East of East

East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte

A Project of the South El Monte Arts Posse



Carribean Fragoza Co-Director, is a writer and artist from South El Monte, CA. She is the editor of Boom Magazine in California. She has published fiction and poetry in publications such as Palabra Literary Magazine, Emohippus, BOMB Magazine, and Huizache Magazine. Her arts/culture reviews and essays have been published in online national and international magazines such as Letras Libres, Culture Strike, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Tropics of Meta. She is a graduate of UCLA and CalArts’ MFA Writing Program. She is founder and co-director of the South El Monte Art Posse (SEMAP), a multi-disciplinary arts collective. SEMAP currently runs a column on KCET Departures about the San Gabriel Valley, called “East of East."


Romeo Guzman Co-Director, is professor of public history at CSU Fresno and earned his Ph.D. in history at Columbia University. His publications on migration, popular culture, and public history have appeared in a range of outlets, including Tropics of Meta, UC Press’s Boom Magazine, KCET, and the encyclopedic volume, Icons of Mexico


Daniel Morales East of East archive and website designer. H was born in South El Monte and grew up in nearby Azusa, California. He is a professor in public history and Latinos at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond VA. He completed his BA at the University of Chicago and Ph.D. Columbia University. He studies the economic and social history of the United States and Mexico, particularly the creation of migrant networks across Mexico and the US in the early 20th century.


Nick Juravich is a professor in labor and public history at UMass Boston and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University. He studies the history of social movements, education, labor, and urban policy in the US in the twentieth century. He lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where he worked in youth health and education programming before coming to Columbia, and where he still writes periodically on contemporary community issues.


Maria John is a professor in Native American and public history at UMass Boston. She earned her Ph.D. at Columbia University, with interests in settler colonialism, indigenous history, healthcare and public policy, political activism, and comparative historical methodology. Her dissertation explores the history of health activism and advocacy among urban indigenous communities in Australia and the United States between 1950 and 1980. In particular, she focuses on indigenous advocacy for free, community-based healthcare clinics run by and for native people as an expression and realization of their political ideals and agenda of self-determination.


Andre Kobayashi Deckrow is a doctoral candidate in the History-East Asia program at Columbia University. His dissertation examines Japanese state-led migration to Brazil in the 1920s and 30s. Born in Japan, Andre grew up outside of Seattle, Washington. Prior to graduate school, he spent a year traveling around the Pacific Rim as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow researching Japanese gardens as symbols of historical memory.


Alex Espinoza is the author of "The Five Acts of Diego León" and "Still Water Saints." The recipient of a 2014 fellowship in prose from the National Endowment for the Arts and an American Book Award, he holds an MFA in Writing from UC-Irvine. His work has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Huizache, the Southern California Review, and on NPR’s “All Things Considered." Alex is Visiting Associate Professor and Director of the Bilingual MFA in Creative Writing/Creative Media at California State University, Los Angeles.


Apolonio (Polo) Morales grew up in El Monte, attended Mountain View High School and graduated from U.C. Berkeley with an English degree and an Education minor. Polo co-wrote The “Mexican” OC and was the lead guitarist for Spider Garage. Currently, he is proud to serve the immigrant community as the Political Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. He has two beautiful boys and a supportive, loving wife who make life fun, exciting and full of wonder.


Yesenia Barragan is a PhD Candidate at Columbia University, where she studies slavery and abolition in the Americas. An anarchist and activist in the labor justice, immigrant rights’, and student movement for many years, Yesenia first fell in love with Magonismo when she met a comrade from the Consejo Indígena Popular de Oaxaca – Ricardo Flores Magón.


Eric Frith is a professor of Latin American history at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and an intelligence officer in the US Air Force. He completed his PhD at Columbia University. He graduated from Baylor University and earned his MA at Old Dominion University. His research focuses on the history of political and economic thought in the Atlantic world, and the emergence of the economy as a distinct field of knowledge in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He also has written about religion and politics in the modern world, and has begun work on a history of suicide.


Melqui Fernandez was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in 19th Century American History and is currently a community organizer in Virginia working on immigrant rights.


Juan Herrera is postdoctoral scholar and visiting researcher at UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center where he is working on a book project entitled Care Is Political: The State, Philanthropy, and the Making of Latino Nonprofits. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, he completed his PhD in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley in 2013. His work can be found in Du Bois Review, and forthcoming in Social Justice.