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LatinX, Latino/Latina, Hispanic: A Multiplicity of Racial, Cultural, and Linguistic Identities - A Virtual Panel

LatinX, Latino/Latina, Hispanic:  A Multiplicity of Racial, Cultural, and Linguistic Identities - A Virtual Panel; Thursday, January, 14, 2021

Thursday  7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The Southeastern CT Women’s Network is sponsoring a virtual panel discussion on the topic of “LatinX, Latino/Latina, Hispanic: A Multiplicity of Racial, Cultural, and Linguistic Identities” as part of the Unconscious Bias – Unveiling Racism” series - a free Zoom event on Thursday, January 14, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.. The panel will be moderated by Migdalia Salas, Vice President, Advancement and Programming, Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut. As part of her responsibilities, she is proud to have founded and direct the AYUDA program which provides emergency support for the most vulnerable Hispanic immigrants in our region. Her career as an executive developed along a non-linear path, spanning different industries, cultures and countries. Prior to moving to Connecticut, she was a senior executive for international emergency medical air services for the Western Hemisphere. She has been responsible for international AIDs research staffing teams for Balboa Naval Hospital and the Salk Institute; In response to severe healthcare professional staff shortages of the 80s, she created award-winning acculturation and immigration programs through which over a thousand of healthcare professionals from throughout Latin America were successfully integrated in American Society. This breadth of experience she brings to bear upon her activism, cultural and non-profit endeavors. In broad terms, Salas is intensely driven by vision. Her passion is motivated by the role the arts, creativity and education play in addressing the unique sociocultural and organizational challenges of today. Diverse formal educational accomplishments and unique international experiences are the foundation for those skills and competencies with which she engages the world. Salas was born and raised in the Republic of Panama. She has lived in three continents and traveled extensively to 18 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere and Europe. She holds degrees in Anthropology and in Art History and her graduate studies include Organizational Leadership with a focus on systems from Eastern Connecticut State University and Museum / Curatorial Studies at Tufts University.

Members of the panel include:
Ronald J.O. Flores is a Professor of Sociology at Connecticut College, where he teaches courses on Sociology of Families, Immigration, Race and Ethnicity, Urban Society and Population studies. Throughout his career, Flores has emphasized campus-community relations in both his teaching and research. At St. Lawrence University (SLU), he directed the community-based learning programs for over a decade and was the founding director of the SLU Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership. Since arriving in New London, he has continued that tradition, first working with the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation on issues of recognition and sovereignty. Currently, he serves with the Hispanic Alliance, where he has been working with Professor Judy Gomez on understanding the mental health of Latinx groups in New London County and their experiences with local mental health services. Most of Flores' professional career has been spent researching the connections between race, ethnicity, and communities. Along with his colleagues, Joseph Salvo and Peter Lobo, he has written extensively on the relationship between the changes in ethnic-racial diversity in New York City and racial integration and segregation patterns. Their findings have shown how Post-65 immigration redefines racial boundaries as the black/white binary no longer serves as the lens by which to understand race dynamics in the United States. Also, Flores has integrated his passion for baseball and his scholarship by re-seeing the history of professional baseball that does not privilege the traditional US-centric view. He anticipates a completed manuscript by 2022. Dr. Flores received his Ph.D. from Brown University and his graduate degree from Fordham University and now lives in Southeastern Connecticut.

Judelysse Gomez received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami, where she developed a passion for incorporating social justice in mental health treatment development and delivery. Gomez’s philosophy informing her work centers on the understanding that individuals’ experiences are influenced by the contexts in which they are embedded. Her personal and professional experiences have informed her passion for anti-racist social justice, empowerment, and liberation, which cuts across her clinical-research work, mentoring, and teaching. Dr. Gomez is an assistant professor of psychology at Connecticut College. Her work is focused on examining how variables related to the socio-cultural context (e.g., acculturation, acculturative stress, discrimination, etc.) impact the mental/behavioral health and treatment outcome of individuals of color. She has worked in collaboration with mentors and colleagues delivering culturally-competent cognitive behavioral treatment to Latinx adults, adolescents and their families. She has also worked with detained, unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant youth from a positive youth development perspective. Currently, her community-based research focuses on reducing mental health treatment access disparities among Latinx individuals, and has co-developed a research project that examines the relationship between direct and social media exposure to white nationalist race-based violence, police violence/harassment, and immigration enforcement and race-based traumatic stress among college students and community-based emerging adults of color. Along with her collaborators she is particularly interested in understanding the protective role of racial identity, community-based (collective) and personal (individual) self-care and activism for those exposed to state and federally sanctioned/enacted race-based violence and harassment. Gomez was born and raised in the Washington Heights neighborhood of NYC and is the daughter of immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic.

Ninon Guinassi was born and raised in Jauja, Peru. Her mother was a nurse and father was a physical education teacher. From a very young age she was taught that education was very important and as her mother used to say: "that is something that no one is going to take away from you." Ms. Guinassi attended university in Peru to major in Systems Engineering, but dropped out to move to the USA with her family when she was 20-years-old. Upon arriving in the United States Ms. Guinassi worked in a pasta factory and took night classes to learn English. She started working in the school system as a teacher assistant while she attended Queens College to earn a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish and later a Masters in Counseling with Bilingual Extension. She worked as a Bilingual Guidance Counselor for 10-years in New York before moving to CT in 2004. Ms. Guinassi is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Bilingual Guidance Counselor in the state of CT. She provides services for the Child and Family Agency (CFA), is the School-Based Wellness Coordinator at New London Public Schools, and a member of the Hispanic Alliance Mental Health Network - Unidos sin Fronteras (United without Borders), New London Parent University, Step Up New London and also currently, is Special Populations Case Manager at the Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut. She has extensive experience working with the immigrant population not only because of her role within the school system, but also through mental health services with CFA and direct contact with the community. Ms. Guinassi has created support groups for newcomers including parents and children, advocates for services about interpretation, equal rights and cultural sensitivity, and has served as board member for the IASC - Immigration Advocacy Support Center.

Jose Ortiz is a turnaround leader and passionate urban educator. He has a passion for children and expertise in: (1) English Language Learning supporting International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, (2) leading School Turnaround work, and (3) teaching, learning, and leading.
In 2020, Dr. Ortiz became the principal of the New London High School Multi Magnet Campus. He served as the Principal at C.B Jennings International Education Magnet School during the 2017-2018 school year and Bennie Dover Jackson Multi Magnet Campus in 2019-2020. Also, Dr. Ortiz served as Assistant Superintendent of Secondary School Redesign at the Southbridge Public Schools in Massachusetts. His career began in the classroom, teaching bilingual elementary and high school students in the Waterbury Public Schools. He later became the Associate Principal at Windham Middle School. He also served as principal of a K-8 intra-district dual-language immersion magnet school in New Britain and spent time as the Chief Academic Officer for Scholastic International in Puerto Rico where he led and managed school improvement efforts in 56 elementary and secondary schools throughout the island.
Ortiz earned a master’s degree in education, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in bilingual and bicultural education from the University of Connecticut. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and now resides in Southeastern Connecticut.

Please join us for an engaging and powerful discussion. This panel is the Fourth in a series of monthly panels focusing on Unconscious Bias. The February, 2021 panel will discuss Access to Healthcare Free event. Open to the public. To join the panel discussion, go to the Zoom Link:
Or to

The SECT Women’s Network strives to create a dynamic and diverse membership, which promotes powerful, personal, and professional relationships through the advancement and education of its members. For more information go to or

Waterford, CT 06385




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