Joyce M. Avila, MA is a Puerto Rican who came to live in Brooklyn, New York in 1978 and has been a resident of Tobyhanna, PA for the past 10 years. Climbing the corporate ladder in international banking for 9 years, she decided to change her career direction and enrolled in graduate school. She received her Masters in Bilingual – Bi Cultural Education. She has been a classroom teacher in Puerto Rico, Brooklyn NYC Public School, Bethlehem Area School District and Pocono Mountain School District. At Pocono Mountain she created and implemented the ESL Program.

Currently Joyce is the President of her own Company; CAFÉ Creating and Facilitating Equality. As a Presenter, Facilitator, Keynote speaker and Educator she organizes and facilitates workshops in the areas of diversity, life change and transition, leadership, communication, conflict resolution, stress management and self-care. This type of work is not new to her as she was former Director for Northeastern Pennsylvania Diversity Education Consortium, Assistant Director for Diversity Institute, and Diversity Director for Keystone College. Joyce also continues work across the nation as a Minority Leadership Trainer for the National Education Association.

A Puerto Rican American, Mrs. Avila has had intimate experience with bigotry directed towards herself and her community. She believes that two components are essential to assist individuals in becoming culturally competent; first, to be self aware of ones own myths, misconceptions, stories and prejudices. Secondly, to be honest, curious and sensitive in your approach with people of different cultural and racial backgrounds, so that true connection and understanding of others can take place.

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