What: Actor, activist and philanthropist Eva Longoria will be the keynote speaker at the 2012 Lozano Long Conference "Central Americans and the Latino/a Landscape: New Configurations of Latino/a America" at The University of Texas at Austin.
When: Conference runs from Thursday, Feb. 23 through Saturday Feb. 25, with keynote on Saturday, Feb. 25 (time will be announced closer to date).
Where: Conference location and schedule will be posted at Lozano Long Conference.
Background: Sponsored by the university's Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies in collaboration with the Center for Mexican American Studies, the conference will explore the changing character of the Latino population in the United States in economic, political and cultural realms.
The conference will also focus on the implications of these changes for the complex relations between Latinos and the people of Latin America, as well as for U.S. foreign policy in the hemisphere. Longoria will address some of the principal challenges in this changing Latino landscape.
Longoria is founder of Eva's Heroes and the national spokesperson for Padres Contra el Cáncer. She is also executive producer and host for the National Council of La Raza ALMA Awards and executive producer of the documentary "The Harvest," which focuses on the 500,000 child migrant farm workers in the United States.
Longoria is a board member of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization, and works closely with the United Farm Workers and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She was named "Philanthropist of the Year" by the Hollywood Reporter, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Variety's 2011 Power of Women luncheon and selected by President Barack Obama for the National Museum of the American Latino Commission.
In 2009 Longoria enrolled in a master's program in Chicano studies and political science and is completing course work in preparation of a thesis on Latina education.
She joins past keynote speakers including Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil; Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile; Boaventura de Sousa Santos, director of the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra and founder of the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, Brazil; Natasha Trethewey, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; and Evelyne Trouillot, Haitian novelist.