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Posts tagged ‘new roots’

Guanajuato alum spotlight: Nicole LeNeave

Through leadership development, experiential learning, and engaged service, Guanajuato alumni have had an incredible impact through our programs, and continue to make their mark in their careers. One of these professionals we had the pleasure of connecting with is Nicole LeNeave, UNC ’14.


LeNeave (center) on the 2014 APPLES Global Course Guanajuato alternative spring break

Nicole LeNeave is a Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, at The University of California, San Diego. She is studying the cultural history of the Cold War in Latin America; specifically, looking at insurgency and rebellion through a music and art lens. Since graduating as a double major in Latin American studies (LTAM) and Latin American History with a music minor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, LeNeave continues to have wide-ranging experiences in Latin American Studies.

As an undergraduate, LeNeave served as an Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) intern where she transcribed oral history interviews and supported department communications. The work encouraged her to participate in the 2014 APPLES alternative spring break, which gave her the opportunity to record oral histories herself. After interviewing UNC Latino students and speaking with members of the Guanajuato, Mexico community, LeNeave was struck by the power of an individual’s narrative.


LeNeave (right) with ISA Director Lou Pérez (left)

“Oral histories are intrinsically part of the way we function.” LeNeave said. “They provide a greater understanding beyond the empirical nature of academia.”

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, LeNeave first became interested in Latin American studies after taking a first year seminar with Professor Miguel La Serna about revolution and rebellion in Latin America. When it came to declaring a major, LeNeave liked the interdisciplinary nature of the LTAM major. The political science, music, history, anthropology classes all helped to frame her other major of Latin American history.

“LTAM is a great complement to another major,” LeNeave said. “I encourage people to do it and make it your own.”

LeNeave did just that, and with a future Ph.D. and dreams of a tenure-track professor position, she is just getting started.

Nicole, we look forward to seeing your forthcoming research and the great things you will do! Thank you for joining us.


LMP staff participate in 2017 annual Engagement Units Summit

From left to right: Laura Villa Torres, Jessica White, Sara Peña and Maria

From left to right: LMP team members Laura Villa Torres, Jessica White, Sara Peña and Maria Silvia Ramírez.

The Latino Migration Project (LMP) presented a poster at the annual Engagement Units Summit Feb. 10, which was hosted by the Carolina Engagement Council at the Carolina Club, George Watts Hill Alumni Center. Team members discussed LMP initiatives of Building Integrated Communities, New Roots/Nuevas Raíces, and APPLES Global Course Guanajuato.

The summit focused on engaged experiential education: to enhance student learning and support communities. The summit was for campus engagement units and community partners. Centers, institutes, schools, departments and student organizations sent teams that represented overall units or specific efforts within a unit.

The program included:
Keynote address by Dr. Tania Mitchell, nationally recognized expert in the field of experiential education from the University of Minnesota,
Presentations on successful models for undergraduate, graduate and professional student experiential education, and
Roundtable discussions on how the University could better support and enhance experiential education on campus and with communities.

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces team member María Ramírez featured in SILS news


Read it now!

We are so pleased to share New Roots/Nuevas Raíces team member and current Master’s student Maria Ramirez is featured in the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) news. She and SILS alumna Jaycie Vos (MSLS ’13) presented their work with New Roots/Nuevas Raíces: Voices from Carolina del Norte at the Oral History Association Annual Meeting on October 14, 2016, in Long Beach, Calif. At the meeting, Vos, Ramirez, and New Roots Director Hannah Gill accepted the OHA’s 2016 Elizabeth B. Mason Project Award, which recognizes outstanding oral history projects.


‘Migration Narratives’ Panel Discussion Explores Immigrants’ Experience of Life in the United States


Left to right: Felicia Arriaga, doctoral candidate at Duke University; Bahij ’17; Hannah Gill, director of the Latino Migration Project and New Roots/Nuevas Raíces; Niklaus Steiner, director the Center for Global Initiatives; Laura Villa Torres, bilingual outreach assistant with New Roots/Nuevas Raíces; Ingrid Smith, manager of global events and exhibitions; Zubair ’18; Katie Bowler Young, director of Global Relations; Katy Clune ’15 M.A. Photo by Alicia Stemper.

Our own Dr. Hannah Gill, Laura Villa Torres and Felicia Arriaga shared their experiences with New Roots/Nuevas Raíces on a “Migration Narratives” panel discussion. The New Roots/Nuevas Raíces digital archive and information system is a joint effort between the Latino Migration Project, SOHP, and University Libraries.

