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The Plight of Invisibility

A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os


Donna Marie Harris and Judy Marquez Kiyama

The Plight of Invisibility offers unique contributions that inform the use of a community-based research approach that examines educational issues identified by urban, Latina/o communities. It offers a new lens from which to understand the circumstances of Latina/o students in schools as they navigate in social systems that are in opposition to them, thus rendering Latina/o students and their families invisible. Despite these challenges, the book offers examples of community programs and resources that support and address the needs of Latina/o students as they build resiliency and determination to persist. Community organizations and advocates, educational researchers, practitioners, students, and policymakers will find The Plight of Invisibility useful to reframe deficit discourses about Latina/o students and their families. In addition, the book is appropriate for classes including methodology courses focused on community-based research, educational policy and/or college access courses, and Latina/o studies courses.
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About the Authors and Contributors


Donna Marie Harris is an independent consultant to school districts and non-profits organizations. She has been a faculty member at the University of Rochester, Wellesley College, and Lawrence University and a researcher at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on school reform, educational policy, and the social organization of public schools and classrooms. Harris is interested in how educational institutions, policies, and practices affect learning opportunities and experiences—especially for students of color. Her research has been published in Educational Policy, Education and Urban Society, and the ejournal of Education Policy.

Judy Marquez Kiyama is an assistant professor in the Higher Education program at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education. Kiyama’s research examines the roles that families and communities play in developing college-going cultures for Latina/o youth. Kiyama’s community-based approach to research engages asset-based frameworks to understand collective knowledge and resources present in communities. Her previous research explored the development of educational ideologies and college knowledge in Mexican American families, and her current project focuses on the high school to college transition experiences of first-generation, low-income, and families of color and their role in serving as sources of cultural support for their college-aged students. Kiyama has received the Association for the Study of Higher Education–Council on Ethnic Participation 2014 Mildred García Junior Exemplary Scholarship Award and was named a 2011 Emerging Scholar by the American College Personnel Association. Her research has been published...

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