190: Managing Work Transitions as a Newly Disabled, First-Gen Immigrant with Diana Valdivia
This week, our guest, Diana Valdivia, founder of First Gen And, returns to the show to share her experiences as a newly disabled first-generation immigrant. Diana is an immigrant woman of color whose immigration status is undocumented. Her experiences have led to organizing within immigrant rights and higher education.
She recently retired from Student Affairs with her most recent role as the Director of Undocumented Student Services at UC Santa Barbara. During this transition, she has been resting, taking the time to assess what’s next for her, and breaking intergenerational cycles of the “immigrant hard working work ethic.” She also has a platform called, “First Gen and”, where she shares and uplifts the multidimensional experiences of First Generation immigrants and those of immigrant descendants.
On today’s show, we discuss the grieving process that comes with being newly disabled and the importance of therapy for processing it all. Diana talks about her health issues related to work stress and her decision to withdraw from her job process to focus on her disability and other aspects of her life. She also addresses the challenges of balancing work and our health for immigrant college students, and the importance of honoring oneself through healing practices. We also note the impact of systemic issues on health, like how the lifting of COVID restrictions affects the disabled community, and the harm of internalized ableism.
You can reach Diana by following her on Instagram: @firstgenand
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