Our Community of Practice/Aspiraciones de Crecimiento
We were inspired by the Umoja Community as well as other college and university programs that serve Latine and other marginalized students to define our own Community of Practice.
Several of the Spanish terms that we use in our definition are difficult to translate because of their cultural significance as well as the various connotative meanings among Spanish speakers. Just like there is a variety of Englishes, there is a variety of Spanishes. Moreover, we understand that for many Latine, Spanish is the colonizer’s language, and as such, many are currently expressing a hunger for what was lost and what is continuing to be lost due to enslavement, genocide, colonization, and assimilation. As our Raíces community continues to grow, we hope to earn the permission to include indigenous and African concepts that speak to this loss.
Therefore, our intention behind using Spanish is to begin this process of understanding the layers of our linguistic identity and also to celebrate our resilience and resistance. As a result, despite the current and historical realities of colonial violence, Spanish also has come to signify the Latine community cultural wealth and ancestral knowledge as well as what Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young identifies as “code-meshing.” We hope in using such terms to name various aspects of this program, our institution continues to move towards affirming our multilingual and multicultural perspectives and to learn and grow from the wisdom they teach.
Our Community of Practice is grounded in Corazón:
Corazón (Embodiment): Recognize that students may come into higher education with individual and/or generational trauma; therefore, we work together to identify our needs, provide support for those needs, and initiate intentional check-ins to ensure the support offered is enough and adjust accordingly.
With Corazón as the foundation of our Community of Practice, we uphold the following principles:
Codiseño (Co-Create Learning Spaces):
Develop course content, workshops, and program events that are responsive to student feedback and are therefore more meaningful and relevant to students.
Juntos (Collaborative Learning):
Emphasize collaborations, relationships, and communications as part of our learning processes. Within dialogue we create meaning, knowledge and cultural wealth, value each other’s contributions and lived experiences, and empower each other’s voice and agency. In our comunidad, we can be vulnerable about what overwhelms us and work together to develop the practices to grow.
Respirar (Slowing Down):
Create the space to focus on and explore what is important and necessary at the moment.
Metas (Emphasizing Student Autonomy):
Facilitate peer-to-peer support and mentorship in order to center students and their development of navigational capital, cultivation of choice, and sense of agency to determine and actualize their own personal, professional, and/or educational goals.
Ganas (Recognize Our Own Power):
Hold ourselves accountable, model brave risk-taking, uplift those who feel marginalized, and be engaged and present to the best of our abilities without compromising self-worth.
Sabiduria (Honor Ancestral Wisdom):
Share our own stories to honor ancestral wisdom and where we come from and to build connection among each other.
Rituales (Establish Community Rituals):
Celebrate community rituals that amplify teamwork and diverse perspectives in order to nurture a sense of belonging and inclusion.
Circulos (Community Dialogues):
Provide opportunities to collectively share experiences in order to desahogar so that we have the capacity to recharge, recenter, and continue to work towards our goals.
Celebracion (Positive Affirmations):
Recognize and praise accomplishments and milestones to appreciate and value our hard work and commitment to our journey.
Honrando (Honor Community Agreements):
Create the time to establish, discuss, adjust, and remind each other of our Community of Practice so that we protect the collective, affirmative Comunidad we wish to manifest.