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Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive (CLASA)

Welcome to the Padre Guadalupe Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive (CLASA), a rare collection of Spanish and English books, human rights reports, independent newspapers and newsletters, and social justice papers. CLASA also broadens its message of social justice to the Detroit Mercy community with speakers and exhibits of art, photography, and archive documents. Most events take place on the McNichols Campus.

Our archive houses more than 25 years of work by individuals and organizations working in solidarity to aid the people of Latin America. Learn about the life of our namesake, Padre Guadalupe, who disappeared in Honduras in 1983. Read about the history of the archive and visit our online catalog. Donations are welcome.

Upcoming CLASA events

Winter 2018 Events

See a list of our Winter 2018 CLASA events

Click here to download a PDF of the full list of Winter 2018 CLASA events.


Dean Brackly, S.J. Fundraiser Dinner
Thursday, April 5, 2018
6:30-9 p.m. | Fountain Lounge - Detroit Mercy Student Union Building
Click here to download the flyer for more details.


Event Update: Art Auction
Thank you to all who participated in ourJanuary  art auction featuring paintings of the late Joseph DeWindt. With your support, the event raised $1,675 that will benefit programs in our History Department.

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    Past Events

    Winter2018

    CLASA hosted another art exhibit in the McNichols campus library. We displayed the paintings of Joseph DeWindt, father to our dear departed history professor Edwin DeWindt. There was a reception and a silent auction on Wednesday, January 31, 5 to 7 p.m. All 25 paintings were auctioned, and it raised $1,675 for the History Department. Thank you to Anne DeWindt for donating the paintings.

    On Tuesday, January. 30, we hosted Oscar Castaneda, a Community Organizer with Action of Greater Lansing. Dr. Castaneda shared his personal experience with immigration, his analysis of the causes of anti-immigrant sentiment and the story of his participation in the campaign to have Lansing be declared a Sanctuary City. On Wednesday, February. 7, we hosted “Sanctuary Then and Now” -- with the Gesu Catholic Church Sanctuary Team and a Salvadoran family. Cesar and Carmen described why they left their beloved El Salvador, their experience as immigrants in SE Michigan, and their hopes for their future. Bill O’Brien and Jim Sweeney of Gesu Catholic Church (neighbors to University of Detroit Mercy) described why Gesu decided to offer support to the family – and their efforts to build a Catholic network of congregations committed to immigrants and to Pope Francis’ challenges to Catholics to support refugees and immigrants. On Monday, February 26, CLASA was one of many of the university’s co-sponsors for Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the 2016 National Book Award-winning Stamped From The Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

    On March 12, 2018, CLASA hosted Patrick Brosnan, executive director of Chicago-based  Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. His center has many helpful programs for the immigrant community. On March 16, we hosted a talk on the significance and lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War, given by Emeritus professor Fran Shor, on the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre and the 53rd anniversary of the self-immolation of Detroit based activist Alice Herz. The event was co-sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society). On March 26 (at the Law School) and March 27 (at the McNichols Campus) we hosted Professor Dawn McCarty of University of Houston Downtown, who lives at Casa Juan Diego, the Catholic Worker house in Houston. She works with immigrants both in Texas and Mexico.

    On Thursday, April 5, we hosted our annual UCA Jesuit Martyrs Fundraiser dinner with keynote speaker Francisco Mena Ugarte, director of CRISPAZ (Christians for Peace in El Salvador). The event which had, as usual, about 100 attendees, raised over $5,000 for the scholarship. In addition to Mena’s moving talk, we also heard from Richard Brackley (Dean Brackley’s brother) and Jack Podsiadlo, S.J., who knew Dean Brackley well. We also heard from Tom Florek, S.J., as he introduced a video taken of one of the mothers of a scholarship recipient. The event began with a moving dance performance from Danza Guadalupana. Event co-sponsors were University Ministry, Gesu Peace and Justice Committee and the Jesuit Community at University of Detroit Mercy.

