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Lehman College


CUNY Mexican Studies Institute 3rd Annual Conference: “¡Dinero! The economics of Mexican Migration"

A conference held on May 9, 2014 at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Click here to view photos of the conference.


Conference poster



C:\Users\LMartino\Desktop\CUNYIMSF1.jpg CUNY


Organized by the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies and the Cross Cultural Approaches to Latin@ Studies Faculty Interest Group at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Hosted at Borough of Manhattan Community College

199 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007

8:45am-9:30am:  Breakfast

9:30am-10:30am:  Welcome, Intros and demographic/issue overviews

  • Antonio Pérez, President of BMCC: Welcoming remarks
  • Alyshia Gálvez, Director, CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies and Associate Professor at Lehman College in the Department of Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies
  • Leslie A. Martino-Velez, Associate Director, CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies
  • Mexican Consul General, Ambassador Sandra Fuentes Beraín

10:30am -11:15am   Keynote Address, 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa

11:15am-11:30am:  Morning coffee break

11:30am-12:45pm:  Panel 1 - Transnational Labor, post-NAFTA

  • Claudia Delgado Villegas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México “‘No to Silence, No to Fear. Yes to Inclusion, Yes to Live with Dignity!’ How Mexican Immigrant Women Claim to be a Part of the 99%
  • Alejandra González Jiménez, University of Toronto, “On Those Who Stay Behind: Volkswagen de México, Jobs, and Aspirations in Puebla”
  • Rodolfo Hernández Corchado, CUNY, The Graduate Center, “U.S-Mexico Integrations and Abandonment: Mixteco Indigenous Migration from the Montaña region, Guerrero to New York City”
  • Discussant:  Carolina Bank Muñoz, CUNY, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center

12:45pm-1:45pm:  Lunch

1:45pm-3:00pm:  Panel 2 - Immigrant Financial Empowerment and Barriers to Financial Inclusion

  • Deyanira Del Río, New Economy Project, "Community-Led Campaigns for Financial Justice"
  • Katherine Glynn-Broderick, NYC Office of Financial Empowerment, “Immigrant Financial Services Study”
  • Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, University of California at Los Angeles, “From Shadows to Empowerment”
  • Brendan McBride, Remás, “International Money Transfers and Transparency for Consumers”
  • Discussant:  Barbara Magnoni, EA Associates  

3:00pm-4:15pm:  Panel 3 - The Cost of Being Undocumented

  • Laird W. Bergad, City University of New York, Lehman College and The Graduate Center, "Income Distribution, Wealth Concentration and Social Differentiation Among Mexicans in NYC"
  • Jasniya Sanchez, Qualitas of Life Foundation, “The Financial and Emotional Challenges of Being Undocumented”
  • Cesar Vargas, Dream Action Coalition, “DACA: a Perspective on Policy and Personal Economics”
  • Panelist and Discussant:  Robert C. Smith, City University of New York, Baruch College and The Graduate Center, “Legal Status, Family Bargains and Long Term Generational Mobility”  

4:15pm-4:30pm:  Afternoon coffee break

4:30pm-5:00pm:  Panel 4 - Arts Presentation

  • Emily Williamson, CUNY, The Graduate Center, “Can Mariachi Be Alternative? Contradictions in New York’s Latin Music Market”
  • Mariachi Flor de Toloache Performance

5:00pm:  Ahuehuete Award/ CUNY-IME Becas Scholarship Award Ceremony

**Throughout the day, a community financial fair and book sale will be held outside of the conference venue. 

This conference has the support of Lehman College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations, Jay Hershenson and the Chancellor’s Latino Faculty Initiative.

Thank you to the Cross Cultural Approaches to Latino Studies Faculty Interest Group at Borough of Manhattan Community College and the professors, who are participating in this process:

Professor Rosario Torres
Professor Margaret Carson
Professor Jose Haro
Professor Yolanda Martin
Professor Carmen Martinez-Lopez
Professor Josef Mendoza

Call for Papers [PDF]



Presenter Biographies


Keynote: Antonio R. Villaraigosa

41st Mayor of Los Angeles, California, 2005-2013

Chair, Democratic National Convention, 2012

President, US Conference of Mayors, 2011-2012

Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 14, 2003-2005

Member, California State Assembly, 1994-2000

Speaker, 1998-2000

Majority Leader, 1996-1998

Antonio Villaraigosa, positioned squarely on the national stage, is considered a leading voice and champion of the “radical middle” in American politics. Known for his exceptional skill at building broad bi-partisan coalitions, he draws support from the broad center of both Democratic and Republican voters. It is a unique individual who can serve as the chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention and also receive standing ovations as the invited speaker at Republican events. Villaraigosa’s appeal is broad, not only because of his independent thinking on national issues, but also because he is a self-made man and an energetic, electrifying communicator.

On July 1, 2005, he was sworn in as the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles. Villaraigosa was the first person of Latin American descent to serve as mayor since 1872. His election was widely seen as an affirmation of the growing political power of Latinos, not only in Los Angeles and California, but also in the United States as a whole. In 2009, he was easily elected to a second term.

Immediately, upon taking office in 2005, Villaraigosa charged head-on at the City’s most intractable challenges, including education, public safety and transportation. He aggressively sought advancements in economic development and the environment. As he had done throughout his career, he built broad coalitions across ideological and ethnic lines. During the Villaraigosa administration, crime dropped to its lowest level in 60 years.He established the Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, and by the end of his second term, gang crime had dropped 43% citywide. His work in curbing domestic violence, supporting firefighting efforts, improving emergency management systems and enhancing homeland security all contributed to a safer Los Angeles.

As President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Antonio Villaraigosa became a national spokesman for education reform and expanded investment in America’s transportation infrastructure. He received additional national recognition as Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, which re-nominated President Barack Obama and set the stage for the President’s re-election in November. While term limits prevented Antonio Villaraigosa from serving a third term as Los Angeles Mayor, his broad and deep impact on the City of Los Angeles as well as on state and national issues has been unmistakable.


Carolina Bank Muñoz

Carolina Bank Muñoz is an Associate Professor in the Sociology department at CUNY, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center.  Her work focuses on immigration, globalization, labor and work, and race, class and gender. Her book, Transnational Tortillas:  Race, Gender and Shop Floor Politics in Mexico and the United States, is the winner of the Terry Book Award.  She is currently working on a book project about Wal-Mart in Chile.

Laird W. Bergad

Laird W. Bergad is Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History in the department of Latin American, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Lehman College and the PhD program in History at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he is the Director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies.  His most recent book, co-authored with Prof. Herbert S. Klein, Emeritus Professor of History, is Hispanics in the United States: A Social, Economic, and Demographic History, 1980-2005 (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Deyanira Del Río

Deyanira Del Río, co-director of New Economy Project, is a national expert on immigrant banking issues and long-time advocate for fair housing and community development financial institutions. She speaks frequently to groups around the country about policy issues affecting immigrants’ access to fair and affordable financial services and credit, and has led campaigns to promote financial inclusion for low income and undocumented immigrants.  She recently designed a no-interest NYC DREAMer Loan Fund to support young people applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and their families.  She is board chair of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, board chair of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and a board member of New Immigrant Community Empowerment.

Claudia Delgado Villegas

Claudia Delgado Villegas holds a Ph.D in Geography from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  She graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and has been a lecturer at Rutgers, the City University of New York, Seton Hall University, and the UNAM . Her research topics included: ethnic studies and social movements; Mexican migration to the United States, socio-spatial inequality in the contemporary city; and disasters, forced migration and social vulnerability associated to global climate change. She has collaborated with the Centre for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS-DF) in Mexico. Currently she is a lecturer at the UNAM’s Department of Geography (Open University System), and co-coordinator of the Permanent Seminar on Critical Urban Studies (FFyL -UNAM). She is also participating in the inter- institutional project Contested Cities / Ciudades en Disputa ( sponsored by the European Union International Research Staff Exchange Scheme. Since 2008 she is the director of the 'Galería', the photography gallery of Huellas Mexicanas. El sitio de los migrantes mexicanos en Estados Unidos (

Kathryn Glynn-Broderick

Kathryn Glynn-Broderick is the Deputy Director of Field Research, Data & Analytics at Office of Financial Empowerment of the City of New York.  She has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative research, having worked with leading academic institutions and local non-profits in the fields of policy innovation, economic development, entrepreneurship and globalization. Ms. Glynn-Broderick is charged with managing and providing oversight of OFE quantitative and qualitative data collection, tracking and management; developing, alongside the OFE research team, OFE’s research and analysis  strategy including proposals of key research questions, design methodology and tools.  Ms. Glynn-Broderick received her Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and both her Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor’s degree from Emory University.

