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  • October 16, 2022 Collab Salon: A Response to The Hegemony of Standard English
    October 16, 2022
    4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

A Response to The Hegemony of Standard English:

Storying lives bilingually across languages

with Mu-Lan Chau, Mohammed Darbi, Eureka Frazier, Jose Alvaro Guerrero, Ingrid Guerrieri, Lodovica Guidarelli, Jenny Leverman, marcela polanco (Confederación Muisca, Colombia/Kumeyaay Territory, USA), Carlos A. Ramos, Meg Rogers, Eureka Vaughn and Navid Zamani

October 16, 2022 Collab Salon: 4:00 – 5:30 pm NY time

We are advocates for justice in language rights. Through our explorations of bilingualism we address the hegemony of standard English. We speak from the perspectives of our languages: Black Talk/Ebonics/Slang, Farsi, Fenglish, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Chilean Spanish, Colombian Spanglish, Spanglish, Colloquial Spanish, and standard English. We discuss efforts to respond to various linguistic landscapes from the vantage point of our lived experiences and practices in the United States. We explore ways to integrate languages through improvisation and creativity, beyond the lexical and grammatical rules of a language. We hope to describe our response to standard English to co-exist in the creative use of inter-lingual lives that seek to ensure that the juxtaposition of English therapeutic and daily-life landscapes is integrated into various settings. We discuss the contextual, relational, therapeutic, and training potential offered by bilingualism across various languages as well as the necessary transmutations in theory and practice.

Co-learning emphasis

We hope that folxs join us to learn together about:

  1. Differentiate standard English as a hegemonic, hence system of power
  2. Identify interlingual possibilities offered by various bilingualisms
  3. Differentiate therapeutic practices from the perspective of bi or polylingualism


Mu-Lan Chau’s journey began in Santiago, Chile, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts in 2014. She moved to the US in 2016 and graduated from her Masters in Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from San Diego State University in 2020. Mu-Lan is passionate about multicultural family dynamics, the art of bilingualism in therapy, the impact of language in relationships, navigating through untranslatability, and the explorations of other ways of expression that are not through words.

Eureka Frazier M.S., ChildNet Youth & Family Services (bio coming soon)



Joseph Alvaro Guerrero earned his BA in psychology from the University of Incarnate Word, his Masters in Marriage and family therapy, and a Psychological Services to Spanish Speaking Populations certificate from Our Lady of the Lake University. He is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Couple and family therapy at Nova Southeastern University. Alvaro worked with the domestic violence population in San Antonio, Texas. Also, he continues providing bilingual services to the Latinx and immigrant communities in South Florida. As a therapist, Alvaro practices from a strengths-based approach, with systemic and Ericksonian concepts establish his theoretical orientation.



Hola, mi name is Ingrid Guerrieri. I am a Colombian cisgender queer woman who is passionate about identity, resilience, and healing in community. I identify  as a therapist of postmodern, feminist, and constructivist leanings, and as a Narrative Therapy-inspired clinician. I am interested in working in ways that support living intentionally and honoring community. I have worked in individual, relational, and community-based formats, providing bilingual (English and Spanish) services to child laborers, children soldiers, refugees, immigrants, people in recovery, the LGBTQIA+ community, clinicians in training, relationally and sexually diverse communities, and people living with/being impacted by HIV/AIDS. My journey as a therapist started in Colombia as a psychology student at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, and continued in San Diego as I  obtained a certificate in Alcohol and other Drugs Studies (SDCC), a Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy (SDSU), and a professional diploma in Expressive Arts therapy. I enjoy supporting therapists in training through clinical consultation and mentoring (AAMFT approved supervisor). I am interested in working with therapists in training and those providing direct social services.



Lodovica Guidarelli is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Private Practice in San Diego. Before becoming a therapist, Lodovica earned a Ph.D. in Italian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and taught Italian language, literature, and culture in several universities in the US. Currently, she works with a diverse population including Italian-speaking clients who live in the US. In her practice, she brings a critical lens to the unique ways in which multilingual speakers engage in the therapeutic process. 



Jenny Leverman works at License to Freedom with a team of fellow community therapists, supporting refugees and immigrants who have experienced family violence. She makes her home in Chula Vista, CA with her husband, three teens and a vibrant neighborhood. If you walk by Jenny’s home you will likely find her in the backyard tending to her fruit trees while her puppies chase lizards with delight.



marcela polanco, es de Bogotá, Colombia e inmigrante en United States. Su ancestry es African, Muisca, and European Colombian. She speaks Español Colombiano, Immigrant English and Spanglish. As a family terapista, she is part of the faculty team del Master’s en Family Therapy y del Spanglish/Ingleñol Family Therapy training Certificado at San Diego State University located in unceded Kumeyaay land.



Dr. Carlos Ramos earned his BA in psychology from Florida International University, his Masters in Movement Science from Barry University, and his PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Ramos worked with the foster care population in South Florida for approximately ten years. He also specializes in medical family therapy, in which he incorporates relational hypnosis in the treatment of a wide range of clinical problems. Trained as a strengths-based therapist, his theoretical orientation is grounded in Ericksonian and systemic concepts. Dr. Ramos’s research interests include systemic approaches, clinical hypnosis, single-session therapy, supervision and training, multicultural therapy, and qualitative research. He is an assistant professor in the psychology department at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Dr. Ramos is also the program director of the MS in Psychology with a Concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy and the certificate director of Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations.


Navid Zamani is a Persian-American (Farsi & English-speaking) licensed Marriage and Family therapist practicing in San Diego. His work is structured around supporting families experiencing domestic violence, and conceptualizes these experiences from a poststructural, decolonial feminism situated in Narrative practices. His interests in counseling, philosophy, and music are blended together with an interest in relational ethics, the politics of revolutionary love, and leaning into complexity. He currently teaches at San Diego State University and is the Head of Clinical Services at License to Freedom, a non-profit that supports refugees and immigrants from the Middle East who are experiencing domestic violence issues.




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