Carolina Alonso Bejarano, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University
M.Sc. Gender and Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science
Law Degree, Los Andes University
B.A., Political Science, Los Andes University
Born in Bogotá, Carolina Alonso Bejarano is a Doctor in Women’s and Gender Studies and a professor in the Latino and Caribbean Studies Department at Rutgers. She is also a DJ and a feminist organizer, writer and translator.
Along with her fellow activists in New Jersey she wrote the play “Undocumented Unafraid” about the rights that undocumented immigrants have as workers in the United States, which was produced and performed in Freehold, NJ in 2015. Her comic “Pinan” (written with Peter Quach), which tells the story of a brown-belt Colombian from Chicago and the aftermath of her sexual assault, was published by The Believer magazine in 2018. Her first book, Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science, was written with her field collaborators on their research with women community organizers in New Jersey, and is forthcoming from Duke University Press. Carolina’s new research project, Undocuartivism in the Tri-State Area, in collaboration with Lazos América Unida (a Latina-led grassroots community organization in New Brunswick, NJ), explores how various undocumented activists in the area mobilize their art as a means for social transformation.
Carolina is a collective member of Sangría Editora, a bilingual press based in New York City and Santiago de Chile that has published various books about the different experiences of Latinxs in the U.S. In her spare time, she mixes music and practices poi in hopes of one day becoming a world-famous fire spinner.
Dafne Duchesne-Sotomayor, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Comparative Literature, New York University
M.A. Comparative Literature, New York University
B.A. Comparative Literature and French, University of Puerto Rico
Dafne Duchesne-Sotomayor holds a PhD from the Department of Comparative Literature (2016) at New York University, where she specialized in nineteenth and twentieth century Caribbean and Spanish American literature. She also received a B.A in Comparative Literature and French from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.She is currently developing her dissertation into a book project, which focuses on the intersection of voice, politics, and language in the transition from the revolution to the nation-state in nineteenth-century Caribbean and Spanish America.
Robert Ramos, M.A.
Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University
Professor Ramos is a musicologist from the Rutgers Graduate School and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He has been the instructor of the "Music in the Caribbean" course for the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies department since 2009. Sponsored by the Center for Latino Arts and Culture, he managed and performed with the Rutgers Salsa Band in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. A drummer and percussionist, he currently performs and records in various musical styles, and teaches group and private music lessons, as well as his college classes in the Tri-state area.
Darius V. Echeverría, Ph.D.
Dean, Lecturer in History
Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia College
Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Professor Echeverría was born and raised In the Garden State. He received his B.A. (magna cum laude) in History from Rutgers University and earned his Ph.D. in History from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dr. Echeverría has been a faculty member at Rutgers University since 2006, teaching both introductory and specialized courses in Latino/a Studies and broader American/World History classes. He concentrates in Latino History; Mexican American History; and Political History. He is the author of Aztlán Arizona (University of Arizona Press, 2014), while continues to work on a new manuscript exploring inequality and social policy.
Hyacinth Miller, PhD Candidate, Global Urban Studies
M.A. Rutgers University, Political Science
B.A., cum laude Brooklyn College, Africana Studies and Political Science
Professor Miller is a Teaching Instructor in the School of Arts and Sciences - Newark, African American and African Studies and Political Science Departments. She also works as a Lecturer in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies (Livingston Campus). Her research focuses on Caribbean immigrants in the Diaspora, multiple citizenship policies, critical comparative politics and black immigrants and women of color in elected leadership in the U.S. She has conducted original research and presented conference papers on subjects including, West Indians in the US, West Indians in elected office in New Jersey and on the issue of multiple citizenship policies in the Caribbean.
She is author of the article, "Black, Foreign-Born and Elected: West Indians in New Jersey’s Political Offices," National Political Science Review, Volume 19.1.
Prior to working for Rutgers University, Professor Miller spent more than 10 years working as an analyst, lobbyist and staffer to elected officials and in government affairs. She has also served as a criminal justice program associate and fundraising professional.
Enmanuel Martínez, Ph.D.
B.A., University of Pennsylvania
Comparative Literature and Literary Theory/Latin American and Latino Studies
Enmanuel Martínez received a 2015-2016 Rutgers University Center for Cultural Analysis (CSA) Graduate Fellowship. His research interests include Critical Caribbean studies, archive theory and practices of the global South, decolonial thought, literary fieldwork, and queers of color criticism.
Juan Cartagena, J.D.
Latinos and the Law, Drug Policy
President and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Juan Cartagena is one of the nation's leading voices on equality and nondiscrimination who has successfully used the law to effectuate systems change for the benefit of marginalized communities. A dynamic public speaker, seasoned litigator and educator Mr. Cartagena is currently the President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF a national civil rights public interest law office that represents Latinas and Latinos throughout the country and works to increase their entry into the legal profession. He is a constitutional and civil rights attorney who has vast experience litigating cases on behalf of Latino and African American communities.
He formerly served as General Counsel and Vice President for Advocacy at the Community Service Society of New York. At CSS he also directed the Mass Imprisonment & Reentry Initiative which focuses on the effects these policies have on poor and minority communities. From 1990 to 1991 he worked at the government of Puerto Rico's Department of Puerto Rican Community Affairs in the United States where he served as Legal Director. Previously, he was Associate Counsel at the Community Service Society and before that he worked as a Staff Attorney at the former Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund (now LatinoJustice PRLDEF).
Mr. Cartagena is a former Municipal Court Judge in Hoboken, NJ and served as General Counsel to the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.
A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University School of Law, Mr. Cartagena lectures on constitutional and civil rights issues at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and the Interamerican University Law School in San Juan. He has written numerous articles on constitutional and civil rights laws, and has been recognized for his work on the political representation of poor and marginalized communities – especially Puerto Rican and Latino communities. His current research interests include the effects of mass imprisonment on Latino, and particularly Puerto Rican, communities, and criminal justice, policing and drug policy reform.
His work on a national level with the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act led to invitations in 2005-2006 to testify before the U.S. House and Senate on the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and its effects on Latino communities in New York and New Jersey.
Mr. Cartagena has served on numerous boards of community-based organizations and government task forces in New York and New Jersey, including Governor Paterson’s Task Force on Transforming New York State’s Juvenile Justice System and Governor Corzine’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy.
He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field of civil rights law, among them the Freedom Fighter Award, Jersey City NAACP; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award, Dartmouth College; the Cesar Chavez Community Service Award, U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute; and the Don Pedro Albizu Campos Award, Jersey City Borinquen Lions Club.8
Mr. Cartagena lives with his family in Jersey City. He is active in various community activities including cultural activities that highlight the diversity of Jersey City’s neighborhoods.
Kevin C Young, Ph.D. Candidate
Rutgers Department of History
M.A. World History, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ
Latin American, Caribbean History, Global and Comparative
Kevin C Young is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Rutgers Department of History, majoring in Latin American/Caribbean and minoring in Global Comparative history. He has an M.A. in World History from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. He returns to LCS and CLAS following a year of research in Cuba for his dissertation, Nomads, Exiles, and Slaves: The Invisible Indio in Cuba, 1750-1898, a bottom-up regional study of identities and politics in transition during the late colonial and liberal nationalist periods. A tejano raised in Mexico and Puerto Rico, Kevin is a retired Cold War naval cryptologist and stay-at-home-dad who loves teaching and is fully committed to student success. He has a chapter scheduled for publication in African Sacred Spaces (Rowman, forthcoming), and has presented at conferences in Cuba and Costa Rica inter alia.