Hi everyone, my name is Raquel. I am a Critical Ethnic Studies scholar, an Intersectional feminist, and Mexican-American/Chicana in solidarity with Indigenous life and sovereignty of First Nations peoples everywhere. I use my background in Critical and Comparative Ethnic Studies, Critical Latinx/Indigeneities and Critical Indigenous Studies to research the work being done by yoga and meditation practitioners of color within American Buddhism and modern yoga to disseminate with our organizers through formal and informal conversations, with our community members through critical reading circles, and with our public audience through blog writing and conference paneling. I also maintain and update our website, and co-organize and facilitate the critical reading circles with Farah.
I absolutely love my involvement with Yoga POC Sangha. The mission of healing, empowering and liberating people of color through yoga, meditation, nutrition and critical literacy, etc., are things I love doing for myself, and to be able to do it as "work" and for our community is amazing. Yoga POC Sangha supports my own overall wellness and to be able to support others in similar ways is such a wonderful way to live my life.
Raquel completed her Doctoral (2019) and Master’s (2012) degrees in American Studies at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (UNM). In 2009, she received two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Ethnic Studies and Political Science-Public Service from the University of California, Riverside.
While at UNM, she taught a wide range of courses in the departments of American Studies and Chicana and Chicano Studies, including the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. The interdisciplinary, intersectional, and critical relational nature of her training and teaching has equipped Raquel with expertise in Critical and Comparative Ethnic Studies, Critical Latinx/Indigeneities, Latinx Studies, Chicanx Studies, Critical Indigenous Studies, Immigration and Migration, Border Studies, Social Movements, Transnationalism, Women of Color Feminisms, Queer of Color Critique, Setter Colonialism, Imperialism, Empire, Neoliberalism, and Visual Culture. Among these areas of study, her research investments focus on the U.S.-Mexico border as a settler colonial and imperial materiality, and the relational tensions between and among undocumented im/migrant rights and Indigenous struggles for sovereignty. Her dissertation is titled Immigration/Migration and Settler Colonialism: Doing Critical Ethnic Studies on the U.S.-Mexico Border.
Raquel was previously awarded the New Mexico Higher Education Department Graduate Scholarship Program (2011-2012), and the Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD) Postdoctoral Fellowship at Mount Holyoke College (MHC) in South Hadley, Massachusetts for the 2019-2021 academic year where she taught in the Department of Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies. Recently, she accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in American Studies at Vassar College for the 2021-2023 academic years.
Raquel loves teaching students the theoretical definitions and material consequences of racism and settler colonialism, and how to understand them as jointed and disjointed formations. She loves nurturing an environment of critical literacy by mentoring students to think, read, write, and speak from a place of internal truth and self-awakening.