Dr. Adriana Alvarez grew up within the border group of El Paso, Texas. As a bilingual pupil going by means of the schooling system, she will recall many moments the place her language was punished and her identification not accepted — in actual fact, “devalued,” she mentioned, recounting recollections of a trainer who charged 25 cents each time she was caught talking Spanish and a highschool counselor who tried to discourage her from attending school.
Tonight, Alvarez — now with a Ph.D. in instructional fairness and cultural range from the College of Colorado Boulder and a M.Ed. in bilingual schooling from the College of Texas at El Paso — will share her story with the Roaring Fork Valley group.
She is coming to The Arts Campus At Willits to talk about her personal experiences as a bilingual pupil, trainer and researcher within the subject of instructional fairness. The dialog will heart across the significance of affirming college students’ cultures, languages, experiences and households as levers of fairness and belonging.
Earlier than starting her doctoral program at CU Boulder, Alvarez spent 11 years as a bilingual trainer in the identical El Paso college district that she grew up in.
“I used to be very purposeful to return to the identical district the place I used to be a bilingual pupil,” Alvarez mentioned. “As a result of I needed to share this message of, bilingualism is an asset; it’s one thing to be celebrated; it’s one thing that we should always embrace and elevate in our school rooms and particularly in our children — who, sadly, internalize these moments during which their language and their identities are devalued in colleges.”
Fueled by her personal experiences as a bilingual pupil, Alvarez has devoted the previous twenty years to her skilled trajectory within the subject of bilingual schooling and academic fairness.
Alvarez is at the moment an assistant professor for the Culturally and Linguistically Various Schooling program on the College of Colorado Denver, in addition to a College Fellow on the Renée Crown Wellness Institute at CU Boulder — the place her analysis facilities round biliteracy growth and pedagogy and family-school partnerships, with a deal with equity-oriented and strength-based approaches in Latinx communities.
“I really feel that I’m coming full circle, ” Alvarez mentioned. “My very own experiences led me to this want to affirm college students’ languages and variety, develop understanding round peoples’ experiences and to essentially advance our pluralistic setting in colleges.”
Her presentation at TACAW — which begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the general public — is a part of the Fairness Speaker Sequence. Co-launched by TACAW and MANAUS, the Fairness Speaker Sequence is an ongoing program to supply the complete group with entry to consultants within the realm of fairness and antiracism.
The primary Fairness Speaker Sequence session befell in April and featured award-winning poet and educator Alejandro Jimenez. Tonight’s dialogue with Alvarez marks the second.
From one expertise to the subsequent, the sequence is aiming to create an area for individuals within the valley to hear and perceive the voices and views of those that have sometimes been marginalized. And far of Alvarez’s work facilities round precisely that purpose.
“We will need to have these actual conversations — actual, open conversations that may result in modifications grounded in compassion and within the empathy of understanding one another’s experiences,” Alvarez mentioned. “If we do not hear and perceive a few of these experiences, they continue to be invisible. They continue to be silent.”
By her involvement on the Renée Crown Wellness Institute, Alvarez has been working to deliver Latinx households’ and college students’ experiences to the forefront. And for the previous few years, her work has been targeted on Latinx households and college students within the Roaring Fork Faculty District.
She’s been a principal investigator for the Institute’s “Belonging and Belief” analysis research — which, “engages Latinx households and public college educators with the purpose of creating and enhancing techniques and applications that promote equitable family-school partnerships within the Boulder Valley and Roaring Fork Faculty Districts,” based on the research’s webpage.
In connection to this bigger — and nonetheless ongoing — “Belonging and Belief” research, Alvarez has been in a partnership with Glenwood Springs Elementary Faculty to work with academics and a gaggle of scholars on an evolving book-making challenge centered round identification. There was an creator celebration for this group of now sixth grade college students on the elementary college this previous Could, the place the youngsters had the chance to learn their books in school rooms in addition to with their households and academics.
“It was an unimaginable expertise for the scholars, the academics and the college for them to share their books, and we’re at the moment analyzing the themes that they determined to put in writing about,” Alvarez mentioned. “And so why is that this vital to share? As a result of we have to perceive the experiences of our children and our households in our group so as to actually have an effect on observe and alter.”