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2024 Procession

“Amexica: Soy de Aquí Y de Allá - I’m from Here AND There”

Lea la versión en español - Procesión

Even with overlapping traditions and interconnected histories, multiple identifiers or labels is not uncommon for Latinos – like Hispanic, Latinx /Latine, Chicano, Boricua, Mexican, Hispano, Immigrant, Salvadoran, Guatemalteco, Mexican-Origin, Indigenous . . . peoples, noting that the use of these terms of which a person identifies with varies across generations, location, immigrant status, nationality, country of birth, uses of Spanish and Indigenous languages; and reflects our diverse experiences.

Contemporary groups and individuals describe themselves using terms and labels of their choice. For LEAD’s umbrella of projects, we have mostly opted for Latino/a (and when historically appropriate for cultural specificity Chicano/a and/or Mexicano/a, and/or Indigenous, and even folk terms like Brown). For our projects, Latino has provided flexibility in referring to diverse U.S. communities with Latin American and Caribbean roots. It covers a variety of ethnic and cultural identities, informed by African, Asian, European, and Indigenous ancestry. A national Latino identity also offers some possibility of greater political power.  

For this year’s Theme we build upon the United States’ and México’s celebration of 200 years of diplomatic relations, although the much broader scope of relations between the two countries extends way beyond official and diplomatic relations.  Our relations encompass extensive cultural, commercial - trade, and educational exchange, in addition to hundreds of thousands of people who cross the border daily. 

By intersecting histories, shared geography, and cultural / familial ties, the two countries are each other's closest and most valued neighbors and partners.  Whether the issue is climate change, or public health, human trafficking, entrepreneurship, trade and economic development, education exchange, citizen security, drug control, migration, technical innovation, or environmental protections. 

LEAD Summit XIII addresses Education as the principal issue by which we choose to frame our bilateral relationship; and for our purposes, we share two ways to view and consider Education; and the process and content of Education. First, Education should be viewed as a right, not a privilege; and second, Education should be viewed as an investment. 

In short, the U.S. and Mexico should collaborate, officially, to better plan its shared mutual future by undertaking far-reaching binational and transnational interventions that expand and promote academic mobility, the education marketplace, and equitable advancement and opportunity for all. 

Creating a positive future will require a reframing of Education, Citizenship and Belonging, to where post-traditional and transnational students and global citizens must be:

  • equipped to compete in a global economy; 
  • part of a literate and well-educated labor and consumer base; 
  • a pool of linguistic and cultural talent that would serve to strengthen ties; 
  • significant component of a highly productive work and business force that contributes to the tax base and therefore the economic well-being; and 
  • poised to participate and shape the political landscape on both sides of the border through voting and civic engagement.

A new supermajority citizen of "Amexica" has emerged as a result of the U.S./Mexico mega-region and the interdependency across borders. One of the new supermajority citizen’s means of survivance is the transnationals’ capacity to adapt and acquire both a group repertoire and different self-identities to function effectively in different cultural environments and through different languages. Currently, no other factors have more profoundly influenced Education than the ongoing demographic change, migrations, daily cultural transfusion, economic interdependence, and transnational phenomena. Survival strategies, cultural contexts, the formation of multiple personal and ethnic identities, the power of language and culture, migrant workers, immigrant students and transnational activities abound in the new diasporic realities and communities. 

Time to flip the complicated and nuanced narrative - Ni de aqui, ni de allá (Not from here nor there), which is a phrase frequently used by bilingual and bicultural people to describe the complexity of their intersecting identities of American and Immigrant. Often, the phrase conveys and describes the often-shared experiences of not feeling like we belong anywhere, the sensation of feeling like you’re neither accepted by the country of your birth nor the country from which your family is from. 

Under the new diasporic transnational reality, the border is not the end of one country nor the beginning of another; it is the fluidity of multicultural settings in which the new supermajority citizens learn to live together and work together with policies and practices that suit the megaregion. In this reality of Latino transnationalism, the concept of the nation-state is increasingly less relevant as an organizing principle of social interaction. One's unified social world is made up of multiple attachments that can stretch and transgress across borders. The new Amexica unmasks the old stigmas and broadens our sense of belonging beyond nationhood. In its place, the new citizen of the supermajority claims “Soy de Aquí Y de Allá - I’m from Here AND There”.

  • Intercessors: Makuil Ollin Ocelotl, Aztec Dance Calpulli (*invited)    
  • Grand Marshal: Prof. Armando Vazquez-Ramos, California-Mexico Studies Center, Inc. (*invited)   

Participate in the Procession

Please contact:

Aurora Vilchis

Dr. Aurora Vilchis
LEAD Planner
Office Phone: (909) 537-4457

*Complimentary parking, continental and lunch will be provided. Procession will be webcast/broadcast across our various media outlets and partners. Participants would need to arrive on the Cal State San Bernardino campus by 7:45 AM in order to park, and check-in at the Santos Manuel Student Union so as to line up for the Procession.