Allison Alcéna is a recent Asheville transplant, raised in Spring Valley, New York. They hold a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature and Black Studies from Swarthmore College. During their time in college, Allison researched how children’s literature can be a catalyst for social change and how literature has historically served as a form of resistance in Black communities. As a college student, Allison gravitated towards campus leadership positions where identity remained at the forefront of conversation and such opportunities proved invaluable for contextualizing their existence as well as gaining insight on the many manifestations marginalization has on a college campus.
Through their social justice work, Allison seeks to center the voices of marginalized people, particularly youth of color. As the Tzedek Fellow for the University of North Carolina at Asheville Center for Diversity Education, they will supervise a team of college students through their social justice endeavors both on campus and in the greater Asheville community. Allison hopes to explore the intersections between social justice and art, as well as encourage college students to pursue social justice work professionally.