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Cultural, academic partnership explores Latinx experience in 'Block Chronicles'

Juan Carrillo and Jason Méndez came from opposite sides of the country, taught at rival colleges, cheered for clashing NBA teams and even listened to different hip-hop.

 

They were the epitome of East Coast and West Coast. 

Far from home, they both felt like fish out of water, but they shared similar cultural backgrounds and lived experiences. So an unlikely friendship formed, leading to a podcast, a national-level web series, a feature documentary film and projects that continue to evolve.

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In Redemption: Sons, Exploring the Duality of Trauma and Joy

As part of The Glassblock’s sponsored partnership with the New Hazlett Theater, we are presenting a series of editorially-independent previews and reviews of the 2016-2017 Community Supported Art (CSA) Performance Series. Below is our review of Redemption: Sons by Drs. Tameka Cage Conley and Jason Mendez, a collaborative response from editor Adam Shuck, arts and culture editor David Bernabo, and guest panelists Yona Harvey and Felicia Lane Savage  

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License to Look Inside Yourself: A Preview of Redemption: Sons 

Though they’ve known each other for less than two years, Drs. Mendez and Conley have formed a close friendship that has turned into artistic collaboration. Accepted into the New Hazlett Theater’s CSA Series, Mendez and Conley are in the final days of preparing Redemption: Sons, a duologue based on shared experience of loss and trauma that in purposeful ways has condensed their relationship and correspondence into what aims to be a confessional, therapeutic performance.  

Two professors unite, issuing call to improve Latino faculty representation

Three years ago, two Latino professors in North Carolina formed a bond that transcended the traditional Duke-UNC rivalry.

Jason Mendez and Juan Carrillo say they immediately connected in an environment in which they felt few understood their experiences growing up in urban, working-class Latino families. Mendez identifies as Boricua and grew up in the South Bronx while Carrillo is of Chicano heritage and hails from the barrios of Los Angeles

Reflections on Dr. Jason Méndez

Dr. Mendez does an excellent job bridging theory and practice to engage his students in issues that impact those at this school and our neighbors in the broader Durham community. All too much, in a college setting, we have very detached conversations about the intricacies of the human experience. He certainly bridges that gap for his students and his colleagues. Additionally, his creativity in engaging his students is wonderful. This is part of the reason that he has such a large following among our students. They appreciate his work to find creative ways to keep them engaged. This is part of the reason why he will be our guest star at this year’s Unity Through Diversity.