Agency, Liberation, and Intersectionality among Latina Scholars: Narratives from a Cross-institutional Writing Collective




Alvarez, Nancy
Salazar, Cristina
Brito, Francia N.
Aguilae, Karina

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Among United States residents, the number of doctoral degrees conferred to Latinx students represents a small percentage compared to other groups. For example, from 2009–2010, the percentage of degrees conferred to Latinx students was 5 percent compared to 74 percent for White students, 11 percent for Asian/Pacific Islanders, 7 percent for African Americans, and 0.7 percent for Indian/Alaska Natives. During the same period, the proportion of doctoral degrees conferred to females was 55 percent for Latinas compared to 65 percent for African American students, 56 percent for Asian/Pacific students, 54 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students, and 51 percent for White female students (National Center for Education Statistics). Historically, underrepresented minority (URM) students encounter a plethora of issues that influence their educational experiences, yet there is a scarcity of scholarship that elucidates the quality of experience of women of color (WOC) pursuing doctorate degrees (Aryan and Guzman). As multi-marginalized, firstgeneration college students, we continuously struggle to find a place within higher education. Our educational pathways to becoming doctoral recipients have occurred primarily within the context of alienation, significantly influencing our need to connect with other WOC who have also felt isolated and disconnected. Consequently, we needed to find each other because knowing that there were other Latinas in doctoral programs, and actually getting to know them, validated our existence within academia

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