Born and raised in Mexico City, Ana Paula Noguez Mercado is a mom, lawyer, community interpreter, language justice advocate, and independent consultant on gender justice, immigrant rights, community mobilization, and leadership development. In Mexico, she studied Gender and the Law, with a focus on the due-process rights of indigenous women in Oaxacan prisons. It was here that she became aware of the powerful role language justice plays in how people are able to access and advocate for their rights. In 2006, she moved to Los Angeles, where she studied Critical Legal Studies and International Human Rights Law at UCLA. She served for five years as the Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Prevention Program at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where she built and managed a program targeted at educating and organizing the Latina immigrant community around domestic violence prevention and legal rights. In her work with MALDEF and with other organizations, such as the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations (FIOB) and the Binational Center for the Development of Indigenous Communities (CBDIO), her focus has been to foster linguistic and cultural competency as a tool for immigrant and indigenous communities to participate fully in a range of legal, political and social contexts.
Jen Hofer is a poet, literary translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, and urban cyclist. She was born in San Francisco and lived in various parts of the U.S. and Mexico before moving from Mexico City’s Centro Histórico to the Cypress Park neighborhood in Los Angeles in 2002. Jen has published 8 books in translation, 3 books of poetry, and numerous chapbooks, primarily with small independent presses—including local Los Angeles presses Insert Blanc Press, Les Figues Press, and Palm Press—and in various DIY/DIT incarnations. Jen has done projects and performances through a number of local autonomous cultural entities, including the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Los Angeles Poverty Department, Machine Project, Monte Vista Projects, Occupy Los Angeles, and Writ Large Press. In addition to working locally and nationally as a translator and interpreter with Antena and Antena Los Ángeles, she teaches poetics, translation and bookmaking at California Institute of the Arts and at Otis College of Art + Design. Jen’s belief in the deeply revolutionizing power of language, alongside her endless fascination for the spaces between languages and cultures, first sparked her interest in language justice and her belief that language justice is an integral part of social justice.