Profile: Brandi Renee Avila
Mrs. Avila believes that education is a practice of freedom and that it should be accessible to all. Her commitment to justice for the most vulnerable folks in our society is unwavering and is at the center of all she does. Brandi acknowledges that her most significant inheritance has been great mentors, a resilient and powerful community, and ancestors that paid her way to enjoy the freedom to learn, critique existing knowledge and construct new knowledge. Brandi aims to pay it forward as an educational leader and change agent for diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in higher education through love-centered leadership. Recently Mrs. Avila has focused much of her energy, conference presentations, and professional development training on justice-focused healing and trauma-informed care. A few recent presentation titles include Recognizing and Responding to Trauma for Non-mental Health Educators, The Trauma I Never Knew I Had, and Reclaiming Love in Leadership.
Outside of her work in academia, Brandi hosts an online platform to spread awareness and education on mental wellness, trauma, personal growth, and relationships with hopes of being a catalyst for healing in BIPOC communities.
Brandi's research interests include the role of belongingness in academic success for Black and African American community college students and the relationship between race-based stress trauma on learning and academic success. Ultimately, she hopes to make a case for a justice-informed educational healing framework in higher education.