Thursday, February 9, 2017
This past week, it was an honor to be able to attend the tribute to Thomas Ybarra Frausto. The symposium was a panel full of motivated and passionate speakers who were genuinely enamored by the work of Thomas and the future of Chicano/ Chicana studies. Of the panels, I really took an interest in the first panel of three scholars.
Holly, the first woman to speak got very emotional when talking about Thomas and his impact on her life and her work. Her presentation was a beautiful meditation on the collaborative scholarship of Thomas’ work and the incredible influence he has had upon her realm of study. I really enjoyed her background on Thomas, as she highlighted his persona and what he has accomplished. He is a man who has pushed for radical change, and she stated that “His work has the potential to touch each of us in our individual and collective endeavors”. Holly’s enthusiasm and compassion towards Thomas really touched me, and it opened my eyes to the array of accomplishments Thomas has brought forth during his time. Holly states that Chicano art serves as a point of departure for individuals, and it is something that is not taken as seriously as it should be when compared to modern American art. The second speaker of the panel talked about the development of Chicano studies and how Thomas made it all possible. He took an interdisciplinary approach where his theories set the stage for this study and provided a theoretical framework for the discipline.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend this event, as I was given a unique perspective to the Chicano/Chicana culture and its influence from Thomas himself. It was amazing to see people across UCLA come together in honor of this man, and in support of the LGBTQ community as well.