Dr. Alaí Reyes-Santos is the Associate Director of the Just Futures Institute for Climate and Racial Justice at University of Oregon. She is also a consultant that facilitates individual and organizational transformations in the non-profit sector, government, higher ed, and social and environmental justice organizations. She offers an approach to social and environmental justice, and conflict resolution, grounded in ancestral healing practices that serve the individual and the collective. She currently serves in Oregon's Racial Justice Council's Environmental Equity Committee.
Her training as an Iya, water priestess, and founder of the AfroIndigenous ceremonial community Ilé Estrella de los Mares, informs how she leads conversations about social violence, power, and solidarity as community healing processes. Dr. Reyes Santos is also certified in the ThetaHealing Technique, a meditation practice that she deploys to support individuals engaged in processes of self- and community healing. She has experience accompanying people working in academia, health care, public service, social and environmental justice advocacy, and the arts. An award winning teacher, her Ted-talk “Building Intercultural Communities” is used in higher ed and popular education to initiate guidelines for dialogue across difference.
In the United States and internationally, Dr. Reyes-Santos has collaborated with the Organization of American States, School Garden Project, Huerto de la Familia, Centro Bonó, Mobilize Green, the City of Eugene Climate Change Action Plan, City of Eugene's Middle Housing Equity Roundtable, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, U of Oregon's Teaching Effectiveness Program, among others. She provides holistic support to individuals completing writing projects and undergoing career transformations in the academic sector.
Dr. Reyes-Santos is the author of Our Caribbean Kin: Race and Nation in the Neoliberal Antilles. Her bylines include: Bilingual Review, La Razón, Centro Journal, Revue Européene des Migrations Internationales, Callaloo Journal, Revista Estudios Sociales, HipLatina, and the digital resource The UO Puerto Rico Project: Hurricane Maria and Its Aftermath. She has a monthly column in The Register Guard. Her current books-in-progress propose a Black Diasporic approach to betrayals among kin emerging from racial, gender and environmental violence. The digital humanities project Caribbean Women Healers: Decolonizing Knowledge Within AfroIndigenous traditions-with Dr. Ana-Maurine Lara-showcases interviews with healers, ethnobotanical resources, and curriculum and bibliographical resources.
The community-action research project Oregon Water Futures contributes to the articulation of a water justice agenda in the state and nationwide. It is a collaboration with Oregon Environmental Council, Willamette Partnership, Coalition of Communities of Color, and six community hosts including the Chinook Indian Nation, PCUN, Euvalcree, Verde, NAACP, and Unite Oregon.
Dr. Reyes Santos completed her BA in Humanities at University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez; and her MA and PhD at University of California, San Diego.