Welcome to 30 Minutes from 91.3 KXCI Tucson. I’m Amanda Shauger. This week we are proud to feature a session from the 2019 Tucson Festival of Books curated by Pima County Public Library’s Nuestras Raices program. This is part 1 of a 2 part series.
This session is entitled Nurturing the Diverse Soul. Local authors and activists Naomi Ortiz and Michelle Tellez discuss how staying rooted in your culture helps women of color thrive and build resilience in activism, self-care, and motherhood.
Naomi Ortiz is a writer, poet, facilitator and visual artist whose work focuses on self-care for activists, disability justice and living in multiple worlds (intersectionality). She is a highly acclaimed speaker and facilitator, conducting workshops exploring self-care tools and strategies for diverse communities. Her book, Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice invites readers to balance activism with self-care by guiding readers to sink into metaphor and examine their relationship to self, community, and place.
Naomi has conducted workshops and training with communities engaged in movement work including disability justice activists, people who are incarcerated and youth organizers. She is grounded in social justice work through disability justice, community anti-violence work, US/Mexico border work and intersectional organizing within movements.
Naomi’s articles have been published on websites such as the Feminist Wire and her poems have been published on Poems and Numbers, VIDA and have been performed at events such as the Disability Pride Parade.
Her work has been described as, “cracking apart common beliefs to spill out beauty.” Naomi is a Disabled, Mestiza (Indigenous/ Latina/ White) who was raised in Latinx culture and lives with her partner and cat in the U.S./Mexico borderlands.
Dr. Michelle Téllez, an interdisciplinary scholar trained in Community Studies, Sociology, Chicana/o Studies, and Education, has been committed to mapping projects of resistance, exploring shared human experiences and advancing social justice for the last 25-years. Having been raised along the U.S./Mexico border divide, both her scholarly and community-engaged work has been deeply shaped by this experience. She writes about transnational community formations (and disruptions), Chicana mothering, and gendered migration in several book anthologies, and in journals such as Gender & Society, Feminist Formations, and Aztlán. Her public scholarship includes writing for Truth Out, The Feminist Wire, and Latino Rebels. Her co-edited book The Chicana M(other)work Anthology: Porque Sin Madres No Hay Revolución was released in March 2019.
A founding member of the Chicana M(other)work Collective and the Binational Artist in Residency project, she is on the editorial review board for Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, on the executive board of directors for the Southwest Folklife Alliance, and is the Faculty Fellow for the Guerrero Student Center.
A graduate of UCLA (B.A, 1996), Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A, 2000) and Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D., 2005), Dr. Téllez was a dissertation fellow in the department of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2004-2005) and a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007-2008). The recipient of various national fellowships, teaching and research awards, she most recently was awarded the Tucson Public Voices Fellowship for 2017-2018. Dr. Téllez taught at Arizona State University for eight years and Northern Arizona University for two; while at NAU she created and directed the Beyond Boundaries Initiative – a campus-community collaboration rooted in decolonial praxis, identity, and community formations across multiple borderlands.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger.