Glaísma Pérez-Silva is a native Puerto Rican who migrated to the United States 20 years ago as an “adventure”. Today, Glaísma is no stranger to Hartford and its surrounding community. As a professor, special education worker, poet, radio personality, activist and mother, Glaísma has proven herself to be a successful, well rounded, well educated and powerful Latina.
In this interview the questions asked focused on her vast lines of works, Latino related issues prevalent in the United States, as well as concerns that directly relate to Latinos here in Hartford. Glaísma eloquently and honestly expresses her views, most of which come from her own personal experiences. Her opinion on bilingualism and the educational system in the United States, the ICE raids in Danbury, feminism, Latino artistry, and the dynamics of the Latino racial and ethnic complex, are thorough and thought provoking. Her dedication to Hartford and Latinos speaks volumes, and is something that will continue for years to come.
1) What challenges have you faced as a women in your vast lines of work?
2) What do you think about the social dynamics between Trinity College and Hartford in terms of two apparent communities?
3) Is there as great a sense of distinction between communities at Capital Community College as there is at Trinity?
4) Do you feel that knowledge of English is an important factor of survival in the United States in general? In the working world?
5) Throughout the years Hartford has undergone many changes. In your opinion, are they for the better?
6) In terms of your work as a learning disabilities specialist, what are your thoughts on the education system in the United States and also on the attention received/given to children with special needs?
7) What influences did you have while writing your poetry? Specific people? Personal experiences? Current events?
8) What role does your background/heritage play in your professional life? Personal?
9) What are your thoughts on the Latino community in Hartford? Do you feel a part of that community?
10) What do you think of the ICE raids/Danbury 11? What are your thoughts on immigration in general? How do you feel about the push for immigration regulation in the United States?
11) Why did you decide to work in Hartford? What were your influences?
12) What role does religion play in the Latin community? Do you feel that religion plays a significant part in the Latino identity, especially Catholicism that the Spanish implemented in many different Latin American countries?
13) What has your experience been as a black Latina? How do you view the racial dynamics in the Puerto Rican/Latin community?
14) What are you thoughts regarding how America tries to categorize the Hispanic American community by labeling them “Latinos” or “Hispanics”? Do you feel that generalizations given to the many different Latin ethnic groups unite them or create greater friction between them?