Latino Center for Leadership Development

SMU Meadows’ Ignite/Arts and Cara Mía Theatre Co. explore lives of DREAMers in Deferred Action Sept. 14-17, 2017

Rehearsal still photo from Deferred ActionSMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Ignite/Arts Dallas initiative, with co-presenter Cara Mía Theatre Co., will launch a touring version of an acclaimed play on the urgent topic of immigration and the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program, originally produced and premiered at Dallas Theater Center in 2016.

Deferred Action by David Lozano and Lee Trull will begin its tour in North Texas with four performances at the Meadows School’s Bob Hope Theatre, Sept. 14-17. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff, and are available online at caramiatheatre.org.

Tickets will also be available through the Cara Mía box office in the Hope Theatre lobby one hour before each performance.

The play’s central character is Javier Mejía, one of the immigrants known as DREAMers who arrived in the United States as an undocumented minor. Now, after years in the States, he finds himself caught in the tangle of existing immigration laws, new presidential policies and the harsh reality of living in the shadows. Javier hopes that temporary administrative mechanisms like Deferred Action will be the answer to his dilemma. But will hope be snatched away? Can politicians who say they are the DREAMers’ friends be trusted?

Co-author Lozano is Cara Mía executive artistic director, and Trull serves as Dallas Theater Center’s director of new play development. The touring version is directed by Lozano and features Cara Mía actors and other local and national professional performers.

Subsequent performancers are scheduled at the University of North Texas in Denton, the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Talento Bilingüe de Houston and the Encuentro de las Americas International Theatre Festival in Los Angeles. The touring production, the first ever undertaken by Cara Mía, was commissioned by Ignite/Arts Dallas and is sponsored by the Dallas-based Latino Center for Leadership Development.

On Saturday, Sept. 16 at 4:30 p.m., a free Community Conversation event will be held in the Bob Hope Theatre to discuss issues raised in the play. The event, sponsored by the Embrey Family Foundation, will feature a panel and open discussion with members of Cara Mía Theatre about the lives of DREAMers, immigration reform, and current national, state and local policies surrounding undocumented immigrants. Attendees are invited to stay afterward for a complimentary meal provided by Chipotle.

Admission to the Community Conversation is free, and no reservations are required.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows School of the Arts website

SMU’s Tower Center, Latino Center for Leadership Development award nine new research grants

Latino Center for Leadership Development logoThe Latino Center for Leadership Development (Latino CLD) and SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies have awarded nine grants to 13 scholars tapped to provide meaningful research geared to promoting a stronger understanding of the Latino community and creating a dialogue about key societal issues.

As the Tower Center-Latino CLD partnership’s first class of grant recipients, each research team will provide final reports that include a white paper with context, analysis and policy recommendations.

> More about the SMU Tower Center-Latino CLD research partnership

Awards were chosen by research grant advisory board members Miguel Solis, Latino CLD president; James Hollifield, SMU Tower Center academic director; and Alicia Reyes-Barriéntez and Aileen Cardona-Arroyo, SMU Tower Center postdoctoral fellows.

“Issuing these grants marks the beginning of a new approach to policy and research related to the Latino community,” Solis says.

“The research will not only find its way into academic journals and classrooms, but also will inform the decisions of emerging policy makers,” he adds. “The Latino CLD is serious about ensuring future leaders are armed with substantive policy ideas rooted in research, so the allocation of these grants will help ensure our vision becomes a reality.”

Grantees include faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students from U.S. schools including SMU, Vanderbilt, UT-Austin and UCLA. Their research projects will focus such topics as education policy, public opinion/surveys, transnational students, African American-Latino coalitions, deportation’s effect on children, border enforcement and human rights, access to legalization as well as non-profit organizations’ services and resources.

The grantees’ first round of research findings will be presented at a public forum Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the Hall of State at Fair Park in Dallas. Additional research will be discussed at a fall forum that also will be free and open to the public.

For more details about the research grants, contact Melissa Alfaro, 619-249-9055.