Vanessa (Chacha) Centeno
Vanessa ‘Chacha’ Centeno (she/her) is a librarian in Northern California, where she has worked in public libraries for fifteen years. Her recent work has focused on youth services, management, and equity, diversity, and inclusion in public libraries. She is a Racial Healing Circle Practitioner, and a speaker with the American Library Association’s EDI Speaker’s Bureau. In 2018, she worked as a Librarian Advisor for the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Great Stories Club Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present is a Conversation with the Past project. Vanessa earned a Master’s in Library and Information Science through San Jose State University and a Bachelors of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice through Portland State University. Before working in libraries, she assisted with case management for families experiencing houselessness and worked with youth in juvenile justice settings. Her story touches on removal and return to culture, intergenerational trauma, generational gang cultures, identity and healing. She enjoys storytelling and believes it teaches and preserves culture while healing the wounds of historical trauma.