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.

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

9: Gender is a Journey

In this episode, Cynthia and Yvette interview Isa Noyola, the Deputy Director of the Transgender Law Center, discuss the manslaughter conviction of Ky Peterson, and analyze the G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board case. They highlight the ways in which survivors of domestic violence are criminalized and note the challenges that trans folks face in being able to navigate public space. Isa shares how her gender identity is linked to reclaiming her indigenous roots, the importance of letting those directly impacted lead, and what gender would look like in her ideal world.

Interview with Isa Noyola


“Isa Noyola is a translatina activist, a national leader in LGBT immigrant rights movement, and the director of programs at Transgender Law Center. She works extensively for the release of transgender women from ICE detention and an end to all deportations. She is a part of the #Not1more campaign team and sits on the advisory boards of TAJA coalition, El/La para Translatinas , and Familia:Trans, Queer Liberation movement. She has organized the first ever national trans anti-violence convening that brought together over 100 activists, mostly trans women of color, to address the epidemic of violence trans communities are facing.”

Learn more about her work at the Transgender Law Center here.

Current Event: Ky Peterson’s Continued Incarceration

Read more about Ky here. Learn more about violence against the trans community here.

Case: G.G. ex rel. Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board

Learn more about the case at the Supreme Court: “This Supreme Court Case Could Affect Trans Lives for Generations” by Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project