16: Borders Aren’t Natural

In episode 16, Yvette and Cynthia shine a light on ALEC, the organization responsible for legislation like “Stand Your Ground,” reject a world with borders, and explain the recent case that permits indefinite detention of certain immigrants awaiting deportation. They warn against ALEC’s insidious agenda, discuss the importance of the right to travel, and shame the court for not finding indefinite detention unconstitutional.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Current Event: ALEC’s Anti-Protestor Legislation

Read more about ALEC here.

Deep Thoughts: Borders 

Read an Op-Ed in the Atlantic on a world without borders here.

Case: Jennings v. Rodriguez 

Read the Jennings v. Rodriguez decision here. 


Yvette recommends Real Housewives of Atlanta and the book “Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism” by Benedict Anderson.

Cynthia recommends utilizing the Calm app for meditation and general relaxation purposes.

15: Call It What It Is

For episode 15, Cynthia and Yvette take it back to 1857 when the Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott, or any black person, could not be a citizen of the US (a decision later overturned by the 14th amendment), call out the FBI’s racist practices, and dive into “gaslighting.” They note the importance of unpacking the US’ horrific history of slavery, point out the dangers of complacency around government surveillance, and give tips for how to recognize when you are being GASLIGHTED.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Case: Dred Scott v. John Sandford

Get a quick overview of the case and read the full opinion here.

Here is the video of Ben Carson referring to enslaved people brought to the US by violent force as “immigrants.”

Current Event: “Black Identity Extremist”

Read about the FBI’s category here:

Read more about past targeting of black organizations and leaders by the FBI here: The FBI’s War on Civil Rights Leaders by Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar

Deep Thoughts: Gaslighting

The 1944 movie!

Here’s an article that goes over gaslighting: From Theater to Therapy to Twitter, the Eerie History of Gaslighting by Katy Waldman


Yvette recommended watching the Maze Runner (trailer below) which is in theaters now!

Cynthia recommended supporting and buying art from @iuneveno_art (see below)! #supportblackart

Also, check out the dope podcast ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? which is a bilingual podcast about Latinos in the Heart of our Country. If you want to hear stories of immigration, Latino art and culture, Latinos in the military and more, check it out.

Chiquitasode: People Carry Different Wisdom

In this final chiquitasode of the 3-part Harvard Law “Advocating Across Communities: Shared Identities, Struggles, and Imaginations”conference series, we interview Professors Montoya and Zuni Cruz about the indigenous tradition of talking circles and the inspiration it created for the dialogue circles at the conference. They emphasize the importance of listening and creating space for all to contribute.


Chiquitasode: We are the Trojan Horse

Las Cerebronas partnered with Harvard Law’s La Allianza to bring y’all three chiquitasodes with amazing Profes that will be sharing their knowledge at the 2018 conference, “Advocating Across Communities: Shared Identities, Struggles, and Imaginations.” In this chiquitasode, we interviewed Professors Christine Zuni Cruz and Margaret Montoya on disrupting white spaces, the overlaps and distinctions between the Latinx and indigenous communities, and the struggles of being Latina in legal academia.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Professor Christine Zuni Cruz

Christine Zuni Cruz (Isleta and Oke Oweengeh Pueblo) established the Southwest Indian Law Clinic in 1993  to provide students with the opportunity to practice Indian Law. She had served as a tribal judge and been in private practice for ten years prior to teaching.

In her research and teaching, Zuni Cruz, a member of Isleta Pueblo, explores law and culture, including the impact of law on Indian families, the practice of Indian Law and lawyering for native communities and the Indigenous legal tradition and modern law of indigenous peoples domestically and internationally. She has taught in Greenland, Mexico, and Canada.

She served as an associate justice on the Isleta Appellate Court for fifteen years. Previously, she was a tribal court judge with the Pueblo of Laguna and the Pueblo of Taos. She also was presiding judge with the Isleta Court of Tax Appeals and an appellate judge with the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals.

Zuni Cruz, the first Pueblo woman to earn tenure as a law professor, is editor-in-chief of the Tribal Law Journal, an on-line law journal dedicated to the internal law of indigenous peoples.

Professor Margaret Montoya

Margaret Montoya was part of the first group of women and men of color who attended Harvard Law School. When she graduated in 1978, she won the prestigious Harvard University’s Sheldon Traveling Fellowship that allowed her to study affirmative action in Malaysia and India.

Professor Montoya was a member of the UNM law school faculty from 1992-2012 and licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, New York, and New Mexico. She worked to create programs and partnerships to increase student and faculty diversity in law and medicine. She served for several years as the Senior Advisor to Chancellor Paul Roth in the UNM Health Science Center. She retired in 2012 but continues to work part time while also babysitting her two grandchildren.

Professor Montoya’s scholarship on issues of identity, narrative, resistance to assimilation, and racial equity in education appears in law reviews, anthologies, and casebooks and is used throughout the U.S.  Professor Montoya has been recognized with many awards by her professional peers and by the Latinx community for her academic and activist work.

