Q. Can you describe your background?

    • My name is Victoria Bonilla (she/they) but I go by Vicki. I’m a low-income/daughter of immigrants third year in the College double majoring in Anthropology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. I grew up in Houston (Coahuiltecan and Sana land) but my family is from Ecuador (Kichwa land). On campus I organize with UChicago United (join #ethnicstudiesnow!), kind of on campus I work for the Community Programs Accelerator, and off campus I’m an intern at the National Immigrant Justice Center with their Asylum unit.

Q. What are you most passionate about and why?

    • “Education for Liberation” is something that lately has been able to describe what I’m most passionate about. By putting power in the hands of students and community members, we would be able to realize an abolitionist university— one where no “price to attend” or campus police would stop anyone from receiving UC resources. Relatedly, “Education for Liberation” means recognizing lived experience/embodied knowledge as the histories we should grow from.

Q. What has been your proudest moment at the university so far?

    • Something I’m most proud of experiencing UCU occupy KYL’s house for a week— a testament to UCU’s resilience and (actual) commitment to QTPOC/FLI students and community.

Q. What are the biggest obstacles FLI students face? What is the best piece of advice you’ve received to help overcome them?

    • As a queer womxn of color one of the biggest obstacles I’ve faced is self-doubt. Not necessarily the kind of “do I belong here?” but “am I doing enough to make my people proud?” To that I would share advice that my friends have told me and have embodied for me: relationships aren’t transactional, you don’t have to prove your worth through success. And with that I’ve been able to journey forward doing what I love with who I love for what I love.

Interview by Eseme Segbefia