I’m Dr. Lisa Vallejos, but you can call me Lisa. I’m a psychologist by training and have spent the better part of my adult life immersed in the study of social justice issues. My journey has been like many other women of color; I grew up in a small, predominantly white town where I was one of very few kids who looked like me. My family was blessedly mixed but race was rarely something we discussed openly. I spent many years loathing myself–because I would never be the blonde haired, blue eyed, rail thin girl…my dark brown skin, hair, eyes and big hips “betrayed” my Latinx roots. I was born in the projects to a single mother, and alcoholic father and spent much of my early years in poverty and was never expected to amount to much.
When I got to college, I had a sociology professor (bless you, wherever you are) who took me to new levels of depth and understanding about the social issues in our society, such as institutionalized racism, internalized oppression, sexism, and the dark history of our nation. I was both floored and horrified but I was also liberated because I finally began to understand that I wasn’t mistakenly seeing the world–what I was seeing was accurate and there were names for what I had lived.
Since that time, I’ve dedicated my life to studying social justice issues and becoming a voice for the voiceless and speaking truth to power. I’ve been presenting on these issues since 2002 when I first stepped into a classroom at the University of Denver and spoke about issues impacting the Latinx community. I’ve presented at many academic conferences, have published poems and journal articles on these issues & have become a recognized voice in my field for this work.
Now, I am bringing this work out of academia and into the streets where it’s most vitally needed. I work with therapists, and organizations on their own evolution to social consciousness and teach them how to become culturally proficient, intentionally inclusive co-conspirators in our collective fight for racial liberation.
Welcome to the R/Evolution.