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Rethinking the Dynamic Interplay of Migration, Race, and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and Latin America


The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Center of the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Africana Studies Department at Brown University have been awarded funding to develop the Mellon Sawyer Seminar, “Rethinking the Dynamic  Interplay of Migration, Race, and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and Latin America.”

Together, these units are organizing a series of conferences, talks, exhibits, and performances at Brown University (in person and online) under the guidance of the Sawyer Seminar Team and Steering Committee. Our team includes CLACS Director Patsy Lewis, Africana Studies Professor Brian Meeks, and CSSJ Director Anthony Bogues, as well as CLACS Center Manager Kate Goldman, LACA Director of Undergraduate Studies Erica Durante, our Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow Kristen Kolenz, and our Sawyer Graduate Proctors, Karyn De la Mota and Alexandria Miller.


Erica Mouynes

Keynote Speaker

Erica Mouynes was an honors graduate from San Agustín School and carried out parallel studies at two universities: Santa María la Antigua Catholic University (USMA), earning a Bachelor's degree in Law and Political Sciences, and the Latin American University for Science and Technology (ULACIT), earning a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, both with Magna Cum Laude honors, in 2000.

LLM in Corporation Law, New York University (2002), and Specialization in International Law, University of California at Berkeley under the Fulbright Program (2003).

Postgraduate degree in Business and Finance from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Over more than a decade (2007-2017), she worked in New York structuring infrastructure projects with multilateral agencies and negotiating complex investments for the European and Latin American financial markets.

General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer (2013-2017) for Fintech Advisory, the investment manager of a multi-million dollar portfolio.

Between 2007 and 2013, she was a senior lawyer of Project Finance at Shearman & Sterling, LLP.

In Panama, she worked in the corporate and litigation practice of different law firms, and in 2004 she was appointed Chief of Staff of the Minister of Commerce and Industries.

Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Cooperation, 2019- 2020.

Her Excellency Erika Mouynes has received numerous international recognitions, among them, the 2015 Top 10 Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel, and she is a member of several non-profit organizations such as Kangu, a platform for maternal healthcare in Africa sponsored by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and other organizations.

Erica Mouynes.webp

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Conference Program

9:00-9:30 Welcome 

9:30-11:00 Keynote Address 

H.E. Mrs. Erika Mouynes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama.

"Addressing the Root Causes: Panama’s Long-term Strategy to Resolve Latin America’s Migration Crisis"

11:15-12:45 Performances of Absence and Healing

Latin American and Caribbean Art

  • Amanda Macedo Macedo (Brown University), “Lines and Sound: Brown Effective Communities” 

  • Iván A. Ramos (Brown University) "Where Shall We Bury Absent Bodies: Antigona Gonzalez, Poetic Abstraction, and the Matter of Violence in Latina/o America"

  • Alexandria Miller (Brown University)  “A ‘Note to Self’: Mothering and Self-Mothering in Jamaican Reggae”

  • Tanya Aguíñiga (Artist), “Craft at the Border”

12:45-1:45 Lunch Break

1:45-3:30 Mobility, Violence and the State: Conversations Across the Region 

Moderator: Brian Meeks (Brown University)

  • Esteban Loustaunau (Assumption University), “Migration, Maras and Mayhem: Microhistories of Exclusion and Violence by MS-13 Hitmen in El Salvador” 

  • Samuel Loroña (University of Sonora), “International Smuggling Networks in Altar, Sonora: the Case of Security Houses for Central Americans Immigrants in 2021”

  • Natalie Dietrich Jones (UWI Mona),  “Detention as Violence: The State Response to the Venezuelan Migration Crises in The Dutch Caribbean” 

  • André Timm (Brazilian Writer), “Morte Sul Peste Oeste: Haitian Immigration and Gender Violence in Southern Brazil”

  • Jon Horne Carter (Appalachian State University), "Caravans and Encampments: Fugitive Intimacy in Honduras"

3:45-5:15 Economic Alternatives and Resilience: Mutual Aid, Worker-Owned Cooperatives, and Avenues toward Migrant Justice

Moderator: Eric Larson, Associate Professor of Crime and Justice Studies, UMass Dartmouth

  • Catarina Lorenzo, Executive Director, Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance (AMOR)

  • Raul Figueroa, Cooperatives Coordinator, Fuerza Laboral

  • Gerardo Alva Castillo, Popular Educator, Mexico

5:30-7:00 Launch of the Exhibit "Breaking Out," featuring artwork from the Stewart Detention Center (Georgia)

First floor of 111 Thayer Street (Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs)

Friday, March 18, 2022

Conference Program

9:00-9:30 Welcome

9:30-11:00 Migrants’ Identities Shaping their New Homes through Development 

Moderator: Kevin Escudero (Brown University)

  • Jonathon Acosta (Brown University), “Rust Belt Survival: Immigrant Incorporation in a Post-Industrial New England City”

  • Marlene H. Gaynair (Harvard University), “Welcome to Jamaica: Manifesting a Local Tourist Culture in Jamaica During the Seventies” 

  • Dany Bahar (Brown University), “Insights from the Venezuelan Refugee Crisis: the Effects of Migratory Amnesties”

11:15-12:45 Cultural and Racial Exclusions, Diaspora, and the Construction of the Nation 

  • Paul Joseph López Oro (Smith College), "Garifuna New Yorkers: Hemispheric Entanglements of Blackness, Indigeneity, and Central American Caribbeanness"

  • Richie Daly (Concordia University), “Analyzing Discursive Representation in News Coverage of Venezuelan Migrants in Trinidad and Tobago”

  • Shelene Gomes (UWI St. Augustine), “Competing Nationalisms: Venezuelans and Spanish-speakers in Postcolonial Trinidad and Tobago”

1:00-2:00 Lunch Break

2:00-3:30 Migrations Across Generations and Regions  

Moderators: Erica Durante (Brown University) and Lucila Nejamkis (Brown University)

Brown Undergraduate Student Research

  • Sofia Bohorquez, International and Public Affairs and Latin American and Caribbean Studies

  • Robert Combs, International and Public Affairs and Hispanic Studies

  • Ariana Palomo, International and Public Affairs

  • Samantha Plezia, Public Health and Hispanic Studies

3:45-5:15 Lessons for Migration Studies: Centering Embodied Experience in Scholarship 

English/Spanish Interpretation

Moderator: Patsy Lewis (Brown University)

  • Kamala Kempadoo and Angelique Nixon (York University & UWI St. Augustine), “Caribbean Migration and Sexual Politics: Challenging Heteropatriarchy, Racism and ‘Trafficking’”

  • Nicole Ramsey (Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies), “Belizean Migration(s), Disaster,  and Diasporic Imaginings”

  • Angélica Alvites Baiadera (Universidad Nacional de Villa María), “Miradas desde Sur Global sobre Subjetividades Migrantes y Políticas. Proliferación de Fronteras y Violencias”/ “Perspectives from the Global South on Migrant and Political Subjectivities. Proliferation of Borders and Violences”

  • Taís de Sant'Anna Machado (Researcher at the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira), “The stereotype of the ‘mãe preta’ in Brazil: The invisibility and naturalization of violence against black women in a national project”

5:30-7:00 Literatura de la Diáspora entre Migración Forzada y Violencia de Género / Literature from the Diaspora between Forced Migration and Gender Violence

English/Spanish Interpretation

Moderator: Erica Durante (Brown University)