This course was very different compared to anything I have taken at UCSD, so naturally I was nervous at the beginning of the quarter, especially as we began working on our interviews. I wanted to ensure that I was honoring authenticity and respecting their story.

I got to interview Gerardo Arellano, Director of the Raza Resource Centro, and Executive Director of the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Initiative. His story began in the Central Valley and ended at UCSD. This immediately eased any nerves I had before the interview and created a connection as I had a similar upbringing. It made me very excited for the rest of the interview. Although we have worked together for some time, it was refreshing to learn something new about him.

It was incredibly insightful to hear about his experiences as an undergraduate student in the 1990s and the student advocacy and activism happening through his perspective. It felt really rewarding to stitch pieces from the MEChA archives to the stories he was telling me, as he began to identify specific people and events. He detailed his journey through education and the communities he leaned on while going through difficult transitions, which is something I appreciated the most about this interview and will take with me. I hope that anyone who listens in on our conversation will feel the same way. Throughout this quarter, I learned how important the process of producing oral histories is in uplifting the stories and perspectives of marginalized communities whose stories have been historically erased from textbooks and education