Cap(tioning) Resistance on Stage: Chicana/Latina Graduation Caps and StoryBoarding as Syncretic Testimonio

Larissa M. Mercado-López, Laura Alamillo, Cristina Herrera


This article examines the recent tradition of decorating and re-fashioning graduation caps, also known as mortarboards, by Chicanx/Latinx graduates. We describe this practice as StoryBoarding, a form of micro-storytelling tales of Chicana/Latina agency and resistance that counter, expose, and challenge institutionalized forms of racism. Many instances of StoryBoarding take place in the context of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), specifically during the Chicanx/Latinx graduation commencement ceremonies held at many campuses. While these events are celebratory, these past few years, alongside the celebrations, the ceremonies have also become spaces of critique and proclamation of the graduates’ views towards the current administration’s policies aimed at undocumented immigrants and people of Mexican and Latin American descent.


College graduation, activism

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