Nuestra América: Justice and Inclusion
José Martí’s essay “Nuestra América” was published in 1891 in New York and Mexico City in response to the first Pan-American conference in 1890, which proposed Pan-Americanism as a way to connect North and South America. We invoke and expand the message of “Nuestra América” to promote a hemispheric vision of justice and inclusion in an era when global politics is too often built around walls and securing borders and not on fostering social justice and democracy. Our congress takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, the site of key events in the revolution that resulted in U.S. independence and—along with other momentous episodes in the “age of revolutions,” including the Haitian revolution that abolished slavery— laid the basis for contemporary ideas of democracy and justice.
“Nuestra América: Justice and Inclusion” signals the challenges of social, economic, racial, ethnic, gendered, sexuality-based, and other forms of inequality; the need to promote creative solutions for overcoming them; the importance of scholarship, activism, and policy in this regard; the relevance of changed demographics that make historically marginalized peoples a majority in the continent and recognition of their wide-ranging cultural, linguistic, political, social, and economic contributions; an inclusive definition of justice that relies on truth and facts and incorporates respect and dignity for all peoples; and a broad understanding of rights, both collective and individual.
Hemispheric interactions and cooperation also inform our efforts to connect the 2019 LASA congress to the Latin American and Latino communities in Boston and the Northeast as well as to the rich mix of academic, creative, community, and policy institutions and organizations found there. In the same vein, we want our 2019 congress to be seen, and function as, a bridge to LASA 2020 in Mexico, thus symbolizing the unity and mutual dependence between the different parts of our America. From Mexico, LASA will continue to meet outside the U.S. until a significant shift in climate occurs for immigrants and international visitors and scholars. In submitting proposals for sessions (panels, roundtables, and workshops) LASA members are strongly encouraged to assure diverse representation through the inclusion of minorities, women, graduate students, and to reflect the regional and disciplinary diversity of LASA’s membership. Track co-chairs will use diversity and inclusion as important criteria when evaluating session proposals.