Who We Are

teec_staff_gini_pupo_walker
Gini Pupo-Walker
Senior Director of Education Policy and programs
Conexión Américas
GINI@CONEXIONAMERICAS.ORG

Gini Pupo-Walk­er is a native Nashvil­lian and Cuban-Amer­i­can and has been an edu­ca­tor for over twen­ty years. Through her role at Conex­ión Améri­c­as, Gini builds upon their strong rep­u­ta­tion as a respect­ed con­ven­er and col­lab­o­ra­tor, and will con­tin­ue to accel­er­ate their tra­jec­to­ry of growth in the edu­ca­tion are­na. Her tasks include iden­ti­fy­ing, con­ven­ing, and build­ing part­ner­ships, local­ly and statewide, to devel­op a com­mon edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy agen­da that improves out­comes stu­dents of col­or across Ten­nessee. Pri­or to tak­ing this posi­tion she was the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Fam­i­ly and Com­mu­ni­ty Part­ner­ships for Metro Nashville Pub­lic Schools where she worked with fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions, gov­ern­men­tal enti­ties and foun­da­tions in order to improve edu­ca­tion in Nashville. She also worked as a teacher at the high school and col­lege lev­el for over 10 years, in Seat­tle, San Diego and Nashville. Ms. Pupo-Walk­er serves on the Exec­u­tive Board of Trust of the Memo­ri­al Foun­da­tion, and on the board of FUTURO. She is a Mas­ter Fel­low for NCLR’s Nation­al Insti­tute for Lati­no School Lead­ers and she enjoys spend­ing time with her hus­band and two chil­dren, vol­un­teer­ing, trav­el­ing, gar­den­ing, and danc­ing sal­sa. You can fol­low her on Twit­ter @ginipupo

teec_staff_alexza_barajas_clark
Alexza Barajas Clark, Ph.D.
Research and Communications Manager
Conexión Américas
ALEXZA@CONEXIONAMERICAS.ORG

A sto­ry­teller at heart, Alexza enjoys cul­ti­vat­ing mean­ing­ful sto­ries about under­rep­re­sent­ed groups with par­tic­u­lar empha­sis in the Latino/a com­mu­ni­ty. She is a first-gen­er­a­tion Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can who was raised in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia. Inspired by the sto­ries of her com­mu­ni­ty, Alexza has worked with some of the nation’s most high-pro­file tele­vi­sion news pro­grams includ­ing, Tele­mu­ndo-Los Ange­les, CNN’s Ander­son Coop­er 360, The Night­ly News with Bri­an Williams, MSNBC, The Today Show, and Date­line NBC. As a native Span­ish speak­er, Alexza has also man­aged cul­tur­al adap­ta­tion, trans­la­tion and inter­pre­ta­tion projects for diverse clien­tele includ­ing For­tune 500 Com­pa­nies, non-prof­its and local to fed­er­al gov­ern­ments. She earned a doc­tor­al degree in com­mu­ni­ca­tions from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Utah, a master’s degree in medi­at­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Pep­perdine Uni­ver­si­ty, and an under­grad­u­ate degree in rhetoric and broad­cast jour­nal­ism from Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Long Beach. In addi­tion to her pro­fes­sion­al and aca­d­e­mic pur­suits, Alexza serves on the board of St. Luke’s Com­mu­ni­ty House and the Nashville Urban Debate League, a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that cre­ates and sup­ports pol­i­cy debate pro­grams in Metro Nashville Pub­lic Schools. She cur­rent­ly resides in Nashville with her hus­band Josh and their daugh­ter Jack­ie.

teec_headshot_updated
Vilmaris González
engagement & leadership development Manager
Conexión Américas
vilmaris@CONEXIONAMERICAS.ORG

Vil­maris González is the Engage­ment and Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment Man­ager for the edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy team at Conex­ión Améri­c­as. In her role she man­ages The Mosaic Fel­low­ship, an inno­v­a­tive statewide ini­tia­tive to cre­ate a strong net­work of edu­ca­tion lead­ers of col­or who strive for edu­ca­tion­al equi­ty for all stu­dents. Vil­maris is Ten­nessee raised, but a New Jer­sey Boricua at heart. Grow­ing up in Ten­nessee she under­stands the true neces­si­ty for edu­ca­tion­al equi­ty, and what that looks like for under­rep­re­sent­ed groups in rural com­mu­ni­ties. Her root­ed pas­sion for edu­ca­tion stems from her time work­ing with youth in the US and inter­na­tion­al­ly in both Spain and Roma­nia. Short­ly after grad­u­at­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ten­nessee, she relo­cat­ed to the Domini­can Repub­lic to work at Glob­al Glimpse, an inter­na­tion­al non­prof­it that focus­es on cross-cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion­al and lead­er­ship devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for Amer­i­can youth. She then worked at a bilin­gual school in San­ti­ago for two years before decid­ing to return to Ten­nessee in the hopes of being a change agent for her home state. When Vil­maris is not work­ing she enjoys cook­ing, trav­el­ing, and danc­ing bachata and sal­sa.