Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum & Instruction

Committee Chair

Janet Alsup

Committee Member 1

Judy Lysaker

Committee Member 2

Luciana C. de Oliveira

Committee Member 3

Alberto J. Rodriguez


This qualitative study follows a transformative research approach, which intends to shift dominant paradigms and honor the culture and voices of marginalized peoples through collaborative needs-assessment, goal setting, and intervention/initiative development that brings about change (Mertens, 2007, 2009). Five Latina mothers and two literacy teachers living in a Midwest state partook in a six-month project where they identified a need within their community, met, engaged, and partnered with local organizations while working on the social media platform that would address that need [i.e., the provision of a bilingual (Spanish/English) network/space to connect educators and Latino/a families]. Written as three different articles, the overall research study showcased how the literacies and cultural practices of participant mothers and educators supported and enriched the transformative intervention while providing the conditions for equitable and just engagement among participants. Collected data included the following: 1) observations of context/setting, interactions, paralinguistic cues, and field notes documented in a research journal; 2) transcribed recordings from a two-part focus group; 3) interviews and debriefings during project work sessions; 4) selected project-connected correspondence (e.g., email, messenger); and 4) selected products, general social media page content, and additional materials used during the research journey. Ultimately, this research endeavor bridged an understanding on how literacy educators and Latino/a families can establish goals and work together as equal stakeholders. The lessons learned from this research endeavor led to a currere type of unpacking (Pinar, 1975) focused on moving ahead, staying engaged, and never believing our justice work is done.