    On Monday, April 9, 2018, we hosted Mary Anne Perrone (Educator and former Principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe Middle School) who gave a “Report from an Interfaith Delegation to Honduras: The Honduran elections and a Crisis of Legitimacy” based on the experiences of an interfaith group, including members from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, SHARE Foundation and Friendship Office/Honduras. Perrone reported on the findings of the delegation’s visit. On Wednesday, April 18, we hosted a panel discussion, "Radiation Knows No Borders: A Citizen Panel & Forum On Reactor Emergency Preparedness." The event was organized by the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3, moderated by Keith Gunter, and co-sponsored by Peace Action, DC-area Beyond Nuclear, and CLASA. On Monday, April 23, we hosted a talk, “AFL-CIA: U.S. Labor Intervention in Chile and throughout Latin America, then and now” by Prof. Ruth Needleman, Labor Studies professor emerita from Indiana University.

    Winter & Fall 2017

    In the winter of 2017 we hosted sixteen speakers and a musician, and we held 8 speaking events, a fundraiser dinner, a library exhibit, and an information table, as well as having co-sponsored one speaking event at which I was a speaker. Our first event was “REFUGEES AMONG US,” held on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, 5:15 p.m. Chemistry 114. The presenters were: 1. Kevin Piecuch, an attorney and executive director of the Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center; 2. José David Valladares Trujillo, who has applied for asylum (his message was translated by Sister Nina); 3. Nina Rodriguez CSJ is a Catholic Sister who has lived and worked with the immigrant community in Southwest Detroit for most of her life; 4. Karen Donahue, RSM, a Sister of Mercy who has sponsored a weekly vigil at the ICE offices in Detroit for the past nine years and who attends services at the jail with immigrants who have been arrested and await deportation.

    On March 20, 2017 we held the Fundraiser Dinner for Dean Brackley S.J.’s UCA Jesuit Martyrs Scholarship Fund, to enable Salvadoran students to attend Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), the Jesuit University in El Salvador. The event was 6:30 – 9 p.m. in the Ballroom. Our special guest speakers from El Salvador were Kevin Yonkers-Talz (Director of Casa de la Solidaridad) and Julio Perez (Director of the Romero Program at the Casa). Music was provided by Ismael Duran. This fundraiser dinner raised $8,200 for the UCA Jesuit Martyrs Scholarship Fund. On Tuesday, March 28, Bargman Room of the McNichols library, 6 – 8 p.m., CLASA co-sponsored the Cesar Chavez Day celebration, sponsored by the King-Chavez-Parks S.T.A.R. Program (Janis Strickland, organizer of the event) and the Hispanic American Student Association (HASA). The speaker was Jeff Stewart of Immigrant Workers Project; with additional speakers Tom Florek, S.J. and Gail Presbey, Detroit Mercy.

    On Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4 p.m., Sergio Pacheco of Mexico Solidarity network was skyped in to the new CHP high-tech multipurpose room so that he could share his projects with the students at Detroit Mercy. Tony Nelson of Mexico Solidarity Network was here on campus to facilitate the technology and translate for Sergio. He shared the story of the Tlanezi Calli public housing project in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, and its many educational projects, as well as its democratic structure. Sergio had hoped to come on tour in the US but his visa was denied.

    Mary Walle researched and wrote “The Blood Stops Here: Democratic Citizenship, Faith Communities, and the Question of Human Rights in Detroit’s Sanctuary Movement,” consulting the Carney archive and interviewing area participants. She presented her talk on Detroit’s Sanctuary movement twice, once from 2 – 3:15 and once from 4 – 5:15 pm, both in Briggs 317. A companion exhibit in the display cases in the McNichols Campus Library lobby highlighted the history of Detroit’s Sanctuary movement. Students from HIS 4670 Latinos in the U.S. created the display, drawing upon documents from the Carney Archive. The exhibit was on display from March 30 to May 15, 2017. Luis Zaldaña, Macomb county Hispanic Ministry director, spoke on “Supporting Undocumented Immigrants in Macomb County,” on Friday, March 31, 2017 11 a.m. in C&F 209. Luis Zaldaña works for the Archdiocese of Detroit and has a special ministry to the Hispanic community of Macomb County. He shared accounts of the local struggles of the migrant community here in our State.

