The Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program is committed to expanding the intellectual and cultural presence of Latin America and the Caribbean at Southern by organizing campus events that bring together faculty, students, and the broader New Haven community. 

The LACS program has played a leading role in bringing a series of notable speakers to our campus, including the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Sonia Nazario, to inspire thoughtful conversations on immigration, human rights, and U.S.-relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Additionally, LACS has sponsored cultural events that help highlight the beauty, depth, and complexity of Latin American and Caribbean culture--most recently bringing the Connecticut-based musical performance group Surcarí. to Southern for a set of three performances.

Upcoming Events

Jenny Torres Sanchez, award-winning YA novelist and author of We Are Not from Here
April 10, 2024
Adanti Student Center Ballroom

Jenny Torres Sanchez’s We Are Not from Here explores the immigration crisis with a poignant portrayal of the violence and systemic obstacles unaccompanied child migrants confront as they journey from Central America to the United States through Mexico. Focusing on three Guatemalan teenagers, the novel underscores the prevalence of Central Americans among border immigrants, escaping gang violence and the corruption that leads to impunity. It stimulates discussions on empathy, societal values, and human rights by exploring the violence and support encountered by the protagonists in Mexico. With its well-developed characters, the novel delves into themes of identity, gendered power relations, friendship, resiliency, and hope.

Torres Sanchez will discuss her work on young adult fiction that places into focus the perils unaccompanied child migrants from Central America face in their journeys to the United States border. This event aims to continue and deepen the ongoing conversation initiated by previous guest speakers, including Sonia Nazario in 2020, Seth Michelson in 2021, Carl Lindskoog in 2022, and Juan González in 2023.

book cover: we are not from here

Previous Events

Juan Gonzalez, award-winning author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
April 11, 2023 | 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Adanti Student Center Ballroom

Acclaimed Latino journalist and activist Juan González will explain how an examination of U.S.-Latin American relations can decenter traditional U.S. historical narratives and place into focus the interconnections between U.S. imperialism and Latin American emigration.

The Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program invites you to participate in a keynote lecture with Juan González, renowned investigative reporter and broadcast journalist. He is author of the acclaimed, trailblazing book “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America” (2022).

This lecture continues Southern’s campus conversation on immigration, human rights, and U.S.-foreign policy, examined both as a human-experience and within a social-justice context.

Book cover for Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America by Juan Gonzalez

A Musical Journey of Latin America and the Caribbean
November 14, 2022

The Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program and the SCSU Alumni Association sponsored a presentation and concert by the Connecticut-based performance group Surcari. Surcarí performed Latin American and Caribbean music while helping attendees understand the way that African, Amerindian, and European musical traditions infuse the region’s rich music and culture. This award-winning performance group includes musicians from Chile, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico, who perform under the musical direction of guitarist Lorena Garay. The versatile members of Surcari are talented and gifted musicians who have performed for audiences in the United States, South America, and Europe. They perform a blend of traditional and original Latin American music on a wide variety of musical instruments.


Members of a band and faculty

Haitian Refugees and the Rise of the World’s Largest Immigration Detention System
April 6, 2022

The Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) program presented a lecture by Dr. Carl Lindskoog, author of Detain and Punish: Haitian Refugees and the Rise of the World’s Largest Immigration Detention System.

Dr. Lindskoog spoke on the historic roots of our nation’s contemporary response to Haitian refugees and the deep-seated connection between racism and current U.S. policies that support the incarceration and of refugees and asylum seekers in detention facilities and for-profit prisons.


A book signing event with the author

Dreaming America
April 7, 2021

“Immigration, Incarceration, Inspiration: The Voices of Child Asylees and the Power of Words” - Live keynote and Q&A session with poet-activist Seth Michelson

Seth Michelson is an associate professor of Spanish at Washington and Lee University. In addition to being a poet, he is a poet-activist who seeks to help voiceless victims of human rights abuses and poverty to have a voice through poetry. Dreaming America is a collection of poems written by Central American children between the ages of 13 and 17 with Michelson’s assistance. The poets in this collection were living in solitary confinement in a maximum security detention center awaiting their asylum court dates. The poems are published in both Spanish and English, with Michelson having translated the asylees’ poems. Michelson helped the children produce the poems in a series of weekly workshops he led for over two years at a prison. These poems reveal those children’s fears and hint at the terrors they are seeking to escape, as well as the hopes and dreams that drove them to venture to the United States.



Pages of a book

Enrique's Journey and America's Immigration Dilemma
November 13, 2019

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times betselling author Sonia Nazario led a social justice conversation on the increasingly visible issue of unaccompanied minors from Central America at the U.S. border and the effects on families of immigration and familial separation.


A presenter in front of large audience