Southwest Borderland Voices and Stories: Community Cultural Wealth as Living Literacies

  • Violet Henderson New Mexico State University
Keywords: community cultural wealth, counternarratives, Latino critical race theory (LatCrit), living literacies, New Literacy Studies (NLS), portraiture


This study qualitatively examines the literacy experiences of three Southwest Borderland Latinos who left high school before graduating. Addressing a gap in the literature that reveals the limited attention paid to how students who left high school before graduating generate and use community cultural wealth (Burciaga & Erbstein, 2012), this investigation explores the vibrant role and contribution of community cultural wealth in literacy development. Through the frameworks of New Literacy Studies (NLS) and family literacy within the context of the Southwest Borderlands, and employing the tool of counternarratives through a Latino Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) lens, this study provides a platform for validating and affirming the voices, stories, experiences, and knowledges of the research participants. Utilizing portraiture as the methodology illuminates the living literacies that transpired when the participants read their world and the word (Freire, 2006).