MEET OUR PANELISTS
MARIANO NAVA BOTELLO
Mariano Nava Botello (@chicagonava3) is a fifth-year graduate student studying race, memory, and monuments at the intersections of art, history, education, and popular culture in the Department of Chicana and Chicano [Xicanx] Studies at UC-Santa Barbára. His interests in the history of race in America and dedication to social justice is the result of being born and raised alongside two brothers to Mexican immigrants and later a widowed mother on Chicagoland’s Westside. Determined to re-membering history and considering one's place in time, Mariano engages with a U.S. centered hemispheric approach to critically analyze monuments in public space as examples of public timelines that erase indigenous communities while commemorating settler-colonial conquest and elimination. Inspired most by media and popular culture, Mariano’s goal is to challenge his audience's understanding of time and re-membrance of history by way of text-to-screen adaptations and digital tours of time. His dream is to change public education policy to refund the arts and humanities.
Molly is a sexual assault advocate in Sacramento, California. She serves as the Vice President of the Board for Paratransit, Inc and a commissioner on the Blue Ribbon Commission to establish a Women's Commission in Sacramento County. Molly previously managed a Department of Justice-funded collaboration at WEAVE and Society for the Blind to increase access to services for survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence who are blind or low vision. She is an ambassador at Obama’s USOW.
Lena Morán is a native of Mexico City, Mexico. Lena holds a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis on Social Justice and Leadership, from Antioch University Santa Barbara, where she did research on the topic of children who are used as interpreters and with her thesis focusing on the creation of an evaluation system of interpretation and translation services in school districts. Lena is the Director of Programming and Language Justice at Just Communities Central Coast. As an educator, activist and advocate for language justice, her expertise has led her to facilitate workshops across California and provide consultation to organizations, school districts and government agencies. Lena is a licensed trainer for The Community Interpreter International, a program of Cross-Cultural Communications. In 2018, Lena and the Just Communities Language Justice Network received a Congressional Recognition for providing language access services during and after the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides disasters.
Jarrod is an educator and consultant with more than 20 years experience working with schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, government, and communities. Jarrod’s unique approach draws upon the fields of social justice and organization development to foster inclusive, multi-stakeholder processes that result in community and social change. He is the founding Executive Director of Just Communities Central Coast – a non-profit social justice organization that advances justice by building leadership, fostering change, and dismantling all forms of prejudice, discrimination and oppression.
Sophia Skiles is a NYC-based Asian-American actor and teacher. She has performed in work directed by Michael Kahn (Helen Hayes nomination for ensemble performance), May Adrales, Anne Bogart, Richard Foreman, Chay Yew, David Herskovits, and Mary Zimmerman with strong ties to Ma-Yi Theater and National Asian American Theater Company. She has over twenty years of experience teaching acting in a wide range of environments: with public school students throughout NYC, pre-college students at Northwestern University's National High School Institute and high school seniors in Ulster County, NY. She has held teaching positions in undergraduate theater programs at Mount Holyoke College, SUNY Ulster and SUNY Purchase. Sophia is a dedicated community activist, having served on the Steering Committee of the OBIE-Award winning THAW (Theaters Against War) and currently is a Trustee of the New Paltz Central School District Board of Education. Sophia is a member of the 2016 ArtEquity National Facilitator training cohort. www.sophiaskiles.com