From the Desk Of

Jodi Finkel, Professor of Political Science, BCLA

Photo by Jon Rou

 

1 This is one of my own paintings. The original is in the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture in L.A. “¡Viva Zapata!” was a call for equality during the fight for Mexican independence. However, it was not for women, which is why I changed it to “zapato,” Spanish for “shoe.” The mustache is a symbol of male chauvinism or “machismo.”

2 I was the original faculty mentor for a group of undocumented students on campus called Ideas, which has now become known as Resilience. This artwork was a gift from those students.

3 The t-shirt was purchased several years ago on Olvera Street in L.A. It is another item that demonstrates support for undocumented students. What would Jesus do?

4 This photo was taken in a red-light district of Guatemala City, where two students, Ana Moraga ’05 and Tania Torres ’05, and I founded MuJER, a literacy program that empowers sex workers.

5 The Mexican Supreme Court produced this book in 2017 in honor of the 100-year anniversary of Mexico’s constitution. They invited me to contribute a chapter, which is why it’s so special to me.


Jodi S. Finkel teaches courses dealing with political and economic challenges in the developing world. She researches political institutions, human rights, and democracy in Latin America. Her current work examines the Ombudsman’s Office (the human rights office) in Mexico and Peru. She has published several articles on supreme courts and judicial reform in Mexico and Argentina. Her book, “Judicial Reform as Political Insurance: Argentina, Peru, and Mexico in the 1990s” (University of Notre Dame Press), was published in spring 2008. Finkel is a founder of MuJER, an empowerment and community organizing program for sex workers in Guatemala; president of HOY, a volunteer organization in Mexico; and an academic liaison for Free the Slaves, a US nonprofit that fights modern slavery. She worked in Latin America as a business consultant and journalist and also lived in Paris and Barcelona studying art.