We all have a backstory, here's mine.
While walking to class, another student, a white male, called me a spic. This bias incident during my freshman year in college motivated my interest in bias and hate, and inspired my commitment to issues related diversity and leadership. As a first generation college student, and a Latina on a predominantly white college campus, my path towards "understanding" began as a journey to understand wielded at me in the hallway en route to my class. But what emerged for me was a greater understanding of how certain groups are valued and others devalued both on college campuses and beyond. During that time of my life- education and allies made a difference. Today, it's my mission to provide that education and create safer college campuses.
My Professional Roots
As a university professional in student affairs, my work was focused on creating policies and services in support of diversity by working in international student advising, multicultural student affairs, and a gender and sexuality resource center- obviously at different times, and on different campuses. I've worked with multicultural students organizations, social Greek organizations, resident advisors, orientation leaders, and other student leaders implementing anti-bias training and social justice education, leadership coaching, & practical skills building. I really enjoyed working with students and still shows!
My entire career has been spent helping people understand the difference between tolerance and creating safer campuses where differences are valued and respected and justice thrives. By challenging biased jokes, assumptions and other “low level” community offenses I advise students to take responsibility for the work by actively creating the kind of world they want to live on by practicing on their school campus. Don't just talk about it, be about it and then do something!
My work with educators challenges clichés and misnomers about diversity and inclusion to understanding social dynamics, systems, and uncovering ways educators can realize their institution’s mission. In the end, it's about by recalibrating practices, increasing awareness, and starting with personal change.
I have more than 20 years of professional social justice experience as an educator, trainer, performer and administrator. The New School for Social Researched in New York City conferred my Master’s Degree in Sociology with an emphasis on race, but the lessons I've learned from the thousands of people I've worked with is the most valuable eduction I have ever received.