York University’s Centre for Research on Latin American and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and will present its 2020 Michael Baptista Lecture on March 11. Titled “Central American Migrants in Limbo: Transit Experiences and Grassroots Responses,” the talk will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in Beeton Hall at the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge St.). This lecture is co-sponsored by York’s Centre for Refugee Studies.
Speakers will discuss how with the Trump administration’s hardline policies at the United States-Mexico border, the challenges faced by migrants fleeing violence and poverty in northern Central America have been making global headlines. This event highlights the transit experiences of Central Americans as they attempt to cross multiple borders and the response of grass-roots humanitarian organizations in Mexico and the United States.
This year’s lecture features speakers working in Mexico, Guatemala, and the Mexico-United States border area, including activist and organizer Adalberto Ramos, and researchers Giovanni Batz and Elizabeth Oglesby. The FCJ Refugee Centre’s Francisco Rico-Martínez will provide commentary on implications for Canadian advocacy, solidarity and policy sectors.
The Michael Baptista Lecture was established by the friends of Michael Baptista and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to recognize the areas central to his spirit and success: the importance of his Guyanese/Caribbean roots, his dedication to and outstanding achievements at the RBC and his unqualified drive and love of learning. Previous topics in this series have included drug violence and humanitarian crisis in Mexico, the use of archives of violent past struggles and the legacy of Jamaica’s beloved and iconic poet commonly known as “Miss Lou.”
CERLAC, one of the oldest organized research units at York University and the first of its kind in Canada, is a hub for inter-and-multidisciplinary research on Latin America and the Caribbean, their diasporas and their relations with Canada and the rest of the world. It provides a meeting space for faculty, students and visitors to discover common interests; supports their projects by facilitating grant administration, partnership formation and the co-production and sharing of knowledge; and trains new generations of regional scholars.