“Indigenous like corn, the mestiza is a product of crossbreeding, designed for preservation under a variety of condition.” ~Gloria Anzaldua
Cristina’s Social Location: My social identities are very perceptible to me at this point of time. I am a mother of two energetic kids, Vincent and Lila, ages 9 and 6. I am Latina, the daughter of Mexican immigrants. After 9 grueling months last year, my father Jose, age 75 survived a rare form of lymphoma only to come down with an excruciating chronic pain condition that has lasted for over 12 months. I am also a 3rd year doctoral student, struggling to balance coursework with a full-time job, and teaching an undergraduate course.
SA & US Inclusive Education: Both South Africa and the United States have culturally diverse populations. In both settings, educational systems clamor for greater inclusivity and cultural responsiveness to facilitate the engagement and learning of diverse students and populations.
Hammond Textbook: In Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students, an educator’s ability to be aware of culture, context and poverty is key to engaging diverse learners. A helpful tool for educators is ascertaining whether students have an orientation towards collectivism or individualism.
Changemaking: In the two different undergraduate Leadership Studies minor classes that I have taught at USD, both require students to focus on a social justice project that they are passionate about on campus or in the community. I am always amazed at the work and insights they produce. I’m definitely excited to reach across cultures and continents to step up to the challenge to collaborate with our counterparts in South Africa!