The NYU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies has launched “Conversemos COVID-19” (“Let’s Talk COVID-19”), an initiative aimed at offering information about the pandemic in various indigenous and diasporic languages widely spoken in New York.
The information is delivered in 90-second video capsules translated into eight languages, including Quechua, Haitian Kreyol, Nahuatl, Mixtec, Garifuna, and Kichwa, spoken by immigrant communities from Mexico, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia, and others. The capsules may be viewed online at http://idlc.nyc/conversemos-covid-19/.
The first episode is based on recommendations promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Panamerican Health Organization on maintaining good mental health during the pandemic. Future episodes will focus on mask-wearing and returning to work safely, among other topics.
On July 12, 2017, CLACS hosted a timely event with two of Honduras best known indigenous leaders. The night’s conversation featured Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, daughter of the late Lenca community leader Berta Cáceres and General Coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and Miriam Miranda who is General Coordinator of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (ONAFREH) and a well-known Garífuna community leader.
The night’s events began with a presentation of two short clips honoring the memory Berta Cáceres, which also served to contextualize the conversation to come. The first clip, was from the Berta Vive documentary, followed by a part of the acceptance speech by the Lenca leader from her acceptance of the Goldman Prize (2015). With this, the stage was set for the conversation with the featured speakers moderated by Grassroots International‘s Latin America Program Coordinator Jovanna Garcia Soto.
With a capacity room, the conversation featured insights on current affairs in the struggles of the indigenous communities in Honduras. Bertha Zúniga spoke about the legacy of her late mother, the importance of unity in resistance struggles, and denounced current anti-terrorism laws. Miriam Miranda, on her part, highlighted the importance of her people’s cultural traditions and spirituality in resisting the current crisis in favor of of life in Honduras.
Dusty Christensen examines “Why Innocent People Plead Guilty,” which appears on AlterNet. Christensen’s article addresses the many ways in which defendants are pushed to agree to plea bargains in pre-trial negotiations.
Nicki Fleischner and Dusty Christensen are currently enrolled in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Journalism joint-degree program. Danielle Mackey is a 2014 graduate of the LACS/Journalism joint-degree program.