“These perspectives are incredibly important to document because they represent a transitional time when many Latinos living in the south still have personal memories and knowledge about their country of origin and settlement in new communities in the United States,” said Hannah Gill, director of the Latino Migration Project and New Roots/Nuevas Raíces. “Thirty to forty years from now, this collection will be an invaluable resource and an historical collection about what it means to be an American.”

Read more on UNC Global

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces team members recieve Elizabeth Mason Award in Long Beach, CA

Pictured left to right: Maria Silvia Ramirez, Dr. Hannah Gill, Jaycie Vos. Photo credit: Adrienne Cain, MLS, CA; Creator and Curator of Oral Histories

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces team members Maria, Hannah and Jaycie traveled to Long Beach, CA to accept the team’s Elizabeth Mason Award. In 1993, the Oral History Association established a series of awards to recognize outstanding achievement in oral history. We are so honored the New Roots/Nuevas Raíces Latino Oral History Initiative ( has received the Elizabeth B. Mason Project Award. Thank you to the selection committee, the New Roots/Nuevas Raíces team, the National Endowment for the Humanities , The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Congratulations again, team!

NEW interviews available, New Roots/Nuevas Raíces


newrootsNew oral history interviews are now available in the New Roots: Voices from Carolina del Norte digital archive. The interviews were conducted in the spring of 2015 by UNC undergraduate students in Dr. Hannah Gill’s APPLES Latin American Immigrant Perspectives: Ethnography in Action course. These recently added stories delve into the complex social dynamics that many immigrants navigate in the United States and include themes that explore the relationship between family and food. The interviewees, like our friend who we’ve featured before, provide first-hand accounts of their motives for migrating, their family traditions, and offer compelling perspectives on the healthcare and educational systems of this country. To learn more follow these links (below) to their individual stories.

Un nuevo grupo de entrevistas de historias orales ahora esta disponible en el archivo digital Nuevas Raíces: Voces de Carolina del Norte. Las entrevistas fueron realizadas en la primavera del 2015 por estudiantes en la Universidad de Carolina del Norte en Chapel Hill inscritos en el curso de la Dra. Hannah Gill llamado APPLES Perspectivas de Inmigrantes Latinoamericanos: Etnografía en Acción. Estas historias recién añadidas profundizan en la compleja dinámica social que muchos inmigrantes navegan en los Estados Unidos e incluyen temas que exploran la relación entre la familia y la comida. Los entrevistados, como nuestro amigo que hemos presentado antes, proveen información de primera mano sobre sus motivos para emigrar, sus tradiciones familiares, y ofrecen cautivantes perspectivas sobre los sistemas de educación y atención medica de este país. Para obtener más información siga estos enlaces (abajo) a sus historias individuales.

Special thanks to all the students who conducted the interviews and each interviewee for sharing their story.

Un agradecimiento especial a todos los estudiantes que realizaron las entrevistas y a cada entrevistado por compartir su historia.

A look at “accessioning” in New Roots/Nuevas Raíces

By María Silvia Ramírez, New Roots Bilingual Archivist

At New Roots we are constantly looking for ways to improve access to a growing collection of oral history interviews related to Latin American migration that provide first-hand accounts of the demographic changes that have occurred over the last 20 years. I had the opportunity to examine one of the core functions of archival practice and collection development: accessioning.

NewRootsDiagramAccessioning is an essential first step that allows the archivist to gain intellectual control over the materials by knowing what is to be included in the collection and which restrictions apply for access. Our research team conducted semi-structured and contextual interviews in order to examine the current system for adding oral history interviews to the archive and provide recommendations that can help streamline the process. Read the full report here.

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces featured in The Southern Sociologist

We are very pleased to share that New Roots/Nuevas Raíces is featured by our very own Felicia Arriaga in The Southern Sociologist, Summer 2016 edition. Check out the article (below)!

Teaching Note
Felicia Arriaga, Duke University

Incorporating Art into Lessons on Immigration, Race, and Development in the United States I am the only graduate student studying immigration in my department, which means grad students and faculty often ask me to guest lecture on immigration. I teach immigration with an intentional focus on racialized immigrants and citizenship status as a marker of stratification. I also incorporate popular education techniques where I draw from both my own and the students’ lived experiences.

