Moni  Avila's profile photo

Moni Avila

Professional Development Coordinator, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District

Moni  Avila's profile photo
Location: , TX
Start Year: 2024
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building

Biography

Moni Avila has a deep-rooted passion for working in and with her community. As a grassroots organizer, she founded the Mexican American Studies program MAS for the Masses. Through her role as a cultural educator, she worked collaboratively with the community to teach ethnic studies to people who did not have access to institutions of higher learning. The program aimed to highlight the contributions and impact Mexican American history had on American society as a part of the global narrative, not as something exclusive and separate. In her work in public health and with community health workers, she serves as a conduit between ethnic studies and public health. Her unique lens and lived experience working and living in the community she serves allows her to transition from institution to community and serve as liaison. 

Avila holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in Mexican American Studies, with a minor in Public Administration and a concentration in nonprofit management. She received her master’s from University of Texas at El Paso in Leadership Studies with a concentration in Community Engagement. Avila is pursuing her doctoral degree from Arizona State University in Leadership Studies focusing on grassroots organizing and Nepantlera community health workers. She hopes to identify the need and implications of incorporating history in public health.

Future Focus

Moni Avila, a dedicated advocate in the local health department, is spearheading a transformative project rooted in the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT)  framework. With a focus on training community health workers, Moni aims to tackle systemic racial disparities in healthcare access and outcomes. The project prioritizes equipping these workers with culturally sensitive training to bridge gaps in care delivery, particularly among marginalized populations. Moni is excited about the potential of this program to foster genuine healing and understanding within the community. By promoting empathy and trust-building, she envisions a health department that is more equitable and inclusive for all. Through this initiative, Moni seeks to deepen her commitment to addressing racial injustice and promoting holistic wellbeing for San Antonio’s diverse population.

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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program