Valeria Bula (she/her) is a junior in Berkeley College majoring in Global Affairs and Ethnicity, Race & Migration. She is from Barranquilla, Colombia but grew up in the Latine migrant working class community of Hialeah, FL. Much of her work and passions are nestled in this upbringing. Her own experiences growing up in Hialeah inform her current work with the local Fairhaven migrant community through Junta for Progressive Action — New Haven’s oldest Latine and undocumented-serving social services agency — for over a year. This experience, coupled with her coursework in ER&M, have guided her in approaching the world in a far more empathetic way by more thoroughly understanding the effects of systemic inequality on overexploited communities. Her engagement with the Jackson Institute and Global Affairs coursework is thus informed by this developing critical lens that is able to reject and question the human rights frameworks under which institutional relief work operates.
She has learned from these spaces and from her communities, namely the queer and first-generation/low-income communities, as well as her work with La Casa Cultural. Within the Jackson Institute, she has had the privilege of meeting faculty and peers who share similar priorities in working to envision a more just and humane future, yet hail from vastly different walks of life. It is this diversity of experiences and identities among the community, she believes, that the Jackson Institute must seek to amplify, while actively working towards becoming a more suitable, welcoming environment for underserved students. By serving on the DEI council, she hopes to be a part of bringing a greater sense of accountability in the Jackson Institute as well as push towards the admittance of a more diverse, empathetic community of students.