Emilia Ismael-Simental, PhD. is the Civic & Community Participation manager for El Centro Hispano (ECH). She has a doctoral degree in Cultural Studies and was a university professor and researcher in Mexico for over fifteen years before moving to North Carolina and joining the El Centro Hispano family. Her work at ECH is committed to strengthening a culture of participation in the Hispanic community of North Carolina. Through the Civic & Community Participation department she has conducted outreach and participation projects such as ECH’s 2022 voter registration campaign, the naturalization program, a youth leadership program, an LGBTQ+ program, the aging initiative, among many other projects and initiatives. Her academic research has focused on cultural policy and urban regeneration and is available through many international publications both in-print and online. Among them are: “Disruptive Culture: Violence and Cultural self-Management in Tijuana, 2011-2017” in City, Culture and Society, 2023; La estetización de la Ciudad. Políticas de la Regeneración Urbana [The Aestheticization of the City. The Politics of Urban Regeneration], BUAP/IFC, 2022; and “Building the City through Culture: Puebla’s Cultural Policy and its Discontents”, in Social and Cultural Geography, 2019.