Episode 20

Published on:

1st Feb 2023

How A Bilingual Teacher Made An Impact with Luz Chaparro Hernandez

In this episode, host Sheena Carey interviews Luz Chaparro Hernandez, who is a Bilingual Teacher from Milwaukee Public Schools and a treasurer for the MTEA, which is the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association.

Luz has dedicated her career to serving others. Her involvement with organizations like the Hispanic Alumni Association has helped support engagement within diverse communities over four successful years!

Tune in to listen to Luz as she shares invaluable lessons learned over 30 years teaching in language immersion programs, along with words of wisdom such as why we should always reflect upon what sort of individuals we want to be, helping shape decisions based off that conclusion.

Episode Highlight

05:24 - And at 18 or 19 years old, I made the decision that I want to serve the Latino community, whether it's as an educator and my other option was as a social worker.

15:48 - We got together and we saw these injustices. So we wanted to press the university to do more, to be better, to provide a more welcoming environment to those of us who were not part of the majority culture.

21:30 - At the end of each day, before I go to bed, I reflect on my day, and I try to think of things that I'm very grateful for that day. Which is also part of mindfulness.


How did you get started on your journey, especially to Marquette?

03:02 - My father would have to drive my mother and the rest of the family to the south side of Milwaukee to go to El Rey. And I saw the Marquette University sign and the rec center. And I remember thinking to myself as a 10 year old, by the time we got here to Milwaukee, I'm gonna go there someday.

How would you say your identity has informed the choices that you've made in life?

04:15 - There's experiences that I had in the community of volunteering at the United Community Center and at the Next Door Foundation both as a tutor. Just all these experiences that I had as a teenager that led me to wanting to become a teacher, but not just a teacher, specifically a bilingual teacher for the Latino community that I came from.

How has the mural resonated for you?

07:03 - My roommate who's still my best friend to this day, when I was at Marquette, she is Muslim. So I was very happy to see the image of the Muslim woman. And of course, just all of the representation there.

What do you feel has been Marquette's impact on women of color?

08:27 - To develop, to flourish, to contribute to the continued growth of the Marquette community and specially for those that are women of color.

What's been the university's impact on your sense of self-worth?

08:41 - It really did a lot. I think that just the attitude with which I started Marquette.

What women of color have been inspirational for you?

18:41 - I know this is probably a cliche now, but it's always been Frida Kahlo. I've always admired her tenacity, especially coming from an era from which she came and being a Mexican woman. Also, I would say, Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman. Their stories are phenomenal. And another artist by the name of Judy Baca, who is out of Los Angeles and she's the one that helped create the Los Angeles mural.

How do you understand that experience or practice wellness in your own life for yourself, so that you can continue to do the work that you do?

20:39 - It's very hard, because you have to make the time and I struggle with this constantly. But you do have to have self care if you want to continue to give of yourself.

Have women of color played any kind of a role in your self care in healing and wellness for you?

22:11 - My mother, she is not a woman of many words, but one of the things that she did to cope was she started going to a prayer group every Wednesday. And this is her time, this is time that she carved out for herself. So that has been an inspiration to me.

What impact do you hope to have on women of color?

24:13 - If you want to be a mother and a wife, and do whatever it is that you have chosen to do with your career, you can do it. If you just find time for yourself to provide that self care and just always be true to what it is that you want to do. To make the time to find your passions.  

What are your hopes for the future, your own, Marquette, the community?

26:01 - Well, for the future, I hope to continue to be involved in Marquette.

What would you like our community to know about you and your journey?

27:06 - I would like my community to know that I have never forgotten where I came from.

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The Our Roots Say That We're Sisters Podcast series was recorded and produced by Podcast Town (www.podcasttown.net)

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About the Podcast

Our Roots Say That We're Sisters
Marquette Mural Project
Welcome to Our Roots Say That We're Sisters podcast. This podcast series is sponsored by the Marquette Forum with support from Marquette University's Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the Haggerty Museum of Art. It's an extension of a Marquette University mural project to highlight and uplift diverse women associated with Marquette whose images and contributions have been systematically made invisible.