“Growing Up Chicana in Morenci, Arizona” is a plática (informal talk) about Chicanas who lived in the mining town of Morenci, Arizona, during the early to middle 1900s. Through historic photographs, readings from Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon, and oral history interviews, Björkquist portrays the lives of girls and women of Morenci. Audience members leave with a historically accurate picture of life for Mexican Americans in a segregated copper mining town. This inspirational presentation pays tribute to four generations of Chicanas who, in spite of discrimination, persevered and showed that si se puede (“it can be done”).
Elena Díaz Björkquist is a writer, historian, and artist based in Tucson, Arizona, but originally of Morenci, Arizona. She is the author of two books, Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon, and the co-editor of Sowing the Seeds, una cosecha de recuerdos and Our Spirit, Our Reality: Celebrating Our Stories. When not busy writing, Björkquist serves as a scholar and research affiliate with SIROW at the University of Arizona. She is the recipient of the 2012 Arizona Humanities Council Dan Shilling Public Humanities Scholar Award and the Arizona Commission on the Arts Bill Desmond Writing Award.