Current Writing Projects:
Uncovering ideologies of colonialism influencing interorganizational collaboratives using critical community psychology
Examining Community Psychology education within a global decolonial context
Describing the process of epistemological decolonization through the embodiment of decoloniality praxis and building the decolonial village
Current Scholarship-Practice Research & Evaluation Projects:
CLAVE of National Louis University, Chicago, IL, USA
The CLAVE grant’s major goal: To collaborate with local communities to increase Hispanic/Latinx and other underrepresented individuals’ enrollment in and graduation from doctoral programs.
The main goal of CLAVE is embodied in the grant’s name, CLAVE, which stands for Colaborando con las Comunidades Latinas para AVanzar en Educación (Collaborating with Latino Communities to AdVance Education).
In service of our goal, we value students’ multilingualism, and experiences in social-justice work with Latinx communities and other marginalized communities. We engage with an understanding of how systemic oppression and inequities have shaped students’ experiences and representation in higher education.
Historically universities have been perceived as a source of expertise within community spaces, however, in working to de-center historically and potentially oppressive dominant narratives and power dynamics, we work in partnership with communities to redistribute this power dynamic and participate with us in co-creating innovative university programming.
We believe that a long history of colonialism, coloniality, and systemic oppression have created inequitable opportunities for people of color, second language and dialect speakers of English, individuals from working class backgrounds, women, and LGBTQ people. We believe these communities must be centered in the work we do. This work inevitably involves long-term institutional change working as ‘ghosts in the machine’ to decolonize the minds and practices of those we collaborate with, including ourselves.
Doctoral Fellows of CLAVE participate in a diverse learning community, mosaic writing studios, and global writing circles, in connection with the CLAVE center. Through these spaces we nurture opportunities for students’ to cultivate their unique identities as writers and creators who seek to shape their communities at local, national, and international levels.
CLAVE is hiring a center manager: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/clave-graduate-student-services-manager-at-national-louis-university-1921030604/
Community Research Open Platform (CROP) Workshop Series
The CROP Workshop Series aims to discuss and reflect ongoing global research and praxis ideas in Community Psychology and Community Science – in an open, but systematic monthly (bi-monthly?) format.
The workshops are an offer to community researchers, practioners and activists of all ages and from all parts of the world to present and discuss papers, ideas, action plans of transformative community science and action – online in a private and safe place.
Current Organizing & Community-Based Work:
Complimentary to the scholarship-practice work I do are a number of additional activities that intersect to influence local dynamics with Chicago residents:
- Organizational Capacity Building for Local Mexican, Immigrant & Refugee Communities: This ongoing work involves consulting with local nonprofits serving Pilsen and Little Village residents of Chicago to facilitate strategic planning, retreats, and capacity-building around evaluating community-level systems change initiatives serving primarily Mexican, immigrant, and refugee communities.
- Addressing Inequality & Racism in West Side Chicago: Our college of Professional Studies and Advancement is currently developing ideas to partner with several community organizations, residents, and alumni on the West Side of Chicago. We are developing educational opportunities to address economic inequality and structural racism. This work is linking to existing participatory action research already being conducted by our students and alumni.
- Evaluating Diverse & Effective Hispanic Serving Doctoral Education: I am the evaluator on a large 5-year grant to build out NLU’s role as a Latinx/Hispanic Serving Institution for Doctoral students. This work is being developed in partnership with local community organizations to ensure the relevance of resources and curriculum meet the needs of our local communities.
- Supporting Community Organizing & Advocacy on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): The NLU Civic Engagement Center coordinates with multiple organizations across the city of Chicago serving diverse immigrant and refugee communities via a DACA Task Force. We had been working to support communities in preparation for the Supreme Court Decision on DACA: (https://www.npr.org/2020/06/18/829858289/supreme-court-upholds-daca-in-blow-to-trump-administration)
- Promoting Education on American Indian History in Chicago: Partnering with the local American Indian Center (AIC) in Chicago to ensure that accurate histories of American Indians are taught within the Chicago Public School System (CPS). I am also participating with AIC to support changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day in Chicago. Just a few months ago, CPS voted to celebrate Indigenous People’s day over Columbus day within the school system. (https://news.wttw.com/2020/02/27/cps-board-oks-change-indigenous-peoples-day-citywide-ordinance-languishes)