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Statement from CantoMundo Leadership

As CantoMundo, under new leadership, prepares for the return of its annual in-person retreat, we want to recognize that the past few years have been difficult for our community. We’ve experienced shifts in leadership, the delay of in-person retreats, and words/(in)actions within the organization that have shaken the trust of our community. CantoMundo acknowledges that while our mission and vision commit us to being 'a home for all Latinx poets,’ these values were not always realized as fully as they could be.


As we restart our programs, we rededicate ourselves to serving Latinx poets and poetry across regional, aesthetic, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and gendered spectrums. We further pledge to work through all our policies and practices to be anti-racist, accessible, and intolerant of all homophobia and anti-trans rhetoric and to sustain a community in which all members are fully respected.


The leadership team has agreed upon the following measures as part of a thoughtful effort toward ensuring the instability previously felt will not be repeated:


  1. We will seek dialogue with fellow CantoMundistas, especially within the AfroLatinx community, who wish to share concerns or experiences.

  2. We will discuss together topics important to the health of CantoMundo at each leadership meeting. These may include but are not limited to sharing knowledge and resources, inviting guest speakers on the subject of diversity, equity, inclusion, and other relevant topics as they arise.

  3. We will require implicit bias training (or other inclusivity training) ahead of the retreat for participants and leadership.

  4. At the annual retreat, we will come up with a set of mutually agreed upon values to guide our future actions and from these update our Code of Care, which helps ensure the values we agree on will be enacted by our community moving forward.


Progress on these efforts will be addressed broadly during the opening circle at the 2024 retreat and shared in an email to all CantoMundistas the week afterward. Also, please know we always welcome your voices and can be reached at cantomundo@asu.edu or via the contact form on the website. Thank you in advance for your feedback, and we look forward to celebrating the retreat in 2024.


Warmly,

Jacqueline Balderrama, CantoMundo Director

Norma E. Cantú, CantoMundo Co-Founder & Advisory Board Member

Willie Perdomo, CantoMundo Faculty & Advisory Board Member

Pablo Miguel Martínez, CantoMundo Co-Founder & Advisory Board Member


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