Baylor symposium explores hunger, Latin American migration


The effects of hunger and food insecurity on Latin American migration to the United States will take the focus at Baylor University events Tuesday through Thursday.

The “Migration and Food Needs: Latin American and U.S. Perspectives Symposium” will bring special speakers and a free film screening to examine the role of hunger and scarce food resources in the growing numbers of Latin American migrants and refugees coming to the United States. Discussions will range from moving populations to how policymakers, churches and nonprofits can address the problem.

The three-day symposium will look at an underexamined dimension of the migration problem, one rarely raised in political debates over immigration and border security, said Victor Hinojosa, an associate professor of political science in the Baylor Honors College. As such, it may lead to new insights to a hotly debated subject.

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“We need a new and different and hopeful conversation over immigration,” Hinojosa said.

Álvaro Botero Navarro will present the symposium’s opening keynote address at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. He is an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington College of Law who has worked extensively with the United Nations and the Organization of American States on questions of migration and human rights. Navarro will speak on “Examining the Complex and Interconnected Root Causes of Migration in the Americas.”

In addition to academic addresses and presentations, the symposium will feature a screening of “Missing In Brooks County,” a 2020 documentary about the search for missing migrants, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hurd Center. Filmmakers Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss will lead a post-film discussion. Other symposium presentations will add perspectives from cuisine, music and theater.

Missing In Brooks County | Trailer // via Journeyman Pictures on YouTube

Among the presenters of symposium keynote lectures this week:

Dylan Corbett, executive director of Hope Border Institute

Chef Adán Medrano, author of “Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes”

Felipe Hinojosa, Jackson Family Chair of Baylor In Latin America

Victor Hinojosa, Baylor associate professor of political science

Ericka Shawndricka Dunbar, Baylor assistant professor of religion

Rudy P. Guevarra Jr., Arizona State University professor of Asian Pacific American studies.

Lectures and workshops Wednesday and Thursday will be held in the Cashion Academic Center and Morrison Hall. Symposium events are free and open to the public. About 100 people are expected to attend, an organizer said. An events schedule and more information are available on the Baylor Department of Religion website.


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