Category Archives: Gender and Sexuality

Hablando de ellas: Experiences of Latina K-12 Public School Administrators with Race and Gender

sign says "Our country's future economy depends on our children's education now"

Our Future. Photo by Flickr User Andy Blackledge. Feb 15, 2015. CC BY-NC 2.0

By Dr. Lisandra Tayloe 

Latinas are relatively scarce in leadership positions in K-12 public schools.  Nonetheless, as my recently concluded dissertation study (2016) indicated, fractional representation does not equal nonexistence but, rather, exclusion and neglect. In my study, I examined barriers to career advancement, the effects of barriers, successful strategies to overcome challenges, and the roles of race and gender on leadership ascension and practice from the perspective of K-12 Latina public school administrators.

Utilizing a mixed methods approach that included 30 survey responses and 4 interviews with two public school principals and two assistant principals in the state of Florida, I gathered information from Latina administrators of varied ethnicities, including Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan. Their ages and leadership experiences varied too, ranging from 29-62 years of age and 1-26 years of educational leadership experience. Continue reading

Report from New Mexico Women’s March

signs says "Our rights are to up for grabs"

Rights Not for Grabs. January 2017. Photo by Adelita Michelle Medina. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Adelita Michelle Medina

I had wanted to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the main Women’s March on January 21, 2017, but in many ways, I’m glad I attended the sister march in downtown Albuquerque instead. It was a spirited, diverse and energizing gathering of several thousand women, children and men of all ages, races, religions and backgrounds. Estimates of crowd size have ranged from 6,000 to 10,000, with the latter number offered by the local police. But regardless of the exact size, and despite the cold and wet weather, the march was a big success.   

In these days of uncertainty and apprehension, the marches that took place on that day, in hundreds of cities across the country, provided some much-needed support and solidarity.  Those who participated were reassured that they are not alone, and those who watched the events in their homes, know that people will not be silenced.  They will be heard and they will be seen fighting for their families, cities and country. Continue reading

Reports from July 2016 Latina/o Studies Association Conference

panelists pictured

Panelists Beatriz Tapia, Alexandro Gradilla, Anita Tijerina Revilla, and Magdalena L. Barrera. Photo by M. Barrera. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Latina/o Studies Association 2016: Nourishing the Mind and the Spirit

By Magdalena L. Barrera

The 2016 LSA conference was a wonderful experience, for many reasons. To situate myself: I am a faculty member of the Mexican American Studies department at San José State University. My primary area of research is analysis of textual representations of Mexican Americans in early twentieth century American cultural production; however, in recent years I have developed a secondary research area that explores the retention and mentoring of first-generation and underrepresented students in higher education. This second area was inspired in part by the learning curve I underwent as my environment changed from the R1 settings of my undergraduate through postdoctoral training to working in the California State University system. Although I have maintained my primary research area, it requires some effort to stay in touch with emerging trends in the field, as I am the only person at SJSU who does Humanities-based work in Chicanx Studies. Moreover, I had not attended a conference in a couple of years, and so I welcomed this year’s LSA as an opportunity to fully engage as both a presenter and participant, and to expand my professional network. Continue reading

Countering Hate with Knowledge, Fury, and Protest: Three Latina/o Studies Scholars Respond to Orlando Massacre

40 images of human heart

Detail from “Cortando hilos del corazón.” Mixed media, 54 x 34. ©Mortega

SIN PULSO/no pulse

By Mariana Ortega

Forty nine hearts beating in a space of defiant joy, being who they were or who they wanted to be, a being-with others in glorious, sonorous denunciation of homo-hate. Brutality and terror storm in—and pulses cede to straight lines. Many words uttered: sanctuary, prayers, peace, unity, sorrow, solidarity, safety, “love conquers all,” “we are all Orlando.”

But love does not conquer all, and we are not all Orlando. Even if love could conquer, pulses would still suddenly and cruelly stop as a ravenous hate finds its way around our schools, jobs, streets, homes—this hate being fed continuously, even by those who profess to love. We are not all Orlando. Not all of us are persecuted, undermined, mocked, bullied, beaten or killed for whom we love or desire or lust. If in the past we have followed the instant solidarity recipe, “We are all [those who have been victimized fiercely and ferociously],” today, not everyone adheres to the recipe. To say “We are all Orlando,” is to risk being thought a queer, a fag, a freak, unnatural. It is to lose the honorable shield of hetero-love.

So, no, this time not everyone is united. Not everyone mourns. The brutal massacre of Latinx bodies in the midst of pleasure has not happened here. Where is the outrage and non-stop news coverage? In social media, in the news that lives off tragedy and tears when good American citizens and children die senselessly of gun violence in middle class, white communities—in those towns where “nothing like that ever happens”?  Basketball and soccer scores, the meal at the fancy restaurant, the ubiquitous selfies, political chatter about an almost absurd but too real and sad election, day-to-day misfortunes about news that are supposedly worth our time—those remain. For many life will be as it has always been. Not for queer Latinxs, whose lives are too often questioned and disregarded even within queer spaces and within queer theory whose words still reveal absences of bodies of color. Continue reading