My name is Marleen Tepeyolotl Villanueva and I am a second year MA student in Cultural Studies in Education and a former Elementary School Teacher. I am a first-generation student raised in Texas and my family is from Pame lands in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. I am a member of the Native American and Indigenous Collective, the Native American and Indigenous Peoples Association, Danza Mexica Kalpulli Tlatlpapalotl and the International Indigenous Youth Council-Texas Chapter. I have dedicated much of my organizing work to the communities that I am a part of. I have had the privilege of collaborating with the Coahuiltecan community of central Texas in building a summer camp curriculum that is centered on the Coahuiltecan creation story and the importance of Yanaguana (spirit of the water, water of the spirit).
My name is Maureen Nicol and I am from Silver Spring, Maryland. I have been traveling and teaching all over but I am now settled in Austin, Texas for a bit. I am currently an Early Childhood Education PhD Student at University of Texas at Austin. I have some budding research interests that circle around arts integration for social justice, nature based education specifically for Black children and how the identities of Black Educators influence their teaching. I feel incredibly lucky to have research friends, mentors and professors who challenge me to be critical, remind me to not be scared to try something new and who hold me accountable. When I am not researching or doing school work, I enjoy reading for leisure, doing some type of creative project and being outdoors with my dog.