Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Robin Reineke

(Assistant Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center, The University of Arizona)


Robin C. Reineke, PhD is Assistant Research Social Scientist in Anthropology at the University of Arizona’s Southwest Center. Her research centers on the social processes of forensic human identification and disappearance in the southern Arizona borderlands. Early on in her research for this project, Reineke identified an unmet need for thousands of families of missing migrants and co-found the Colibrí Center for Human Rights in 2013. Colibrí is a nonprofit family advocacy organization working to end death and suffering on the US-Mexico border by working closely with both forensic scientists and families of the missing. Reineke’s professional story is one of working at the boundaries—between the U.S., and Mexico, between the disciplines of cultural anthropology and forensic anthropology, and between the academic and nonprofit sectors. From Seattle, Washington, Reineke received a BA in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her work has been featured in the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Nation, and the documentary film, Who Is Dayani Cristal?  She was awarded the Institute for Policy Studies’ Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award and Echoing Green’s Global Fellowship in 2014.





Jackie Amezquita

(Contemporary artist based in Los Angeles, California)

Jackie Amézquita (b. 1985) is a Latin-American artist based in Los Angeles, California. Amézquita was born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and migrated to the United States in 2003. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from ArtCenter College of Design and an Associate degree in Visual Communications from Los Angeles Valley College. She is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in the New Genres program at the University of California, Los Angeles (2022).

Her practice has been influenced by her relationship to borders and displacement, informed by her experiences as an immigrant woman. Amezquita’s work makes use of durational performances, site specificity, and materiality to explore a visual language that rebalances the power of socio-political relationships. This has allowed her to intertwine historical and contemporary references.

Amézquita is interested in exploring the narratives created in these social environments and how socioeconomic differences between power structures affect the relationship between the body and the landscape. Her recent works investigate the actions that influence the process of transformation, informed by the material and the layers that the work involves.



Anna M. Babel

(Coordinator of BuckIDream Working Group, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The Ohio State University)

Anna Babel studies the relationship between language and culture.  She is interested in the way that categories like ethnicity, gender, political affiliation, and even the way we dress can affect the way that we use and understand language.  Most of her research revolves around contact between Spanish and Quechua in Bolivia, the topic of her book, Between the Andes and the Amazon.  In addition, she teaches and engages in activism with Latinx communities in the US.  A professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the Ohio State University since 2011, she has edited two scholarly volumes, published more than a dozen academic articles and book chapters, and been funded by the National Science Foundation, among other groups (see here for more information).



Katherine Borland

(Associate Professor, Director, Center for Folklore Studies, The Ohio State University)

Katherine Borland is the Director and Graduate Studies Advisor at the Center for Folklore Studies, and Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies.

She studies and teaches about the artfulness of ordinary life, and the ways in which traditional expressive arenas constitute contested terrain. In 2013, she published International Volunteer Tourism: Critical Reflections on Good Works in Central America (co-edited with Abigail E. Adams, Palgrave).  Subsequently, she has published a number of essays on a range of subjects in narrative research, service-learning models, diverse environmentalism, and interrogating race in folklore and in the folklore classroom.

In her teaching she works to develop and hone student’s interpretive, synthesizing and analytic skills through shared inquiry, team research and writing.  She is a passionate advocate of both experiential and discussion-based pedagogies.



Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

(Author of The Undocumented Americans, PhD Candidate in American Studies, Yale University)

With the publication of her debut book, The Undocumented Americans, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio became the first undocumented finalist for a National Book Award. Her book was also named by Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of 2020 and was selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Time, NPR, The LA Times, The New York Public Library, Book Riot, Vulture, and the Library Journal. The Undocumented Americans is also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award for best first book. Karla has written about immigration, music, beauty, and mental illness for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Glamour, Elle, Vogue, n+1, and The New Inquiry, among others. She lives in New Haven with her partner and their dog. She is a graduate of Harvard University and a doctoral candidate in the American Studies program at Yale University.