One way to begin having this conversation is to introduce them to these subjects with background readings by Natalia Molina and Douglas Massey and incorporating visual aids into group work. This visual aid allows us to have an in-class discussion analyzing a mural borrowed from Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), a non-profit I interned with for two years and where I currently serve on the board. These types of aids provide a holistic understanding of seemingly simple issues and appeal to different learning styles. The mural depicted is a production of the Levante Leadership Institute and the Beehive Collective (please see the original post for images).

The youth who worked on this mural are from farmworker families and most have worked in the fields at some point in their lives. I was initially drawn to work with this non-profit to learn more about educational issues facing the Latino/a community in North Carolina, but I stayed because of the connections I’ve made between my parents’ experiences as farmworkers in the Southeast and those of the families participating in SAF programs.

The left hand side of the mural depicts the current conditions of farmworkers and on the right is the aspirations and dreams of the young people, some of whom aspire to achieve more education but who also recognize that farmworkers should be able to complete their work with dignity. In class sessions, I typically ask the students to get into small groups and then choose an area of the mural they are able to contextualize with evidence from class readings, an area they don’t understand, or an area that just draws their attention.

Each group then describes why they chose that area and other students are welcome to respond if they believe they know more about that particular topic. For example, this section of the mural depicts the words NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement) in barbed wire. In a course titled Nations, Regions and the Global Economy, I emphasized this area of the mural where the implementation of NAFTA
resulted in a surplus movement of goods, but not people, back and forth across the U.S./Mexico border. This trade agreement particularly impacted small farmers within Mexico, influencing first internal migration and then external migration. The letters are in barbed wire to indicate the simultaneous militarization of the border, which also results in the deaths of economic migrants searching for alternative routes to cross the border.

Because I study both race and immigration, I’ll also include another example specifically tied to my research. This section reminds the students and myself that it is impossible to have a conversation about agricultural workers without tracing the legacy of slavery, particularly in the South. This section also allows us to dive into the relational nature of race, explained in the assigned readings from Natalia Molina’s book, How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts. There are also handcuffs in this section, allowing us to begin discussing how black and brown bodies are criminalized in the present day. For many farmworkers, who are also undocumented, this criminalization means they are also subject to the threat of deportation, particularly if they desire to stand up against unjust and antiquated labor laws specific to agricultural work. This criminalization of an immigrant’s legal status and the broader
criminalization of immigration law and procedure, known as crimmigration in the legal field. Once students understand that an immigration offense (i.e., illegal crossing of the border) is different than a criminal offense, they recognize that arbitrary and sometimes retroactively implemented immigration enforcement parameters are unjust and essentially  more complicated than the national rhetoric would have us believe. By initially talking about economic and historical relationships between Mexico and the United States, students also understand that the immigration “problem” is complicated and based in historically racialized immigration policies.

Finally, I often ask individuals to come share their personal narratives and have students listen to stories about migrants, through the use of New Roots/ Nuevas Raíces collection housed at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Southern Oral History Program. This brings the theoretical to the individual level where students, particularly in the Voices in Public Policy course I teach, are able to recognize how policies implemented without involvement from those most impacted may have differential impacts depending on one’s social position.

NEWEST feature of New Roots/Nuevas Raíces: Meet the interviewers!


Pictured : Fran Reuland, UNC Global Course Guanajuato Class of 2016

We are so excited to share the NEWEST feature of New Roots/Nuevas Raíces called “Meet the Interviewers“/”Conoce a las y los entrevistadores.”

Get to know featured faces from the UNC Global Course Guanajuato class, who were behind some of the interviews on Read more to learn about their projects and reflections on the experience.


WATCH NOW: New Roots/Nuevas Raíces Documentary



New Roots/Nuevas Raíces is a digital archive that contains the oral histories of Latin American migrants in North Carolina and the experiences of North Carolinians that have worked for the integration of new settlers into this southern state. Latino migrants have put down new roots in the United States South and opened up a distinct chapter in the long history of Latin American migration to the United States. Visit to explore the archive.

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces es un archivo digital que contiene las historias orales de migrantes latinoamericanos en Carolina del Norte y las experiencias de las personas de Carolina del Norte que han trabajado para la integración de los nuevos pobladores de este estado sureño. Los migrantes latinoamericanos han puesto nuevas raíces en el Sur de los Estados Unidos y han abierto un nuevo y diferente capítulo en la larga historia de la migración latinoamericana en Estados Unidos. Visite para explorar el archivo.