Clinical Assistant Professor Lorena Gaibor serves as program coordinator of GSSW's Latinx Social Work Certificate Program.
Before her appointment to the GSSW faculty, Gaibor worked in New Jersey, coordinating and directing community-led programing and organizing efforts including advocacy around affordable housing, Hurricane Sandy redevelopment, and immigration reform. She especially enjoyed her work with BSW and MSW student interns as a field supervisor with her alma mater, Rutgers University.
In 2015, Gaibor took a sabbatical to travel. Among the highlights of her travels were three months in a Buddhist studies program in Vermont as well as a 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain called the Camino de Santiago. As part of her Camino she founded a women's only Camino support group online called CAMIGAS. With more than 5,000 members and growing, the sisterhood that has developed not only helps to keep women safe and informed but is also a place of camaraderie and support that goes beyond the Camino.
ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH INTERESTS
- Integrated SW Practice for Social Justice
- Social work with Latinas/os/x
- Immigration Policies and Services
- Leadership & Supervision Skills
- Community development
- Program development and administration
I serve as one of five advisors for Hermanas Latinas, a graduate student/faculty group for Latina's at DU.
The group's mission statement is:
In the spirit of collectivism, agency, social justice, and resistance, Hermanas Latinas
has been established to offer academic and professional support to Latina graduate students and faculty at the University of Denver. We believe that collectively, Hermanas Latinas can cultivate Latina scholars, supporting one another both inside and outside of academic spaces.
Travel to Chiapas
Along with three Korbel colleagues, I piloted a travel course in 2016 with a group of graduate students and members of the Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC). In the fall of 2017, the interdisciplinary course developed by Professor Lynn Holland from Korbel and I, took students from the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) and Korbel to Chiapas to learn firsthand about some of the push/pull factors of migration, human rights concerns in the region, how militarization has intensified throughout the region, as well as the cultural and religious influences that enrich the lives of Chiapans. In addition, our focus for the course is to learn about alternative development approaches that communities are employing to maintain their way of life and to safeguard against encroaching multinational corporate interests in the region that too often displace local communities via industries such as metal mining.
In the above photograph, we're seated outside a museum honoring Bishop Samuel Ruiz García who served the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas from 1959 to 1999. Bishop Ruiz is well known for his respectful work with indigenous communities as well as for having assisted in negotiating a peace accord between the Mexican government and the Zapatista rebels.