Charla de Merienda Series

Attendees sitting in a circle discussing a topic


Since 2018, the University of Kansas Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies has partnered with Lawrence Talks! to host community forums with in-person and digital access points (an iTunes podcast, blog, Facebook livestream, and live Twitter threads).

The Charla de Merienda series launched last year as a model of critical debate through dialogue among members of the academy and the public around recent research and current affairs in the Caribbean and Latin America. Moderated by Lawrence Talks! Editor-in-chief, David Tamez, each Charla brings people together in conversation to examine topics of Latin American and Caribbean national and local interest. Each discussion begins by establishing a common basis for dialogue  through prepared remarks by guest speakers demonstrating different perspectives on the issue, followed by a community discussion where the audience is encouraged to participate.  In addition to the in-person discussion, Lawrence Talks! maintains the Charla de merienda blog, where all of our panelists contribute short opinion pieces in the days leading up to each event.

In collaboration, we bring people together to examine topics of national and local interest – neoliberalism, the rise of the right, anti-blackness, and ecological damage in the Americas – to build community, foster symbiotic digital accessibility, create inclusiveness, and move beyond soundbites. Each discussion begins by examining facts to establish common ground, then guest speakers present prepared remarks (5-7 min), and a moderated discussions follows.

It is our hope that this model will raise awareness of the issues concerning the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States and be of interest to: All Ages, Faculty, General Public, Graduate students, Researchers, Staff, Undergraduate Students.

Upcoming and Past Events or Episodes

  • A graffiti mask painted on a wall in reference to COVID-19

    Araceli Masterson-Algar, Sylvia Fernández Quintanilla, and Hannah Soyer

    Charla de Merienda: Latinx Bodies and COVID-19

  • Woman dancing in a Caribbean Carnival

    Giselle Anatol, Timmia Hearn, and Cécile Accilien

    Charla de Merienda: Caribbean Carnival Culture

  • A small village in the Chilean countryside at the foot of a mountain.

    Pantaleon Florez III, Ruaa Hassaballa, Ellie Anderson-Smith, and Carlos Centeno

    Charla de Merienda: Food Security in the Americas

  • A typographic image about human rights.

    Pere DeRoy, Bulaong Ramiz-Hall, and Alesha Doan

    Charla de Merienda: Reproductive [In]justice in the Americas

  • Man leaning against the wall at the U.S. Mexico Border

    Jesus Alfonso Omaña Guerrero, Luis Felipe Lomelí, and Cécile Accilien,

    Charla de Merienda: Friction at the Frontera

  • A man practicing Palo Mayombe: Kongo-derived Afro-Cuban Spirituality

    Christopher Peace

    Palo Mayombe: Kongo-derived Afro-Cuban Spirituality

  • People dressed in costume celebrate Día de los Muertos.

    Marta Caminero-Santangelo, Christopher Peace, and Ariadna Tenorio

    Charla de Merienda: Spirituality and Resistance in the Americas

  • An aerial view of Guatemalan mountains and a river.

    Peter H. Herlihy, Brent Metz, and Diana Restrepo-Osorio

    Charla de Merienda: Indigenous Land Rights and Biodiversity

  • luchador masks sold on Olvera Street.

    Pere DeRoy, Polo Camacho, Verónica Ines Garibotto, and Caio de Castro

    Charla de Merienda: Machismo in the #YoTambien Era

  • An immigrant standing at a naturalization event.

    Chuck Olcese, Karen Lisondra, Gibette Encarnación, and Raúl Saenz

    Charla de Merienda: The American Dream or American Carnage?

  • A man at a Black Lives Matter March/Protest talking on a megaphone

    Laura Hobson Herlihy, Caio de Castro, and Rafael Martins

    Charla de Merienda: Authoritarianism and the Rise of the Right in Latin America

  • A march of people in support of immigrants in the U.S.

    Araceli Masterson-Algar, Marta Caminero-Santangelo, and Rafel Martins

    Charla de Merienda: Borderlands in the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S.

The Production Team