Profiles in Leadership - Dr. Jonathan Pérez
As we celebrate #HispanicHeritage across the US, Collective Leadership Strategies would like to offer some profiles of people who we especially honor and respect. The first of whom is our very own Dr. Jonathan Pérez!
We stay proud of our colleague and co-founder for good reason! Jonathan is highly regarded across the country as a leader who is unapologetically outspoken about improving opportunities and representation for Chicanos in leadership. To know Dr. Pérez is to know what pride in community and respect for the journey looks like.
Jonathan Pérez completed his journey towards a Doctorate in April 2021 at Abilene Christian University upon the successful defense of his dissertation titled, “Testimonios of Chicano Leadership in Texas Community Colleges.” His research provides a critical analysis of conditions that influence the disparity of Chicano leaders in Higher Ed, specifically in community colleges.
To say that Dr. Pérez is the conscience of whatever organization he is part of is a profound understatement. He is always bringing a lens of racial equity and humanity to the decision making process, and constantly observing patterns and behaviors for unconscious bias. Jonathan is committed to finding solutions and building fresh, new ways to improve process that are rooted in justice. At CLS, Jonathan uses his research and systems thinking skills to develop solutions for our clients as they navigate complexity in their organizations.
This blog post could fill pages and pages recounting his journey in life thus far. I could spend hours writing about the pride that this son of immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico- descendant of the Mayans,-has for his heritage. I could tell the story of a boy who was raised by these streets, found God, and became a man of faith. I could describe the husband and father who puts his family before everything that he does. I could demonstrate all the ways he's a friend who is always there to support you through a bad day or to lend a hand when his people are in need.
Those are all part of his story - an ongoing account of his lived experience that comprises the leader we know today. He's a masterful storyteller. If you've seen him out in the community, you already know! So rather than sharing those details here, I would instead like to share bits of Jonathan’s work with our readers. Although the stories come up often, it's the work that is informed by these experiences that is truly changing public discourse and the trajectory for Chicano leaders across the Southwest.
The thing about acknowledging heritage is that we look back at the road that has been traveled AND look ahead to see where that road can take us. Cheers to Dr. Jonathan Pérez (JP as we call him around here) and the path that he keeps our motley crew on every day!
Papers authored and co-authored by Dr. Jonathan Pérez: