edwin mayorga

parent - educator - scholar - activist

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Radio: Separated: Examining the negative effects of immigration enforcement, a conversation with author Dr. William D. Lopez

Image of man with classes and cap. He has his chin and head propped up by his left hand. Circle with words political encounters and encuentros políticos written inside the circle. name edwin mayorga, ph.d. and USALAmedia logoTune in to Encuentros Políticos/Political Encounters, Sundays at 5p EST on USALAmedia.com

Episode Description

According to an article in the Washington Post from December 2019 during the last fiscal year running from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (or ICE), deported more than 267,000 people, or 22,250 per month, a 4 percent increase from the year before, and significantly lower than the peak of 400,000 annual deportations midway through President Barack Obama’s administration. Then in March, with the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, ICE sent notification that their Enforcement and Removal Operations division would  “delay enforcement actions” and use “alternatives to detention” amid the outbreak. As a result of these changes, in March 2020, ICE completed 17,965 removals, according to agency records, and total deportations have declined further in April with 2,985 deportations. While COVID19 has forced a precipitous decline of deportations, ICE continues to pursue immigration enforcement while most immigration services, refugee admission and naturalization services have either been slowed or suspended.

What this all amounts to is people’s ongoing vulnerability to removal, detention and other enforcement practices from federal, state and local agencies. An aspect of the current situation that is even less understood are the negative effects enforcement has on individuals, families and communities that goes far beyond the removal of a person. To provide some more perspective on these negative effects, I’m pleased to have Dr. William D. Lopez, author of Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid, published by Johns Hopkins University Press on Political Encounters/Encuentros Políticos.

Download the episode on Spreaker:


Tune in to Political Encounters on Sundays from 5-6p (EST) at usalamedia.com

Book Description

From Johns Hopkins University Press

William D. Lopez details the incredible strain that immigration raids conducted by ICE and local law enforcement placed on one Latino community—and the families and friends left behind.

On a Thursday in November of 2013, Guadalupe Morales waited anxiously with her sister-in-law and their four small children. Every Latino man who drove away from their shared apartment above a small auto repair shop that day had failed to return—arrested, one by one, by ICE agents and local police. As the two women discussed what to do next, a SWAT team clad in body armor and carrying assault rifles stormed the room. As Guadalupe remembers it, “The soldiers came in the house. They knocked down doors. They threw gas. They had guns. We were two women with small children… The kids terrified, the kids screaming.”

In Separated, William D. Lopez examines the lasting damage done by this daylong act of collaborative immigration enforcement in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Exploring the chaos of enforcement through the lens of community health, Lopez discusses deportation’s rippling negative effects on families, communities, and individuals. Focusing on those left behind, Lopez reveals their efforts to cope with trauma, avoid homelessness, handle worsening health, and keep their families together as they attempt to deal with a deportation machine that is militarized, traumatic, implicitly racist, and profoundly violent.

Lopez uses this single home raid to show what immigration law enforcement looks like from the perspective of the people who actually experience it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with twenty-four individuals whose lives were changed that day in 2013, as well as field notes, records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and his own experience as an activist, Lopez combines rigorous research with narrative storytelling. Putting faces and names to the numbers behind deportation statistics, Separated urges readers to move beyond sound bites and consider the human experience of mixed-status communities in the small everyday towns that dot the interior of the United States.


Person sitting behind table with a table microphone and book on propped up on table

Picture provided by William D. Lopez

Dr. William D. Lopez is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Faculty Director of Public Scholarship at the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID).

As a Clinical Assistant Professor, William teaches “Health Impacts of Immigration Law Enforcement in the U.S.” This class focuses on the violence of immigration enforcement on the individual, family, and community levels and asks what we, as researchers and advocates, can do to address it.

As the Faculty Director of Public Scholarship, William leads efforts to support the production, dissemination, and application of public scholarship.  THis includes organizing the NCID’s Public Scholarship Editorial Board

William has been fortunate to collaborate both in his research and advocacy with the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and Synod Community Services, which operate the Washtenaw County ID Program.


Radio: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico, author Dr. Marisol LeBrón

I’m pleased to have Dr. Marisol LeBrón, an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in race, policing, and political activism in Puerto Rico and U.S. communities of color, and an Assistant Professor of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, on to speak about their book, Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico

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Book Description

Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico From UC Press

In her exciting new book, Marisol LeBrón traces the rise of punitive governance in Puerto Rico over the course of the twentieth century and up to the present. Punitive governance emerged as a way for the Puerto Rican state to manage the deep and ongoing crises stemming from the archipelago’s incorporation into the United States as a colonial territory. A structuring component of everyday life for many Puerto Ricans, police power has reinforced social inequality and worsened conditions of vulnerability in marginalized communities.

