I'm following in your footsteps: Chicana/Latina Motherscholar-Daughterscholar Experiences in Higher Education
Cindy Escobedo

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Los Angeles

Primary Discipline

Building on Dr. Patricia Gandara's (1982) research on Latina (daughter)scholars (DS), and Dr. Michelle Tellez's (2013) work on Chicana Motherscholars (MS), this study unveils the race, gender, and educational experiences of a distinct, yet growing population: Chicana/Latina mothers and daughters who attend U.S. Southwest colleges and universities at the same time. Specifically, it investigates how seven Chicana/Latina mother-daughter dyads (1) engage in bidirectional support through the exchange of woman-oriented knowledge, and (2) develop pedagogies of wholeness as they overcome challenges that impede college access and retention. Rooting its inquiry in Chicana Feminist and Critical Race frameworks, this research triangulates qualitative data in the form of: individual and paired mother-daughter pla?ticas, a conversation based methodology akin to semi-structured interviewing (Fierros & Delgado Bernal, 2016); Latina Mother-Daughter Epistolary Writings, a developing methodology which adapts elements of Nora Cisneros' (2018) Indigenous Epistolary Methodology; and archival data sources. Preliminary findings reveal that MS-DS pairs report such cultural and academic hardships in their pursuit of higher learning as not receiving credit for their feminized labor and negotiating their responses to Maternal Microaggressions (Vega, 2019). In spite of these challenges, the women negotiate the terrains of motherhood, daughterhood, and academia by intentionally engaging in Motherwork and Daughterwork- reciprocal care practices that nurture their spiritual, physical, and interpersonal wellbeing. As a Critical Race Feminista (Delgado Bernal & Alemán, 2017) intervention to the miseducation of Women of Color, this dissertation (re)focuses the policy lens to consider the unique educational needs of Chicana/Latina scholars living in the U.S. Southwest.
About Cindy Escobedo
Cindy Raquel Escobedo is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Division of Social Sciences and Comparative Education, Race and Ethnic Studies in Education concentration, from the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Proudly raised by Mexican immigrant parents in the greater Los Angeles area, Cindy approaches her research and practice (or praxis) through a social justice perspective by centering the lived experiences of Students, Women, and Communities of Color. Her Chicana Feminist, Critical Race, and Social Science orientations capitalize on oral herstories, epistolary methodologies, and archival data sources to examine the educational experiences of Mothers and Daughters of Color, across time and space. As a scholar practitioner, Cindy's professional and research passions explore the intersections of educational (in)equities, Latina/Chicana academic pathways, students with dependents, mother-daughter relationships, and the raced and gendered sociology of family. Throughout her tenure as a graduate student, she has served as a Teaching Fellow for the departments of Education and Chicana/o/x Studies. Cindy is concurrently a Research Associate for the Center for Critical Race Studies in Education at UCLA and has for the past seven years, served as a Senior Research Consultant for the Peer Learning Unit within the UCLA Academic Advancement Program (AAP). AAP is the nation's largest undergraduate student diversity program promoting academic excellence for 5600+ scholars from historically underserved backgrounds. A three-time UCLA Bruin, Cindy holds a M.A. degree in Education, and a B.A. degree in Political Science with double minors in Education and Public Affairs.

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