Humanities Institute

2011-2013 Community Sabbatical Grantees


Eugenio del BosqueEugenio del Bosque

Cine Las Americas

Eugenio del Bosque is the Executive Director of Cine Las Americas. The organization is devoted to the exhibition of Latin and indigenous film and media arts and strives to promote cross-cultural growth and understanding through various bilingual media arts education programs. Cine Las Americas has screened more than 1,200 films through events such as its annual international film festival and has reached out to youth with a series of music recording and production workshops in local Travis County schools. 

Eugenio used his Community Sabbatical Research Leave to develop a membership program for Cine Las Americas that also shed light on successful long-term fundraising strategies for small non-profits.

Andrea MarshAndrea Marsh

Texas Fair Defense Project

Andrea Marsh is the founder and Executive Director of the Texas Fair Defense Project (TFDP).  TFDP focuses on improving the state’s public defense system and challenges policies that prevent the indigent from adequately defending themselves legally.  

During her sabbatical, Andrea researched and developed a model for providing holistic criminal defense representation in Texas. Her project responded to the growing national recognition that many individuals accused of criminal offenses either have problems such as untreated mental health issues or face collateral consequences of criminal convictions that that can severely disrupt their employment, housing, family relationships and immigrant status.   Her model considered the circumstances that drive the indigent into the criminal justice system and ways to offer them social work support and advocacy.

Faculty Consultant: Dr. Noël Busch-Armendariz, Professor and Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work

Rene ValdezRene Valdez

Red Salmon Arts

Rene Valdez is the Executive Director of Red Salmon Arts.  The organization collaborates with scholars, artists, cultural workers, and activists to create visionary programming that is an instrument for community empowerment and transformation.   Rene currently spearheads the Save Our Youth (SOY) program, a ten-week intensive writing workshop that uses poetry, live jazz music, theater exercises, body movement and social analysis to engage with youth of color in the Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center in South Austin. 

With support from the Community Sabbatical program, Rene worked to enhance the SOY curricula with new pedagogical approaches that highlight issues such as the school-to-prison pipeline, violence and identity. He also sought to further develop the organization’s internship for youth released from the Gardner-Betts facility.

Rocio VillalobosRocio Villalobos

Grassroots Leadership—Hutto Visitation Program

The Hutto Visitation Program is a project of Grassroots Leadership, Texans United for Families and the Social Justice Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. The program highlights issues surrounding incarceration and offers visitation and support to women seeking asylum from countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.  As a Program Coordinator for Grassroots Leadership, Rocio helps manage the visitation program, which strives to break the isolation of detention, act as human rights observers in the facility and develop advocates for the reform of the US immigration system. 

During her sabbatical, Rocio aimed to develop a series of oral history and writing workshops designed to help many of the women released from Hutto record and safely share their stories and experiences. 

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