Juliet Velarde Betita is a Pilipina elder. Her personal roots as a bi-lingual, bi-cultural, first born and daughter of immigrant parents are the foundations of her professional identity as a Marriage Family Therapist, a college professor and facilitator in diversity trainings. Naming the ever-shifting adjustment to cultural identities, Juliet sees the individual as a multicultural infusion of personal cultural values and political cultural identities.
Recognizing and understanding one’s personal and political cultural identities came to Juliet as she began to examine the intertwining of her personal experiences with institutional marginalization and observing institutional oppression in her professional work. The culmination of these experiences manifested in Juliet’s discovery of her own wounds of oppression. Making meaning of these wounds was transforming for her. Juliet learned to honor her voice by naming and claiming her experiences and knowledge.
She began to see herself as a whole and complete person as she learned to separate consciously what she experienced from that which was imposed. The healing of her wounds came in the form of dialogues where the context of her truths were acknowledged. Out of this process, Juliet has become the voice for those marginalized and supports individuals in their quest to find their own voice in their personal and professional identities.