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Illinois LAtino Council on Higher Education

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2023 Plenary Speakers

Dr. Rusty Barcelo

Morning Plenary Speaker

Dr. Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo is nationally known for her work on equity and inclusion and is recognized nationally for speaking and conducting workshops addressing DEI.  She has served as the President of Northern New Mexico College, and multiple leadership positions across the country in higher education.  An alum of the University of Iowa,
Rusty holds an M.A. in Recreation Education
and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration
from Iowa.  She held various positions at Iowa
from 1975 to 1996, focusing on diversity in
Academic and Student Affairs.

Afternoon Plenary Speaker

Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez was born in Managua, Nicaragua but calls Nashville, Tennessee home. She is a feminist, theologian, storyteller, and advocate.

Mojica Rodríguez got her Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University’s Divinity school in the Spring of 2015. She is a respected storyteller who has traveled across the USA telling stories to countless college and university students. Mojica Rodríguez merges storytelling with pedagogy to help folks understand the larger forces at play, also known as systemic oppression.

As a first generation Latina immigrant, her passion is in naming the experiences of first generation students navigating systems not built for them. As the oldest immigrant daughter, she explores the ways that sexism impedes the development of girls and women. As a graduate from a white serving institutions she names systemic racism as a roadblock for success, and decolonizes western notions of said success. Prisca also explores the relationship between religious trauma through Christianity and white supremacy within the USA empire, which is where her theological training really shines.

To date she has participated in the Young Adult anthology "Nevertheless, We Persisted." Recently Prisca also participated in an anthology edited by Lynda Lopez titled, "The Fearless Rise and Powerful Resonance of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez."

She started the platform Latina Rebels in 2013, and currently it boasts over 300k organic followers online. She has been featured in Telemundo, Univision, Mitú, Huffington Post Latino Voices, Guerrilla Feminism, Latina Mag, NBC, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Everyday Feminism, PopSugar, and the list goes on. Because of Prisca’s extensive body of work, she has also worked with the United Methodist Church, National Endowment of the Arts, Smithsonian, NALAC, Planned Parenthood, and was even invited for the Obama White House in 2016.

She is unapologetic, angry, and uncompromising about protecting and upholding the stories of Latinx communities. Que viva la gente!"

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