This book provides powerful examples of how Puerto Ricans negotiate and resist their subjection to increased levels of segregation, criminalization, discrimination, and harm. Policing Life and Deathshows how Puerto Ricans are actively rejecting punitive solutions and working toward alternative understandings of safety and a more just future.


Marisol LeBrón is an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in race, policing, and political activism in Puerto Rico and U.S. communities of color. She is an Assistant Professor of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. During the 2019 – 2020 academic year Marisol will serve as       a Faculty Fellow at the Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. She is the author of Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico, and along with Yarimar Bonilla, she is co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm. Marisol is also one of the co-creators of the Puerto Rico Syllabus, a digital resource for understanding the Puerto Rican debt crisis.  conversation with author Dr. Marisol LeBrón

Radio: Supporting College Student Mental Health, a conversation with sociologist, Dr. Shirley Leyro 5.24.20 – 5p est

Mental health and wellbeing challenges among college students are much more common that is often discussed in the media. Generally, about 20 percent of students – both undergraduate and graduate – report being diagnosed with anxiety or depression (National College Health Assessment 2017), and the Covid19 pandemic brings this situation into even greater relief. I’m joined by sociologist, Dr. Shirley Leyro to discuss college student mental health, her research on immigrant communities, and to help us think about strategies to support student mental health and wellbeing

Tune In

Sunday, May 24 at 5p (EST) http://www.usalamedia.com

Download on Spreaker : https://www.spreaker.com/episode/28371101


What is Trauma-Informed Critical Pedagogy? — Cities of Peace


Born in the Bronx, Shirley Leyro, or Dr Shirlo, was raised in the Castle Hill Projects. She earned her PhD and is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Borough of Manhattan Community College – CUNY. A critical criminologist, Dr. Leyro’s research focuses on deportation effects – including the impact of fear resulting from the vulnerability to deportation. Her research interests include immigration, deportation, social disorganization, and the impact of all the above on mental health. Professor Leyro is currently working on a research project exploring the impact of deportability on belonging and membership of CUNY noncitizen students. She has a blog: The Académica: A Blog About This Latinx’s Struggles as I Navigate the Halls of the Ivory Tower, and is also a member of the Leadership Team for the Latina Researchers Network. Dr. Leyro is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor, and is also part of the social media campaign: #thisiswhataprofessorlookslike. She is co-editor of “Outside Justice: Immigration and the Criminalizing Impact of Changing Policy and Practice.”

Radio: En comunidad, a conversation with Carla España + Luz Yadira Herrera

On Sunday, April 19th, 5-6p (EST)  I had Drs. Carla España and Luz Yadira Herrera on Encuentros Politicos/Political Encounters. 

Earlier this year, educator-scholar-changemakers España and Herrera published the book En Comunidad: Lessons for Centering the Voices and Experiences of Bilingual Latinx Students (Heinemann Publishers). In the book, the authors weave their personal journeys, experiences as educators, and work as researchers to provide a series of insightful lessons that invite young people and educators to center their linguistic and cultural lives as a means to creating transformative classrooms for U.S. bilingual Latinx students. España and Herrera are on the show to discuss the book and much more.  

Tune in to Political Encounters on Sundays from 5-6p (EST) at usalamedia.com

Download the podcast (On Spreaker): https://www.spreaker.com/episode/25813264


Book Description (From Heinemann)

Drs. Carla España and Luz Yadira Herrera’s schooling and teaching journey reveal the power of educators to create either liberating or dehumanizing spaces and experiences for bilingual Latinx students.

En Comunidad brings bilingual Latinx students’ perspectives to the center of our classrooms. Its culturally and linguistically sustaining lessons begin with a study of language practices in students’ lives and texts, helping both children and teachers think about their ideas on language. These lessons then lay out a path for students’ and families’ storytelling, a critical analysis of historical narratives impacting current realities, ways to develop a social justice stance, and the use of poetry in sustaining the community.

As the largest group of bilinguals in the U.S., bilingual Latinx students need teachers to not just welcome them into their classrooms, but also to advocate with and for them, for their languages, and for their lives. En Comunidad offers classroom-ready lessons that amplify the varied stories and identities of Latinx children.

Each sequence of lessons follows a critical bilingual literacies framework for any educator teaching bilingual Latinx children and:
• focuses on issues of language, literacies, and power
• recommends carefully-curated texts and multimodal resources featuring Latinx voices
• centers a translanguaging pedagogy that honors bilingual Latinx students’ language practices.

Download the podcast (On Spreaker): https://www.spreaker.com/episode/25813264


Dr. Carla España is an instructor in the Bilingual/TESOL program at Bank Street College Graduate School of Education. 

Dr. España received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. España’s teaching and learning from bilingual Latinx students began in Harlem, NYC with sixth graders.

Dr. España’s research examines the ways teachers and bilingual students make meaning of their language practices and schooling. Her teaching and research interests include bilingual education, children’s literature, translanguaging, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and teacher preparation. Follow her on Twitter @ProfesoraEspana.


