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Facing Pandemics of Disease and Race: Radically Reimagining for Liberatory Futures

A resource guide for the 2020 International Roundtable


State of Emergency or State of Opportunity? Tools and Practices for Self-Determination

Thursday, Nov. 12, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. CDT

Image by Ruthann Godellei


Professor of Humanities, School of Visual Arts, and Co-founder, Mutual Aid NYC

Quito Ziegler is a Macalester alum (‘98) who has spent 20 years organizing community projects in NYC and Minneapolis, including working on community safety and accountability projects this past summer in Minneapolis’s Powderhorn Park Neighborhood. For the last 7 years they’ve been working to understand what decolonization means in practice for non-indigenous people in NYC. Ziegler is a professor of social movements at the School of Visual Arts and has been a convener of Mutual Aid NYC since the onset of COVID.

Director of Neighborhood Engagement and Learning, Confluence Studio, Minneapolis

Duaba Unenra is a survivor of the reconstruction process in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. He is an artist, community organizer, and scholar who looks at how forces of neoliberalism took advantage of openings created by environmental disasters in Haiti and New Orleans to reinforce anti-Black, anti-poor, anti-woman, and anti-queer living and ways of being. Unenra engages in mutual aid and building counter-sites as social tools for self-determination and healing in Black, Indigenous, Brown, and other communities, including in institutions of higher education.

Hubert Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Sociology, Environmental Studies, Macalester College

Marla Pérez Lugo is a Professor of Social Science at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and a co-founder of Puerto Rico’s National Institute for Energy and Island Sustainability and the RISE Network, an inter-university collaborative platform that redefines the role of universities in disasters. She is an environmental sociologist with an interest in energy governance, environmental justice, and disasters. Her current research revolves around energy transitions in Puerto Rico. She is also interested in the role of institutions of higher education in disaster response and recovery.

Hubert Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Energy and Governance, Environmental Studies, Macalester College

Cecilio Ortiz García is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. He received his PhD from the School of Public Affairs at the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. His current research concentrates on the governance of critical infrastructure transformations, particularly sustainable energy transitions and its relationship with community resilience. He also explores the role of higher education institutions in local and national Extreme Operating Environments. He is the co-founder of the RISE Network, an Inter-University Collaborative Convergence Platform that creates a new architecture of relationships towards just knowledge co-production for community resilience.

Related resources


Special thanks to Professor John Kim, Media and Cultural Studies, for recommending the additional resources.