My truths require that I say unconventional things in unconventional ways.

Speaking out assumes privilege.

Speaking out is an exercise of privilege.

Speaking out takes practice.”

Máscaras, Trenzas, y Greñas: Un/Masking the Self While Un/Braiding Latina Stories and Legal Discourse, 17 Harv. Women’s L. J. 185 (1994), concurrently published in 15 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 1 (1994).


Here’s the NY Times article on Genízaros in New Mexico: Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos are Finding Family Ties to It. by Simon Romero.

Support Deb Haaland’s campaign as she runs to represent New Mexico’s District 1 in Congress! If elected, she’ll be the FIRST Native American woman in Congress. Read about her amazing-ness here: The Candidate Who Plans to Be the First Native American Woman in Congress by Leila Ettachfini.

Chiquitasode: Listen & Be Humble

Las Cerebronas partnered with Harvard Law’s La Allianza to bring y’all three chiquitasodes with amazing Profes that will be leading their 2018 conference, “Advocating Across Communities: Shared Identities, Struggles, and Imaginations.” In part 1, we bring you an interview with Professors Steve Bender and Frank Valdes on the 14th Amendment, the role of lawyers, and the responsibility on the Latinx community to dismantle white supremacy.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Professor Francisco Valdes

Francisco Valdes, Professor of Law, earned a B.A. in 1978 from the University of California at Berkeley, a J.D. with honors in 1984 from the University of Florida College of Law, and a J.S.M. in 1991 and a J.S.D. in 1994 from Stanford Law School. Dr. Valdes’ work focuses on constitutional law and theory, Latina/o legal studies, critical outsider jurisprudence and Queer scholarship. Since 1995, Dr. Valdes has contributed regularly to LatCrit symposia and publications to help elucidate LatCrit approaches to knowledge-production, critical theory, and academic activism.

For a full bio and a list of publications by Professor Valdes, look here.

Professor Steven Bender

Associate Dean and Professor Steven Bender is a national academic leader on immigration law and policy, as well as an expert in real estate law. Among his honors, the Minority Groups Section of the Association of American Law Schools presented him with the C. Clyde Ferguson, Jr., Award, a national award recognizing scholarly reputation, mentoring of junior faculty, and teaching excellence. Professor Bender’s latest book, “How the West Was Juan: Reimagining the U.S.-Mexico Border”, was published in July, 2017. His extensive record of public service includes his co-presidency (2010-2012) of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and co-leadership of the international academic organization Latina and Latino Critical Legal Theory, Inc. (LatCrit). Born in the East Los Angeles barrio to a Mexican American single mother, he applies his life experiences to his writings.

For a full bio and a list of publications by Professor Bender, look here.

For more info on Harvard’s La Allianza & NALSA’s conference, look here.

14: If People Like Us Had Been at the Table

On this episode, Yvette and Cynthia express disappointment at the loss of net neutrality, envision a new country under a new Constitution, and explain the doctrine around cell phones and search warrants. They cry-laugh at the corporate greed behind taking down net neutrality, find strength in vocalizing their goals for this country, and give a heads up on a new form of government tracking.

Note on “Deep Thoughts” segment: We want to acknowledge that we are on stolen land in the United States and that our deep thoughts segment ignores that fact. The conversation is useful as a means of thinking about what our ideal governance structure would be for a hypothetical country, not tied to the land we call “the United States” because we believe in the principles of decolonization – of returning indigenous land to those from whom it was stolen.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

You can support us on Patreon here. Send us an email to cerebronas.pod@gmail.com if you’d like to buy a sticker, bumper sticker, or bookmark! Check our IG for pics!

Current Event: Net Neutrality

Here’s a really good article covering the history of net neutrality and common carriers: “Network Neutrality: A History of Common Carrier Laws 1884-2018” by Tyler Elliot Bettilyon

Here’s another good source: “Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now”

Deep Thoughts: Constitutional Convention

You can read the full Universal Declaration of Human Rights here.

If you’re interested in the idea of universal basic income, the Economic Security Project has some good resources, like a reading list on the subject.

Case: Riley v. California

You can get more info about the case and read the opinion here.

Here’s an article on the related case before the Supreme Court that will decide whether police need probable cause to get a search warrant tp access location information for cell phones: “Supreme Court’s Cell Phone Tracking Case Could Hurt Privacy” by Nick Sibilla.


Yvette recommended watching She’s Gotta Have It which is available on Netflix. Trailer below!

Cynthia recommended listening to 8tracks.com – a hub of playlists made by real humans, not algorithms. Here’s a playlist for deep studying/ writing.

13: Chiquitasode: What Can I Do to Support You?

On this chiquitasode, Cynthia and Yvette speak with Fátima, a social worker that embodies the harm reduction framework. Fátima shares an overview of harm reduction, why it’s important to respect the bodies and decisions of her clients, and how she lives harm reduction outside of her work. Importantly, everything we know about harm reduction comes from healing/resistance practices by black/indigenous queer/trans people of color and sex workers. We honor their knowledge and contributions in this episode.

