Lorena G.

As Interviewed by Curtis Lear, March 23, 2019

Lorena German - in her own words

My name is Lorena G., and I was born in the Dominican Republic in the capitol -- Santo Domingo

And then in 1987 now Iím four years-old, my parents and I, my older sister moved to Lawrence, Massachusetts, which is a small little city outside of Boston. And there I attended public schooling, very beginning until I graduated high school -- and then I went off to college in Boston, small private-like school. That was a big culture shock for me because that was my first time in a predominantly white space. And you know I had a lot of learning to do and a lot to figure out kind of what this meant. I had been in other spaces like that but very, very short periods of time nothing that felt permanent as I'm here for the next four years, and I live here right now. So that was kind of where some of my community activism type of stuff started.

I am a member of a group called EduColor and it focused on having conversations about issues of social justice and race within education, so thereís that one. Iím also the chair of the committee against racism and bias in the teaching of English. And that is a committee that is a part of the national organization for English teachers which is called the national council for teachers of English. So those are two organizations that Iím a part of where Iím doing this kind of work.

Can you describe what that work looks like?

So the work on the committee look like creating content for, or, letís call it for teachers so that they can do anti-racist and anti-bias practices in their English classroom, so thatís what weíre doing there. So that means videos, lists, introducing ideas, you know, supporting professional development sessions to help teachers to do all this stuff. So thereís that work.

And with EduColor, that oneís a little it more community-based, itís not really in any particular school. So, weíre currently in the process of creating and surveying, so like thereís one branch which is focusing on students and how do we create space to hear their voice so that they can be empowered to lead change. And thereís also work that needs to be done in schools and with teachers to help them to do better and be more equitable. And so weíre doing work there too.