“Because There Are Young Women Behind Me”

Learning from the Testimonios of Young Undocumented Women Advocates

in Girlhood Studies
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  • 1 College of Education, Washington State University, USA carolina.e.silva1220@gmail.com
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Abstract

In this article, I discuss the experiences of young undocumented Latinas, aged between 19 and 22, in a university support and advocacy group for undocumented students. While recent research has investigated the advocacy of undocumented youth, there is a lack of attention on the experiences of undocumented women who advocate. To address this gap, I center the testimonios (testimonies) of five young undocumented women to examine their advocacy experiences. As a result of advocacy, the young women gained visibility as immigrant youth leaders, created a pipeline of support for other young undocumented women leaders, and faced disapproval from educators. I conclude by suggesting that schools and educators can foster the leadership of young undocumented women and acknowledge advocacy as a legitimate tool for social justice in education settings.

Contributor Notes

Carolina Silva (ORCID: 0000-0002-5589-7770) earned her PhD from the College of Education at Washington State University. A previously undocumented student, she has been an immigrant rights advocate for almost a decade. As a student organizer, she focused on attaining legal services for immigrant students on her campus and fostering undocumented women's leadership. Email: carolina.e.silva1220@gmail.com

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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