H.E.L.L.A.: Collective Testimonio that Speak to the Healing, Empowerment, Love, Liberation, and Action Embodied by Social Justice Educators of Color

Farima Pour-Khorshid


This author utilizes collective testimonio (Sánchez, 2009) as a process for homemade theory making or what Anzaldúa and Keating (2000) called conocimientos. This collective testimonio brings together the stories and experiences of three educators of color within a California grassroots social justice critical study group created exclusively for people of color. In a profession dominated by more than 80% White teachers (Goldring, Gray, & Bitterman, 2013), these teachers of color share stories of resiliency and the community cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005) they possess and have utilized to thrive within an oppressive education system. Applying Critical Race Theory’s tenet of counternarrative, their individual and collective testimonio speak back to the dominant discourses about people of color as being deficient and lacking dominant cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986) and instead, highlights how internalized and institutionalized forms of racism serve as obstacles as well as motivation to fight against oppression. The role of collective testimonio among educators of color can serve as a tool for critical teacher professional development (Kohli, Picower, Martínez, & Ortiz, 2015) centered in political education, healing, empowerment, love and transformative resistance

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