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Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say & 

El Zócalo Advisory Committee 

Celebrate Houston's Community Cultural Capital:

Latino Houstonians Who Have Shaped the Nation.

Hispanic Heritage Month

10 Years Ago AZ Banned Our History. Today, We Thrive. 

Houston, Texas (September 9, 2022) - Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say will highlight grassroots Latino art and culture that has changed the way we are perceived and treated across the nation. This powerful showcase of talent takes place in the state of the art facilities of Houston’s Alley Theatre, a leading force for art in the U.S., through a partnership with its El Zócalo Advisory Committee headed by Baldemar Rodriguez, Manager of Community Partnership.

This event will feature the Houston release of the new book The Tip of the Pyramid: Cultivating Community Cultural Capital by Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante. Diaz is a writer and activist originally from Chicago who moved to Houston to become the first Chicano to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. In 1998, he founded Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, Houston's first reading series for Latino Writers, which sparked a movement for art, culture, and civil rights. NP formed the foundation for the Librotraficante Caravan, organized to defy and defeat Arizona officials banning of Mexican American Studies. His book chronicles that history. 

Russell Contreras is an alum of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, a graduate of Eisenhower High School and The University of Houston. He earned a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University. He is the national Race and Justice Reporter for Axios News.

Alvaro Saar Rios is a Texican playwright living in Chicago. He is an alum of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, a graduate of Lamar High School and The University of Houston. His plays have been performed in New York City, Mexico City, Hawaii, Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and all over Texas. He has received playwriting commissions from various organizations, including Kennedy Center, Chicago Children’s Theatre, and Houston Grand Opera. His award-winning play Luchadora! is published by Dramatic Publishing Inc. Other plays include On The Wings of a MariposaUnmuted, and Carmela Full of Wishes. Alvaro holds an MFA in Writing for the Stage and Screen from Northwestern University. He is Playwright-In-Residence at Milwaukee's First Stage. Alvaro is a proud veteran of the US Army and an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

Monica Villarreal is an interdisciplinary artist native to Houston. She is the founder of Creative Women Unite, a Houston feminist arts collaborative, and she is a traditional Aztec dancer with Danza Azteca Taxcayolot, a local group that practices indigenous traditions through spirituality and community-engaging performances throughout the nation and internationally. They will open the evenings events. 

We will re-live the power, majesty of the Mexica through its art, culture, knowledge recapitulated over the centuries and across the continent and all over the world, and presented as Danza Azteca this evening with:

Danza Chikawa Conroe Texas


Danza Azteca Taxcayolot

Poet Lupe Mendez is a veteran alum of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say where he made his literary debut. He went on to become one of the co-founders of the Librotraficante Caravan, Tintero Projects, author of the poetry collection "Why I Am Like Tequila," and he is now Texas Poet Laureate. 

You will hear a special announcement from Sixto Wagon about opportunities for Latino Artists through the BIPOC Arts Network Fund and Geraldina Wise, Chair of ALMAAHH- Advocates of a Latino Museum of Cultural and Visual Arts & Archive Complex in Houston, Harris County.

Mariachi performances by:

The duet of Jose Luis Rodriguez & Rigo Tapia, and solos by Keira Dalila Martinez, and Eduardo Treviño.


Who: Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say and 

El Zócalo Advisory Committee 

What: Celebrate Houston's Community Cultural Capital:

Latino Houstonians Who Have Made a National Impact

Hispanic Heritage Month

When: Monday, October 3, 2022, 6 pm

Where: The Alley Theatre

615 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002

Free. Reservations required.

Tickets at

Why: 10 years ago, Arizona officials banned Our History and Culture. We became Librotraficantes and opened Under Ground Libraries across the Southwest. We united to overturn that racist law. Now, Our Cultura is celebrated and showcased on main stages across the nation. 


Media Contact:

Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante

(713) 867-8943

Liana Lopez

(346) 327-6364