Aurora Santiago-Ortiz awarded 2020 Ford Foundation Fellowship
Aurora Santiago-Ortiz is a PhD candidate in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her dissertation, titled Building Solidarity in Community-University Partnerships in Puerto Rico, ethnographically examines the collaborative relationship among students, community partners, and Santiago-Ortiz through the lens of participatory action research, a methodology grounded in social movements, anti-oppressive education, and critical pedagogy. The study looks at how participants collaborate across different raced, classed, and gendered identities in the context of a partnership that takes place in the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), a long-standing bastion of resistance to colonial governance, neoliberalism, and austerity measures that threaten its existence. Her study documents the development of solidarity as feminist, anticolonial praxis forged through collaboration, dialogue and reflection among those engaged in horizontal, community-based forms of research that seek social transformation.