Michael Baptista Lecture explores rapid urban growth in Caribbean and Latin America

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York University’s Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) presents the Michael Baptista Lecture 2021-2022: Urban Spatial Justice and Human Security in the Caribbean and Latin America on Nov. 30.

In this first Michael Baptista forum for 2021-22, scholars will place experiences from various cities in conversation as they consider potential policy, community-based and activist responses to violence and social hierarchy, with the goal of re-envisioning human security and spatial justice across the region.

Latin America and the Caribbean are highly urbanized regions, with the Caribbean, in particular, currently experiencing rapid urban growth. While cities in the region provide opportunities to access jobs and services, they are often characterized by racial and socio-spatial inequality, residential segregation, securitization and pervasive violence. Common urban development strategies aimed at attracting investment, tourism and skilled elites further exacerbate urban injustices.

This lecture will begin at 6 p.m. on Zoom, and will feature panellists Alejandra Abello-Colak, London School of Economics; Eduardo Moncada, Barnard College, Columbia University; and Jovan Scott-Lewis, University of California, Berkeley; discussant Beverly Mullings, Queen’s University; and moderator Luisa Sotomayor, York University.

Participants must register in advance for the webinar through this page, and will be sent a personal link for the webinar.

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 RBC, and his unqualified drive and love of learning. Previous topics in this series have included drug violence and the 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 multi-disciplinary 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.