Moriah Flagler

(Artistic Director of Be The Street, The Ohio State University)

Moriah Flagler is a teacher, theatre maker, and scholar.  Her research focuses on community-based devising, applied improvisation, and digital storytelling. Her recent scholarship examines how devising digital stories with middle school aged Spanish speakers foregrounded their community cultural wealth in a schooling system that often strips Latinx youth of their languages and cultures through subtractive assimilation. Flagler received the 2019 Distinguished Thesis Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education for her study, “Storied Moments: Foregrounding Community Cultural Wealth through Digital Storytelling.” Flagler holds a Master of Fine Arts in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Education from The University of Arizona.  She is currently the Artistic Director of Be the Street, an Ohio State University community-engaged devising program where she continues to explore the intersections of place, identity, connection, story, and social justice.



Reanne Frank

(Professor, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University)

Reanne Frank is a professor of sociology at Ohio State and an affiliate of the Institute for Population Research (IPR). She studies demographic processes (mortality, fertility, and immigration) with a particular focus on the U.S./Mexico migration flow. She teaches two undergraduate courses that address migration: 1) SOCIOL 3597.02 World Population Problems and 2) SOCIOL 3200 Sociology of Immigration.



Jeremy Hollon

(Director, Community Partnerships at Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS))

Jeremy is the Associate Director of Community Partnerships at Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS). He also oversees all youth mentoring programs within CRIS that provides wraparound services to over 100 new American students, representing over 60 countries, annually within five districts within Franklin County. Prior to CRIS Jeremy worked within local government within Children Services and Job and Family Services in various capacities. He is a graduate of Washington University St. Louis with degrees in Women Studies, Sociology, Anthropology and Studio Art.



Guisela Latorre

(Professor, Department of History of Art, The Ohio State University)

Guisela Latorre specializes in modern and contemporary U.S. Latinx and Latin American art with a special emphasis on Chicana/Latina feminism. She is the author of Democracy on the Wall: Street Art of the Post-Dictatorship Era in Chile (2019) and Walls of Empowerment: Chicana/o Indigenist Murals from California (2008). In addition, she was co-curator and co-author of the exhibition/book ¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/Chicano Murals Under Siege (2017). Her other publications include “The Art of Disruption: Chicana/o Art’s Politicized Strategies for Aesthetic Innovation” in The Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies (2018) and “Indigenous Images of Democracy on City Streets: Native Representations in Contemporary Chilean Graffiti and Muralism” in Street Art of Resistance (2017). She is currently working on an anthology on the arts collective Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo.






(Lecturer in Theater, Dance and Media, Harvard University)

LROD is recognized as a radical choreographer, performance artist, filmmaker, mask maker, new media designer, and interdisciplinary pedagogue from El Paso, TX. LROD creates inclusive installations, surreal dance-works, and integrates emerging technology with care. LROD’s mission is to cross the borders we carry in co-creative spaces sharing radical tenderness with each moving body. LROD’s choreographic intent re-imagines the process of making dance or performance through the methods of Borderland Performance, Surrealism, and Chicanafuturism. LROD’s work recently reflects the visual, embodied, and intimate way the border welcomes them home, never leaves them, and continues to move in their research. Love is a Borderland. LROD received their MFA from the Dance Department at The Ohio State University ’20 and a minor in Latina/o Studies. Currently, LROD is a Lecturer in Dance, Theater and Media at Harvard University, a contributing artist for Livable Futures, and premieres new works in 2021. Visit for more information.



Kenneth Madsen

(Associate Professor, Department of Geography, The Ohio State University)

Kenneth D. Madsen is Associate Professor of Geography at The Ohio State University at Newark.  His research focuses on political and cultural aspects of border barriers (walls/fences) along the U.S.-Mexico border with a focus on Arizona.  While his work considers the role of different actors at multiple scales, it often prioritizes the perspective of and tensions with borderlands residents caught between international mobility and federal law enforcement efforts.  Madsen’s current research considers the role of DHS waivers as a means of facilitating border barrier construction by eliminating the need to legally comply with a variety of environmental and other laws.  He is also interested in dynamics of indigenous-academic interactions and insights from fiction on geographic processes.




