Araceli Cruz

Major: 
Social Work
Mentor: 
Dr. Mariela Nuñez-Janes
Current Research Topic: 
An Oral History of Student walkouts in Decatur, TX
Abstract: 
This study will focus on the 2006 student walkouts of Decatur and address the push and pull factors that led Latino migrant students into and out of school. I will rely on a case study approach and anthropological theories of migration and education to shed light on the experiences of students in Decatur as they intersect with globalization, neoliberalism, and migration. According to Michelle Fine, schools can be “enabling or obstructing young people who are English-language learners as they seek to cross educational and cultural borders” (Fine, 2007, pp. 76-96). This case study seeks to answer 1). How did the youth learn to organize? 2) How did institutions react to student organizing? 3) How can we contextualize the Decatur walkouts in relation to local and national movements? 4) What were the reactions of news media and other non-governmental organizations? Through a series of interviews and an extensive literature review, I will analyze collected data using a feminist lens in order to bring to focus intersectional and contradictory experience of Latino youth. Very little research has been done on Latino students in rural and semi-rural areas, this research will contribute to fill this gap.