Alejandra González Jiménez

Alejandra González Jiménez is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of Toronto. Entitled, “Volkswagen de México: The Car as National Fetish”, her doctoral dissertation ethnographically examines a range of car-related practices: the manufacturing, engineering, driving and collecting of Volkswagen cars. Drawing on fieldwork and historical sources, her research elucidates the political, economic and social relations that for fifty years have been created between this German transnational corporation and Mexico, which in turn have embedded Volkswagen in the life of the city of Puebla. Broadly speaking, Alejandra’s interests center on the intersections between capitalism and national projects of development and the paradoxes engendered by this junction. Alejandra is a Mellon Mays Fellow and holds the John Hope Franklin dissertation fellowship from the American Philosophical Society.

Rodolfo Hernández Corchado

Rodolfo Hernández Corchado is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has conducted research on Mexican migration in New York City since 2003. His M.A. thesis, which examined the political participation of Mexican migrants in New York through the use of public space, was given an award by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. Currently his doctoral research examines the formation of a transnational migrant labor market of indigenous Mixteco workers from the Montaña region Guerrero, Mexico in New York City. He has taught at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Mexico City and has been Writing Fellow at CUNY, Kingsborough Community College.  He directs the blog, Huellas Mexicanas:  El sitio de los migrantes mexicanos en Estados Unidos and is member of the Coalición por los Derechos Políticos de los Mexicanos en el Extranjero (CDPME).

Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda

Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda is an Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. Born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, he received his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Chicago.  He has recently completed a book on the political economy of U.S.-Latin American relations in the late twentieth century including the impact of a potential Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (Convergence and Divergence between NAFTA, Chile, and MERCOSUR: Overcoming Dilemmas of North and South American Economic Integration).  He is also a board member of the Los Angeles Community Development Bank and has been appointed to the Economic Strategies Panel of the State of California.  For his work on behalf of the immigrant community, he was given the White House Champion of Change Award in 2012 and the Todos Somos Arizona Human Rights Award in 2013. 


Barbara Magnoni

Barbara Magnoni, President of EA Consultants, has over 18 years international development experience.  After working on Wall Street for seven years, she has been working on projects that involve diagnostics, capacity building, product development, and research and learning dissemination for a variety of institutions, including the IDB/MIF, IFC, ILO, the City of New York, Pro Mujer, FINCA, among others. She currently manages the Client Value component of the Microinsurance Learning and Knowledge (MILK) Project, a research initiative that aims to understand the business case and clients value of microinsurance. Ms. Magnoni has also supported efforts to better understand some of the constraints to financial access for immigrants in the United States.  Ms. Magnoni holds a Masters degree from Columbia University in International Affairs. She is a member of Woman Advancing Microfinance-New York Chapter and she recently co-founded Andares, a network of professional women working in microfinance in Latin America.


Brendan McBride

As a researcher in Brazil, El Salvador, and Mexico, Brendan McBride began to understand the powerful role immigrant remittances play in improving economic opportunities and standards of living in immigrants’ hometowns. Back in his native New Jersey, Brendan coordinated an outreach team that connected migrant farmworkers to medical services,an experience that that got him thinking about the transformational power of well-targeted information. Brendan has also worked in affordable housing development for over a decade, mostly in cities in the US. In 2011, he founded Remás, a nonprofit organization motivated by the belief that people everywhere, no matter who they are or where they come from, should have access to information that improves their financial options in life. Remás focuses on the development of web and mobile tools to enable consumers to understand all of their options for international money transfer and other financial products. He has written about microfinance, housing, and immigration issues forUnited Nations Habitat,Habitat for Humanityand as a Fellow atKiva. Brendan earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Amherst College and aM.Sc. in Urban Development and Management fromErasmusUniversityin theNetherlands.

Jasniya Sanchez

Jasniya Sanchez is the Executive Director of the Qualitas of Life Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Baruch College and a Master in Public Administration from the same institution.  Additionally, she holds a Leadership certificate from the Mexican Consulate in New York in partnership with the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College.  She also leads a youth group, Mexican American Youth Advising Students aka MAYAS, that focuses on college readiness in the Hispanic immigrant community of New York City and is an executive board member of the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies.

Robert Courtney Smith

Robert Courtney Smith Professor of Sociology, Immigration Studies and Public Affairs at the School of Public Affairs at CUNY, Baruch College and The Graduate Center.  He has worked in the Mexican community in New York and in Mexico (especially the state of Puebla) for more than twenty five years. He is the author of Mexican New York: Transnational Worlds of New Immigrants (University of California Press, 2006), which won four awards from the American Sociological Association: the Thomas and Zaniecki Award for best book on migration; the Robert Park Award for the best book on Community and Urban Sociology, the Latino/a best book award, and the overall Distinguished Book Award.  Smith co-founded the Mexican Educational Foundation of New York (which is merged with MASA, Mexican American Students Alliance), which promotes educational achievement and committed leadership in the Mexican community.


Cesar Vargas

Cesar Vargas, J.D, the Director of the Dream Action Coalition, immigrated from Mexico at the age of five, to Brooklyn, NY.  He graduated with honors from the philosophy program at St. Francis College. A City University of New York School of Law graduate, Cesar became active in the Dreamer-immigrant rights movement. As an undocumented student and Latino, he was compelled to give a voice to the undocumented community to highlight the complexity of our broken immigration system.  From local campaigns in New York to national advocacy in the halls of Congress in Washington D.C, he has actively fought for the passage of the DREAM Act and immigration reform.


Emily Williamson

Emily Williamson is a PhD Candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center in Ethnomusicology.  She has a Master's in American Studies from NYU and a BA in Spanish from the University of Oklahoma.  Her dissertation research focuses on the emergent Mexican musical communities and the incorporation of Mexican popular music in New York City.

Mariachi Flor de Toloache

Mariachi Flor de Toloache is the first and only established all female mariachi band founded in New York City.  It was founded in 2008 by Mireya I. Ramos. Originally a trio, the band has grown to 10 members with all the essential and traditional instruments, violins, trumpets, guitarron (bass), vihuela (5 string guitar) and guitar. In addition, each members' cultural background adds even more diversity to their already unique sound and appearance as an all women band spanning the globe from Puerto Rico, to Mexico, Singapore, Germany, Cuba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.

Their goal of representing Mexican music and adding their own edgy and versatile sound comes together incredibly naturally and seamlessly. Although as individuals their talent has allowed them to grace stages world­wide from stadiums to acclaimed theater venues, they perform together like a band of sisters, with grace and vibrant beauty casting a spell over their audiences like the legendary and magical Toloache flower that is still being used in Mexico as a love potion.  Mariachi Flor de Toloache has performed at legendary and top venues in New York City including: Blue Note, Rockwood Music Hall (monthly residency), Prospect Park Bandshell for LAMC 2013, Kennedy Center and many more.. They have been featured on Univision, NBC, The Today Show, and reviewed by the New York Times, El Diario, Daily News, appeared in L.A. Times, New York Magazine, NPR, MTV Iggy and have performed special events for the Mexican Consulate, Queens Museum, El Museo del Barrio, high profile private events, the annual St Cecilia mariachi festival, annual Guadalupe festivities in dozens of churches.

Cross-Cultural Approaches to Latino Studies Faculty Interest Group at BMCC


Margaret Carson

Margaret Carson is Assistant Professor in the Modern Languages Department at Borough of Manhattan Community College and Co-Chair of the PEN America Translation Committee. Her literary translations from Spanish to English include the novel My Two Worlds by Sergio Chejfec (Open Letter, 2011) and plays by by Virgilio Piñera (Electra Garrigó), Griselda Gambaro (The Camp), and Petrona de la Cruz Cruz and Isabel Juárez Espinosa (The Demon’s Nun), all included in Stages of Conflict: A Critical Anthology of Latin American Theater and Performance (U Michigan, 2008).


