Nathaly Batista-Morales

Photography by  Diana Ascarrunz

Photography by Diana Ascarrunz

Tell us about yourself. Include where you’re from, what you do, how your thriving, and anything else everyone should know about you.

My husband and I are Puerto Rican. We came to Austin to get our Ph.D. and master’s degrees, respectively. We give back to the community through education and journalism with a social justice focus. We’ve been able to access opportunities like these though our work as graduate students. My husband, for example, has written and published stories related to the Dakota Access Pipeline, the transgender community, the Asian immigrant community, and the positive portrayal of a Puerto Rican Capoeira athlete. In my research, I have worked with capturing the challenges and paths to success navigated by Latina female doctoral students. This semester for my action research project, I want to create educational supports for the children of immigrant, female victims of domestic abuse. I am also involved in the Coalition Against Hate, Racism, and Violence, a student-led initiative at the College of Education at UT Austin, in response to the change in government. We do not have a website or anything like that, we are just actively using our educational background and access to academia to be actively involved in our communities. At times like these, we cannot be silent.

How do you identify culturally?

Puerto Rican, Latina

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What inspires you and who do you look up to?

I look up to my fierce Latina professor, Dra. Cervantes-Soon, and my amazing husband.

How has your Latinx background informed your decisions, successes, failures? What do you do when things go wrong?

It guides everything I do. It makes me work harder and longer because I want to make my country proud.

Your best piece of advice for anyone who’s struggling?

We all struggle, whether publicly or in silence. You are not alone. Find comfort in networking.

Future goals and aspirations?

To be a fierce, inspiring, Latina professor.

One thing people should know about the Latinx community?

We are here to stay. We are well educated and give back to our communities. We are not the same; we have different backgrounds, privileges, and challenges.

Your favorite Latinx owned business in Austin?

I need to research and support this more.

Where can people find you on the internet?

Nathaly BM

Latinx Voices is an online photo and interview series spotlighting Latinx peoples in our communities. We want to amplify those voices–reminding people that we are not only surviving, but thriving.