Our Team

About the Project

In February 2014, a group of professors met at the National Association of Chicano Chicana Studies Tejas Foco in San Antonio, Texas to discuss strategies for commemorating the centennial of the period of widespread, state sanctioned anti-Mexican violence on the Texas-Mexico border (1910-20). In collaboration with Texas residents who have conducted research and maintained invaluable archives, Refusing to Forget is a multifaceted project that seeks to incite public conversations through efforts such as: museum and online exhibits, historical marker unveilings, lectures, and curricular materials for public school teachers. Our team has worked with state institutions like The Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Texas Historical Commission. We have been published in national news outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NBC News, as well as local outlets like The San Antonio Express-News, Austin-American Statesman, and The Houston Chronicle.

Visit In the Press to read more about our project and see other publications where we have been quoted.


  • 2021 Friend of History Award recognizes an institution or organization, or an individual working primarily outside college or university settings, for outstanding support for historical research, the public presentation of American history, or the work of the OAH. (Organizations of American Historians)
  • Herbert Feis Award for distinguished contributions to public history. (American History Association, 2019)
  • Autry Public History Prize (Western History Association, 2017)
  • Leadership in History Award of Merit for “Life and Death on the Border, 1910-1920” (American Association for State and Local History, 2016)

Ongoing Efforts

  • Exhibit at Bullock Museum (2016)
  • Traveling Exhibit
  • Encyclopedia Entries for Handbook of Tejano History
  • Applications for Texas Historical Markers
  • Unveiling Ceremonies for Texas Historical Markers
  • Public Lectures
  • Media/Publicity

The Team

John Morán González


John Morán González is the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Ph.D. degree in English and American literature from Stanford University in 1998. He has published about American literature in journals such as American Literature, American Literary History, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Western American Literature, and Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and Symbolism: An International Journal of Critical Aesthetics. He is the author of two books: Border Renaissance: The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican-American Literature (University of Texas Press, 2009), and The Troubled Union: Expansionist Imperatives in Post-Reconstruction American Novels (Ohio State University Press, 2010). He is co-editor (with Laura Lomas) of The Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2018), which was selected as a 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He is currently Director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at UT Austin and on the Board of Directors for Humanities Texas.

Email: gonzalezjm@gmail.com

Twitter: JMGonzalezUT

Sonia Hernández


A native of the Rio Grande Valley, received a Ph.D in Latin American History from the University of Houston in 2006. Hernández specializes in the intersections of gender and labor in the U.S. – Mexican Borderlands, Chicana/o history, and Modern Mexico and currently works as an Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University. She has published in Spanish and English; her book, Working Women into the Borderlands (Texas A&M University Press, 2014) received the Sara A. Whaley Book Prize (NWSA), the Liz Carpenter Award (TSHA), and was a Weber-Clements prize finalist. A Spanish translation of this book was published as Mujeres, trabajo y región fronteriza (Tamaulipas: ITCA; Mexico City: INEHRM, 2017). Her forthcoming book, Women’s Anarchism in the Mexican Borderlands: Radical Labor Activism, 1900-1938 (University of Illinois Press), examines a transnational network of labor activists in great part sustained by Caritina Piña in Tampico. She has published in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History, among other places. Her work has been funded by the Texas Council for the Humanities, Summerfield G. Roberts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and most recently, the Fulbright Foundation. She is currently working on a book project, which reexamines the case of Gregorio Cortez from a transnational and gender perspective. She is an Arts & Humanities Fellow at Texas A&M (2020-2023) and co-founder of Refusing to Forget.

Faculty Page

Personal Website

Email: soniah@tamu.edu

Twitter: soniahistoria

Benjamin Johnson


Benjamin H. Johnson is professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Supression Turned Mexicans Into Americans, a study of south Texas racial violence in the 1910s and its enduring consequences; Bordertown: The Odyssey of an American Place; and books and articles on environmental politics in the early twentieth century United States. He teaches courses on borders, migration, violence and memory, world history, and environmental history. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and a former board member of the Texas State Historical Association. Currently Johnson is at work on a history of Texas from pre-Columbian times to the present.

Email: bjohnson25@luc.edu

Twitter: BenjaminHJohns1

Christopher Carmona


Christopher Carmona is Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He serves as the Chair of the NACCS Tejas Foco Committee on Implementing MAS in PreK-12 Education in Texas. His short story collection, The Road to Llorona Park, is listed by NBC News as one of the 8 Great Latino Books published in 2016 and was the winner of the NACCS Tejas Award for Best Fiction Book of 2016. He has published three books of poetry, co-edited two anthologies, and co-authored a scholarly conversation book, called Nuev@s Voces Poeticas: A Conversation about new Chican@ Identities. Currently, he is working on a series of YA novellas of a Chicano superhero fighting Texas Rangers in the Rio Grande Valley from 1905-1920 entitled El Rinche: The Ghost Ranger of the Rio Grande. Book One was a 2019 Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book Finalist. Book Two will be out in 2021.

Email: ccarmonawriter@gmail.com

Twitter: ccarmonawriter

Monica Muñoz Martinez


Monica Muñoz Martinez is an award winning author, teacher, and public historian. She is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. She offers courses in Latinx and borderlands history, women and gender studies, histories of racial violence, public humanities, digital humanities, and restorative justice. Her first book, The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas,(Harvard University Press Sept 2018) was awarded numerous prizes including the Lawrence Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians. She is the primary investigator for Mapping Violence: Racial Terror in Texas 1900-1930, a digital project that recovers histories of racial violence in Texas. The first multifaceted project that includes compiling a digital archive of histories of racial violence, researching documented cases, curating content (including digital tours and historical essays), and an interactive map. The digital archive is the first to include multiple forms of violence (at the hands of law enforcement, US soldiers, and vigilantes) that targeted multiple racial and ethnic groups. Martinez is also a leading public voice. She is a founding member of the Refusing to Forget and she has worked as a historical consultant for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In 2017, Martinez was selected for the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program. The fellowship provides grants for the “country’s most creative thinkers” to support research on “challenges to democracy and international order.”

Personal Website

Email: monica.martinez1@austin.utexas.edu

Twitter: MonicaMnzMtz

Trinidad Gonzales


Trinidad Gonzales is a history and Mexican American Studies instructor at South Texas College. His research focuses on the United States/Mexico borderlands and group identity. He was the first Latino CO-OP Student for the Smithsonian Institution where he conducted field research for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s El Río Program for the Folklife Festival. He facilitated participant talk sessions for the program as well. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Houston and serviced as the American Historical Association Teaching Division Councilor, 2014-2017. As part of his work for the AHA he helped begin the Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses. The conference helps bridge classroom teaching practices and concerns with educational policy discussions. Gonzales has written op-ed pieces concerning Mexican American Studies, race and racism, and immigration that have appeared in the Austin American Statesman, San Antonio Express, and the McAllen Monitor.

Email: trinidadgonzales99@gmail.com

Twitter: GonzalesT956

Daniella Cortez

Digital Editor

Daniella Cortez is from San Antonio, Texas. She is a senior Journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin expected to graduate in May 2021. She is passionate about reporting on social justice issues, education, and mental health. She has experience in video production, social media journalism, and traditional print writing. Her writing has appeared in ORANGE Magazine and she is currently writing for UT Austin’s Reporting Texas publication. She is the digital editor for Refusing to Forget. 

Email: daniellacortez99@gmail.com