Dr. Emma Pérez: The power of writing in transforming people and society

Life-writing can be healing, empowering, and community-making when shared with others. Ultimately, words have the power to change minds and lives. That is why writing our own stories is so important. Listen to Ramona’s conversation as she talks with the esteemed historian Dr. Emma Pérez. Dr. Pérez discusses the magic that happens in the classroom when brown, black, indigenous, and queer students find their voice and share their stories to build community. Dr. Emma Perez is a Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center and a Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. Pérez is an author of many publications including fiction, essays, and a history monograph.


Highlights from our conversation:

  • Pérez’s personal and professional journey and how she became a historian and writer
  • Growing up in Texas
  • Rise of Ethnic Studies
  • Influence of Juan Gomez Quiñonez, Gloria Anzaldua and Toni Morrison
  • How and why writing and telling stories is so empowering and liberating
  • How to encourage students to express and raise their voices
  • The power of writing

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