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African American Linguists (AAL)

Promoting World Languages in the African American Community

AAL Founders Pictorial Journey: 2004-2019

Still going strong after 15 years!

Tamari Jenkins: AAL Founder

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Biography: Tamari Jenkins is proud to be a native of California. She was born in southern California but grew up in the northern part of the state, just outside of Sacramento. She began her interest in foreign languages at a very young age but did not begin to study Spanish until high school. She received her B.A. degree from Pacific Union College and did her graduate study at the University of California, Riverside. She received her M. A. degree in Spanish with an emphasis in linguistics and dialectology. In January of 2002 Tamari joined the Spanish faculty at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA where she is currently a tenured, associate professor. Tamari now serves as the founder on the AAL board and as the ACTFL Past chair of the Educators of African American Students special interest group. Tamari currently resides in Rancho Cucamonga with her husband Raymond and son Elijah and her daughter. She enjoys cooking vegetarian cuisine, dancing at Zumba classes, activities with her son and daughter and learning about and teaching Afro-Latinx history. 

Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither: AAL Co-Founder

  • Email: [email protected]

  • Biography: Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither has been a Professor of Spanish, Literature, and Teacher Education since 1999. Currently, she is the Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Justice at Mount Saint Mary's University-Los Angeles. Dr. Hines-Gaither is the Past Chair of the ACTFL Special Interest Group for Educators of African American Students (ACTFL AAS SIG). She is also the Past President of the Foreign Language Association of NC. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Cultural Studies. She received her Bachelor's degree in Spanish from Salem College and a Master's degree in Spanish Education from Wake Forest University. Dr. Hines-Gaither is a graduate of Middlebury College (Vermont) French Language School as well. She specializes in Afro-Latinx cultural heritage and the African Diaspora. Her research interests include Afro-Latinx and Afro-Francophone literature and culture and specialized training in Racial Equity. She has taken dozens of students to Mexico and Cuba to study abroad and to conduct research. When outside of the classroom, Dr. Hines-Gaither enjoys spiritual practices, Latin dancing, research,

traveling and cooking vegetarian cuisine. She resides in Winston-Salem, NC with her husband Julián & son Giovanni.

Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither is available for school presentations (K-20), public speaking, teacher training, panels and workshops (click here).

Founding of AAL

In August of 2004 Tamari Jenkins met Krishauna Hines-Gaither in Cuernavaca, Mexico while both women were there as directors of their respective Spanish immersion programs. Tamari and Krishauna immediately recognized their mutual passion for promoting languages in the African American community. They began brainstorming about a networking organization in which African American educators and students in the field of world languages could find support. From these initial conversations, AAL was born. 

  • AAL was founded during the summer of 2004 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.
  • Meet Tamari, Krishauna & other AAL network friends each year at the ACTFL convention. Click here for more information.