Meet Our New Director
Hola comunidad! My name is Dora Frias (she/her/ella) and I am the new Director (or as I’ve been saying DirectDORA, see what I did there ) of El Centro. Me siento muy…excited to be taking on this role as your new Director. Some of you may know that the last two years I served as the Director of the Pride Resource Center, right next door to El Centro. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our CSU students and the Latinx community in this new role.
I am originally from Durango, Durango, Mexico and I grew up in El Paso, Tejas. My padres raised me to always stay connected to my roots while, supporting and building my wings to fly and seek out my dreams. From my mami, I learned to be a Chingona. From my papi, I learned to be a Chillona. Both of those things are super empowering and validating in different ways. I spent the majority of my life navigating physical and identity borderlands. As a Queer Latina, I rarely had mentors or role models that looked like me and identified at the same intersections of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.
In college, I was often la unica, in a variety of different ways. These experiences have shaped me into who I am today and help drive a lot of the work I do. Aside from that, here are a few other things that are important to know about me: I am an Aries; I tend to be bougie sometimes (don’t judge I like nice things); my wife, daughter and family are the most important things in my life; I like to cook, listen to podcasts and love Frida Kahlo.
Now that you know a bit about me, I want to acknowledge that many of us are navigating incredibly difficult times, not just with COVID-19 and the disproportionate ways this pandemic has impacted the Latinx community but also with the protest against anti-Blackness, police brutality and white supremacy in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We are in a critical juncture in our nation’s history and many of us are engaging in our own learning and growth while navigating feelings of isolation, loneliness and anxiety. There is no other way to put it than right now sometimes everything just.feels.HARD. I know. I am right there with you in those feelings. My commitment to you as I transition and settle into this new role during this difficulty time is to first, get to know you, our students. That will take time, and we will have to figure out new ways of doing that as we navigate this virtual, socially distanced landscape. Second, I am committed hearing you out, listening to your needs and working to incorporate your feedback as we continue to build on the legacy of this center. Finally, I want you to know that I am deeply committed to your success as a student at CSU. I know that your success here is not just about you. It is about your communidad, your familia, the ancestors that came before us and for all those that will come after us. My commitment to your success will show up in a variety of ways, sometimes it will look like me advocating for policy changes in meetings, sometimes it will be in one on one advising conversations where I am pushing you to believe in yourself, sometimes it will be through the programs and services we develop in the center, sometimes it will look like me pushing us to have important conversations in our community regarding anti-blackness, colorism, nationalism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism etc., and sometimes it will show up in the laughter, fun and dancing that I hope to enjoy with you in the center (once the pandemic is over of course) I am sure I won’t always get it perfect, and know I will be open to feedback in the process. I hope you will join us on this journey.
Please know that I am here as you need anything. Feel free to reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to connect, or if you have any questions.
Con mucho orgullo,
p.s. shout out to El Centro staff for hooking it up with the cute bowtie!