For the past 15 years, Ileana Jiménez has been a leader in the field of social justice education.
A 2010-11 recipient of the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching, her research in Mexico City focused on creating safe schools for Mexican LGBT youth. Passionate about creating inclusive schools, Ileana believes in transforming education for gender, racial, and economic justice.
In recognition of her work teaching feminism and activism to high school students, the National Organization for Women chapter in New York (NOW-NYC) awarded her the Susan B. Anthony Award in 2012. Earlier in 2011, Right Rides recognized her work in teaching youth about street and sexual harassment with their Distinguished Defender Award. In 2010, the Feminist Press named her one of their 40 Feminists Under 40. In 2009, she was named one of the 40 Women of Stonewall by the Stonewall Foundation as well as one of the 30 Women Making History by the Women’s Media Center.
Currently a high school English teacher in New York, she offers courses on feminism, LGBT literature, Toni Morrison, and memoir writing. Ileana is also an associate faculty member at Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking, where she offers workshops to teachers and college instructors on writing-based inquiry.
The hallmarks of her diversity programming initiatives for students include a yearlong series on the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality in 2007-08 titled Gender and Sexuality: What’s Next in the Conversation? and her interview of Rachel Maddow in 2009 at LREI. She also interviewed Maddow at Smith College, covering her Commencement speech there in 2010.
Ileana frequently leads presentations on inclusive curriculum at the annual NAIS People of Color Conference, the NYSAIS diversity conference, and independent schools throughout the country. A passionate advocate for the education of girls and women, Ileana is also a frequent speaker and mentor at Smith College. A strong believer in building community between teachers, in 2005, she founded the New York Independent Schools LGBT Educators Group, providing LGBT educators professional development and networking opportunities.
Outside of teaching, Ileana serves on the board of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and is a 2009 alumna of the Progressive Women’s Voices program at the Women’s Media Center, both headquartered in New York. She has written about education and feminist issues for Care2, Feministing, Gender Across Borders, the Huffington Post, the Ms. Magazine blog, On the Issues, the Smith Alumnae Quarterly, and the Women’s Media Center. She has also served as a judge for the Lambda Literary Awards.