Latinos United – Promoting Education & Civic Engagement

Date:  Sunday, March 22, 2015
Speakers:  Azenett Garza & Luis Lopez

Meet & Greet 1:45 p.m. – Presentation 2:00 p.m. – Meeting Closes 3:30 p.m.
Salt Lake Main Library, 210 East 400 South, Fourth Floor Meeting Room

Luis Lopez was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 19. He graduated from Weber State University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish teaching, and a Master’s degree from the University of Utah in Education Leadership and Policy. Luis has lived in Ogden, Utah for 19 years. He is married and has three children. Luis has worked in education for 12 years. He currently works at Weber State University as the Director of the Community Education Center (CEC). The mission of the CEC is to help disenfranchised members of the community access post-secondary education. Luis also serves as the president of LUPEC, Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement. LUPEC is an organization that provides advocacy and leadership for the Latino community in Ogden.

Azenett A. Garza Caballero was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 11 years old. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at El Paso in Applied Experimental Psychology. Azenett has lived in Ogden, Utah for 12 years. She is married and has four children. Azenett has worked at Weber State University for 12 years in the Psychology Department and is currently an Associate Professor. She is also the Coordinator for the Community Research Extension of Weber State University’s Center for Community Engaged Learning. Azenett also serves as the Vice-President of LUPEC, Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement.

“Our presentation examines current social issues affecting the Hispanic community in Utah. We explore solutions to such issues through a framework of community organizing and organizational leadership and advocacy. The umbrella organization for our framework is called LUPEC (Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement). Through our presentation, we make the case about the need for Latinos to unite, organize and take action. The only one that can save us is our-selves.”

Questioning Minds is a non-profit, educational forum with 501(c)(3) status. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Sundays of each month September through May, EXCEPT holiday weekends. See for coming events and speaker-suggested readings.



Date:  Sunday, March 8, 2015
Speaker:  Ewa Wasilewska, Ph.D.

Dr. Ewa Wasilewska is an Associate Professor Lecturer at the University of Utah, Department of Anthropology and the Middle East Center with more than 30 years of experience working on different aspects of both the ancient and modern Middle East and Central Asia. Her formal education includes masters degrees in archaeology and history of the Middle East and Europe Middle Eastern studies emphasis on Turkish and a doctorate in anthropology. She is an author of two books Creation Stories of the Middle East, and of Anthropology of Humor and Laughter, as well as of many articles for both specialized and general audiences.

“All humor is offensive as long as its joking matter involves human characters, human actions, and/or human emotions, regardless of its subject matter. There are always winners and losers but rarely do we think how humor not only influences our lives but also controls them. Humor is a double-sided sword reflecting both perception and reality by capturing contemporary values, exposing conflicts and proposing solutions. This is a weapon that does not kill but may cause many deaths while, at the same time, protects all ideals of freedom as understood by all Americans. This lecture will focus on humor as social control and social conflict, using the famous (or infamous) Danish cartoons of 2005 as a starting point for a discussion about the potential of humor to correct all human behavior. ‘I think therefore I am.’ (René Descartes). ‘I laugh therefore I will survive.’” (Ewa Wasilewska)

References & Resources:  Ewa Wasilewska, ed.,  Anthropology of Humor and Laughter.   Cognella Press. 2013
“West Bank Story” – a musical comedy. 2005.