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The essence of who we are is wrapped up in our language. What human knowledge is lost when a language goes extinct? Why should we care? Join ALOUD for a freewheeling conversation among language activists working to reclaim indigenous languages in California and Mexico. For the first time together on stage, this unique group of participants includes: master linguist and language preservationist Leanne Hinton; Native California language activists Vincent Medina and Virginia Carmelo; Odilia Romero Hernández, Zapotec language rights activist; and poet/activist Bob Holman, co-producer of the PBS documentary, Language Matters.

Bilingual program Spanish/English with simultaneous interpretation by Antena Los Ángeles

Join us for a post-program reception in the Library’s courtyard!

Bob Holman

Bob Holman has played a central role in the spoken word and slam poetry movements of the last several decades. He is the author of 16 poetry collections, most recently Sing This One Back to Me.  He is a co-founder and co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance, and his study of hip-hop and West African oral traditions led to his current work with endangered languages. Holman is the producer and host of various films, including The United States of Poetry, and On the Road with Bob Holman. His most recent film, Language Matters with Bob Holman, won the Berkeley Film Festival’s 2015 Documentary of the Year award, and aired on PBS in January 2016. Holman is currently working with language revitalization centers across Alaska and Hawaii, sponsored by the Ford Foundation. He has taught at Columbia, NYU, Bard, and The New School. He was the original Slam Master and director at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and the founder/proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club.

Vincent Medina

Vincent Medina is an indigenous language activist and a leader of the movement to revive Chochenyo as a spoken language. He served as the assistant curator at Mission Dolores in San Francisco, and works to change the narrative of Indian history to focus on Native resistance and survival. Vincent is a contributor to the publication News from Native California and author of the blog, “Being Ohlone in the 21st Century.”

Odilia Romero Hernández

Odilia Romero Hernández is an indigenous Zapotec from the village of Zoogocho, in the northern mountains of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico and is based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the Vice Binational Coordinator of Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales/Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations (FIOB). She served six years as Binational Women’s Issues Coordinator of FIOB and for more than a decade has worked with indigenous Mexican and binational organizations in the areas of human rights and cultural and political education. She has been published in many academic papers that appear in “Otro Saberes: Collaborative Research on Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Cultural Politics” and “Indigenous Migrants and Language Barriers in the United States”, as well as “Mujer rebelde: testimonio de Odilia Romero Hernandez”.

Leanne Hinton

Leanne Hinton is professor emerita of Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and advisory member of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival. She works with endangered languages as an advocate and practicing trainer in the field of language revitalization. With other language activists, she has helped found organizations devoted to language revitalization, and helped design language learning methods that are now used world-wide.  Hinton has written, edited and co-edited numerous books and articles on Native American languages and language revitalization, including her most recent Bringing Our Languages Home, and The Routledge Handbook on Language Revitalization.

Virginia Carmelo

Virginia Carmelo was born in Orange County, California and raised in Fullerton, California. In 1998, Carmelo and her family began endeavors to revitalize Tongva tribal song, dance, and regalia.  In 2004, Virginia began research of Tongva language. From 2001 to 20012, Virginia served as a Tribal Council Member of the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation, the tribe indigenous to the Los Angeles Basin. She served as Tribal Chair from 2006 to 2010. Virginia lives in Anaheim, California.

PARKING NOTE: For all events on Saturday, October 21, access to the Westlawn Parking Garage will be open from Grand Avenue, and not Flower Street. More information here.

Main Image: Ladi Miati’: Lotería de las partes del cuerpo humano en zapoteca de Juchitán, edited by Francisco Toledo

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.


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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.