Who We Are

Collaborators // Colleagues // Conspirators // Contributors

David Bowles is a Mexican-American author and translator from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He has written several titles, most notably The Smoking Mirror (Pura Belpré Honor Book) and They Call Me Güero (Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry, Pura Belpré Honor Book, Walter Dean Myers Honor Book). His work has also been published in multiple anthologies, plus venues such as School Library Journal, Bookbird, Knowledge Quest, Rattle, Translation Review, and the Journal of Children’s Literature. In 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. [updated 1/20/20]

María Cárdenas is a longtime bilingual educator and activist, having taught and administrated in the public schools at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels, as well as teaching adult and university courses. As an advocate of multilingualism, María has spent her career supporting bilingual programs; and as a parent advocate has facilitated workshops for family literacy, advocacy, and healthy living. She believes that literacy is developed through reading good fiction and non-fiction literature that has cultural relevance and reflects the interests of the reader; and that, like mirrors and doors, literature should be an accurate reflection of self and a way in which to enter the worlds of others. 

Judy Zalazar Drummond is the host of Connecting the Dots, a weekly political commentary, on KPOO 89.5 FM in San Francisco. She’s a long-time Bay Area educator and community activist who taught for 38 years at the elementary and middle school levels in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and retired from the Teacher Education Department at the University of San Francisco. She wrote teacher guides for the book, 500 Years of Chicano History, and the documentary, “The Fight in the Fields: César Chávez and the Farmworkers Struggle.” Judy’s lifelong activism includes the 1970s “Los Siete de la Raza” civil rights case, affordable housing on a community level, and the rights and needs of students. She lives and works in San Francisco, California. [updated 1/20/20]

Patricia Enciso works on honoring and cultivating readers’ diverse experiences with literature. She is a professor of Literature for Children and Young Adults in the Department of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University, the president of the Literacy Research Association, and a member of the Tomás Rivera Book Award national committee. Among many other projects, she edited the Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature and is currently working with Denise Dávila on a book called Transformative Teaching with Diverse Books for Children.

Oralia Garza de Cortés is an activist librarian advocating for the reading needs of Latino children everywhere. Armed with experience and expertise—and passion—in the areas of Latino, bilingual, Spanish and multicultural children’s literature and library services and programs, she co-founded the Pura Belpré Award, which honors Latino authors and illustrators for their work in affirming the Latino experience. The award is co-sponsored by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and ALSC, the Association for Library Services to Children, both affiliated with the American Library Association. In order to attract Spanish speaking and Latino families to the library, Oralia led efforts within the profession to promote April 30th as El Día de los Niños / El día de los libros. She was the first Latina to serve on the Board of ALSC and on the Caldecott Committee, and she also serves on the National Committee to select the Tomás Rivera Award. Oralia was honored with the Advocacy Award from the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (2012), the Women in Library History Honor Roll by the Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association (2013), and as a Mover and Shaker in the Area of Advocacy, sponsored by Library Journal (2015).

Grace Cornell Gonzales is a kindergarten teacher at Colegio Americano de Guatemala (CAG). For eight years, she taught a Spanish-immersion kindergarten class in a bilingual public school in San Francisco, and also worked with Bay Area teacher activist groups. Having come to teaching through her previous experience with adult education and immigrant rights organizations, Grace is an Editorial Board Member at Rethinking Schools, and her articles, many of which focus on the experiences of English language learners and immigrant students in US classrooms, have been published in the magazine and in the collection, Rethinking Elementary Education (Rethinking Schools, 2012).

Sudie Hofmann is a professor in the Department of Human Relations and Multicultural Education at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota; where she teaches courses on issues of oppression and empowerment. She has written about gender equity, racial stereotypes in teacher materials, and family diversity in schools for Rethinking Schools and Teaching Tolerance.  Sudie has worked for over 20 years to eliminate race-based “mascots” in secondary schools, colleges and universities, most notably with the courageous members of the Campus Campaign for Human Rights at the University of North Dakota, who recently won their battle to scrap the school’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo. [updated 1/21/20]

Laura M. Jiménez is a lecturer at Boston University School of Education, Literacy program. She teaches children’s literature courses that focus on both the reader and the text by using an explicit social justice lens. Her work spans both literature and literacy, with a special interest in graphic novels and issues of representation in young adult literature. Her scholarship appears in The Reading Teacher, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Literacy Research. Her graphic novel reviews can be found on her blog, https://booktoss.blog/.

