After a spring semester-long sabbatical this year, I am back to campus and to teaching. I was effectively off from January to August and the timing could not have been better. After my dad’s death last July (2021), my world was turned upside down. One of the things that happened with his death was a deep realization that he had a lot to do with my sense of grounding. I wrote about this in a previous post, but I hadn’t quite realized how much he was a source of affirmation and grounding for me, an external one—his death was a catalyst for me to learn how to access that grounding more fully for myself, from within.
Having been on sabbatical, then, was helpful in terms of regaining my brain for research and writing, which was its objective, but also for giving me the time and mental space to work on the grounding aspect of my internal life. A few things came together for me during this time. Leading up to the sabbatical and overlapping with it, I got to participate in the Latinas in Leadership (LIL) program with the Hispanic Theological Initiative – a program designed to strengthen the professional development of the Latina women participants.
Continue reading “My Daily MEDS by Xochitl Alvizo”
Feminist theologians have long affirmed the fact that who we are and where we stand, as human communities and as individuals, affects what we see and how we see it, and in turn affects the theology we produce.
Sometimes I think I am being birthed to myself over and over again. That somehow in the process and action of living I become fragmented and compartmentalized into disparate pieces without even knowing it. Then comes that moment when one of the pieces comes back to full view and realization, and I feel the unexpected and overwhelming joy of being birthed anew all over again – and it is a beautiful thing. This is what happened to me recently as I participated in the summer dissertation workshop of the Hispanic Theological Initiative. The Latina part of me came back to full view and was integrated into the whole.
The Hispanic Theological Initiative, or HTI, is a project that exists to nurture and support Ph.D. Latina and Latino students (‘Latino/a’, as is now commonly said) through their doctoral program. As HTI scholars these students are assigned a senior Latino/a scholar as a mentor, are provided with networking funds to support their professional development, are assigned a dissertation editor, and attend the annual gathering to participate in a variety of workshops, lectures, and seminars. This past June I was able to participate in their summer dissertation workshop. It was a one-time opportunity for me, but getting the chance to participate even for just those three days was an amazing gift. The gift came in the form of a journey back to myself that included the overcoming of fears along the way. Continue reading “Being Renewed at the Hispanic Theological Initiative by Xochitl Alvizo”