LatinX Law Student Association Members Present at Annual Ohio Latin Americanist Conference

LLSA Students at OLAC
From left to right: Tiffany Johnston, Kate McBane, Kaitlyn Booher, Ricky Gilmore-Vega, Marleni Chavana, Jose Mendez Valdez, Chris Lemus, Michael Bosset.

The 19th Annual Ohio Latin Americanist Conference (OLAC) was held in late February at Ohio University. This highly interdisciplinary conference promotes research in all areas of Latin America. Members of the LatinX Law Student Association attended and presented at the conference.

This year’s keynote was titled “What does the resistance look like today? The ironic need to demand inclusion and recognition of Indigenous peoples in modern times and spaces,” given by Elvia Andia Grágeda of The Ohio State University. 

In addition to interactive pop up Andean museum exhibits, networking opportunities and a creative panel, over 70 presenters attended from nearly 20 different universities. Six CWRU Law students were invited to present at the conference. 

  • Tiffany Johnston presented under the Varied Sciences Panel with a paper titled: “Lab Animal Legislation and Enforcement in Latin American Countries”. 
  • Chris Lemus presented under the LatinX- Cultural Politics of Being panel with a paper titled: “IntraLatino Language and Identity by Kim Potowski”. 
  • Marleni Chavana presented within the Women- Questions of Identity panel with a presentation titled: “Reproductive Rights and Policies in El Salvador”.
  • Ricky Gilmore-Vega presented within the Testimonial Affirmations panel with a paper titled: “Rights for Undocumented LatinX Immigrants since 1946”. 
  • Jose Mendez Valdez and Kaitlyn Booher both presented within the Migration- Regional Migration Issues panel with papers titled respectively: “Are our DREAMS the Next to Go?: The Intersection of Abortion Rights and DACA Through the Lens of Reliance Interests.” and “¿Por qué viniste a los Estados Unidos?: Los niños perdidos (un ensayo en cuarenta preguntas) por Valeria Luiselli y las implicaciones legales de ser un niño indocumentado.” 

“This conference gave us the opportunity to come together as a community, to not only educate each other on a wide range of topics, but to share our stories,” remarked Jose Mendez Valdez, President of the LatinX Law Students Association. “When we share our truths, we make lasting connections that strengthen and empower the Latinx community. We are glad to have had the chance to share our truths, and we hope for more opportunities like this in Ohio and beyond. We need to continue to support one another to ensure that the Latinx community has a voice.”