Ricardo Levins Morales is an activist-artist who, for many years, has offered his talents to assist progressive organizations and individuals, partnering with the inspiring people who work every day to make a better world for our children. Ricardo lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To learn more about Ricardo and view his awesome work, visit his website at www.rlmartstudio.com. [updated 1/20/20]

Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez has been an anti-racist and community activist for more than 50 years. She published seven books on social justice struggles in the Americas, of which the best known are 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures / 500 Años del Pueblo Chicano and 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History / 500 Años de la Mujer Chicana. Betita was adjunct professor in the California State University System and was director of the Institute for Multiracial Justice, a resource center to help build alliances between communities of color. [updated 1/20/20]

Lyn Miller-Lachmann has been involved in Latin American cultural organizations since 1984 and was the editor-in-chief of MultiCultural Review from 1994 to 2010. She is currently the assistant host of  “Los Vientos del Pueblo,” a weekly bilingual program of Latin American and Spanish music, poetry, and history on WRPI-FM. Lyn is the author of Gringolandia, a young adult book about a refugee teen from Pinochet’s Chile and his father, an underground journalist and political prisoner. Gringolandia was named a 2010 Americas Award Honor Book, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and a Bank Street College Best Children's Book. 

Marco Palma, born in Guatemala, works as a mild-mannered Internet programmer by day and as a technology consultant to progressive non-profit and community organizing groups by night. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Cristina Rhodes is a doctoral student in English and children’s literature at Texas A&M University – Commerce.  She has a Master’s degree in English with a concentration in borderlands and American literature and a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in children’s literature.  Cristina is currently researching the influence of activism on identity in Latinx children's and young adult literature. She also teaches composition and children's literature.  

Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College in New York City. She teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. Her research focuses on Latinx children’s and young adult literature. Visit her website soniaarodriguez.com for more information on her academic activities and her community projects. Follow her on twitter @mariposachula8.

Katie Seitz digitizes our nation’s hidden histories at the National Archives in Washington, DC. She has worked as a publications advocate with Teaching for Change, a DC-based progressive educational nonprofit organization. [updated 1/24/20]

Lisette Silva was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, to a Cuban mother and Ecuadorian father. Growing up in a bilingual and multicultural home has informed her view of the world and what it means to be a first-generation American. She believes deeply in the power of language and multilingualism as a bridge to understanding, compassion and international mindedness. She is an avid cook in the community and is active in giving her time to local charitable causes. She resides in Berkeley, California.

Beverly Slapin, cofounder and editor of DE COLORES, is a long-time education activist and lifelong learner. As co-founder and former executive director of Oyate, Beverly co-edited Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children, and A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children. Beverly, whose passion for justice is tempered by a good sense of the ridiculous, also wrote Basic Skills Caucasian Americans Workbook and 10 Little Whitepeople; and received an American Book Award in 2006. She lives and works in Berkeley, California. [updated 1/20/20]

Noam Szoke is a multi-faceted geek who is inspired by many things, among them music, spiders, the moon, and kindness. This inspiration drives him to work to help make this world a more just and equitable place for all beings. It also drives him to attempt to teach his friend and colleague, Beverly Slapin, how to put up and maintain a blog, and other aspects of techie stuff. His work is centered on understanding how people make sense of the world and communicate, and he enjoys helping teachers learn and teach. [updated 1/20/20]

Lettycia Terrones is a doctoral student in Information Sciences and Latina/o Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she researches picturebooks and children’s literature by and about Latinx peoples. Lettycia is a student representative of the American Studies Association (ASA), a member of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS), Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) and REFORMA’s Children’s & Young Adult Services Committee (CAYASC). She has served on the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award and Pura Belpé Award committees and currently reviews for The Horn Book Magazine. She will serve on the 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury. Her essays appear in the Bilingual Review/Revista BilingüeResearch on Diversity in Youth Literature, and in the book Nerds, Goths, Geeks, and Freaks: Outsiders in Chicanx and Latinx Young Adult Literature, published by the University Press of Mississippi. [updated 5/18/20]

Lila Quintero Weaver is a lifelong dabbler in visual arts, whose graphic novel, Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White, shows and tells the story of her family’s relocation from Buenos Aires to Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Aside from writing and making art, Lila is a co-collaborator with Latinxs in Kid Lit, a blog that highlights Latina/o creators and children’s and YA books that feature Latina/o characters or themes. Her serious passions include social justice and hunger alleviation; and her trivial passions include coffee ice cream, crossword puzzles and watching reruns of Seinfeld. [updated 1/21/20]

We thank Ricardo Levins Morales (www.rlmartstudio.com) and Rethinking Schools (www.rethinkingschools.org) for the art on this page and the main page.

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