that inspire our urban Chicano communities to rise above injustice and fight violence with acts of non-violence.  They are both featured on the “East Side Hero” soundtrack that is a part of the upcoming full length motion picture project “East Side Hero” due to begin production in the Fall of 2021. “East Side Hero” his most recent short film debuted in November 2017 to a sold-out house (530+ seats) and has given us a platform to create a full-length feature film in East San Jose, something that has never been done before.  

4:20pm-4:30pm Q and A

14. It’s not a Hobby, It’s my Culture
4:30pm-4:50pm – Juan Roman

Session Abstract: This research paper will explore the question of what makes low riding a culture and not just a hobby. Through an analysis of scholarly research articles, books, video, and lecture I seek to find how it has been defined. Content will be explored through the sociological lens in order to identify four aspects of low riding culture: music, language, art, and style of clothes. Cultural stereotypes and preconceptions that exist will be examined through the mixed platforms reviewed. Interviews of low riders will be included to provide a comparison of the research versus the view of those who are part of the low rider culture.

Biography: Juan Roman originally  grew up in  Southern California and is a long time resident of Sonoma County, California. Juan graduated from Sonoma State University majoring in Chicano Latino Studies where his area of concentration was focused on lowriding culture. Juan is connected in the community through various channels. He is the founder and past President of the Sonoma Lowrider Council, a non profit organization that embraces generational lowriding and also gives back to the community. For over ten years, Juan has hosted and produced his radio show, The Late Night Oldies with the local radio station KBBF where he plays oldies in both English and Spanish. Juan is an adjunct instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College in the  Technology Trade school.

4:50pm-5:00pm Q and A

15. The Day of the Dead in UtAztlan: Pandemic Times
5:00pm-5:20pm – Dr. Amando Solorzano

Session Abstract: The celebration of the Day of the Dead has increased in popularity in Utah since the year 2000.  The Chicanx/Latinx community use this “exotic celebration” to affirm their cultural identity and transform stereotypical characterizations promoted by the media. An amalgam of Indigenous spirituality and Western Christianity, the Day of the Dead explores themes of life and death as experienced by the community. This celebration takes the form of Aztec dances, altars for the dead, food, bread, paper flowers, skeletons, skulls, music, and face painting. In Utah we celebrate the Day of the Dead without the Dead. Based on photography I will show how this celebration is different in Utah and I will focus my presentation on how the Chicanx/Latinx community celebrated the Day of the Dead in a time when Covid19 affects our communities to a larger extent that any other racial/ethnic group in the state.

Biography: Armando Solórzano is a Professor at the University of Utah.  His photo-documentary exhibits have been displayed in Utah, Washington D.C. and Mexico. For the last fifteen years he has used photography as a tool to increase cultural awareness and conscientization.  As a photographer, Dr. Solórzano is an autodidact who gazed through his camera to preserve cultural celebrations among historically marginalized populations.  Together, we see the beauty and meaning of our human heritage. Dr. Solórzano is currently working on two books: the first one depicts the 2006 Dignity March in Utah, and the second narrates the contributions of Latinas to the economic, political, and cultural life in Utah.

5:20pm-5:30pm Q and A

16. The Birth of the El Campesino Project
5:30pm-5:50pm – Martín Morales Ramírez, El Campesino Project

Session Abstract: The goal of this presentation is to present the birth of El Campesino Project. A lowrider, providing a counter narrative, targeting nuestros morritos and morritas in an attempt to provide them with a sense of cultural identity, reinforcing the consciousness/conciencia of our 500-year struggle and to advocate for political, economic and social awareness. I will explain how this project is intended to be used as an educational vehicle to inspire our youth and future leaders to learn/search for their raíces/roots/causa. Additionally, this presentation will provide details on how this project was made possible by working with over 22 community artists, educators, campesinos, mujeres y hombres, x focused on creating change. The conversation will focus on how “La Causa” the theme this lowrider can save lives and provide hope for youth and future generations. Lastly, this presentation will share details on how this project will take youth on a personal journey, sparking their own creativity to imagine their own causa. For some it will spark childhood memories for others it will spark new ideas that create joy, memories of love, healing and sometimes pain. The ultimate goal is to create community, hope and empowerment for our youth.

Biography: Born and raised in the Salinas Valley, Martín Morales Ramírez is a street survivor from Greenfield, CA a small town in South Monterey County. The son of campesin@s Guadalupe Morales and Luís Ramírez, Martín’s passion for working with students and educators derives from working in the fields as a kid and adult. This experience shaped his outlook on life and drive to support others like him that have the ganas to pursue their dreams via earning an education.  Martín believes that providing equitable and antiracist educational experiences for students via courage’s educators is key to making societal change.

5:50pm-6:00pm Q and A

17. Wild Man’s Top Automotive and Paint Tips 
6:00pm-6:20pm – Jose Ramon Sanchez

Session Abstract: In this session, attendees will join Joe in his house garage in El Paso, Texas, where he’ll share and show some of his best practices when it comes to your motor or painting your ride. Bring your questions because Joe has the answers!    

Biography: With more than 40 years of experience, Jose Ramon Sanchez, also known as Joe, or Wild Man, is a saxophonist, automotive expert, body and paint master based in El Paso, Texas. Joe is a retired automotive instructor at El Paso Community College (EPCC) and retail sales associate at AutoZone. His passion for cars started in 1972 when he was 18. Joe’s first car was a ’65 blue Chevy Impala. After high school, he started as a runner at Weaver Optics, then Weaver Scope, and later became a line technician making lenses for telescopes. While working and raising a family, Joe also organized lowrider car shows, concerts and played in a show band. In 1988, he went to work in the body shop at the El Paso Independent School District. He eventually became an automotive technician.  In his 40s — after a divorce, a second marriage and six kids — Joe went to college. He earned an associate’s degree. In 2004, Joe became an EPCC instructor, where he later started the first student car club, EPCC Automotive Society. His career highlight is fundraising to take a dozen students to Las Vegas for the annual SEMA Show, the premier trade show in the world. Joe is working on a 1956 Chevy Bel Air that he started from parts. He lives in El Paso with his wife and grandkids.

6:20pm-6:30pm Q and A

18. Mental Health and Lowriders: Lowrider Social Work
6:30pm-6:50pm – Raul Garcia

Session Abstract: The history, culture and cultural preservation of lowriding is a family embedded passion for Raul. He is the host of the Drifting On Memories podcast, which features Black, Chicano and Indigenous pioneers of lowriding. Currently, Raul is working as a Mental Health Care Coordinator II with Prevention and Aftercare, a 7-Generations program with United American Indian Involvement, Inc. Raul works one on one with AI/AN community members and families promoting culturally relevant family centered activities, case navigation, and linkage services. Raul is actively involved in the lowrider, Chicano, and Native American community of Los Angeles through collaborations with education, social services, networking, and positive community social events. As the current inmate spiritual adviser for the federal detention centers in Los Angeles and a devoted husband and father of three, he continues to promote community mental health awareness and healthy living.

Biography: Raul Garcia is a Northeast Los Angeles Native of Huichol and Baja Kumiai tribal affiliation. His experience is in Counseling, as a Program Director, and as a Certified (CCAPP) Substance Use Disorder Counselor. Raul previously worked as the Program Director of American Indian Changing Spirits, a residential facility for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment for Native Americans. He also had a tenure with Homeboy Industries as a Case Navigator. 

6:50pm-7:00pm Q and A

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