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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

The Power and Possibilities of a Latinx Community-Academic Praxis in Civic Engagement

The Power and Possibilities of a Latinx Community-Academic Praxis in Civic Engagement

(p.491) 36 The Power and Possibilities of a Latinx Community-Academic Praxis in Civic Engagement
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Mari Castañeda

Joseph Krupczynski

NYU Press

This chapter explores university civic engagement efforts that emphasize a Latinx community-academic praxis and centers social justice, equity, reciprocity, and the importance of Latinx voices in creating a more just world. Tracing alternative histories and critical approaches to civic engagement and service-learning, we outline how students and scholars of color have insisted that their communities are multifaceted, capable of knowledge production, teachers in their own right, and deserving of having their collective memories and lived experiences taken seriously within the walls of the ivory tower. Our acknowledgment of the work of Latinx social movements, as well as critical engagement with several academic traditions, such as Latina/o critical theory, critical race theory, and Chicana feminism, demonstrate how knowledge creation can be in service to community empowerment. This approach emphasizes some of the epistemological ways in which traditional civic engagement models and community-based learning in higher education can be decentered, challenged, and reimagined. These insights are highlighted through examples of how scholar-activists, who have developed higher educational courses and community-based research projects, engage not only students as partners in knowledge production but also creatively cultivate ways in which Latinx communities can play a reciprocal role in the construction of knowledge.

Keywords:   social justice, Latina/o critical theory, critical race theory, civic engagement, service-learning, Latinx communities

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