UndocuAlly Trainers’ Risk, Resilience and Resistance: A Descriptive Case Study




Crewalk, Jennifer A.

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This descriptive study analyzes the experiences of 10 student-trainers of an UndocuAlly Training Program and assesses this particular program as a potential resilience structure that leads to compelling support for student-trainers in liminal status. The study builds on the ecological framework of Suárez-Orozco for describing the assets and challenges of undocumented college students at the student, campus, and state/national levels. This study also addresses their recommendations for the need for further research into programs with promising practices that lead to positive outcomes for undocumented students. The findings are presented and discussed within ranges to underscore the liminality and variety of student experiences. Analyses from multiple data sources (semi-structured interviews, optional focus group, field notes and document analysis) extends prior research on risk and resilience, more specifically on resilience environments and on ambiguous loss. Understanding more about the risk and resilience of undocumented students surviving in the last decade deepens insight into student resistance and cultural capital. This study introduces the concept of resilience structures, counterspaces that support undocumented students to navigate, access resources and engage in transformative resistance to cope with adversity. These spaces intentionally utilize ecological and critical race theory frameworks to build on the cultural wealth of minoritized students while offering valuable resources to mitigate adversity at the personal, campus, and state/national levels. Key words: undocumented students, critical race theory, UndocuCrit, LatCrit, community cultural wealth, capital, ecological framework, risk and resilience, academic resilience, resilience structures, transformative resistance.



Educational psychology, Multicultural education, Community cultural wealth, Critical Race Theory, DACA, Resilience structures, UndocuCrit, Undocumented students