An epistemic compass towards home : students’ stories of comunalidad, educación, dialogues, and responsabilidad within Proyecto de Jornaleros at UCLA




Velasquez, Yesenia

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This thesis examined the stories of Perla, Ingrid, Dan, Estefanía, Paloma, Kassie, Paco, Daniela, Marina, Elena, Mia, and Valencia within Proyecto de Jornaleros at UCLA. Critical Race Theory, Freirean Theory, and nepantla guided this study’s theoretical framework. These grounded theories spoke to what is silenced by dominant narratives, as well as possibilities for knowledge construction and served as a foundation for the findings. This study centered on the construction and meaning of knowledge, and brought to the forefront ontological concerns such as who has the possibility and ability to teach, to learn, and to question. Through narrative analysis, this study also focused on the epistemic significance of identities. The program participants’ voices and experiences underscored themes of educating through comunalidad, languages de educación, fostering comunidad through dialogue, and consciousness through responsabilidad. Proyecto de Jornaleros at UCLA provided a space for how program participants situated themselves within UCLA and Proyecto de Jornaleros at UCLA, as well as how the education they gained in Proyecto and UCLA nourished each other. Unifying their UCLA and Proyecto educational experiences helped deconstruct the binary between formal and informal education. Additionally, at the center of Proyecto de Jornaleros at UCLA was a commitment for community service; however, community service found in Proyecto rested on a sense of collective “we.” “An Epistemic Compass Towards Home: Students’ stories of Comunalidad, Educación, Dialogues, Responsabilidad within Proyecto de Jornaleros at UCLA” expressed that home embodied an epistemic and agentic significance of “going home.” Home entailed an active resistance that simultaneously deconstructed the binaries between school/home and the institution of education/educación, Educación spoke to the education gained through the institution of education and to the education we develop from our community that provides insight, morals, and values.


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