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Justice and Space Matter in a Strong, Unified Latino Community

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Kathy Bussert-Webb, María Eugenia Díaz and Krystal A. Yanez

Justice and Space Matter in a Strong, Unified Latino Community provides a detailed analysis of colonias along the Mexico–United States border, examining the intersection of culture, education, language, literacy, race, religion, and social class in Latino immigrant communities. The researchers investigated Corazón, a colonia in South Texas, as a case study of these unincorporated border settlements, consisting of mostly Mexican heritage residents and lacking many basic living necessities. Highlighting over ten years of research findings, the authors consider structural inequalities alongside the unique strengths of Corazón. Their acute observations dispel myths about such high-poverty communities and demonstrate how residents overcome the odds through activism, faith, and ganas. In presenting a portrait of the Corazón colonia, the authors offer a deeper level of understanding of one Latino community to inspire the development of a more equitable, compassionate world. This book will be invaluable to students and scholars of all fields who work with culturally diverse people in poverty, and will be ideal for courses in ethnic studies, multicultural studies, ethnographic methods, and socio-cultural applications for education.

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Chapter 4. Key Places and Spaces (with Claudia Troncoso)

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KEY PLACES AND SPACES

Meet Janie

Kathy had sent Janie, community organizer for the Civic Organization, two query emails and two texts from January 2015 to May 2015, name-dropping a mutual friend. No result. Yet after Kathy interviewed Sister Joan in June 2015, Sister Joan escorted Kathy to the office of Janie, in the same building as Afinidad [Kinship]. “Dr. Webb [from the local university] wants to know some historical information,” Sister Joan said, as the physical and metaphorical bridge. Janie beckoned Kathy to sit beside her.

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