Vanessa ‘Chacha’ Centeno (Vigil) is currently a youth services librarian in Northern California, and co-leads an EDI committee within an urban library environment. She was a jury member for the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award, and served as a librarian advisor on the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club Implementation Team in 2018. She has a master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University. Before working in libraries, she assisted with case management for families experiencing housing instability, and worked with youth in juvenile justice settings while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.
Chacha was raised amongst Native and Chicanx family, and credits her grandmothers for teaching resilience. She is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her story touches on removal and return to culture, intergenerational trauma, generational gang culture, identity, and healing. Chacha enjoys storytelling and believes it teaches and preserves culture while healing the wounds of intergenerational trauma. She’s helped bring indigenous storytelling to the library and advocates for IBPOC programming, empowering community voices in library services.
Keywords = Social Justice, Equity, Inclusion, Cultural Identity
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