Research Projects

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2008-2017 “Student Development and Social Justice: Critical learning, radical healing and community engagement”

This project pulls on three interconnected areas of my scholarship: an action research evaluation conducted at Pitzer College to examine the benefits and limitations of community engagement for students, faculty, staff, community organizations and community members, an assessment of a specific academic program that wove together radical healing and community engagement with indigenous partners in a local-global paired course program and participant observations and findings as a practitioner in the field of social justice, anti-bias education teacher training programs.

2009-16 “Community Engaged Teaching, Research and Service in Promotion and Tenure Reviews.”

With a team of faculty and staff, I participated in ethnographic and archival research on best practices and policy language for community engagement teaching, research and service in promotion and tenure reviews. We presented a collaborative white paper proposed to Pitzer College’s Appointments, Promotion and Tenure committee which eventually resulted in unanimous vote by faculty to change its Appointments, Promotion and Tenure policy to include such language.

2012-15 “Social Responsibility Praxis (SRP) and Social Justice Theory (SJT) Course Criteria and Student Learning Outcomes.”

With a team of faculty and staff, I participated in ethnographic and archival research on best practices in curriculum, student learning outcomes and policy language for integration of social justice-oriented and community engagement-oriented required courses. We presented a collaborative white paper proposed to Pitzer College’s Faculty Executive committee which eventually resulted in unanimous vote by faculty to change its graduation requirements policy to include Social Responsibility Praxis (SRP) and Social Justice Theory (SJT) required courses.

2009-10 “Healing Ourselves, Healing Our Communities.”

Cross-cultural analysis of the impact of indigenous knowledge systems as a lens for individual well-being and community development and social change, in Claremont, US and Temixco, Mexico. (Unpublished document that was integrated into my book)

2009-10 Pitzer College. “Partnering With Youth Organizers to Prevent Violence.”

Community-based research and community organizing collaboration between Pitzer students, faculty and ICUC youth organizers to explore problems of, solutions for and enact recommendations around youth racial violence in San Bernardino.

2008-9  Claremont Graduate University. “Engaged Scholarship and Education: A Case Study on the Pedagogy of Social Change.”

Case study research with students, faculty, staff, community organizations and community members on the benefits, challenges, and impacts of community-campus social change partnerships. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation that was integrated into my book)

2007 Los Angeles County’s Children’s Planning Council. “Family Economic Success Project.”

Participatory action research on the topic of poverty and family economic success in LA. County, for the 2008 budget and policy strategic planning of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. With Lourdes Arguelles and Tom Dolan.

2005-6 Claremont Graduate University. “Community Border Research Project.”

Narrative research with anti- and pro-immigration activists at the U.S. Mexico border. With Lourdes Arguelles and Amanda Perez. (Unpublished document).

2004 Claremont Graduate University. “Integration or Fragmentation? Locating Spirituality in the Social Justice Profession.”

Auto-ethnographic research on the relationship of spirituality to the role of professional social justice activists working in non-profit organizations of Los Angeles. (Unpublished document).

2003-5 Claremont Graduate University. “The Interconnected Community: Lessons from the Andes on Ecological Regeneration and Interculturalism.”

Community-based research on the cosmology and traditions of Quechua, Lamista and Ayamara natives of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon in practices of regeneration, biodiversity, cultural affirmation, and interculturalism. (Unpublished Masters thesis)

2003-2017 Pitzer College: “Decolonizing Educational Practices Across the Americas”

Ethnographic and participatory action research on the praxis of cultural affirmation, decolonization and interculturalism within indigenous communities in the Andes and Amazon of Peru and with urban Indians and Pitzer College students in Claremont, U.S. (Unpublished, ongoing research)

2020-2021 Pitzer College: “Know Justice. Know Peace: The Transformation & Justice Community Collective”

Centering wellness in justice work and justice in wellness work is both a timeless and timely issue. The impacts of COVID-19, economic devastation and racialized violence only magnify pre-existing conditions of inequity as they relate to wellbeing and to the fragility of wellness of those working at the frontlines. This community-based action research and healing justice project aims to highlight and examine this, find and put to use tools and trainings to address it, and provide models for others to use to effectively change our justice organizations and movements to be more trauma- and healing-informed in analysis and practice. This is the moment to build the support, resilience and tools for wellness that will help us not only survive the injustices of today, but actually thrive as we dismantle injustice and build the world we want.