Amigas Latinas Discussion

Join a virtual conversation with the founders of Amigas Latinas Mona Noriega and Evette Cardona, and former Amigas Latinas board member Lourdes Torres for a conversation about the Amigas Latinas archival collection and how artists and scholars continue to use this dynamic collection today. The discussion will be facilitated by artists Amanda Cervantes and Jose Luis Benavides. The discussion will be on Saturday, January 29, 2:00 p.m. (Central).

Founded in 1995, Amigas Latinas was a volunteer-run organization that specifically served the LBTQ Latina community through monthly discussion groups, support groups, workshops, educational training, public programs, and events. The group advocated to ensure that legislators, funders, and other not-for-profit organizations consider the intersection of issues faced by LBTQ Latinas, who often struggle within Latina and Latino communities and within larger LGBTQ organizations.

Queer Latinx artists Amanda Cervantes and Jose Luis Benavides have collaborated using the Amigas Latinas collection in their current work, most recently a symposium for the Global Center for Advanced Studies: Latinoamérica in Chile and are also part of a virtual exhibit online (Follow the Dust).

Registration is required for this virtual event.

Link to Registration


Evette Cardona
Mona Noriega
Lourdes Torres
Jose Luis Benavides
Amanda Cervantes

Evette Cardona is a co-founder of Amigas Latinas, a 2022 Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame inductee, and a life-long Chicagoan.

Mona Noriega is a co-founder of Amigas Latinas, recipient of MALDEF’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Excellence in Community Service Award, and long time Chicago activist.  

Lourdes Torres is Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University. She is the editor of the journal, Latino Studies. Her research and teaching interests include Spanish in the U.S., and Queer Latinidades.  She served as a board member for Amigas Latinas. She is currently working on a history of LLEGO, The National Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization that ran from 1987 to 2004.

Jose Luis Benavides is a Latinx and queer video artist, photographer and lecturer at Wilbur Wright College, City Colleges of Chicago. Working primarily with a range of personal archives, his work explores issues relating to gender and sexuality, cultural, and migration. His experimental documentary film, Lulu en el Jardín, tells the story of his lesbian mother’s coming out in Chicago during the 1970s. His work has screened at Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival, US (2020), and other festivals around the world.

Amanda Cervantes is a queer visual artist, curator and writer based in Chicago Illinois. Their artist practice focuses on queer temporalities, family histories and the personal archive. Through archiving their family’s ephemera, they builds narratives around the conversations of familial mythologies, masculinity and uncovering queer threads that run in their family. They have done collaborative projects with the Chicago Art Department, Threewalls, and The Overlook Place and currently work within the Digital Media Design department at Harold Washington College.