Presidential Scholar Spotlight
I am immensely grateful for the opportunities afforded to me by the GTU Presidential Scholarship, which has enabled me to pursue graduate studies in Christian Spirituality while continuing to spend time with my communities of accountability here in the San Francisco Bay Area.Since 2011, I have served as a lay volunteer at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Chapel at San Quentin State Prison, working particularly closely with Spanish speakers. I have also been involved with the Restorative Justice Round Table and Prison University Project. My own academic work focuses on liberation, broadly construed, and the movement of peoples and texts texts across borders. I am committed to both scholarship and social activism as mutually reinforcing practices of liberation consistent with Salvadoran liberation theology, the international prison abolition movement, and the freedom found in 12-Step Program Fellowships.Spirituality cannot be a narcotic comfort in a broken world. If the study of spirituality is to be more than a neat presentation of a catalogue of “inspiring” Great Books, then perhaps one way of engaging tradition is to look for spirituality through examination of the practices of identification and transformation characteristic of translation, conversion, and migration, particularly within the Prison Industrial Complex of the United States.Few people understand the risks and challenges of identity, movement, and change like translators, converts, and migrants. Negotiating the dangers and calculating the risks of moving between life-worlds requires serious engagement with the dynamic linguistic and political practices of identification, transformation, dissimulation, resistance, and solidarity. My ministry of presence at San Quentin is as crucial to my studies as my coursework. The GTU Presidential Scholarship allows me to keep my commitments even as I learn how to think and write about the spirituality I witness there.
The GTU is committed to increasing our ability to provide this supportive scholarship program. To learn about ways to advance the GTU’s vision of education for theological scholarship and leadership, please contact the advancement office at 510-649-2531.