    CLASA co-sponsored the Pax Christi Michigan Conference on April 1, 2017, at St. Simon and Jude Church, Westland, MI. CLASA co-sponsored the conference and set up an information table. On Thursday, April 6 at 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in Life Sciences 113, we hosted a panel called “Nukes and Your Future? A Forum to Address Nuclear Weapons in the World.” Panelists were: Cynthia Stiller, Henry Ford College Associate Dean of the Science, Arts and Fitness Division; Dr. Frederic Pearson, Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Wayne State University, and author of “The Global Spread of Arms” and “Arms and Warfare”; Dr. Alvin Saperstein, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Wayne State University; and Dr. Prasad Venugopal, Associate Professor Physics at University of Detroit Mercy. On Friday, April 7, 2017 in Briggs 005, Joan Smith spoke on “Volunteering in a migrant shelter in Guatemala.” Earlier, in February of 2016 we hosted Joan Smith who spoke about her motivation to work at Casa del Migrante in Guatemala with the Scalabrini religious order. That was before she did her service. This year she came back to give a report of her nine months’ volunteer experience.

    In August and September of 2017 CLASA collaborated with a calligrapher, our Engineering professor Dr. Nihad Dukhan, to hang an exhibit of his calligraphy throughout the first floor of the McNichols campus library. There was an opening reception on September 6, and Dr. Dukhan gave a special lecture, “Fruit of the Reed Pen,” on September 20. The exhibit and its opening was co-sponsored by the McNichols campus library as well as Students for Justice in Palestine, and the talk was co-sponsored by them and the Muslim Student Organization.

    On September 26 in Grounds Coffehaus we heard the music of the band “Comparsa Sur” featuring Ismael “Bandolero” Duran and singer Mariana Risquez. They played a concert in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and the list of songs included hits from across Latin America. The band also remembered on this day the missing students of Ayotzinapa, Mexico. CLASA was happy to have the co-sponsorship of Student Programming Board for this event. On Sept. 28 we were happy to host an event of Michigan Coalition for Human Rights called “Project Safety Net: Detoxifying Hate on the Internet,” in LS 113. The moderator was Saeed Khan of Wayne State University, and panelists were Adonis Flores, Asha Noor and Barbara Jones.

    On October 28 we hosted Jeff Cohen, director of the Park Center for Independent Media and endowed chair/associate professor of journalism at Ithaca College. We had a Detroit premiere viewing of the film he co-produced called “All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone” (2016). We were happy to co-sponsor the event with Huntington Woods Peace Group and Progressive Arts. Jeff Cohen was able to answer questions after the film viewing. We ended the semester with two talks by John Barrie of Appropriate Technology Collaborative, on December 5. He spoke to students of Environmental Science about his ongoing projects with solar power and other alternative technologies in Guatemala.

    Fall 2016

    During Fall of 2016 we hosted and co-sponsored many excellent events. We were a co-sponsor of an MCHR event on Sun. Sept 11 at 4 pm, when noted author and editor of Sojourners magazine, Jim Wallis, spoke at Gesu Church. On Wed. Oct. 5 at 7 pm in Life Sciences 113 we hosted a panel discussing nuclear energy safety: “Fermi-1 at 50: We almost lost Detroit… Accidents can Happen.” This event which featured David Lochbaum, Director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union for concerned Scientists, also featured Paul Gunther, Director of Reactor Oversight at Beyond Nuclear, and Ethyl River, Campaign Coordinator of the Alliance to Halt Fermi-3. On Friday Oct 7 at 10 am, in Lansing-Reilly Parlor, Fr. Joe Mulligan spoke about the recent passing of Fernando Cardenal, SJ in Nicaragua, and how Fr. Cardenal's life fits in with liberation theology and the current situation in Nicaragua. On Wed Oct 12 at 5:15 pm in C and F 139 we had Gabriella Torres of SIPAZ talk about the role of women as agents for social change in Chiapas, Mexico. On Friday Oct 21 at 10 am in the President’s Dining Room, Julie Pycior of Manhattan College spoke about her new book, Democratic Renewal and the Mutual Aid Legacy of US Mexicans; and at 11 am the same day, she spoke about her interests in Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day.
    On Nov. 1 CLASA co-sponsored a Catholic Studies event called "The Reconstruction of the Social Fabric: The Tale of Two Cities: Tancitaro Michoacan and Detroit Michigan." This event brought up two Jesuits from Mexico, Fr. Jorge Atilano, S.J., and Fr. Gabriel Mendoza, S.J., directors of the Miguel Pro Human Rights Office in Mexico City, and they shared their work for justice, with Tom Florek S.J. translating and sharing his own perspectives on their project. On Thurs. Nov 3 at 5:30 and 6:45 pm, Margaret Potts spoke of her work with youth at the Standing Rock Reservation; and on Fri Nov 4 at 11 am Margaret Potts spoke about her work founding People over Pipelines, as she explained the environmental situation in light of pipeline construction in the Dakotas.

