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“Hay poder en numeros”: Understanding the Development of a Collectivist Latinx Parent Identity and Conscientização Amid an Anti-Immigrant Climate


by Érica Fernández & Katherine C. Rodela - 2020

Background/Context: Given our current anti-immigrant context, it is pertinent that we understand how (un)documented parents who are members of a parent-organized and parent-initiated group come to develop a collectivist Latinx identity within oppressive and marginalizing structures and policies.

Purpose/Objectives: This study analyzes the processes and actions of a Latinx parent group that led to the establishment of a collectivist identity and the activation of a collective conscientização/critical consciousness amid an anti-immigrant climate.

Research Design: Based on a 2.5-year critical ethnography, we analyzed data that included in-depth interviews, participant observations, photographs, and documents. In doing so, we were able to center the experiences of a parent organizing group in an elementary school in the Midwest during a period of heightened immigrant surveillance and anti-immigrant legislation.

Findings/Results: Our research suggests that critical consciousness was activated among this group in three stages: (1) Stage 1 describes the actions/strategies FUV took to develop a collective critical consciousness; (2) Stage 2 details the ways in which FUV members activated (i.e., enacted) their collective critical consciousness; and (3) Stage 3 discusses FUV’s ongoing efforts to nurture a collective critical consciousness.

Conclusions/Recommendations: This study combats oppressive, marginalizing, and prevailing academic and public parental involvement discourse, thus having direct implications for how school officials center and support (un)documented Latinx parents and families in schools.  



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 122 Number 8, 2020, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23380, Date Accessed: 9/18/2020 4:14:20 AM

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About the Author
  • Érica Fernández
    Miami University
    E-mail Author
    ÉRICA FERNÁNDEZ, Ph.D., is an associate professor of educational leadership at Miami University–Oxford. Her research is focused on centering, listening to, and sharing the educational engagement experiences of Parents of Color, particularly the experiences of Spanish-speaking Latinx immigrant parents living amid threatening and hostile anti-immigrant environments. She hopes that the narratives of Latinx immigrant parents will help highlight how oppressive institutional policies create barriers for authentic engagement within schools. Other research interests include family and community partnerships, and family engagement policy initiatives (at the local, state, and federal level). Her research has been published in Equity & Excellence in Education, Journal of Research in Leadership Education, Educational Policy, and other scholarly journals. Recent publications include: Fernández, E., & Scribner, S. M. P. (2018). “Venimos para que se oiga la voz”: Activating community cultural wealth as parental educational leadership. Journal of Research in Educational Leadership, 13(1), 59–78; and Fernández, E. (2016). Illuminating agency: A Latin@ immigrant parent’s Testimonio on the intersection of immigration reform and schools. Equity & Excellence in Education, 49(3), 350–362.
  • Katherine Rodela
    Washington State University Vancouver
    E-mail Author
    KATHERINE C. RODELA, Ph.D., is an associate professor of educational leadership at Washington State University Vancouver. Her research focuses on leadership for equity and diversity, with particular emphasis on the formation of equity-oriented school and district leadership, and Latinx parent leadership and community organizing in education. She has published in Educational Administration Quarterly, International Journal of Leadership in Education, Journal of Research in Leadership Education, and other scholarly journals. Recent publications include: Rodela, K., & Rodriguez-Mojica, C. (2019). “Because we work for the whole, not the I”: Community cultural wealth informing Latinx equity leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0013161X19847513; and Rodela, K., & Bertrand, M. (2018). Rethinking educational leadership in the margins: Youth, parent, and community leadership for equity and social justice. Journal of Research in Leadership Education, 13(1), 3–9. doi:10.1177/1942775117751306.
 
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