Roberto Tijerina is a Southern-based queer Latino of immigrant parents whose work focuses on language justice —building analysis and practice around language as a tool of power, as well as strategies for dismantling language barriers and creating linguistically level playing fields in social justice movement spaces. He has worked for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund supporting diverse LGBTQ+ communities around civil rights issues, coordinated the Highlander Center’s Multilingual Capacity Building Program (where he developed an interpreter-training curriculum that is used across the US to train community interpreters), set up language access for the US Social Forum in Detroit in June 2010, and served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Audre Lorde Project. He was on the board of directors of Southerners on New Ground for seven years and is currently their Deputy Director.
In addition to English and Spanish, Roberto worked as an American Sign Language interpreter for 10 years. Throughout his activist career, he has maintained close ties to the immigrant community in which he was raised, working on issues of literacy, second-language learning, and civil rights.