Nanci Luna Jiménez founded Luna Jiménez Seminar & Associates (LJS) in Santa Cruz, CA, as a way to make a difference in the world. During a life-changing workshop in 1993 given by her mentor and now associate, Lillian Roybal Rose, Nanci made a decision that this would become her life’s work.
The story of LJS is deeply linked to Nanci’s own story. As the city of Detroit burned with the fires of racial unrest in the summer of 1967, a year that marked the height of civil rights movement in the US, Nanci was born disabled to an immigrant Puerto Rican father and first generation Mexican American mother. The tensions of racism between people of color and white people and internalized racism between the Mexican and Puerto Rican communities, as well as other inequities in her community and family impacted Nanci deeply. These early experiences continued to shape her commitment to justice even as she later attended Yale University, only the second female in her family to attend a 4-year university, and continued with doctoral studies, the first in her family to do so.
At that workshop in 1993 and many times since then, Nanci has seen entrenched biases shift and observed defended attitudes soften when people listen to each other’s stories and are encouraged to tell their own. She realized that lasting and effective social change happens one relationship at a time. Inspired to expand the work of her mentor and others trained in this approach, Nanci started LJS to live her commitment to changing the world by offering tools for personal transformation.
Beginning with her core training program, Transformational Communication: Tools for Cross Cultural Understanding and Inclusion, LJS’s offerings have grown to include other training programs, facilitation, leadership coaching, and public speaking. Fifteen years later, LJS now has an executive coordinator and seven associates who work throughout the US and internationally.