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Laura Ruiz comes from an Indigenous background, her family are Zapotec from Southern Mexico. In college, Ruiz organized with MECHA and then later with Mujeres de Maiz in LA. She joined the Auntie Sewing Squad because it was a great opportunity to help while working from home with her two children. Her motivation is both for her own children and for the families across the nation who were most vulnerable to the pandemic. Ruiz is currently a science teacher and an artist and will use those skills first and foremost to serve the community she teaches in. Ruiz states her students inspire her to keep going.
Laura Ruiz discusses her Indigenous background and growing up in Gardena, how she got into sewing and how she views it as an art form (0:47-5:10). She then discusses her involvement in MECCHA and how she first joined the Auntie Sewing Squad (5:40-11:02). Ruiz explains how the pandemic has affected her Indigenous community, as well as how she grew up in a culture where every member of the community needs to give (11:14-20:20). She describes how she grew up in a very diverse setting, but after entering a magnet school and then college at UC Santa Cruz, she could see the glaring disparities in resources and preparation between white and Indigenous students (20:28-25:32). Wrapping up, Ruiz discusses how her participation in the UTLA teacher’s strike and one piece of advice to her younger self: practice talking to people more (25:39-41:05).
Ciara Banker; Shannon Rodriguez
Ruiz, Laura, "Interview with Laura Ruiz" (2021). Auntie Sewing Squad Interviews. 59.