Reconceptualizing Leadership in Migrant Communities: Latina/o Parent Leadership Retreats as Sites of Community Cultural Wealth

Pedro E. Nava, Argelia Lara


This article examines how the Education Leadership Foundation (a leadership development community based organization) in partnership with the Migrant Education Program use parent retreats for building leadership, and skill development of migrant farm-working families. Utilizing cooperative and community responsive practices, these retreats build on the Community Cultural Wealth (Yosso, 2005) in migrant communities as parents develop cohesive networks and community leaders to engage in school advocacy in the service of their children. This study draws from testimonios and participant observations to reveal the particular ways that social, familial, and resistant capital are activated. We examine the unique dimensions of leadership development within (im)migrant farmworker communities, and argue for the need to rethink the role of testimonios as a pedagogical tool in parent engagement and capacity building for leadership and agency in such communities.

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