Skip navigation
Degree Programs

Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship


Student and Faculty Symposium: Occupying the Academy: Being, Thinking, and Doing Decolonization

Occupying the Academy announcementThe University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship (DULCCES) and the University of Waikato Te Kotahi Research Institute hosted a student and faculty symposium on October 24, 2016. “Occupying the Academy: Being, Thinking, and Doing Decolonization” was a full day symposium seeking to share knowledge investigating ways that Indigenous/Latino cosmology and espistemology, as well as critical resistive and de-colonial praxis informs our work. We invited submissions from faculty and graduate students to share their works in the form of papers, posters, panels, and creative works (e.g. visual art, poetry, performance) in the following areas: Indigenous, Latino, and/or Critical Race theory, epistemology, and praxis.

Following the symposium a reception was held with special keynote addresses by renowned Maori Scholars, Dr. Leonie Pihama and Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

"Occupying the Academy: Being,Thinking and Doing Decolonization" Keynote Speakers

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith (ProVice Chancellor Māori): Decolonising Methodologies


Decolonising Methodologies Research and Indigenous Peoples was first published in 1998 with a new edition in 2012. The book is regarded as a foundational text in Indigenous Studies that has promoted research and scholarship by Indigenous scholars. Dr. Tuhiwai Smith's Keynote will address different aspects of the work of Decolonising Methodologies including, the contested spaces for Indigenous Knowledges, languages, cultures and peoples in the Academy, the building of Indigenous Capability in Research and the development of Indigenous research methodologies.


Associate Professor Leonie Pihama (Te Mata Pūnenga o Te Kotahi): Ngā Pou: Kaupapa
Māori and Māori Health Research

Dr. Pihama's address will provide an overview of two Māori health projects that are being undertaken through a Kaupapa Māori research approach. ‘Tiakina te Pa Harakeke’ explores traditional knowledge and Māori childrearing practices and provides insights into Māori traditional knowledge as a vehicle for creating healthy and flourishing whānau. ‘Whakarauora Tangata’ explores the impact of Historical trauma and the ways in which whānau and Māori health service providers are working to create interventions in the area of Family violence that is grounded within te reo and tikanga Māori.

Crimmigration Lecture Series 2016 

Crimmigration crimmigration 

With the support of a generous grant from DULCCES, additional funds from the Rocky Mountain Collective on Race, Place, and Law, and the support of the Center for Multicultural Excellence, Professors García Hernández and Lasch are organizing a four-part Crimmigration Law Lecture Series that will take place in the spring and fall of 2016.

On March 3, 2016, the Crimmigration Series kicked off with the Crimmigration and Race lecture. Kevin Johnson, Dean, University of California, Davis School of Law lead a lecture followed by a lecture by José Padilla, petitioner in Padilla v. Kentucky with remarks by Christopher N. Lasch, Associate Professor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Yolanda Yolanda Vázquez, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati. The event ended with a workshop by Yolanda Vázquez, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati, and Linus Chan, Visiting Associate Clinical Professor, University of Minnesota. Moderated by Dean Johnson.   

On April 19, 2016 the Crimmigration Series continued with Crimmigration Detention. The event began with a lecture by Jennifer Chacón, Professor, University of California, Irvine School of Law, followed by a workshop by Mariela Olivares, Associate Professor Howard University School of Law. Moderated by Professor Chacón. The workshop accounted for 1.0 CLE credit.  

The series ended successfully with the final lecture, Lessons from Arizona, which took place on November 11, 2016!

DULCCES Open House

Dr. Ortega and Dr. Romero DULCCES Open House

"Trail of Hope and Terror: The Movie" Film Screening 

World Premiere Documentary Screening made by Scholar / Student, Father & Son Team 

Trails of Hope and Terror: The Movie Trails of Hope and Terror: The Movie

University of Denver's Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship (DULCCES) held a the film screening and discussion on a documentary created by scholar/activist Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre together with his son, University of Denver film student Vincent De La Torre.

The production, Trails of Hope and Terror: The Movie, focuses on the topic of immigration, and is based on the scholar's book by the same name, Trails of Hope and Terror (c) 2009 Orbis Books, now in its second printing.  De La Torre notes, "When a nation builds roads into another country to extract its raw materials and cheap labor, we shouldn't be surprised when people take those same roads following everything that has been stolen from them."

The documentary took three years to produce, in which the team traveled to the U.S. Border five times to walk the desert and interview humanitarian groups, social workers, legal professionals, the undocumented, and anti-immigration protesters. 

Vincent De La Torre, who directed, filmed and edited this project stated, "We have captured the horrors occurring on the border in order to raise public awareness about this important issue."

The world premiere screening was held November 4, 2014 at 7pm in Davis Auditorium (Sturm Hall). For more details, please see the attached flyer or visit the website at

Contact information:

Dr. Debora Ortega, Professor and Director, University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship (DULCCES)
Email: [email protected]; Cell: (785) 764-2426

 Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies
Email: [email protected]; Cell: (303) 519-4594

Letters from Heaven/Cartas Del Cielo Reading and Book Signing

Author - Professor Lydia Gil, Quigg Newton Site, The Bridge Project

Letters from Heaven Reading and Book Signing Letters from Heaven Reading and Book SigningCeleste is heartbroken when her grandmother dies, and nothing can make her feel better. But everything changes when a letter mysteriously comes in the mail from Grandma! I know you miss me as much as I miss you. Don't be sad. Where there is love, there is no sadness. As letters continue to arrive from the beyond, each with a recipe of a favorite food she used to prepare, Celeste follows her grandmother's advice and consoles herself by learning how to cook the dishes.

With Grandma gone, so is her social security check. Celeste's mom needs to get a second job to make ends meet, and Celeste has to quit her favorite activity, dance lessons. At school, Amanda the bully gloats over the fact that Celeste won't participate in the upcoming recital. And her friends think that she's gone crazy; dead people can't send letters!

When a final letter arrives, Celeste realizes that all the recipes combined make an entire meal: café con leche, guava and cheese croissants, congrí, plantain chips, ropa vieja and flan. Can she really make a Cuban feast to celebrate her cherished grandmother's life?

A tender story of family and friendship, Letters from Heaven / Cartas del cielo celebrates Latino traditions, especially those of the Spanish Caribbean. This entertaining novel is written in ten brief chapters for children ages 8-12 and includes six traditional Cuban recipes with easy-to-follow instructions.