Issues ranging from democracy, immigration, culture to identity concerning Latinos and indigenous peoples in the United States will be presented at the 12th annual Latin American Studies Conference: Study of the Americas at Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday, April 19, and Friday, April 20.

The two-day event, which will be held in the John M. Pfau Library (PL 5005), will be from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch is $15 for each day. Parking at CSUSB is $6.

The annual conference is intended to foster interest, knowledge and understanding of the very diverse cultures of Latin America. This year’s theme is “Democracy in the Americas and Immigration.”

The event will feature three keynote speakers: Gerardo Munck, professor of international relations and political science at the University of Southern California; Kent Wong, director of the UCLA Labor Center and professor of Asian studies at UCLA; and Shannon Speed, director of the American Indian Studies Center and associate professor of gender studies and anthropology at UCLA.

Munck’s presentation, titled “Latin America’s Post-transitional Politics: Problems of and for Democracy in the New Century” will be on Thursday at 10 a.m. Munck, Argentinian by birth, received his doctorate in political science from UC San Diego and is a specialist on political regimes and democracy, methodology, and Latin America. His books include “Regimes and Democracy in Latin America,” “Passion, Craft, and Method in Comparative Politics” (with Richard Snyder), and “Authoritarianism and Democratization: Soldiers and Workers in Argentina, 1976-83.” He collaborated in the preparation of United Nations Development Programme’s report Democracy in Latin America in 2004 and is currently active in various initiatives to promote and monitor democracy.

Following Munck will be Wong with his presentation “U.S. Immigrant Youth at a Crossroads,” starting at noon. Wong has published more than ten books on the labor movement, immigrant rights, popular education and the Asian American community. His most recent books are “Nonviolence and Social Movements: The Teachings of Rev. James L. Lawson Jr.” and “Dreams Deported: Immigrant Youth and Families Resist Deportation.” Wong previously worked as staff attorney for the Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles, and was also the founding president of the United Association for Labor Education, a national organization representing university-based labor centers and union education departments. He is currently a vice president of the California Federation of Teachers, representing 120,000 teachers and educational workers, co-chair of the California Assembly Speaker’s Commission on Labor Education, and chair of the board of the New World Foundation.

Speed will present “Captive Stories: Indigenous Women Migrants and the Settler Capitalist State” on Friday at 11 a.m. Speed is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and holds a doctorate in anthropology and Native American studies from UC Davis. She has worked for the last two decades in Mexico and in the U.S. on issues of indigenous autonomy, sovereignty, gender, human rights, violence, migration and social justice. She has published five books and edited volumes, including “Rights in Rebellion: Human Rights and Indigenous Struggle in Chiapas.” She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters in English and Spanish, as well as two books in Spanish. Her forthcoming book is called “Captive Stories: Indigenous Women Migrants and the Settler Capitalist State.” She is the recipient of various awards and honors, including a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Seminar Grant, Harvard University; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Bar of Texas American Indian Law Section (2014); and the Dynamic Woman of the Year Award from the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma (2013).

The event will also have talks and presentations from CSUSB students and members from local universities in the region.

The Latin American Studies Conference is sponsored by the Association of Latin American Studies; the Center for International Studies and Programs; the College of Arts and Letters; the Department of World Languages and Literatures; the John M. Pfau Library; and the University Diversity Committee.

Registration for the conference is now open on the Latin American Studies website. For more information, contact Carmen Jany, Latin American Studies coordinator and professor of world languages and literatures, at or visit the Latin American Studies website.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit