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Frederick F. Wherry, PhD *04, MPA *00

Panel 1 (Moderator)

Frederick F. Wherry is Professor of Sociology and the Departmental Representative. He earned his PhD in sociology from Princeton in 2004 and his MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School in 2000. While at the Woodrow Wilson School, Prof. Wherry co-chaired SAOC and was awarded the Wardell Robinson Moore Award for his work on diversity and inclusion. He also attended the 1994 Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Summer Institute at Princeton. He uses qualitative and comparative methods to ask how race and other identities matter in the marketplace, how individuals make sense of credit and debt, and why some communities (but not others) can more easily use their cultural traditions to revitalize their neighborhoods. He is the vice-president of the Social Science History Association and will serve as its president after November 2017. He is also chair-elect of the Economic Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and past-chair of the Consumers and Consumption Section. He is co-editor, most recently, of Money Talks: How Money Really Works with Nina Bandelj and Viviana Zelizer and is general editor of The Sage Encyclopedia of Economics and Society: Volumes 1-4. He is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Consumption (with Ian Woodward) while finishing a new book titled Financial Citizenship (with Kristin Seefeldt and Anthony Alvarez). He co-edits a book series at Stanford University Press: Culture and Economic Life; and he currently serves on the Community Development Research Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Melissa M. Valle, PhD

Panel 1

Dr. Melissa M. Valle is an assistant professor, jointly appointed in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of African American and African Studies, at Rutgers University-Newark. Dr. Valle explores the intersections of symbolic, material, and cultural dimensions of inequality to demonstrate how race, ethnicity, gender and class are encoded in the value of urban spaces. Her current book project is an ethnography exploring how people determine who is worthy of occupying contested space in a gentrifying neighborhood in Cartagena, Colombia. She is also currently working on two collaborative research projects: One seeks to understand how residents of neighborhoods in the Philadelphia metro area think about ‘trust’ in media; the other, in conjunction with the afrolatin@ forum, is survey-based research designed to test ways to accurately measure the Afro-Latin@ population and paint a more vivid picture of the Afro-Latin@ experience. Dr. Valle has also conducted research on Afro-descendants living in Santiago, Chile, exploring the mechanisms that lead to reduced life chances for marginalized groups and how such groups negotiate stigma perspectives that suggest their identities have been devalued.

Preferred gender pronouns: She

Marcos Marrero, MPA *07

Panel 1

Marcos is the Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of Holyoke, where he oversees the implementation of the largest urban renewal plan in Massachusetts, Co-Chairs the Holyoke Innovation District and serves as Executive Director to two public development corporations. He has a background in policy and public projects in areas related to economic development, urban affairs and sustainability. Previously, Marcos has served in the Puerto Rico Governor's Office as Deputy Adviser on Federal Affairs, Energy & Climate Change, and has served at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Corporation. Marcos holds a dual Masters in Public Affairs and Urban & Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico. He lives in Center City.

Antonio Reyes López, PhD

Panel 1

Dr. Antonio Reyes López is an independent writer, educator, and advocate.  Formerly the Executive Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) from 2013-2016, Dr. López now serves as LVEJO’s Senior Advisor.  Born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. López received his doctorate in Borderlands History at the University of Texas at El Paso. His writings have been featured in academic volumes, grassroots publications, and online journals.   He currently teaches courses for the Steans Center for Community Based Service Learning at DePaul University, and was a 2017 Social Justice News Nexus fellow at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In 2018, Dr. Lopez is focused on contributing to collaborative research and multi-media projects that support the environmental justice community, and assisting with the 50th anniversary of the Young Lords.

Ricky Hurtado, MPA *15

Panel 2 (Moderator)

Ricky Hurtado is the executive director of the Scholars’ Latino Initiative In this capacity, he works toward expanding equitable access to higher education for Latino students across North Carolina. Hurtado’s work focuses on advancing social and economic equity by applying a critical understanding of race, place, class and gender. Throughout his personal and professional experiences, Ricky has worked to find the intersection of immigrant rights and racial justice issues in an effort to unite communities and mobilize support for programs and policies advancing equity. Before joining SLI, Ricky worked with PolicyLink, supporting their work with the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and the Obama administration’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a consultant at Frontline Solutions, helping nonprofits and foundations enhance their impact. He has also worked with LearnFresh’s NBA Math Hoops education program and the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Policy Planning and Coordination. Ricky earned his Bachelor of Science with honors in business administration at the University of North Carolina and a master’s in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Outside of work, Ricky enjoys engaging with storytelling and storytellers in all of its forms, including music, photography and personal narratives.

Marcia Chatelain, PhD

Panel 2

Marcia Chatelain is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University.  The author of South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration from Duke University Press, she teaches about women’s and girls’ history, as well as the history of black capitalism.  She is currently working on the book From Sit-In to Drive Thru: Black America and Fast Food in an Age of Crisis, which is under contract with Liveright Publishing, a division of Norton and Company.  Chatelain’s book will examine the intricate relationship among African American politicians, civil rights organizations, communities, and the fast food industry.  Chatelain has published pieces in TheAtlantic.ComThe Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.  She has also contributed to the popular podcast, “Undisclosed,” serving as the resident historian on a narrative arc about the 2015 killing of Freddie Gray by members of the Baltimore Police Department.  In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education named her a Top Influencer in academia.  During the 2017-2018 academic year, she will be on leave from Georgetown with support from a National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship.

Rubi Franco Quiroz

Panel 2

Rubi Franco Quiroz is a Senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an activist and has been participating in pro-immigrant rights groups since she was in High School. She is an active member of the North Carolina Dream Coalition and Dreamers for a Bipartisan Solution. As a Dacamented student, she worked hard to ensure that her campus became more inclusive of Undocumented students. She serves on a DACA Resource Team at her University that focuses on implementing trainings and campus wide resources for students. She was crowned the 2017 UNC Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Recipient which focuses on service to the community, and this years 2018 Chancellors Award Recipient of the Frank Porter Graham Award presented annually to the graduating senior who has made the most outstanding contribution to the human ideals of equality, dignity and community. Rubi is devoted to passing pro-dreamer legislation, and continues to work hard to support her fellow undocumented peers.

Perris Straughter, MPA *07

Panel 2

Perris Straughter is the Director of Queens and Staten Island Planning for New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He is leading planning efforts for thousands of new affordable housing units for these boroughs, including facilitating the redevelopment of over 100 acres of city-owned land. Previously Perris was Supervising Planner in the City of Newark, NJ, where he coordinated planning and zoning approvals processes for the City. He helped lead the comprehensive overhaul of Newark’s zoning code and master plan. During his tenure in Newark he also managed a $20 million commercial revitalization program as well as Newark's public art program. Perris is a long-time advocate in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Community. He led the organizing of Newark's LGBTQ Pride events and served as Chairperson of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Commission, and served on several other LGBTQ organizations' boards. Perris is originally from Southern California and has also worked in business development in Oakland, CA.