Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture - Elias Beltran

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (ET)
CCB CCB 252/253
Event Type
Hispanic Heritage
(516) 991-1254

 SUNY/NCC - Hispanic Heritage Month 2023/24 


"Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors:  

Celebrating Diversity, Pursuing Freedom, and Driving Prosperity" 

 Lecture: “Education as a Path to Freedom” 

When our pasts, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds are invoked, it is often as code suggesting that the limits of our potentials have already been set. Our personal histories become the prescribed outcome of our futures. The words of the biblical figure Paul, “except for these chains,” spoken from a prison cell come as a resound disclaimer to the notion that what was will also dictate what will be. This talk will examine a personal – but familiar – history, and raise questions about the power of education which seek to implicate us all. At 16, Elias was sentenced to a term of 30-years-to-Life in prison. He served 29 ½ years of that term. He is featured in the Netflix documentary College Behind Bars. Prof. Beltrán will speak about the role education plays in a person’s life.  

Prof. Elias Beltrán is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Comparative Literature Department, at Cornell University. He teaches Spanish language and Freshmen Writing seminar courses. Prof. Beltrán is also an Instructor for the Bard Prison Initiative at Bard College, where he teaches incarcerated students. His research focuses on post- and decolonial trauma, as well as the history and culture of the Caribbean and its literature. 


Elias Beltran
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