A conference on the history and role of Spanish-descent Jews in the American Southwest will be topic of a conference at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

International and local experts will address the seminar tol be held March 10 and 11.

The Sephardic Jews were  forced to flee Spain and ended up in the southwest, Latin American and North Africa, according to Roger Martinez, UCCS assistant professor of history.  While they had to hide their culture, they retained their faith, he notes.

The conference begins March 10 at 6:30 p.m. in  Kraemer Family Library with a panel discussion about Jewish and Latino relations in Colorado. It wil be led by Seth Ward, lecturer in  Islamic and Judaic studies at University of Wyoming. At 7:30, in Centennial Hall Auditorium there will be a concert of Sephardic music by Vanessa Paloma of Morocco,and Abe Minzer, UCCS music instructor.

The 12:20 p.m., March 11 keynote address will be by Seth Kunin, pro-vice chancellor for Arts and humanities at University of Durham, England. He's author of "Juggling Identities: Identity and Authenticity among the Crypto Jews."

For registration visit http://sephardicmemory.eventbrite.com/