    On Nov. 17, Kim Redigan and Sr. Mary Ellen Howard RSM spoke on Detroit’s Water Crisis in the Ballroom. This University Ministry event was co-sponsored by CLASA. On Dec. 6 at 5:15 pm in Briggs 13 philosopher (from Brazil and Australia) Murilo Seabra spoke about his year living in the Amazon and reflections on indigenous philosophies of the Amazon. The Philosophy Dept. co-sponsored this CLASA event.

    Winter 2016

    Watch this slideshow for highlights of our Winter 2016 events: Collaboration with Swords into Plowshares (Jan- March), Laila Hamdan and Joan Smith on volunteering in Guatemala (Feb. 29), Eric LeCompte on Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy, and he and Jorge Chinea on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis (March 30), Irma Ilsy Vásquez Cardenas and Alejandro Monzón on indigenous rights in Chiapas, Mexico (April 4), Jose Idiáquez S.J. on contemporary Nicaragua, and he and Richard Brackley on Dean Brackley (April 5), Marilyn Fischer on Jane Addams’ peace activism (April 20), and Ruth Needleman on Brazil (April 25).

    Fall 2015

    Watch this slideshow to see photos from 2015 CLASA events: Frida Berrigan on peace mothering (Feb. 4), Eben Levey on teachers in Oaxaca (March 16), Jeff Stewart on immigrant minors from Central America (March 20), Ismael Moreno Coto S.J. (“Padre Melo”) on human rights in Honduras and on Dean Brackley (April 7), Don Voelker’s art of Latin America (Sept-Oct), Joe Mulligan on Pope Francis’s visits and Romero’s beatification (Sept. 30), Jesse Freeston on his film “Resistencia” and Honduran land struggles (Sept. 30), Jorge Parra and Paige Shell-Spurling on the rights of injured workers in Colombia (Oct. 1), Dana Frank on Honduras (Oct 22), Berta Esperanza Alvarez Martens on race and gender in Cuba (Nov. 3 and 4), Jason LaFay and Alan Kaufman on Cuban youth and chess players (Nov. 4).

    2014 Events

    Watch this slide show to see highlights from our 2014 CLASA events: Denise Griebler on the immigrant crisis and the film “Harvest of Empire” (Feb. 6), Matt Meyer on liberation in Africa (March 13), Danielle Poe on ending slavery in Brazil (March 27),  Gene Palumbo on Dean Brackley (April 8), Bishop Thomas Gumbleton on the film “Monsenor” on Archbishop Oscar Romero (April 10), Joe Mulligan S.J. on the Jesuit martyrs (Sept. 22), Laura Finley on preventing domestic violence (Oct. 2), Abdilatif Abdalla on Kenyan politics and culture (Oct. 28), Joe Tropea and Jerry Berrigan on the film “Hit and Stay” about the Catonsville 9 and the peace movement (Oct. 29), Anke Graness on ancient Egyptian philosophy (Nov. 25) and John Barrie on green technology for indigenous communities in Central America (Dec. 5).

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    Contact CLASA

    CLASA welcomes your questions, comments, concerns, and tales to tell. If you'd like more information on CLASA, if you're an individual or organization who would like some mention on our site, or if you'd like to make a donation, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Gail Presbey, CLASA Director, at 313.993.1124.

    If you've noticed that something on our site is amiss (broken links or images, for example), we ask that you email our webmaster right away.

    If you've enjoyed your visit to our site — and especially if you've found it helpful to research — please tell us about that as well.

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