How do you use writing or art in your life?
Writing is my lifeline. As I child, I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself. Often, they overwhelmed me. Writing is now a space for me to share my stories with others and to heal from the repressive experiences I encountered.
What lessons/teachings from your family, home and/or community do you draw on in your teaching and/or scholarship?
It is the communication and strength in the messages I received at home about being proud of who I am. Those are the pedagogies of the home (Dolores Delgado Bernal, 2001). As a result of those lessons from home about never giving up and the importance and value of education. I am able to pass that on with all the students I am so fortunate to work with today.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to listen to her inner voice and not be afraid to share her thoughts and ideas and to speak to power and injustice.
Advice for new scholars and/or teachers?
Be kind to yourself, love yourself and nourish your mind, body and soul so you can model that for your students.
Something else you want to share?
Every student I have ever worked with, from my 6thgraders at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School to my undergraduates and graduate students at UCSB has shaped who I am today. Students keep my mind thinking and they help me generate ideas that will hopefully serve as tools for social justice.