Building Dreams Not Walls

  • BY Cal State East Bay
  • September 13, 2019

Award-winning author and inspirational speaker Reyna Grande will kick off Cal State East Bay’s celebration of Latinx month on Sept. 19 at the Diversity and Inclusion Student Center.

Born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, Grande was 2 years old when her father left for work in the U.S. Two years later, her mother followed leaving Grande and her siblings behind in Mexico. But just a few years later, she left Mexico herself, traveling north and entering the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant.

The first in her family to graduate college, Grande has built a life of writing about her experiences before and after immigrating from Mexico. 

Her best-selling memoir, “The Distance Between Us” received numerous awards including the Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature as well as the 2016 Eureka! Honor Awards from the California Reading Association.  

In her presentation at Cal State East Bay, Grande will discuss her latest work, “A Dream Called Home,” and how it relates to the Latinx month theme “Building Dreams Not Walls.” 

University Diversity Officer Kimberly Baker-Flowers said she hopes Grande’s story will resonate with the campus’ community, especially students.

“Her journey is inspirational and it is one that many of our students are currently navigating,” Baker-Flowers said. “Reyna’s humbleness, perseverance and graciousness are all characteristics that are reflective of our community and her success is an inspiration.” 

Baker-Flowers added she hopes attendees leave the presentation inspired and take advantage of the opportunity to have a community dialogue with her. 

“This is an exciting and special opportunity for us,” Baker-Flowers said. 

Reyna Grande will speak on Sept. 19 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in University Union 311. The event is free and open to the public.