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Latinas/os on the East Coast

A Critical Reader


Edited By Yolanda Medina and Ángeles Donoso Macaya

Latinas/os on the East Coast: A Critical Reader provides a comprehensive overview of established and contemporary research and essays written about communities that represent the Latina/o diaspora on the East Coast of the United States. Collectively, it contributes to the historical, cultural, political, and economic dynamics that affect the Latinas/os’ lived experience of the country. Analyzed through an interdisciplinary lens, this reader offers a critical examination of the policies and the practices that affect the following current and emerging themes and topics: History; Ethnicity and culture; Immigration, transnationalism, and civil rights; Education; Health; Women’s studies; Film and media studies; Queer studies; Literature; Visual and performing arts.
This book is an indispensable resource for scholars, researchers, educators, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as any individual, group, or organization interested in issues that affect Latinas/os in the United States in current times.
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Making Visible the Invisible: Latina/o Students’ Insights about the Resources for and Barriers to High School Persistence


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Making Visible the Invisible

Latina/o Students’ Insights about the Resources for and Barriers to High School Persistence1

Donna M. Harris and Judy Marquez Kiyama

The authors of this chapter draw on the voices of 95 Latina/o current and former secondary school students from a large urban school district in western New York State to examine the factors that contributed to whether they stayed in or left high school. Student responses revealed concerns about school safety, violence, and hostility (including threats of violence on public transportation) that created an unwelcome climate for schooling. School practices and policies regarding in-school suspension procedures, school surveillance practices, and disparate availability of bilingual services were cited as significant barriers to education. In addition, the continuity in students’ schooling was impacted by the fact that many reported they had moved multiple times within western New York or between western New York, Puerto Rico, and/or downstate. However, despite the myriad of challenges confronted, students reported that the availability of school- and community-based programs provided access to adults and resources that helped them stay in school. The knowledge gained from this community-based study provided insights into the factors that must be addressed to improve the high dropout and low graduation rates of Latina/o students, especially in urban school contexts.


Addressing the educational needs of Latina/o students is of central importance, as they represent a significant presence in our general population and schools....

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