UW-Green Bay to host founder of the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective and author Andrea-Teresa “Tess” Arenas, speaking about Emerging Spaces for Latinx in Wisconsin: The Cradle of New Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2024

Green Bay, WI – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will welcome Andrea-Teresa “Tess” Arenas for a free community presentation. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 1 p.m. via livestream or in-person at The Weidner on the Green Bay Campus, followed by a reception at 2:30 p.m. and student roundtable at 3:30 p.m. Registration for the event is open.

Nationally award-winning Chicana poet, author and highly accomplished Latinx community advocate Andrea-Tess Arenas is coming back to Northeast Wisconsin to introduce the community to the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective, an exciting initiative to document Wisconsin’s Latinx people, businesses, and events through 2030. Her presentation “Emerging Spaces for Latinx in Wisconsin: The Cradle of New Leaders” will highlight stories of Latinx with connections to rural and urban Wisconsin as examples of new leaders, as well as the need to develop meaningful community connections with Latinx which honor their contributions, victories, and leadership through the collection of Latin oral histories across Wisconsin.

Collecting the oral histories from Latinx people in the region is essential. “It is very important to do the project by collecting both male and female voices,” said Gabriela Gamboa, general manager and radio personality for “La Mas Grande” FM radio 92.7, 96.9 in Green Bay and surrounding areas. “It is important for us to recognize that Hispanics in general, we are both, women and men, we have similar goals in life and we fight together for a better present and better future. The most important thing for me is that people understand there is no working for the future, it is working for the present. If you work for the present the future will be better.”

The Wisconsin Latinx History Collective is an organization created in partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) and the UW–Madison Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program and will spend the next five years documenting the history of Latinx people in the state of Wisconsin. The overarching goal of the collective is to increase the holdings of Latinx people’s history at the historical society, so that the state and nation understand who Latinx people are from their perspective.

Currently, the collective has 80 members made up of a variety of faculty, staff, and students from UW–Madison, Madison College, UW-Whitewater, UW-Milwaukee, Viterbo University, and UW-Parkside, as well as both community researchers and leaders from Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and Waupaca spanning across myriad of Latinx ethnic groups.

Andrea-Teresa “Tess” Arenas, an award-winning Chicana poet has been engaged in communities of color for over 40 years as an activist, policy maker and college instructor.  Arenas is from a low-income family, the daughter of an undocumented parent, and a first-generation college graduate. Arenas considers herself a late bloomer because she started college at age 30 and eventually earned her PhD from UW Madison.

Arenas is a founding member of the Latina Task Force, Justice for Daisy Mendez, and Wisconsin Hispanic Council on Higher Education which worked to have the first Latin@ Board of Regents, Ness Flores (former migrant worker) in the 1980’s.

Arenas served as Assistant Vice President of Academic Diversity and Development at the Universities of Wisconsin (formerly the UW System) for nearly 20 years and led the System and campuses in creating Plan 2008: Educational Excellence through Race/Ethnic Diversity.   In 2005 Arenas joined UW Madison as Director of the College of Letters and Science’s Office of Service Learning and Community Based Research and Chicanx Latinx Studies, (CLS) faculty affiliate.  Arenas embedded Service Learning or Community Based Research projects in all her courses and connected students to over 60 projects across the state in multiple race/ethnic communities.

While at UW Madison, Arenas created the Somos Latinas Digital History Project of Wisconsin in Fall 2012 and her CLSP students conducted 43 video-recorded oral history interviews which are now online at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Upon retirement, Arenas also co-authored Somos Latinas: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists in 2018 which won two national book awards.

In January 2020, Arenas founded the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective which will document Latinx people, businesses, and events through 2030 in partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society, Chicanx Latinx Studies UW Madison, and Chicana Por Mi Raza Digital Memory Collective.

UW-Green Bay’s Dr. Dawn Crim, vice chancellor for Advancement, Community Engagement and Inclusivity will moderate the conversation. Following Ms. Arenas presentation, a reception will be held from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. at The Weidner, followed by a student roundtable discussion with Andrea-Tess Arenas from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, March 20, the community is invited to participate in a virtual roundtable discussion surrounding “Activating UW-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin in the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective” from 9 – 10 a.m. From 10:30-11:30 a.m. there will be a hybrid discussion with UW-Green Bay faculty and staff online and in the 1965 Room, University Union, UW-Green Bay campus. From inspiration to action, these sessions bring together leaders from the region to develop an action plan for engaging with and collecting the vibrant oral histories of the Latinx people in Northeast Wisconsin.

To register for the event, please visit this page. Sponsorship of this event is provided by the Wisconsin Latinx History Collective, Harvey Kaye Lecture Series, UW-Green Bay Libraries, UW-Green Bay Advancement and UW-Green Bay Community Engagement and Inclusivity.

About UW-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a school of resilient problem solvers who dare to reach higher with the power of education that ignites growth and answers the biggest challenges. Serving 10,300 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students as well as 67,500 continuing education learners annually, UW-Green Bay offers 200 academic degrees, programs, and certificates. With four campus locations in Northeast Wisconsin, the University’s access mission welcomes all students who want to learn, from every corner of the world. Championing bold thinking since opening its doors in 1965, it is a university on the rise – Wisconsin’s fastest growing UW. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

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