You can follow Fátima on twitter @kabronapower

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Harm Reduction

You can read about the principles of harm reduction here.

Here you can download an article that talks about expanding the harm reduction framework from drug use to sex work.

Shout Out: Ni Aquí Ni Allá

Read their call for artists and project description here! Here’s some info from one of their creative team members:

“Ni Aquí Ni Allá” is a multimedia performance and installation giving voice to Atlanta’s Latinx community.

We will revisit our childhood memories, our family traditions, our spiritual roots through a lens polished with subversion and decolonization. These are the moments that colored our lives and firmly grounded us in the cultures and narratives we have become geographically removed from. Ni Aquí Ni Allá is a window onto a vital facet of American culture, and we welcome people of all backgrounds to indulge our uniquely American blend of Latin cultures and traditions, uprooted and replanted. Through nostalgia and symbolic repurposing, Ni Aquí Ni Allá is a space for defining, decolonizing, and reclaiming our Latinx identity in all of its prismatic splendor. Come into our home, listen to our stories colored in Spanglish, perreo if the mood strikes you.

This project is supported in-part through an investment from IDEA CAPITAL, a community-based pool of funds created by and for the Atlanta arts community and in part by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.

Follow them on the insta!

CALL FOR ARTISTS! Link in bio (English + Español) We are seeking artists who identify as Latinx, Latino/Latina, Afro Latinx, Afro Latino/Afro Latina, Hispanic, Chicanx, Chicano/Chicana to present original works that speak to their Latinidad. Estamos buscando artistxs que identifican como Latinx*, Latino/Latina, Afro Latinx, Afro Latino/Afro Latina, Hispanx, Hispano/Hispana, Chicanx, Chicano/Chicana a presentar obras originales que hablan a su Latinidad. #NANAAtl #niaquiniallaatl #latinx #latinxart #latinxartists #latinxartshow #latinxcreate #latinxpride #latinxpoets #latinxtheatreartists #artistas #performanceart #artatl #atlantaart #film #spokenword #text #photogrpahy #digitalmedia #drawing #painting #printmedia #zines

A post shared by Ni Aquí Ni Allá (@ni_aqui_ni_alla_atl) on

11: The Spanish Own the Cow

In this episode, Cynthia and Yvette discuss Eduardo Galeano’s Venas Abiertas de América Latina, the gender discrimination case Nguyen vs. INS and the case of Jane Doe — an unaccompanied minor who sought an abortion while detained in immigration custody. They discuss the economics of colonialism, how gender is analyzed under the Equal Protection doctrine, and the myriad ways in which the bodies of migrant womxn are regulated and controlled.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!
Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas
Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Current Event: Garza v. Hagran

Read the ACLU information on the event here and read the legal files here.

Here’s a CNN article with problematic quotes from Texas State Attorney General by Eric Levenson and Tal Kopan, “Court Delays Abortion for Undocumented Teen in Detention.

Here’s an interview by VICE with the undocumented teen, Jane Doe.

Deep Thoughts: Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America

You can buy the book here on Amazon.

When Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez met former President Barack Obama, he gave Pres. Obama a copy of the book. Read more about it here.

Case: Tuan Anh Nguyen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

You can find the court documents, summary of the case, and a recording of oral arguments here at Oyez.


Yvette recommends reading Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal and other texts published by AK Press.

Cynthia recommends listening to Andra Day, an amazing artist from San Diego, CA. Listen for yourself below 🙂

8: Knowing Your History is Power

On this “Back to School” episode, Yvette and Cynthia discuss affirmative action, the case Plyler v. Doe, which ruled that Texas’ attempts to deny undocumented children access to K-12 public education was unconstitutional, and the recent Ethnic Studies win in Arizona. They debunk the myths surrounding affirmative action, break down 14th amendment jurisprudence, and emphasize the importance of Ethnic Studies for students of color. In lieu of our recommendations segment, we answer a listener email asking if we were too quick to chastise the white liberal woman whose parents voted for Trump. We hope you enjoy!

As a final FYI: This is our last episode until the month of October. We will be taking a break to travel and prepare for school. Please look out for our upcoming “chiquitasode”- a mini-episode where we share more about ourselves and our journeys to higher education.

Thanks to @romobeats for the intro tune!

Follow us on IG and Twitter at @cerebronas

Transition song: Ryan Little – Lucy’s Song

Deep Thoughts: White Affirmative Action

Some dope reads on the subject:

Case: Plyler v. Doe

You can find the opinion and a recording of oral argument at this Oyez page.

The wikipedia on California Proposition 187 aka “Save Our State” (major side eye at this) and the wikipedia on California Proposition 227, which eliminated bilingual classes (it was repealed last year).

Current Events: Arizona Ban of Ethnic Studies Found Unconstitutional

Here’s the court opinion which has some sweet T in it.

Informative read: “Federal Judge Finds Racism Behind Arizona Law Banning Ethnic Studies” via NPR’s All Things Considered