Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2009 Issue »

    Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates

    Tara Yosso, William Smith, Miguel Ceja, and Daniel Solórzano
    In this article, Tara Yosso, William Smith, Miguel Ceja, and Daniel Solórzano expand on their previous work by employing critical race theory to explore and understand incidents of racial microaggressions as experienced by Latina/o students at three selective universities. The authors explore three types of racial microaggressions—interpersonal microaggressions, racial jokes, and institutional microaggressions—and consider the effects of these racist affronts on Latina/o students. Challenging the applicability of Vincent Tinto’s three stages of passage for college students, the authors explore the processes by which Latinas/os respond to racial microaggressions and confront hostile campus racial climates. The authors find that, through building community and developing critical navigation skills, Latina/o students claim empowerment from the margins.

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    Tara J. Yosso is an associate professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching and research apply a framework of critical race theory to examinations of educational access and equity, emphasizing the community cultural wealth that facilitates the resilient resistance of students of color. The American Educational Studies Association selected Yosso’s book Critical Race Counterstories Along the Chicana/Chicano Educational Pipeline for the 2008 Critics’ Choice Book Award. Her research is also published in journals such as Race Ethnicity and Education, Qualitative Inquiry, and the Journal of Popular Film and Television. Yosso’s current research analyzes racial microaggressions evidenced in Hollywood portrayals of urban Latina/o high school students.

    William A. Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Education, Culture, and Society and in the Ethnic Studies Program at the University of Utah, where he also serves as the associate dean for Diversity, Access, and Equity in the College of Education as well as the special assistant to the president and the NCAA faculty athletics representative. Smith is the coeditor (with Philip Altbach and Kofi Lomotey) of The Racial Crisis in American Higher Education: The Continuing Challenges for the 21st Century (2002), and his work has appeared in such journals as the Journal of Negro Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, and American Behavioral Scientist. His work has focused primarily on racial battle fatigue, the cumulative emotional, psychological, physiological, and behavioral effects that racial microaggressions have on people of color. Smith is a former postdoctoral fellow for both the Ford Foundation and the Center for Urban Educational Research and Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Miguel Ceja is an associate professor in the Department of Education Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). He teaches master’s- and doctoral-level courses in higher education policy and leadership and research methods. His research in higher education policy focuses on issues of access and equity in higher education for students of color, college choice, diversity and campus racial climate, and community college student success, and it has appeared in journals such as the Journal of College Student Development, Review of Higher Education, and Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. Prior to his appointment at CSUN, Ceja was an assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy at California State University, Sacramento.

    Daniel G. Solórzano is a professor of social science and comparative education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He also has a joint appointment as a professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and is an affiliated professor in the Department of Women’s Studies. He is the director of the University of California All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity (UC ACCORD), an interdisciplinary, multicampus research center devoted to a more equitable distribution of educational resources and opportunities in California’s public schools and universities. Solórzano’s teaching and research interests include critical race and gender studies on the educational access, persistence, and graduation of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students of color in the United States. He has authored more than sixty
    articles, book chapters, and reports on issues of educational access and equity for underrepresented minority populations in the United States. In 2007, he was awarded the UCLA Distinguished Teacher Award.

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    Winter 2009 Issue


    Sylvia Hurtado
    Editors’ Introduction
    Ángeles, Sacrificios, y Dios
    A Puerto Rican Woman’s Journey Through Higher Education
    Marisa Rivera
    Latina/o Undergraduate Students Mentoring Latina/o Elementary Students
    A Borderlands Analysis of Shifting Identities and First-Year Experiences
    Dolores Delgado Bernal, Enrique Alemán Jr., and Andrea Garavito
    Existentialism at Home, Determinism Abroad
    A Small-Town Mexican American Kid Goes Global
    Joe Robert González
    From the Bricks to the Hall
    Mellie Torres
    The Re-Education of a Pocha-Rican
    How Latina/o Studies Latinized Me
    Arelis Hernandez
    Sin Papeles y Rompiendo Barreras
    Latino Students and the Challenges of Persisting in College
    Frances Contreras
    Dimensions of the Transfer Choice Gap
    Experiences of Latina and Latino Students Who Navigated Transfer Pathways
    Estela Mara Bensimon and Alicia C. Dowd
    Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates
    Tara Yosso, William Smith, Miguel Ceja, and Daniel Solórzano
    Mexican American and Educated
    Marlen Vasquez
    Increasing Latino/a Representation in Math and Science
    An Insider’s Look
    Jarrad Aguirre
    Challenging Racist Nativist Framing
    Acknowledging the Community Cultural Wealth of Undocumented Chicana College Students to Reframe the Immigration Debate
    Lindsay Pérez Huber
    Results Not Typical
    One Latino Family’s Experiences in Higher Education
    Margarita Jimenez-Silva, Norma V. Jimenez Hernandez, Ruth Luevanos, Dulcemonica Jimenez, and Abel Jimenez Jr.
    Barriers to Success
    A Narrative of One Latina Student’s Struggles
    Jannell Robles
    The Xicana Sacred Space
    A Communal Circle of Compromiso for Educational Researchers
    Lourdes Diaz Soto, Claudia G. Cervantes-Soon, Elizabeth Villarreal, and Emmet E. Campos

    Book Notes

    Standing on the Outside Looking In
    edited by Mary F. Howard-Hamilton, Carla L. Morelon-Quainoo, Susan D. Johnson, Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, and Lilia Santiague.

    Undocumented Immigrants and Higher Education
    Alejandra Rincón.

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