Latina Researchers Conference At John Jay College

Latina Researchers Conference At John Jay College

Latina Researchers Conference At John Jay College

On August 23rd – August 25th John Jay will be hosting the fourth Latina Researchers Conference (LRC), packed with informative talks, skill-building workshops, wellness activities, inspirational speakers, and Latin food galore. The goal of the event? To give Latinas encouragement, information, advice and networking opportunities, while also promoting empowerment and an end to injustice. “We know disparities, barriers, and challenges exist. We have documented them and lived them,” says Silvia Mazzula, Ph.D., Associate Professor at John Jay and Executive Director of the Latina Researchers Network and Conference. “The biennial Latina Researchers Conference will focus on actions that produce real change, institutional and systemic, and provide best-practices to elevate, empower, and heal our communities." This CUNY-wide event will offer free registration to current John Jay students and also showcase the work of John Jay students. “Here you have the opportunity to create a life-long community of support,” says Gabriela Hurtado, Ph.D., who works on communications for LRC. “It’s where I networked and found my current business partner.” Being a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with Hispanics representing 47% of the student body, John Jay is the perfect location for the LRC. To learn more about the upcoming LRC event, we spoke with Mazzula, Hurtado, and Marcela García-Castañon, Ph.D., who also work on LRC’s communications team.

“Being a Latina in higher education is hard. But the LRN community will support you, help you survive and help with your struggles.”— Silvia Mazzula, Ph.D.

The History
Founded in 2012, the Latina Researchers Network (LRN) was created in response to the underrepresentation of Latinas with advanced degrees. The LRN notes that nationally, Latinas only make up 4% of full-time instructional faculty, and only 7% have a doctoral degree, which includes those who hold temporary visas. “Being a Latina in higher education is hard,” says Mazzula. “But the LRN community will support you, help you survive and help with your struggles.” With 90% of its members comprised of Latinas and women, the LRN started to offer LRC events in 2012. Now, they offer one every two years with different themes.

Participants at the Latina Researchers Conference at John Jay College
LRC provides many opportunities for networking. Photography by David Ochoa

The Goal
This year’s LRC theme is “Collective Actions Toward Healing and Change,” focusing on the various challenges Latinas face by highlighting the need for changes across different environments. The conference will cover topics including: racism, discrimination, wellness, and yoga. Looking to provide solutions toward healing and empowerment, the LRC will promote multi-disciplinary collaborations and address both systemic and institutional barriers, while offering networking opportunities. “At the conference you’ll have the chance to talk to so many people,” says García-Castañon. “It’s a great place to meet someone new and network. So take advantage of that.”

“At the conference you have the chance to talk to so many people. It’s a great place to meet someone new and network.”— Marcela García-Castañon, Ph.D.

The Highlights
With keynote speakers such as Lillian Comas-Diaz, Ph.D. clinical psychologist and clinical professor at George Washington University, and Patricia Arredondo, EdD, author on Latinx and immigrant development, academic leadership for women and organizational diversity strategy, the LRC offers three days of programming with hands-on workshops. Hoping to reach the next generation of Latinas, this family-friendly event offers activities for people of all ages, including areas for children to play, Latin food, and roundtable discussions. As student planners of this year’s LRC, John Jay scholars will be presenting posters that highlight the conferences theme alongside presentations by researchers and activists.

To register for this event, please click here.