Conference Liaisons:

Joanna Núñez,
Doctoral Candidate,
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Yovani Flores is a writer, producer, and co-founder of Mujeres del Sol and Las Pilonas Productions. She was raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community, spent childhood summers in Puerto Rico, and lives in Arizona. Her stories are swathed in diaspora roots, memory keeping and the imaginations of a young queer girl. Flores’ debut short story, “El Lloron,” was featured on NPR’s Three Minute Fiction Contest. It won a second place writing prize from Curbside Splendor Publishing and was published in The Journal of Latina/Chicana Studies. Her work appears in Acentos Review, Drunken Boat, Latino Perspectives Magazine, Repeating Islands, Esta Vida Boricua: Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. Centro Voces: Center for Puerto Rican Studies CUNY, La Repuesta, La Tolteca Zine, and 5Q: Five Quarterly Magazine. She was a co-producer, co-writer, and a supporting actor in the award-winning short film Thresholds (directed by Linda Garcia Merchant).
Jose Manuel Santillana,
Doctoral Candidate,
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Ernesto Javier Martínez was born and raised in East Oakland, California. He is a queer Chicano-Rican writer, literary critic, and a tenured faculty member in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon. For over 10 years, he served as a coordinating team member for the Future of Minority Studies (FMS) research project, a national consortium of scholars and academic institutions with a primary interest in minority identity, education, and social transformation (
His research on identity, agency, and subjugated knowledge has appeared in journals such as PMLA, Signs, and Aztlán. He is the author of On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility (Stanford UP, 2012) and the co-editor of two volumes of essays:  Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader, with Michael Hames-García (Duke UP, 2011), and The Truly Diverse Faculty: New Dialogues in American Higher Education, with Stephanie Fryberg (Palgrave Press, 2014). He is the writer of the forthcoming children’s book When We Love Someone, We Sing to Them (illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez) and he is the writer and co-producer of the forthcoming short film La Serenata (directed by Adelina Anthony).
Maya Chinchilla,
Queer femme Guatemalan writer, author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética” and editor.

Ex-Officio Chairs

Christian Bracho,
Assistant Professor, LaFetra College of Education 
University of La Verne.
Yosimar Reyes,
Poet, Performer, Playwright, Public Intellectual.
Yovani Flores, co-chair
Co-founder of Phoenix-based Mujeres del Sol
Phoenix, Arizona.
William A. Calvo-Quirós is an Assistant professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in Chicana/o Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara (2014) and a Ph.D. from the Department of Architecture and Environmental Design at Arizona State University (2011). His current research investigates the relationship between state violence, imagination, and the phantasmagoric along the U.S. - Mexico border region during the twentieth century. He looks at this region not only as a socio-political space of conflict and struggle but simultaneously as a 2,000-mile strip of "haunted" land, inhabited by many imaginary creatures, monsters, popular saints and fantastic tales. His other areas of interest also include Chicana/o aesthetics, Chicana feminist and queer decolonial methodologies, and the power of empathy, and forgiveness in order to formulate new racial, gender, and sensual discourses. You can find more about his research, and teaching at
Yosimar Reyes is a nationally acclaimed poet, educator, performance artist and public speaker. Born in Guerreo, Mexico and raised in Eastside San Jose Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. Reyes’ work has been published in various online journals as well as Mariposas: An anthology of Queer Modern Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press), Queer in Aztlán: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella Press) and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry (Kórima Press)Reyes holds a B.A in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is an Arts Fellow at Define American, an organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas(DefineAmerican.Com)
Umí Guerra-Vera, co-chair elect
Campaign and Organizing Director for Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Portland.
Ernesto Javier Martínez, co-chair
Associate Professor, University of Oregon
Umí Vera is a child of Tepehuan O’dami indigenous parents. She was born and raised half of her life in southeast L.A and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest. She has 15 years of organizing experience predominantly in policy advocacy in the intersections of migrant and trans/queer grassroots organizing and is the new Campaign and Organizing Director for Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement. She has executive leadership experience and was most recently the End Profiling Legislative Campaign Director at Unite Oregon, a refugee and immigrant rights organization. There she co-created Resilient Connections, a support group and leadership program for trans and queer refugee and immigrant folks.