Dr. Luz Yadira Herrera is an Assistant Professor of Multilingual and Multicultural Education in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University, Fresno.

Dr. Herrera received her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has over 15 years of experience in the education of emergent bilinguals.

Her teaching and research centers on culturally and linguistically sustaining approaches to teaching emergent bilinguals, translanguaging, critical pedagogies, and bilingual education policy. Find her on Twitter @Dra_LuzYadira

Download the podcast (On Spreaker):


Tune in on Sundays at 5p EST: http://www.usalamedia.com/radio/

#EnComunidad #EncuentrosPoliticos #PoliticalEncounters

Radio: Ofrendas and The Beautiful (Un)Ordinary, art in South Philly

In this week’s episode of Encuentros Politicos/Political Encounters, I highlight two art projects in South Philly

Tune in: http://www.usalamedia.com/radio/

Community altars, a conversation with the creators of La Ofrenda

Earlier in September, renowned artist César Viveros, opened his installation La Ofrenda, in the 9th Street commercial corridor in South Philadelphia.Across diverse communities and throughout the world, altars have been spaces for veneration and introspection. They are structures that assist individuals and communities during moments of celebration as well as during times of need or despair. The Philadelphia Folklore Project’s La Ofrenda initiative captures stories of hope, resilience, faith, fear and strength that are pillars of home altar-making practices within Mexican immigrant communities in our city. César Viveros has collected the stories behind the altars of local community members as a way to preserve and celebrate a sense of belonging.

To further discuss the art installation I am pleased to be joined via phone by Cesar Viveros,  Jose Ortiz-Pagan, Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe, Sinta Penyami Storms

Here’s a link to videos that you can share: http://www.folkloreproject.org/ofrenda/la-ofrenda-videos

Location: 1135 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Open Houses
Thursday, September 12, 19 and 26 – 5:00-7:00 pm.

Special Presentation by national award-winning California altaristas Ofelia and Rosanna Esparza
Saturday, September 28 – 5:00-7:00 pm. (Limited seating. More details to come.)

For Full Details: Visit the Philadelphia Folklore Project website: http://folkloreproject.org/ofrenda/project; or contact the office for more information: 215.726.1106.

Major support for this program comes from the William Penn Foundation, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and individual Philadelphia Folklore Project members.


Sinta Penyami Storms

the beautiful (un)ordinary, a conversation with photographer Jose Mazariegos

In August, photographer Jose Mazariegos opened his first photo exhibit, the beautiful (un)ordinary: street portraiture of the people. To talk about the exhibit and his art I’m please to have Jose as a guest.


Animator, Photographer, Videographer and amazing Husband and Father, Jose Mazariegos, hails from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala via Trenton, New Jersey and currently resides in Philadelphia. An alum of the Art Institute of Philadelphia he studied multi-media arts and animation and has been working professionally as an animator for the last eighteen years. He is a self-taught photographer, exhibiting a passion evident in the grace and beauty of his work, and 2019 marks his tenth year practicing the art form. A versatile artist, his subject matter, color choice and composition runs the gamut with a focus on portraits and landscapes. His favorite models include his lovely daughter, Marina Nicolasa, his cats, Mr. Cesar J. Cat, Raja and Sasha, as well as a plethora of craft beer. Never afraid to experiment he has employed a multitude of photographic techniques which are on display in today’s exhibit. Pay close attention to his use of bokeh, the “art of the blur” where the subject snaps into focus while the background fades into a dreamlike haze. His work has been featured in three juried exhibits through the Da Vinci Art Alliance, “Lens on Latin America” where he won the third place prize, “Open Lens V” and “South Philly Pretty and Gritty”, as well in various Philadelphia media outlets and peer reviewed photography blogs. His animation and motion graphic work includes the visual effects for “Resistance: The Battle For Philadelphia” and animation for artist Michelle Angela Ortiz’ art installation pieces, “Seguimos Caminando”, “Quizas Manana” and the documentary, “Las Madres de Berks”.  Those close to the photographer can attest that not only is he rarely without his camera he is also one of the best human beings on the planet. A loving and caring person, Jose is a devoted family man and a true friend to all.

Photo exhibition at South Philly Barbacoa
1140 South Ninth St. Philadelphia

Contact: Jose Mazariegos

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Listen in: I speak about #BarrioEdProject on the #LeadingEquity Podcast

A few months back I was interviewed by Dr. Sheldon Eakins who hosts Leading Equity, a “podcast that focuses on supporting educators with the tools and resources necessary to ensure equity at their school. On this podcast, listeners can expect to hear interviews and stories from voices of equity in education today.”

I speak with Dr. Eakins about about Education in our Barrios, #BarrioEdProject, so if you want to learn more about the project you can download the podcast. 

Listen here: http://bit.ly/2kDSAqz 

Thanks Dr. Eakins

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