Three documentaries that explore and reveal the Latina/o experience in Wyoming and the United States will be shown at the University of Wyoming.

Each of the three free public films will be followed by a discussion, moderated by a faculty member from the UW Latina/o Studies Program, which sponsors the monthly event. The films will be presented in both Spanish and English.

The inaugural Latina/o film series, “Cultural identities Across Generations,” begins Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in Room 105 of the Classroom Building with the documentary, “Fear and Learning at Hoover Elementary.” Lilia Soto, assistant professor of American Studies and Latina/o Studies, will be the moderator.

In 1994, California voters approved Proposition 187, a ballot initiative denying public education and health care to all undocumented immigrants. The documentary asks, “Will educators become border patrols in California public schools?”

Fourth-grade teacher turned filmmaker, Laura Angelica Simon, puts human faces on the issue when she takes the audience inside her classroom and into the faculty lounge at Hoover Elementary in Los Angeles. Law and learning converge as students, teachers and parents grapple candidly with the impact of policies that would deny public services to undocumented immigrants and their children.

“This is a great opportunity to become involved with our program and meet new members of the community as well as our faculty,” says Cecilia Aragon, Latina/o Studies Program director.

The second documentary has a Wyoming connection.

“Voces Latinas de Wyoming/Latina Voices of Wyoming” will be shown Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in Room 105 of the Classroom Building. Aurora Chang, assistant professor in the UW Department of Educational Studies and faculty affiliate of Latina/o Studies, will moderate the program.

The film follows the journeys of a group of Latina teens in Jackson called the “College Bound Latinas” and their mentors, Lety Liera and Isabel Zumel. The film depicts the teens’ experiences growing up Mexican American, maintaining their strong family ties to Mexico, and developing their identities.

“College Bound Latinas” is a five-year project to support this group of girls to achieve their goal to attend college. “Voces Latinas de Wyoming” is part of the Giving Voice Project sponsored by the Wyoming Humanities Council.

The final documentary has a UW connection.

“The Narrative Pathway of UW Students” will be presented Wednesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in Room 105 of the Classroom Building. Vanessa Fonseca, assistant professor of Latina/o Studies and the UW Department of English, will be the moderator.

Through reading and exploring the Chicano experience in the United States, UW students enrolled in the Chicana/o Autobiography class embarked on a project to define their cultural identities. The students highlight their personal narratives by creating digital autobiographies.

For more information about the documentary film series, contact Aragon at (307) 766-2164 or email

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