Comunity Activist Liaison:

William A. Calvo-Quirós,
Assistant Professor, American Culture and Latinx Studies
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr., is a Chicano Cubano born in East LA and raised in North Hollywood, California. He is an Assistant Professor in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and University Studies departments at Portland State University. He received his Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He holds an MA in Chicana and Chicano Studies, also from UCSB, and a BA and MA in Spanish from California State University, Northridge. Dr. Alvarez’s research interests include queer Latinx performance and popular culture, critical feminist geographies, queer oral history, queer migrations, Los Angeles Studies, and Joteria Studies. He has been published in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and in the anthology, Queer in Aztlan: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out.  He is working on a book project about queer Latinx Los Angeles. In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Alvarez writes creatively, likes performing, making art and spending time with his family.
Daniel Enrique Pérez is the director of Core Humanities and an associate professor of Chicanx and Latinx Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also a faculty associate of the Gender, Race and Identity Studies Program. He holds a BA in mathematics, an MA in comparative literature, and a PhD in Spanish with an emphasis on Chicanx literature (Arizona State University, 2004). His research focuses on Jotería studies. In addition to his book, Rethinking Chicana/o and Latina/o Popular Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), he has published several articles in the field, including: “Entre Machos y Maricones: (Re)Covering Gay Chicano (Hi)Stories” (Gay Latino Studies, Duke UP, 2010); “Toward a Mariposa Consciousness: Reimagining Queer Chicano and Latino Identities” (Aztlán, 2014); and  “Reclaiming Puterías and Mariconadas: Decolonial Practices and Sexual Outlaws” (The Textual Outlaw, U de Alcalá, 2015). As a founding member of the Association for Jotería Arts, Activism and Scholarship, he has been involved with various aspects of the organization since its inception. He served on the ad-hoc committee that developed the AJAAS mission statement and has participated in planning meetings and conferences of the organization throughout its history. Pérez is also a founding member of Teatro Bravo, a Latino theatre company in Phoenix. Besides his research in Jotería studies, he has published several works related to theatre and performance—including an edited collection entitled Latina/o Heritage on Stage: Dramatizing Heroes and Legends (Lion and Seagoat, 2015). He is also a poet and recently completed a chapbook entitled Things You See in the Dark (Black Rock Press, 2017).
Daniel Enrique Pérez, co-chair elect
Director, Core Humanities and Associate professor of Chicanx and Latinx Studies. University of Nevada, Reno.
Joanna Núñez is a queer Chicana artivist, teacher, transformative justice organizer, and first generation graduate student. She is a doctoral candidate in the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests are in Chicana feminist epistemologies and pedagogies, organic and indigenous knowledge, and oral histories and testimonies. Her dissertation is tentatively titled “¡Mi Mamá me Enseño!: Teaching and Learning Feminism in the Home.” She is a longtime member of Whose Diversity? a student collective at the UMN which has led multiple struggles on campus challenging the administration on issues of diversity and inclusion for marginalized students.  

Co-Chairs elects:

Juan Ríos,
Assistant Professor, Bradley University,
Department of Teacher Education.
Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr., co-chair
Assistant Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and University Studies at Portland State University

Scholarship Liaison:

