Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Education for Social Justice

Dissertation Committee

Sarina C. Molina, EdD, Chair Veronica G. Garza, EdD, Member Roberto D. Hernandez, PhD, Member


testimonio, Chicana, Chicanx, Chicano, Chicane, Latina, Latino, Latinx, Latine, critical consciousness, subjectivity, Indigenous methodology, Chicana movement, Chicano movement, social justice, community activism, community service, political efficacy, critical reflection, ethnic studies, critical action


There is robust scholarship inquiring about many facets of critical consciousness (CC), most of which is centered around working with teens, youth, and educators. This study explored development of CC through testimonios of the lived experiences of eight Chicana/o elders in San Diego County. All eight of these elders participated in the Chicana/o movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s and carried these experiences with them into the present moment. Development of CC, the contextualized understandings of historical, social, and systemic aspects of our collective struggle against oppression through dialogue, reflection, and action, is a fundamental aspect of liberatory learning, which is the dismantling and disruption of subtractive, deficit, and banking models of schooling (Acosta, 2007; Alfaro, 2019; Cammarota, 2016; Diemer et al., 2016; Espinoza-Gonzalez et al., 2014; Freire, 1970/2018; Kohli et al., 2019; Núñez, 1994; Sulé et al., 2021; Valenzuela, 1999). As part of the Civil Rights movement, the Chicana/o movement centers the development of CC in the vessels of subjectivities and identities figured, conceptualized, and enacted in collective and localized contexts and realities (Alarcón, 1990; Holland et al., 2001; Téllez, 2022; Urrieta, 2007). Chicana/o identity and subjectivity, although tied to ethnicity, is a conscious choice that involves embracing CC, community activism, and liberatory learning (Alarcón, 1990; Espinoza, 2018; Urrieta, 2007). This study centered the principles of embracing holistic, relational, and collective onto-epistemologies (i.e., Indigenous methodologies), incorporated the foci of love and praxis (i.e., critical pedagogy), and uplifted the community cultural wealth of our elders’ embodied lived experiences (i.e., Chicana/x feminista epistemologies; abuelita epistemologies) as seen through their counternarratives (i.e., critical race theory) in response to systemic racism and heteropatriarchy (Delgado Bernal et al., 2012; Freire, 1970/2018; Gonzales, 2015; Kovach, 2021 Núñez, 1994; Solórzano, 2021; Valenzuela, 1999; Wilson, 2008; Yosso, 2005). Using the methodology of testimonios and methods of pláticas (Fierros & Delgado Bernal, 2016; Flores Carmona et al., 2021), this study embraced a collaborative synthesis of testimonios of Chicana/o elders in the San Diego community, which contributes to a better understanding of the collective development of CC and its applications to liberatory learning and community activism.


Chicana/o/x/e Studies, not sure why that wasn't a choice among the subject categories.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Learning and Teaching

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.