Douglas S. Massey

(Henry G. Bryant Professor, Department of Sociology, Princeton University)

Doug Massey is Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, with a joint appointment in The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, he is the current president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is a member of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and co-editor of the Annual Review of Sociology. Massey’s research focuses on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty, stratification, and Latin America, especially Mexico. He is the author, most recently, of Brokered Boundaries: Constructing Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times, coauthored with Magaly Sanchez and Published by the Russell Sage Foundation.





On Board(hers)

Started in 2018 in Columbus, OH, On Board(hers) is a series of contemporary dance workshops and performances based on the experiences and testimonies of female immigrants, using movement, language, and trauma-informed techniques to show the healing and therapeutic dimension of community dancing. By collecting testimonies and facilitating the transformation of traumas into movement forms, we seek to model best practices for transformational community engagement through storytelling and show how global mobility is part of contemporary national and global history. Today, On Board(hers) welcomes participants in France, Germany, Mexico and the US.

Gloria Alejandra Flores is a PhD Candidate in Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Arizona. She received her M.A. in both Latin American Literature and Dance Pedagogy from the New Mexico State University. She recently received the Spring 2021 Mellon-Fronteridades Grad Fellowship Award from Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry for her project “Pendular Borders: A Work on Dance and Female Border Crossing”. Gloria is working with On Board(hers) since 2019.



Lucille Toth is an Assistant Professor in the department of French and Italian at the Ohio State University-Newark, affiliated with OSU dance department. Trained in contemporary dance in France, her research interests lie at the intersection of dance, medical humanities, gender, and migration studies. In addition to being a scholar, Lucille Toth is also the founder and Artistic Director of On Board(hers) since 2018.




Flor Turiace is an Argentinian Performer, trained at Arte XXI in contemporary dance, and a certified dance teacher from the Tanztangente in Germany (in cooperation with the UDK). Also a certified Expressive Arts Therapy facilitator from the Expressive Arts Institute Berlin, she collaborated in dance projects with kids from moveGLOBAL – (Berlin Association of Migrant Diasporic Organizations) and worked on her own projects, including “Dance and movement research-exploration of cultural diversity”. Flor is facilitating On Board(hers) workshops in Germany since 2020.




Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Ph.D.

(Core Member of La Pocha Nostra, Associate Professor of Latinx Cultural Studies, The Ohio State University)

Paloma Martínez-Cruz is the author of Food Fight! Millennial Mestizaje Meets the Culinary Marketplace (2019), Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica (2011) and editor of A Handbook for the Rebel Artist in a Post-Democratic Society by Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Saul García-Lopez (2021). Martínez-Cruz curates and hosts Onda Latina Ohio, a Latina arts initiative showcasing Latinx arts practices in the Midwest.



PerformancerUS is a group that creates performances inspired by the Oral Narratives of Latin@s in Ohio (ONLO) archive, and each of the ensemble members personal and collective stories. The performances provide a culturally engaging model for understanding the complexities of Latina/o/x stories and enhances our sense of belonging, bicultural and bilingual experiences, and racial or ethnic identity, while also providing opportunities for self-expression. This project incorporates participants cultural ways of ​knowing a​nd​ doing, as integral to storytelling and empowerment. It uses oral history as a tool for creating spaces of trust and communal sharing of knowledge. This group was created in 2019 and is directed by Elena Foulis. They have performed in Ohio, New Mexico and virtually.

Performers: Dr. Elena Foulis, Paloma Pinillos Chávez, Lidia Garcia Berrelleza, Manuel Bautista, Heder Ubaldo, Micah Unzueta, Liz Morales (Ohio State University)




Jan Phillips

(Board Member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus and Facilitator of the Racial and Immigration and Immigration Justice Group)

Jan Phillips is a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, where she is the Facilitator of the Racial Justice and Immigration justice group, and a member of the Board of Trustees.

She was a middle school teacher and retired from Columbus City Schools in 2017.

After the 2016 election of Donald Trump to the Presidency and his “Muslim ban”, which occurred shortly after his inauguration, she became deeply involved in the immigration justice movement.  She began working with Ruben Castilla Herrara in April of 2017, by first attending a workshop at Columbus Mennonite Church that provided education and information about our broken immigration system and the Sanctuary movement that was gaining momentum across the U.S.

When Columbus Mennonite Church opened its doors to the first woman to enter Sanctuary in Columbus, Jan became part of the support team, coordinating the Meal Train and the collection of gift cards that provided funds for food, with First UU and other churches lending support.

When Miriam Vargas entered Sanctuary at First English Lutheran Church, in 2018, Jan became part of Team Miriam.  Support for these two Sanctuary Leaders was ongoing.



Norah Zuniga Shaw

(Professor, Department of Dance, The Ohio State University)

Norah Zuniga Shaw is an artist, writer, and creative director. Her artistic research centers on choreographic knowledge as a locus for interdisciplinary and intercultural creativity. She is internationally recognized for her digital projects and award-winning interdisciplinary collaborations including Synchronous Objects with William Forsythe and TWO with Bebe Miller. Her work has been presented around the world at venues including the Pompidou Center Paris, Taipei Arts Festival, PACT Zollverein Essen, Sadler’s Wells London, Hebbel Theater Berlin, Spring Dance Utrecht, BUDA Kortrijk, Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus, Kampnagel Hamburg, Cyberarts Boston, Wyoming Gallery NYC, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and online with millions of viewers.

Shaw presents frequently on 21st livability and humane technologies and is currently touring the Livable Futures project including transmedia performance rituals on climate change, radio ballets, and creative public dialogs. Livable Futures is a broad based initiative bringing artists, scholars and public and private sector collaborators together to foster creative solutions for survival under planetary conditions of unpredictability and crisis.



Sydney Silverstein

(Assistant Professor, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine)

Sydney Silverstein is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She is currently an assistant professor in the Center for Interventions, Treatment, and Addictions Research and the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine. She has conducted ethnographic research in both Latin America and the United States since 2010. Broadly, her research focuses on the impacts of the ongoing War on Drugs, from the strengthening of narco-infrastructures in Peru to the generation of novel public health crises in the US. Silverstein’s ethnographic work draws a multimedia research practice, which includes elements of participatory photography and filmmaking. She has produced two ethnographic documentaries and made two short films in collaboration with people living in sanctuary in Columbus, Ohio. She is currently working on a participatory photography project with people with opioid use disorder in the Dayton, Ohio area.





Ines Valdez

(Associate Professor and Director, Latina/o Studies Program, The Ohio State University)

I am a political theorist. At Ohio State University, I am an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and the director of the Latina/o Studies Program.

My research has been or is currently supported by the Humboldt Stiftung, the Global Arts & Humanities Society of Fellows, the Princeton University Center for Human Values, and the Max Weber Programme.

My research is on critical race and feminist theory, migration, transnationalism, empire, and racial capitalism.

My work on migration explores the construction of punishing lived experiences through enforcement regimes of surveillance, detention and deportation; the role of secularism in obscuring critical practices of contestation of domination; the role of violence in underpinning and constituting law, and how big data transforms the realm of immigration enforcement and immigration politics as a whole.





Merijn van der Heijden

(Director, Urban Arts Space, The Ohio State University)

Merijn van der Heijden studied at Akademie voor Beeldende Vorming, in Tilburg, The Netherlands, where she completed her BFA degree in Art; she received her MFA in Art from Ohio State. In her current role as Director of Urban Arts Space, her recent interests have included strategic planning and strengthening university and community partner relationships in an effort to challenge perceptions, deepen learning and increase access to exhibitions and programs at Urban Arts Space and Hopkins Hall Gallery. Merijn appreciates keeping her hands in artistic practice while also helping shape and contribute to faculty art research and student success by providing hands-on arts-related experiences for the university community.

COMING SOON! Visit this page again for more info on our presenters!