Chokma! Greetings! Saludos! I am honored and excited to put forward my name for the LASA Executive Council (EC). I have been an active member of LASA for 25 years and I have presented at 13 meetings. I have served as chair of the section on Ethnicity, Race and Indigenous Peoples (ERIP 2010-2011) and founding inaugural chair of the Otros Saberes section (2015- 2016). I also bring substantial professional association leadership experience as a former Council member (2015-2018) and President (2018-2021) of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA).
As a Native scholar from a US-based Native nation whose research is in Latin America and in the US with Indigenous migrants from Latin America, I am a strong advocate for hemispheric dialogue and bridging the literatures on Indigenous peoples north and south of the settler- imposed US – Mexico border. LASA, of course, has always been a premier cite for hemispheric dialogues. However, those dialogues aren’t always as inclusive as they could be. In all my years attending LASA, I have rarely seen more than a handful of Indigenous scholars there. This is also true for Afrodescendant scholars, who remain underrepresented at LASA. As a member of the EC, I would advocate for greater inclusion of Indigenous and Afrodescendant members, and for the creation of explicit measures to address implicit bias and promote equity within the association. Finally, I would advocate for measures to promote an understanding of the value of collaborative, community engaged scholarship on a par with other forms of knowledge production. Our association can and should be a leader in academia on diversity, inclusion, and community engagement. That’s how the richest dialogues are had.