Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés is an inspiring teacher and leader. She is also a writer whose work connects her with the diverse experiences of Latinas throughout the country as well as of those of all English teachers of writing. As an Associate Professor of English at the University of Central Florida, she has been involved in the CCCC for over 20 years and masterfully served as co-chair of the Latino Caucus from 1995 till 2007, editing the caucus newsletter Capirotada during this time. Her work is included in several anthologies, most recently the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, and she was the 2009 Theodore Morrison Fiction Fellow at the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. Her important collection of short stories, Marielitos, Balseros, and Other Exiles (2009), was followed by her Everyday Chica, winner of the 2010 Longleaf Press Poetry Prize. As a writing professor and a former leader of the CCCC Latino Caucus, she has inspired Latinos everywhere with her generous spirit, which is particularly apparent not only in her teaching, but is seen in her writing, where she represents the everyday experiences of poor yet strong and proud Cuban Americans from New Jersey, all the way down to Miami, and to Cuba itself. Her winning personality matched by superb skills as a writer and poet inspire by bringing to light what others turn away from, dignifying the least of us. During this session, she will read from some of her works and engage us in conversation.