Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2009 Issue »

    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
    The Xicana Sacred Space resulted from an effort to develop a framework that would center the complexities of Chicana ontology and epistemology as they relate to social action projects in our communities. Claiming indigenous roots and ways of knowing, the Xicana Sacred Space functions as a decolonizing tool by displacing androcentric and Western linear notions of research in favor of a Mestiza consciousness (Anzaldúa, 1999). Organically born, the space proved to be an important source of knowledge, strength, inspiration, and reflexivity for the authors in their journey as graduate students. Here the authors explain how the space evolved and detail its promise as a tool for raising consciousness, gaining strength, cultivating cultural intuition (Delgado Bernal, 1998), examining positionalities and standpoints, and achieving intellectual growth among those interested in conducting decolonial, emancipatory, and feminist research and action projects.

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    Lourdes Diaz Soto is the Goizueta Endowed Professor at Dalton State College where she teaches, researches, and advocates on behalf of Latina/o families. Her selected book publications include the Praeger Handbook of Latino Education in the U.S (2006) and Making a Difference in the Lives of Bilingual/Bicultural Children (2001), and she has published widely in several refereed journals. She was the recipient of a Spencer Foundation Grant and wrote numerous federal grants to provide scholarships to more than sixty Latina/o graduate students in teacher education programs. She was a visiting faculty member at Teachers College and has previously taught at Pennsylvania State University and at the University of Texas at Austin.

    Claudia G. Cervantes-Soon is a doctoral candidate in cultural studies in education in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation research focuses on the role of schooling in the identity formation and agency of female adolescents in the global context of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. As a bilingual educator for the last ten years, Cervantes-Soon has done extensive work as a teacher, consultant, curriculum writer, and teacher trainer in urban schools throughout Texas. As a family literacy specialist in central Nebraska, she worked closely with Latino immigrant families in developing strategies to promote bilingualism, biliteracy, and self-efficacy. She currently teaches education courses for preservice teachers about culturally and linguistically diverse students.

    Elizabeth Villarreal is a doctoral student in cultural studies in education at the University of Texas at Austin. She was a bilingual elementary school teacher for six years before exploring other areas such as curriculum design, instructional coaching, and school administration as a social science researcher and a consultant working in both private and public schools. Her passion for language, community, and social justice connects her to the Austin community, for which she continues to serve as lead editor for columns related to education, immigration, culture, and bilingual literature that reach the local Spanish-speaking community. She currently stays home to raise her three young children, Diego Gabriel, Guadalupe, and Eva Concepcion.

    Emmet E. Campos is a doctoral candidate in cultural studies in education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies alternative and autonomous spaces of learning and teaching. His research focuses on autochthonous forms of critical pedagogy and epistemologies and sociocultural processes of identity formation. He is currently a project director with the Institute for Community, University and School Partnership (ICUSP), an initiative of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas that links university resources with communities in East Austin—historically an African American and Mexicana/o and Chicana/o working-class community. He has also worked as a consultant to the Austin Independent School District coordinating youth and parent leadership workshops. He previously taught Chicana/o and American literature, cultural studies, and rhetoric and writing at UT Austin and St. Edwards University.

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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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