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Unforgetting: Central American Migration, Gangs, and Revolution with Roberto Lovato
In Unforgetting, Roberto interweaves his father’s complicated history of survival in El Salvador and his own with first-hand reportage on gang life, state violence, and the heart of the immigration crisis in both El Salvador and the United States. In doing so he makes the political personal, revealing the cyclical ways violence operates in our homes and our societies, as well as the ways hope and tenderness can rise up out of the darkness if we are courageous enough to unforget."
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Feb 23, 2021 06:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Roberto Lovato
Roberto Lovato is the author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas (Harper Collins), a New York Times “Editor’s Choice” that the paper also hailed as a “groundbreaking memoir.” Newsweek listed Lovato’s memoir as a “must read” 2020 book and the Los Angeles Times listed it as one of its 20 Best Books of 2020. Lovato is also an educator, journalist and writer based at The Writers Grotto in San Francisco, California. As a Co-Founder of #DignidadLiteraria, he helped build a movement advocating for equity and literary justice for the more than 60 million Latinx persons left off of bookshelves in the United States and out of the national dialogue. A recipient of a reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center, Lovato has reported on numerous issues—violence, terrorism, the drug war and the refugee crisis—from Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, France and the United States, among other countries.
Dr. Czarina Aggabao Thelen
Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race Lecturer, Department of Anthropology @Columbia University
Dr. Thelen received her A.B. magna cum laude from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin. She has held fellowships from Mellon Sawyer Seminars, Social Science Research Council, Fulbright, and Inter-American Foundation. Dr. Thelen’s activist anthropology research grows out of her longstanding commitment to community organizing and Indigenous politics, including having worked as a human rights accompanier with Maya returned refugees. She has lived and worked in Guatemala (Iximulew) for over ten years.
Fernando Montero
Postdoctoral Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities @Columbia University
Fernando Montero is an anthropologist whose research centers on security regimes and the War on Drugs in the Americas. His current book project, titled “Martial Love,” examines the everyday life of military occupation in the Afro-Indigenous Moskitia region of Central America (Nicaragua/Honduras). Focusing on the sexual and romantic affairs between Miskitu women and Nicaraguan and Honduran soldiers in recently occupied Miskitu coastal villages, the book argues that understanding Central American security regimes requires attention not only to the history of war and extractivism in Afro-Indigenous regions, but also to Afro-Indigenous kinship and gender norms, property forms and economic practices, and overlapping jurisdictions of regional governance. This project builds on Montero’s earlier field research on policing and mass incarceration in the segregated Puerto Rican neighborhood of Kensington in North Philadelphia