Welcome to our Speaker’s Bureau Page. Here you can find a number of qualified speakers to speak on topics relevant to Michigan Latinos.
Title: Assistant Director, MSU Cooperative Extension, Emeritus, LLEAD Michigan Board member
Juan Marinez, is a graduate of Michigan State University. He was the MSU Extension program director and joined MSU Extension in 1973 as a program leader in special programs. He also served as a regional Extension supervisor for MSU Extension. From 1999 to 2002, he worked for US Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman as the national program coordinator on farm workers. He secured $20 million for farm workers who had been negatively affected by natural disasters, the first-ever available funds to go to farm worker assistance during a natural disaster. Juan served as an assistant to the director and was responsible for establishing a nationwide network of community-based, nonprofit organizations serving migrant/seasonal farm workers living in low-income situations. He established the first Hispanic farmer’s cooperative in Michigan. His research on enumerating Hispanic farmers has positively impacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistical Service census. Marinez’s whose interests include documenting Latinx history in Michigan, helped establish the oral history project Mexican Voices, Michigan Lives. Marinez has served twice as a Commissioner on Michigan’s Hispanic/Latino Commission.
kw: LLEAD; Michigan agriculture; Hispanic farmers; oral history; grants review
Title: Chair, Lansing LLEAD; LLEAD State Board of Directors
Guillermo Z. Lopez was first elected to the Lansing School Board of Education in 2001 and re-elected in 2007 and 2016 for three six year terms. His memberships include the Ingham County Fair Board, is the Lansing School Board of Education board liaison to the Chicano/Latino Advisory Committee and is in his second term as President of the Greater Lansing Latino Leaders for the Advancement of Advocacy and Development (LLEAD). He is the current Immediate Past President of the National Hispanic Council of School Board Members of the National School Boards Association. He volunteers for a number of other local and church organizations.
Lopez retired as an Equal Opportunity Specialist from the City of Lansing in the Human Relations and Community Services Department after 30 years of service. He previously served as Executive Director of the Spanish Speaking Representative Council in Bay City, MI. 1979-1984; was the Area Coordinator for Michigan Economics for Human Development in Bay City and Hartford, MI. 1975-1979; has held various positions for United Migrants for Opportunity, Inc. in West Michigan 1972-1975
Mr. Lopez attended Pan American University, Edinburgh, Texas; Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI.; Lansing Community College, Lansing, MI.
LLEAD; public education; elections and political participation
LLEAD State Board of Directors, Member; Past President, Lansing for Cesar E. Chavez Committee; American Red Cross Chair of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region Board of Directors, Member; Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action of Greater Lansing
Elva Castilla Reyes is a former Field Services Assistant in the Marketing Department with MESSA, the State of Michigan Education Special Services Association who retired after 30 years of service. She has held Union positions as a Negotiations Chair and President of the MESSA-SSA Support Staff Union. She is currently a Trustee for LCLAA, serves as a member of the Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action of Greater Lansing, and is a LLEAD charter member. She has been involved with Lansing’s Cesar E. Chavez Committee in efforts to rename Grand River Avenue/ Honorary Cesar E. Chavez Avenue to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue.
FBI to assist in Lansing hate crime investigation
Elva Reyes, of Action of Greater Lansing and LLEAD, speaks about the July 5 assault of a Hispanic man during a press conference Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Beth LeBlanc/Lansing State Journal
Lansing city council tables “sanctuary city” resolution. By Steve Carmody, February 13, 2017
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
LLEAD State Board of Directors, President
Alberto Flores is a founding member of LLEAD. Flores served as the Acting Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. In his role, he was responsible for several initiatives and projects including: the Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Report Recommendations Group; Anti-Bullying Forums; Michigan Leadership Collaborative on Civil & Human Rights; Governor’s Immigration Initiative (Global Michigan); and other planning groups within MDCR. He was on the staff for the Michigan Commission of Spanish Speaking Affairs and has served in leadership positions in several non-profit organizations in northern and central Michigan including the Bay City American GI Forum, MACE, and the Spanish Speaking Representative Council. He is a graduate of Saginaw Valley State University and a graduate from the University of Michigan – Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies in Public Administration.
