Who Are We?

Women of Color in ELT is run by a team of Women of Color committed to disrupting the status quo in ELT and making change happen!

Here is the list of #WOCinELT leaders in alphabetical order.

At WOC in ELT, power is shared. You can lead this movement if you are interested. Contact us and let us know. We would love to have you on board!

Lama Alharbi is a Ph.D. candidate and researcher at Columbia University. She is interested in educational linguistics, critical race theories, and social justice advocacy. She has been presenting some of her work at the American Educations Research Association (AERA), American Applied Linguistics Association (AAAL), TESOL, and NTCE’s conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). She is also the recipient of The 2018 Dream Scholar Award and The 2019 Memorial Scholarship Award at the CCCC.

Behnaz Amani

Neither a separationist nor a racist, I’m just a woman, a “Huwo”[1] who wants to share her story with the people of the world to hear theirs. I fell in love with literature this treacherous mistress of all who sucks the life out of your veins and gives despair when I was a teenager. To be a Nobel Prize winner was my ambition, yet growing up made me realize that being a voice requires accomplishments greater than just a prize. It needs courage beyond doubts to accept your loneliness in your life journey and wisdom to be the sole reliance.

A Ph.D. candidate in English literature, who had studied interior architecture and design as well. A fine art photography model, poet, and writer who believes in kindness and understanding. Tries her best to be supportive of those in need and hates lies and infidelity.

[1] Human – woman. Since both of these terms have ‘man’ as their essential components, I thought omitting that and converging the two remaining parts would give us a sense of emphasis on femininity.

Jade Cintron

Jade has specialized in teaching ESL through theatre, song & movement for the past ten years, eight of which were in Barcelona, Spain, quite a unique place to be as one of the few women of color working in the field at the time. She was also Managing Director for the Barcelona TEFL Teachers Association for six years, leading a variety of events, workshops and professional development opportunities for ELT teachers. Inspired by the surprise turnout of the 2016 elections, Jade decided it was time to come back stateside and work to incorporate real, honest conversations about social justice, people of color, women of color and women in general into her classrooms. She holds a Masters in Arts Administration from Drexel University, focusing on cultural awareness in theatre & language education, a direct and extended result of her previous work. Jade is a proud supporter and annual attendee for Americans for the Arts, a member and repeat speaker at the InnovateELT conference held by Oxford House & ELTJam in Barcelona, a member and presenter for this year’s conference for the Arts Educators of New Jersey, a member for the New Jersey Arts Administrators of Color Camden chapter and member and presenter for this year’s conference at the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association. She has also served as Associate Director for the Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory, Director of Education & Community at an arts center in Reading, a predominantly Latino town in PA. She currently serves as the Bilingual Literacy Specialist for The Free Library of Philadelphia where she focuses on the Latino & African American communities in North Philly.

Sadeqa Ghazal

Sadeqa Ghazal is an Assistant Professor in English at Magadh University, Bodhgaya (India). She is pursuing PhD (ELT) from Indian Institute of Technology Patna (India). She has taught English in ‘difficult circumstances’ for eight years at both the school and college levels in Bihar, India. She has also been a mentor for TESOL-CALL EVO Classroom-based Action Research workshop for 2017 and 2018. Apart from things related to languages and language learning, Sadeqa loves writing, travel, and photography. She likes to explore new places and cultures.

Marzie Khalilian

Marzie Khalilian is a master’s student of International Public Policy at Osaka University, Japan. She holds a BA in Japanese Language and Literature. She teaches English to Young Learners in Japan. Her research interests include politics in the Middle East and Africa, media studies, gender studies, and cultural studies.

Born and raised in Tehran, Parisa Mehran holds a BA in English Language and Literature, an MA in TEFL, both from Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran, and a PhD in Computer Assisted Language Learning from Osaka University, Japan. Her research interests include Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and Social Justice and Equity Studies (SJES) in Education with the focus on Anti-racist Feminist Pedagogy. She currently teaches part-time at several universities in Japan. In addition, she is an English tutor at Paper Airplanes and Hands Up Project, which provide online English lessons to individuals affected by conflict. Parisa also actively gives talks about the real Iran and the Iranian people behind the news, and blog about the Iranian identity at beyondyourstereotypes.wordpress.com

Varinder Unlu

Varinder Unlu has been working  in ELT for 25 years in many different contexts from private language schools to FE and HE, teaching students from 6-80 years old. She has been a DOS/Academic Manager since 2002 and has been working at International House, London since 2010 as Director of Studies.  She is also a teacher trainer for CELTA and Trinity.