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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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9. Moving Forward: Recommendations, Action Items, and Areas of Focus

Recommendations from Initial Community Report


9. Moving Forward: Recommendations, Action Items, and Areas of Focus


The collection of barriers that prohibit and factors that promote Latina/o student success described within this book lend themselves to an opportunity to move the discussion from a focus on uncovering what these issues are to a place of action. Thus, this chapter offers both a narrative of how the research team, together with the Latina/o Education Task Force, progressed from responding to an initial call to action to making specific recommendations supporting each area of findings and then to tangible community advocacy and activism. We also provide a brief summary of the recommendations that come out of the chapters of this book. We begin first with the overall recommendations that emerged from the study.

In October 2010 we first presented the findings from our study, School Experiences of Latina/o Students: A Community-Based Study of Resources, Challenges, and Success, to a community audience supporting the annual Ibero-American Action League scholarship luncheon. We urged the audience to consider not only the findings in light of the persistent high dropout rate of Latina/o students, but also the recommendations as a larger community responsibility. The findings and recommendations were subsequently presented at local schools, community organizations, and higher education institutions across the community over the next year. Additionally, local media including the Democrat and Chronicle, El Mensajero Católico, YNN, 13WHAM news, and WXXI radio highlighted various components...

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