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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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“Justice and Space Matter in a Strong, Unified Latino Community makes an important and timely contribution to the literature on critical issues facing school and society. Using an engaging case study approach, the volume reveals the hopes and dreams of community members living in Corazón, an unannexed border community in South Texas that, unlike other unannexed colonias, enjoys basic services and is organized politically. Guided by these research questions— What are Corazón’s strengths? How do we work with and in the community, while acknowledging power and privilege imbalances? How do residents engage in hybrid or blended practices to confront obstacles?—the researchers conclude that Corazón’s strengths include hope, ingenuity, and unity. Despite its positive attributes, however, the researchers note that the community faces many obstacles, including local, state, and national policies, as well as multifactor discriminatory treatment based on group categories. Undocumented Latinos, for example, may more frequently be victims of hate crimes. The book sheds important light on a variety of pertinent issues, concerns, and possibilities facing marginalized communities and schools while reminding scholars, students, teachers, parents, communities, researchers, counselors, school administrators, and policy makers that equity, excellence, inclusivity, and social justice are worth preserving in our nation of nations.”

Carlos J. Ovando, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, School of Transborder Studies, Arizona State University

“Justice and Space Matter in a Strong, Unified Latino Community is a labor of love—a testament to the authors’ authentic and sustained commitment to...

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