News Release

CLASA presents Dr. Estrella Torrez

The Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive and the Hispanic American Student Association at University of Detroit Mercy will be hosting Dr. Estrella Torrez on Friday, February 17th at 7 p.m. The lecture will be held in the Student Center/ Fountain Lounge on the McNichols Campus

Dr. Estrella Torrez is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University and directs the Indigenous Youth Empowerment Program, a program that serves to empower native youths. Torrez will share her adventures and experiences to help better understand the struggles throughout the Latino community. The stories she will share are important for the community survival and empowerment of the Latino Americans.

Torrez' lecture will focus on her academic career and how her migrant working experiences helped her to get where she is today. Speaking on the fields of sociology, education and ethic studies, she hopes that her lecture will inspire one to find their own intellectual home that maps community-based knowledge onto a Latino education. At the conclusion of her talk, Latino youth will perform a traditional Indigenous dance from Mesoamerica.

Torrez has been through a lot in her childhood, she worked along side her parents and grandparents in the fields at age 12. With a strong interest in politics and her heritage, she worked for the Office of Migrant Education in Washington, D.C. and has led many study abroad programs and Latino focused seminars.

The professor received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Western Michigan University and continued onto the University of New Mexico, earning her masters with dual concentrations in Early Childhood Multicultural Education and Bilingual Education. Torrez received her PhD in Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Bilingual Education, also from the University of New Mexico.

Torrez is working on forming bilingual/bicultural programs for high schools in the Lansing school district and with the Michigan State Universities College Assistance Migrant program. She is currently working on  research that focus' solely on rural America, Native Education, and writing auto ethnographies of the experiences of women.

This is a free event and is open to the public. For more information, please contact CLASA Director Dr. Gail Presbey at (313) 993-1124 or

Release date: February 15,2012

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The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest private Catholic University, offering approximately 100 majors and programs in 60 academic fields. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the University has three campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

For the 11th consecutive year, UDM was ranked among the top tier of Midwestern master's universities in U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" – 2012 edition.