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Join us on July 7 for a community conversation on issues and ideas from the Magic Valley Latino/a community.
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Magic Valley Latino/a Community Discussion

Boise State Public Radio and the College of Southern Idaho are proud to bring you a panel discussion on issues and ideas from the Magic Valley Latino/a community in immigration, employment and education.

On Thursday, July 7 at 6 p.m. CSI’s Jerome Center Director and Hispanic Community Liaison César Pérez will moderate a conversation featuring:

  • Immigration lawyer Betsaida Chavez Garcia
  • Local activist Estefania Mondragon
  • Business professionals Alejandra Hernandez and Susie Rios

They’ll dive into topics such as creating paths to citizenship, the current and previous federal political landscape, and the constant need for developing the workforce, especially in the Magic Valley where big business plays an important role.

When: Thursday, July 7 6 - 8 p.m.
Where: College of Southern Idaho Fine Arts Building (Room 119)
315 Falls Avenue
Twin Falls, ID 83301-3389

Meet the moderator and panelists:

Cesar Perez

César Pérez is the Jerome Center Off-Campus Center Director and Hispanic Community Liaison at the College of Southern Idaho. He oversees the development and successful implementation of Hispanic-American bicultural learning environments which result in strategic initiatives addressing the service areas’ diverse communities. He is the recipient of the Martha A. Torrez Humanitarian of the Year and Premio Inspiración awards by the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, as well as the Latinos in Action (LIA) En Acción award for exceptional contributions in education and development of Latino students.

Pérez is currently serving appointments by the Office of the Governor as a commissioner with the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs and a member of the board of directors with the Idaho Bureau of Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind. He and his family enjoy sharing their passion for multi-cultural initiatives and inclusion throughout the community.

Alejandra Hernandez

Alejandra Hernandez is the Executive Director of the Unity Alliance of Southern Idaho, a nonprofit organization with a mission of supporting, and promoting an understanding of how all immigrants contribute to our region’s economy, way of life and values. She was born and raised in Santiago, Chile and has been in the U.S. for 27years, 20 of those living in Boston, MA. She moved to Idaho 7 years ago.

Hernandez earned a MA in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College, MA, and a BA in Educational Psychology. Most of her formal education happened in Chile where she earned a B.A in Agricultural Engineering and a MA In Social Communication. She has over 15 years of experience working in communities as an educational coach providing technical assistance to schools, and community leaders, and leading trainings, and workshop addressing a wide range of topics related to education and mindset. Passion is what drives everything she does in life. She is a lifelong learner and her mantra in life is “get curious, not furious.” Currently she lives in Twin Falls with Margarito, her best PETsona!

Estefania Mondragon is a daughter of immigrant parents from Tarandacuao, Guanajuato, Mexico. She brings awareness, both of her languages, heart and imagination to her work. She wholeheartedly believes that change starts from the inside out and is passionate about building power within the intersections. She hopes to raise community consciousness, shift culture, and bringing an anti-oppression lens to the conversation. She imagines a world where everyone is honored and every living being thrives. Estefania is the Executive Director of PODER of Idaho.

Susie Rios

Susie Rios is a community leader and organizer in Idaho with nearly 40 years of expertise in assisting students and community members to obtain a High School Equivalency certificate, post-secondary education, employment, unemployment, wage, and hour claims, training, and migrant and seasonal programs. Rios is currently the Statewide Outreach Director at the Idaho Women’s Business Center.

Coming from a farm working family with borderland roots between Texas and Mexico, Rios comes from our ancestors’ resiliency. She, along
with her parents and younger siblings, worked hard in the fields as young
as 10 years old. Much like other seasonal farm worker families, Susie’s
family traveled to different states and eventually set roots in the small rural town of Burley, Idaho. She continued working in the fields for many years and worked to find opportunities for her to thrive outside of the potato fields.

Rios embodies resiliency and leads with her heart in every interaction from connecting community members with resources to supporting women in starting their new businesses with Idaho Women Business Center. She understands the importance of opening space for others to thrive.

Betsaida Chavez Garcia is a 2020 graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law and member of the Washington State Bar. She is a staff attorney at Immigrant Justice Idaho in Boise. Chavez Garcia handles immigration removal defense cases and affirmative immigration applications. After college, she spent two years as a paralegal at Southern Migrant Legal Services (SMLS) in Nashville, Tennessee where she performed outreach to farmworkers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky and helped attorneys with all aspects of litigation on behalf of farmworkers.

As a law student she was selected from a national pool of applicants as the Michael Maggio Immigrants’ Rights Summer Fellow where she partnered with Immigrant Justice Idaho for the summer of 2019 and stayed onboard as a legal intern for the fall of 2019. In 2021 Chavez Garcia received a Leaders in Law award in the “Up and Coming” category from the Idaho Business Review.

We will also be hanging out at Yellow Brick Cafe from 12-3 p.m. for Another Round. All Things Considered will broadcast live from the Yellow Brick Cafe from 3-6 p.m. with host Troy Oppie.