Latinx Connect Conference

Latinx Connect logo

March 21-23, 2024

The LatinxConnect conference (March 21-23, 2024) aims to move us beyond “celebrating” Latinxs, calling for empowerment and justice for Latinx communities, who face numerous inequities in the US and across the world, particularly for those at marginalized intersections of Latinx identity (e.g., Afro, Indigenous, Queer, Trans*, Undocumented).

The theme of the conference this year is: ¡Imaginemos Juntos! Dialogues on Thriving Latinx Futures. The 2024 LatinxConnect conference will bring together students, educators, community leaders, and political advocates to dialogue about Latinidad and envision ways to empower and support thriving futures, both short and distant, for diverse Latinx communities at local, national, and global levels.

As the largest pan-ethnic group in the United States, Latinxs are extremely diverse by race, gender, language, immigration, and experiences along the diaspora, which creates opportunity for dialogue. Participants will discuss together what it means to thrive as Latinx/a/o/e/Hispanic at the intersections of their identities in topic areas including but not limited to education, public health, arts, and history.

There is no cost to attend the conference and all are welcome.


Registration for the conference is now live: Register today!

Please note that the conference is mostly virtual and this registration will provide you access to all the virtual programming.

In-Person Opening Reception

Register today for the in-person opening reception.

In-Person Closing Reception

Register today for the in-person closing reception

Access the Conference

The event platform for the 2024 LatinxConnect Conference, happening virtually Mar. 21-23 on CVENT, is now open. 

Review the full agenda, register and add sessions to your calendar. Access to the platform is limited to registrants for the 2024 LatinxConnect Conference, so make sure you’re registered first before trying to access the event platform and to tell your friends and colleagues to register today.

In the meantime, please preview our program schedule below!

Conference Program Schedule


9:00-10:15 a.m. EST – Welcome Keynote
Keynote Speaker: Maria Montaño​
Location: Virtual

10:30-12:00 p.m. EST – Concurrent Session I*
Location: Virtual

12:15-1:30 p.m. EST – Conference Keynote

  • Title: “No se puede tapar el sol con un dedo/You Can't Cover the Sun with a Finger": Keep Separate Questions on Race and Ethnicity in Federal Standards & the Urgency of: Intersectionality as a New Vision for Advancing Equity in Latinx Communities
    • Keynote Speaker: Dr. Nancy López
    • Location: Virtual

1:45-3:15 p.m. EST – Concurrent Session II*

4:30-8:30 p.m. EST – Opening Reception

  • 4:30-5:00 p.m. – Latin American Cultural Center Mexican Masks Exhibit Tour
  • 5:30-7:00 p.m. – Community Leader Panel: Supporting the Thriving of Local Latinx Communities
  • 7:00-8:30 p.m. – Social Hour with Complimentary Refreshments Included!
    • Panelists: Monica Ruiz, Adriana Sanchez-Solis, Guillermo Velazquez, Mónica Méndez, Nadyli Nuñez, moderated by Dr. Angelica Perez-Johnston
    • Location (*In-person only): Latin American Cultural Center. 4338 Bigelow Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
  • Registration is required. Space and seating are limited.


10:30-12:00 p.m. EST - Concurrent Sessions III*
Location: Virtual

12:15-1:30 p.m. EST – Film Trailer and Discussion

  • Title: CiNEOLA: Latinoámerica on film
    • Featured Speakers: Daniel Díaz and Diana Sánchez Maciel
    • Location: Virtual

1:45-3:15 p.m. EST

  • Title: Ecstatic Intersections: The X in Queer/Trans Latinx Reparations, Formations, and Resistances
    • Panelists: Dr. David Tenorio, Carlos García León, Julio Salgado, and Roque Raquel Salas River
    • Location: Virtual

3:30-4:45 p.m. EST – Featured Panel

  • Title: Sankofa: Reclaiming Afro-Latinx Narratives in the Arts
    • Panelists: Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés, Eliana Reyes, Julissa Contreras moderated by Dr. Zuly Inirio
    • Location: Virtual


11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST – Closing Reception

*Concurrent Sessions will include virtual Panels, Workshops, Lightning Round Talks, and Posters.

Meet the Keynote Speakers

Featured keynote speakers include:

Nancy López

Dr. Nancy López is professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico. Dr. López directs/co-founded of the Institute for the Study of "Race" and Social Justice. Her scholarship, teaching and service are guided by the insights of intersectionality--the importance of examining the simultaneity of race, gender, class, ethnicity and other systems of inequalities across a variety of social outcomes, including education, health, employment, housing, for developing contextualized solutions that advance social justice. Dr. López is author of Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys: Race & Gender Disparity in Urban Education (2003); co-editor of, Creating Alternative Discourses in the Education of Latinas & Latinos (2003), Mapping "Race": Critical Approaches to Health Disparities Research (2013); and, QuantCrit: An Antiracist Approach to Education Equity (2023). Her current research, “Intersectionality as Inquiry and Praxis: Race-Gender-Class-Ethnicity for Student Success in STEM,” is funded by the NSF HSI program. Dr. López is a Black Latina, New York City-born daughter of Dominican immigrants with a second grade education rich in cultural wealth. She is the first woman of color tenured in Sociology and the first woman of the African Diaspora tenured in the College of Arts and Sciences (2008) and promoted to full professor (2018) at UNM.

Jason Méndez

Dr. Jason C. Méndez is a Boricua nonfiction writer, playwright, and educator based in Pittsburgh, New York City, and Puerto Rico. He has over 20 years of experience in arts-based inquiry and praxis with a focus on digital media literacy, arts as wellness, critical pedagogy, and counternarratives. Jason earned a PhD in education with an emphasis in curriculum, culture, and change from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research centers community engagement and development through transformative community partnerships, creative social entrepreneurship, and storytelling. With an MFA in Creative Writing from Randolph College, Jason's writing weaves memory, culture, identity, and the concept of home. Currently, Jason is the Writer-in-Residence at the New Hazlett Theater where he is working toward debuting his new play, Sons of the Boogie; a second coming-of-age story about chasing dreams, self-discovery, and the Boogie Down Bronx. In addition to his artistry, Jason is Co-founder and Executive Director of Block Chronicles; a digital literacy, arts, and research hub focused on examining social determinants of health with an emphasis on Education Access and Quality, Social and Community Context, & Neighborhood and Built Environment. Dr. Méndez has helped leaders and collaborated with organizations in strategizing and executing initiatives, curating exhibitions, and designing research approaches aimed at advancing equity and justice in education and the arts.

Maria Montaño

Maria Montaño serves as Communications Director for Mayor Ed Gainey and is the official spokeswoman for the City of Pittsburgh. She is the first ever transgender person to serve as press secretary, communications director, and as the formal spokeswoman for the city. Maria is currently the highest-ranking Latina in Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the administration she served as a Communications Specialist with SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state's largest and fastest-growing union of healthcare and hospital workers. In that role, Maria helped hospital workers across Pennsylvania form their unions. She currently serves as a commissioner on LGBTQIA+ affairs with Governor Josh Shapiro, is a member of the Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ Commission, and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Phipps Conservatory.


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Latinx Connect is organized and sponsored by the Center of Ethnic Studies Research at the University of Pittsburgh with its origins in and continued support by grassroots transdisciplinary and cross-institutional groups of educators based in Pittsburgh.

Latinx Connect Co-Chairs

  • Victor Figuereo (he/el) is the Interim Co-Director of Center for Ethnic Studies Research and Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work
  • Zuly Inirio (she/ella) is the Interim Co-Director of Center for Ethnic Studies Research