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Meet Robert Tinajero of Race Relations Institute and

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Tinajero.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Robert. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in El Paso, TX, then left for undergraduate schooling at Austin College in Sherman, TX. I then got a Masters in Theological Studies from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston. After that, I returned home to get my Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from UT-El Paso. I always loved being in school and it was during my graduate studies that decided I wanted to be a college professor.

Besides my schooling, my family has had a huge impact on my life. My mom and dad worked very hard to give me and my siblings all that we needed and we were always encouraged to go to school and work hard. Ultimately, they are the examples I will always try to emulate.

As a professor, the three things I’m passionate about are race/racism, Hip Hop, and the studying of language and communication. That first interest led me to want to create the Race Relations Institute at Paul Quinn College where I am also a full-time instructor and the director of the Writing Program.

Every day I am grateful for the very fulfilling and privileged life I live. My parents worked hard to pull themselves out of simple means to give me the chance to spend my days teaching, reading, and develop programming to help people in society think about race/racism in a more complex way and to hopefully improve race relations in our world.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road for me has been rather smooth. As a kid, my siblings and I didn’t have any luxuries but we always had what we needed and were surrounded by a large and loving family. In college I had the usual speed bumps: some bad grades, changing majors a few times, relationship breakups, etc. but nothing beyond the norm.

I guess about five years ago you could say I had some rough patches in my personal life. I was dealing with a divorce, I tore my ACL and needed surgery, and I needed to have a small procedure on my elbow. But, I always try to keep things in perspective; I know there are millions of people who are dealing with much more serious issues.

The hardest thing I have dealt with was the passing of my father in 2016 from cancer. My father, who I’m named after, was an extraordinary man who taught me so much about how to be a man and a father. It was not easy for me, or my family, to deal with his sickness and passing but I know he is in a better place and lived a great life.

Overall, my life has been blessed, I have a wonderful family, a lot of great friends, a great job, a fiance, and a beautiful and healthy new son.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Race Relations Institute and story. Tell us more about the business.
The organization I head is the Race Relations Institute at Paul Quinn College. The organization’s main aim is to lead discussions on race, racism, diversity, and equity and to build relationships between people of different backgrounds. The programming is centered around three main things: a humanities course on race/racism taught at the college every other semester, workshops focused on race relations and an annual race relations symposium that works at building social bridges in regards to race (learn more at

I also have a website where I promote my writing, writing workshops, and post useful information on academic writing.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I imagine luck has played a big role. I certainly believe that we create much of our own luck by making informed decisions in our life but there is too much randomness in the world for me to discredit “luck”.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3837 Simpson Stuart Rd. Dallas, TX 75241
  • Website:
  • Phone: 915-241-4971
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @rtinajer7
  • Twitter: @RobertTinajero

Image Credit:

Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Abrams

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