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|March 6, 2021||32nd Annual Children's Disabilities Symposium #EMPOWERING THIS ABILITY|
|Dr. Guillermina Gina Nuñez-Mchiri
Dr. Nunez-Mchiri will address the role of parents as advocates for their children with special needs. She will share a project she worked with other parents in CDIC to compile personal stories, words of wisdom, strategies for accessing resources, and encouragement for other parents or caretakers of children with special needs. We share this resource as a tool to help accompany parents who have experienced what it feels like to feel alone with their children without knowing where to go for support. We encourage parents to see themselves as advocates and champions for their children, while also encouraging them to see their children with the hope and expectation to advocate for themselves when possible. Dr. Nunez-Mchiri will share her experiences of raising her son, traveling abroad and seeing a community that has passed laws and shifted cultural attitudes and behaviors to create a more inclusive society for people with special needs. She invites us to discuss the need to create a more inclusive society for people of diverse backgrounds and needs. As such, she will be encouraging conference participants to pledge to be champions for inclusivity, representation, access to educational, and support services to assist children to develop the skills and assets to build the steps and skills needed to build a brighter future.
Dr. Guillermina Gina Núñez-Mchiri is Director of Women's and Gender Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She is mother to her son Adam, who was born with special needs and has gone through multiple surgeries up to now. Dr. Núñez-Mchiri has provided trainings and mentorship to early childhood development specialists to increase their cultural awareness, empathy, and professional development skills to serve parents and children in our border region. Dr. Nunez-Mchiri has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology and does applied research on the US-Mexico border on immigration, human rights, technology and mobility, food and culture, Latina leadership, gender equity, service-learning, and community building efforts. She teaches courses in anthropology, sociology, women's and gender studies, and health sciences at UTEP.
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