Flores retired on December 31, 2014 and now heads the Latino Leaders for the Enhancement of Advocacy & Development (LLEAD)..
Immigration and Immigrant Rights
LLEAD State Board of Directors, Member; Past President, Lansing for Cesar E. Chavez Committee; American Red Cross Chair of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region Board of Directors, Member; Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action of Greater Lansin
Rudolfo “Rudy” Reyes retired after 37.5 years as a General Motors line worker. He served as a Community Chair for the UAW. Reyes serves on the Cristo Rey Community Center Board of Directors as a member, is a member and Chair of the American Red Cross Great Lakes Region Blood Services and a member of the Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action of Greater Lansing and is a Grand Knight of the San Juan Diego Council of the Knights of Columbus #15417, Cristo Rey Parish, Lansing. Reyes has been involved in numerous social issues through his career.
Reyes discusses his career as a GM worker and union representative in this oral history interview. http://catalog.lib.msu.edu/record=b6795323~S39a
? Auto workers in Lansing Michigan. Reyes talks about being hired, quitting, and being hired again in April 1969 and his father’s resistance to Rudy working at Fisher. He describes a variety of jobs, work on the second shift, his union activity, union community service and his passion for helping people, achieving elected office in Local 602, and the strike in 1970.
? Street naming: The fight for Cesar E. Chavez Avenue renaming streets can be an emotional change for some communities; not renaming them to include the history of others in the community is also problematic. Reyes discusses the history of the Chavez street naming efforts in Lansing and shares techniques for communities to utilize.
? The Grapes of Grand River, by Lawrence Cosentino. City Pulse, September 28, 2017 http://lansingcitypulse.com/article-15391-The-grapes-of-Grand-River.html… talks about the efforts to secure the renaming of Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and his family’s history in Lansing auto plants.
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
Daniel R. Soza III is a lifelong resident of Saginaw, MI and currently serves as the Director of The Neighborhood House in Saginaw’s south side. Prior to that, he served as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America for 15 years. He attended Delta College where he earned an Associates Degree in Pre-Law and attended Michigan State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Daniel was active in several Chicano/Latino organizations at the MSU as well as in the Lansing area such as: MEXA (Moviemiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlan), CRU (Culturas de La Raza Unida), and ASMSU Student Programming Board (Associated Students of Michigan State University). His proudest personal accomplishment is being a part of a group of students who pressured Michigan State University through sheer force of will to start a Chicano/Latino Studies program and is now one of only two universities in the nation where a student can earn a Ph.D. in Chicano Latino Studies. He has been a LLEAD State Board member since 2014.
Soza is a graduate of the following institutes:
Henry Marsh Public Policy Institute Graduate – Saginaw Valley State University 2016
Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance Leadership Institute Graduate – 2016
Great Lakes Bay Hispanic Leadership Institute graduate 2011
Emerita, Chicanx/Latinx Subject Specialist, Michigan State University Libraries; LLEAD State Board Member; Head Cesar E. Chavez Collection/Coleccíon Cesar E. Chavez; Special Collections Library
Diana Rivera, Librarian Emeritus established and was head of the Cesar E. Chavez Collection/Coleccíon Cesar E. Chavez at the Michigan State University Libraries from 1994-2019. She is a member of the LLEAD State Board and has been a member of several professional library and Chicanx Studies organizations. She chaired the North American Cartographic Information Society; was a member of the Special Libraries Association Geography and Map Division; the Latino Studies Association; the National Association for Chicano and Chicana Studies (NACCS), national and Midwest region. Rivera is a fellow of the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program and the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture. She has been involved with several campus organizations both as student, alumni and Libraries Faculty. She was an editor of MujeresTalk (LatinxTalk.org) and has presented at several conferences and community forums. Rivera is Culture Adjunct staff person for the MSU Museum, a Smithsonian Institution Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP) fellow and a National Association for Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) fellow.