Dr. Christian Alejandro Bracho is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the LaFetra College of Education at the University of La Verne. His research explores teacher identity, teacher movements, LGBT communities, and nonviolence education, and he is currently working on a book proposal based on his ethnographic study of the radical teachers’ union in Oaxaca, Mexico. Dr. Bracho has previously taught courses on educational equity, immigration policy, and comparative education at American University, The New School, and New York University. He has contributed articles on nationalism to the Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Nationality and for the Oxford Bibliographies Online, was the lead author of an article about nonviolence education in The Living Gandhi, published by Penguin India, and has written about Mexican teacher movements for the Christian Science Monitor. He recently co-authored an article on undocumented queer Latinx immigrants for the Journal of Homosexuality. A former high school English teacher, Dr. Bracho also has experience working as a teacher trainer, education consultant, and professional development facilitator in Los Angeles County and Europe. He is an active member of the American Education Research Association and involved in the Comparative and International Education Society.
Frankie Flores is a first-generation Mexicano from Santa Rosa, Chihuahua. He comes from the traditions of Brujeria, Curanderismo, and Santeria. Frankie grew up in Albuquerque, NM in the East San Jose barrio. Frankie's field of study focuses on gender roles and female importance in the transmission of Judaic customs for conversos in the Americas after the Inquisition. Throughout his life, Frankie has been committed to social justice in various forms. He has identified as a staunch feminist since the age of twelve. Frankie grew up in a community surrounded by Queer and Trans people, thus propelling his commitment to Trans justice, especially for Trans womyn of color. Frankie is currently the Coordinator for the University of New Mexico's LGBTQ Resource Center in Albuquerque, NM. In this role, Frankie creates training modules surrounding LGBTQ cultural competencies. Frankie is also the lead trainer for the Safe Zone program. Frankie is a charity queen, known as Lola La Verve, who raises money for numerous charities. 
José Manuel Santillana is a doctoral student in the department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on student activism and social justice-based movements, specifically in the areas of immigration, class and Chicana/o Latina/o queer experiences. His expertise is in the areas of Jotería Studies, Critical Race/Ethnic studies and Women of Color Feminism. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in Chicana/o Studies and his M.A. in Chicana/o Studies from California State University, Northridge. His master's thesis was titled "La Jotería de UCLA: Queer Latina/o Chicana/o Student Activism.” He also co-authored an article entitled "Jotería Identity and Consciousness: The Formation of a Collective" in Aztlán: A journal for Chicano Studies.
Dr. Ríos Vega is an assistant professor at Bradley University, Department of Teacher Education, where he teaches undergraduate courses in the area of English as a Second Language (ESL). Before moving to Peoria, Illinois, Dr. Ríos Vega worked in North Carolina in middle, high, and college as an ESL instructor for over 16 years. He earned a B.A. in English and Education from University of Panama; M.A., Curriculum and Teaching with Emphasis in ESL from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Ph.D., Philosophy in Educational Studies, Cultural Studies Concentration from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Ríos Vega has developed extensive research on Latino/Latina students in education. In 2015, Dr. Ríos Vega published his first book Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys: From Vergüenza to Échale Ganas, where he unpacks how socio-historical issues in education shape Latino/Latina students academic success. Dr. Ríos Vega has also published articles in co-edited books, Ni Latino, Ni Hispano: A Journal of Resiliency and Social Justice (2015) and From Panama to Academia: A Testimonial of Struggle and Resiliency (2016). Using a transnational mariposa consciousness as self-identified queer of color, Dr. Ríos Vega has published La conciencia de la mariposa transnacional para entender la homosexualidad en Panamá (2017) Convivencia and An unhealed wound: Growing up gay in Panamá (2017). The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe. He has also presented his scholarship at the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), American Educational Research Association (AERA); Association for Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship (AJAAS), and Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEA).
Maya Chinchilla is a queer femme Guatemalan writer and author of “The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética” and editor of the forthcoming "CentroMaricondas: A Queer and Trans Central American Anthology" (Kórima Press). She teaches creative writing and Chicana/Latina/o/x Studies as a lecturer at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and SFSU and is always down to travel and present readings and workshops in your small town or big city.
"I believe in the heart of the work that AJAAS has set out to do. I come to AJAAS as someone who has not always felt at home in some
of of our community spaces as a Central American writer, poet, performer, educator, disabled femme, queer introvert. I now understand it is our job to push the boundaries of our worlds, making ourselves at home, and that this is an ongoing project that is not always an easy task. I enjoy collaborating, believing everyone has a particular skill to bring, that consent is sexy, and I abhor models scarcity and Chingón-queerer-woker-than-thou-politics. I want all of us to thrive leaving seeds for future joteria with joy, consciousness, payasadasand



Julian Bugarín,
community interviewer,
Multnomah County Health Department
Portland, OR.

Art :

Activism Liaison:

Activism, and Scholarship

Art Liaison:

Membership Coordinator:

National Board Members


Julian Bugarín is a gay second-generation Mexican American originally from the Inland Empire of California but currently located in Portland, Oregon. He studied Social Sciences with a focus in Chicano/Latino Studies at Portland State University. While there, he was a student leader at PSU’s Multicultural and Queer Resource Centers as well as MEChA. As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and under the mentorship of Dr. Elena Avilés, he published his first scholarly article regarding news media coverage of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting on English- and Spanish-language media. 
Currently, he is a community interviewer for the Multnomah County Health Department where he participates in a project collecting critical information from HIV+ folk throughout Oregon to see where needs are not being met particularly in insurance, medical and social resources, access to medication, and treatment at their medical clinics. Through the support, he’s gotten from AJAAS, his academic and professional mentors, and his jotería community, Julian has been able to overcome obstacles and self-doubt to become a more confident advocate for queer Latinxs in Oregon.

Association for Jotería Arts,

Frankie Flores,
Coordinator LGBTQ Resource Center
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.