Q&A with Darius A. Villalobos, Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Where are you based?
The Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago, IL. My wife and I live in a cooperative with two other families.
How long have you worked for NFCYM?
Since beginning in October of 2018, I am proud to be going on more than 2 years with NFCYM.
Outside of work, what do you like to do?
When I am not working, I like to cook (and of course eat), read, write, and watch TV with my wife. I am an avid book and comic book collector which my wife says is getting out of hand, but I think it is just right. I love playing classic video games. I also play the guitar for fun and for the occasional liturgical event. I’m a huge Chicago sports fan, especially the Cubs and Bears.
What is something about you that most folks might not know?
I love to write everything from reflections, fiction, poetry, etc.
and have been published a few times. My undergraduate studies were in English and Catholic Studies. I thought I would go on to be an editor for a newspaper or magazine. In high school, I played volleyball and chess (a sport by the Illinois High School Association standards). I have a pet turtle named Wendy. For those who only knew me recently, I had locks for most of my twenties (see picture).
What you do at NFCYM?
I am responsible for NFCYM’s efforts to live out our values of diversity and inclusion. I work on strategic initiatives, help with our formation programs, consult and resource members, and am responsible for many relationships with other organizations and partners.
What is the best part about your job – why do you do what you do?
I love that in my job I can learn from and experience different cultures and communities immersing myself in them and the lives of others. I often find the more I learn about others, the more I learn about myself. It is a privilege to serve in a role that gives you opportunities to be welcomed into another community’s home.
Why should members connect with you?
If you ever need support, resources, or ideas on how to include others or get different perspectives, I am a great thought partner. I was blessed to have served in a variety of ministry roles: as a volunteer, a parish and diocesan staff member, a catechist, a liturgical and music minister, a youth and young adult minister, and in evangelization. I still do some hands-on ministry through retreats, speaking, and teaching which keeps me grounded with the lives of young people. I feel blessed to have been able to do so much and am happy to share any knowledge and insights I might have, so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask!