Changes in Religion as Cuban Politics Evolve

October 1

Presented by: Silvia Pedraza
7pm : Ludington Public Library

This is the story of those who stayed in Cuba. Through beautiful slides, discover how people’s religious expression evolved as they lived through more than 50 years of changing politics.


Fidel Castro: Was he David or Goliath? – CNN – 2016
Researcher profile: Sylvia Pedraza highlights refugee struggle. – The Michigan Daily – 2016
A Family Divided – USA Today – 1998
A Life-long Learner – The Michigan Daily – 2010


Silvia Pedraza is Professor of Sociology and American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was born and raised in Cuba, from where she immigrated with her family at the age of 12. Her research interests include the sociology of immigration, race, and ethnicity in America, and the sociology of Cuba’s revolution and exodus. Her work seeks to understand the causes and consequences of immigration as a historical process that forms and transforms persons and nations; as well as social revolutions’ rupture with the past and attempt to create a different present.

Professor Pedraza has been elected to numerous positions in the American Sociological Association (ASA), where she was elected Chair of three Sections as well as its Nominations Committee and Executive Council. In the Social Science History Association (SSHA) she was also elected to its Executive Committee and served on the Awards Committee. From the Latino/a Sociology Section of the ASA she received a major award: the Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award. At present, she is President of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE).

With a B. A. and M. A. from the University of Michigan, she has long been a Wolverine. She holds a Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, where she specialized in Demography as well as Stratification, and in Latin American Studies. At the University of Michigan, she was also elected to various offices and is a two-time winner of the Excellence in Education Award. She was also honored by being inducted to the Golden Key Student Honorary Society.

She has received various grants and awards: nationwide from the National Science Foundation as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; at the University of Michigan from the College of Literature, Science, and Arts as well as from the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, she received several Faculty Research and Scholarship Awards. She is the author of three books and numerous articles. A few of her publications include: Political Disaffection in Cuba’s Revolution and Exodus (Cambridge University Press, 2007); “Assimilation or Transnationalism: Conceptual Models of the Immigrant Experience,” in The Cultural Psychology of Immigrants, edited by Ram Mahalingham (Lawrence Earlbaum, 2006); and “Women and Migration: the Social Consequences of Gender,” Annual Review of Sociology (1991).

She has been frequently interviewed by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, BBC World News, The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, the Ann Arbor News, among other newspapers, and has appeared on both radio and television. She also wrote an Opinion piece for

She is currently working on a book on Cuba and Venezuela: Revolution and Reform together
with Professor Carlos A. Romero, from the Universidad Central de Venezuela.