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UW Social Justice Research Center Sponsors Acclaimed Writer Victor Villasenor


February 2, 2011 — Critically acclaimed writer, activist and speaker, Victor Villasenor, will give a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, in the Laramie Plains Civic Center auditorium.

The University of Wyoming Social Justice Research Center sponsors Villasenor's presentation.  He has written national bestsellers "Rain of Gold," "Thirteen Senses" and "Burro Genius," the latter nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The original "Rain of Gold" trilogy is now being developed for a seven-part HBO miniseries.

His other critically acclaimed books, such as "Wild Steps of Heaven" and "Macho!" have been compared to the best of John Steinbeck by the Los Angeles Times.

A gifted and accomplished speaker, Villasenor continues to live on the North County San Diego ranch where he grew up. In addition to being the writer of five ancestral-themed bilingual children's books, he has written several screenplays, including the award-winning "Ballad of Gregorio Cortez."

In his Laramie presentation, Villasenor will discuss his own life obstacles addressing the difficulties of growing up feeling lost between two worlds -- a constant struggle to find common ground between the culture of his Mexican-Indian-European ancestors and his family's newly adopted American homeland.

With firsthand knowledge of the effects of discrimination and racial separation in society, Villasenor's motto has become "We are all one race, the human race."

"We are honored to have a distinguished writer of Villasenor's caliber coming to Laramie and the University of Wyoming," Social Justice Research Director Francisco Rios says. "The challenges he experienced being a writer who is also Latino, who struggled with dyslexia, and as important, his resilience in the face of rejection, offer important lessons for us all."

In addition to the public talk, Villasenor will conduct a workshop on writing memoirs. The free public workshop is from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Coe Library Room 506. The event is co-sponsored by the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities in the UW College of Health Sciences, Chicano Studies and KOCA Radio (93.5FM) -- La Radio Montanesa.

For more information about Villasenor's visit, e-mail the Social Justice Research Center at sjrc@uwyo.edu.

Photo:
Victor Villasenor

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