John Paul González

John Paul González’s career has been based in the arts, education, and non-profit management. He earned a BA in Music/Music Education from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, an MA in Teacher Education from Brooklyn College, post-graduate coursework in Inter-Cultural Education Studies at New York University, and is currently completing a Ph.D. in History of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean at the Graduate Center for Advanced Studies on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. He currently teaches Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and at Lehman College.

José A. Haro

José A. Haro recently completed his doctoral degree in Philosophy from the University of South Florida.  His current scholarly interests include examining the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Frantz Fanon, and Gloria Anzaldúa as well as developing theory in the area philosophical mestizaje.  He is currently an Instructor of Philosophy at CUNY's Borough of Manhattan Community College.    


Yolanda C. Martin

Yolanda C. Martin, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program at BMCC/CUNY, is a Fulbright Scholar (Western Hemisphere), with a PhD in Sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her areas of expertise are force migration, Critical Criminology, and Qualitative Research Methods, and her most recent peer-reviewed publications include "The Syndemics of Removal: Trauma and Substance Abuse among Deportees" in Outside Justice (Springer, 2013); and "Transnational Hispaniola: Toward New Paradigms in Haitian and Dominican Studies," Radical History Review, 26-32, Winter 2013.

Carmen Leonor Martínez-López

Carmen Leonor Martínez-López earned her Ph.D. in International Business in the area of Management from the University of Texas – Pan American. She is deputy chair of the Business Management Department and professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. Dr. Martínez-López has written numerous papers, coauthored a book chapter, and has presented at various international conferences. As a university professor, Dr. Martínez-López has taught in Colombian, Mexican, and U.S. universities. Her research interests include the managerial philosophies of the Latin American business groups or grupos económicos, cooperative enterprises in the American hemisphere, international entrepreneurship, and microfinance institutions.


Josef Mendoza

Josef Mendoza, PhD, currently teaches philosophy at BMCC, and researches the archaeology of the Mexican experience. He recently completed his doctorate in adult learning theory and online education at Capella University. A second and third-generation Chicano, Dr. Mendoza is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, Boston College and the New School for Social Research. He was a founding member of the East Coast Foco of the National Association for Chicano/a Studies, and is at work on a study of Alienation, Migration and Higher Education.

Rosario Torres-Guevara

Rosario Torres-Guevara holds a doctoral degree in International Educational Development at Teachers College, Columbia University with a concentration in Bilingual and Intercultural Education. Her scholarly interests are on language policy, immigration and education, indigenous education, decolonial pedagogy, and bilingual and intercultural education. Besides her work as an instructor in language, writing, and critical thinking, Rosario has worked as a translator, interpreter, and consultant for various institutions including: the City University of New York (CUNY); The Mexican Consulate of New York; Teachers College, Columbia University; the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon; and the World Bank. She is currently assistant professor at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College.


CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies

Alyshia Gálvez

Alyshia Gálvez is the Director of the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies. Author of two books on Mexican immigration in New York, Patient Citizens, Immigrant Mothers Mexican Women, PublicPrenatal Care and the Birth Weight Paradox(Rutgers University Press, Oct. 2011) and Guadalupe in New York (NYU Press, Dec. 2009), she is a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies at Lehman College. Her research focuses on the efforts by Mexican immigrants in New York City to achieve the rights of citizenship. Her second book Patient Citizens, Immigrant Mothers, was awarded the 2012 ALLA Book Award (Association of Latino and Latin American Anthropologists). She is also the faculty advisor for the Lehman College D.R.E.A.M. Team.


Leslie A. Martino-Velez

Leslie A. Martino-Velez is the Associate Director of the CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies.  Her research surrounds issues relating to immigration, education, race/ethnicity and language in the United States as well as in Mexico. Prior to receiving a Master's degree in Anthropology and Comparative and International Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and starting her PhD in Sociology at the Graduate Center, Leslie was a classroom teacher and teacher trainer for twelve years in schools in Los Angeles, New York and in Mexico. Apart from her current research on indigenous Mexican migration to New York, she worked on a remittances project, a Head Start longitudinal study at the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia University and was a research fellow at the Welte Institute in Oaxaca, Mexico.