Carolina Apodaca-Morales

Carolina (Caro) Apodaca-Morales is an M.A student with the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside. She received her B.A in History and Chicano/a/x Studies at Cal State Channel Islands in 2022.

Research Interests: Examining the cultural history
of Chicano soul and funk in Southern California with an emphasis on examining the role of Chicana and Latina musicians/ DJs.
Chicano and Chicano soul, Chicano and Chicano funk, gender and sexuality, cultural history, Chicano subcultures.

Eliana Buenrostro

B.A. Chicana/o Studies and Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A. Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

Eliana Buenrostro is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She received her M.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2020. Her M.A. paper entitled “Destined to Fuck Up: Los Illegals, Chicano Punk and the Immigration Politics and Art of 1980s Los Angeles” uses oral history to recount the activist cultural production of the Chicano punk band Los Illegals, during a period of mass deportations in the United States. Her ongoing research examines the criminalization, immigration, and deportation of Chicanes and Latines through the lens of music and other forms of cultural production. She is a recipient of the Cota Robles Fellowship and the Crossing Latinidades Mellon Fellowship. As a member of the Latinx Sound Culture Studies Working Group through the Crossing Latinidades Humanities Initiative, she moderated a talk on “Chicana Punk Epistemologies” with scholars who are redefining the field of punk studies.

Research Interests: punk music, alternative subcultures, youth subcultures, immigration, state violence, oral history

Guadalupe Arellanes Castro

B.A. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
California State University, Long Beach
M.A. Latin American Studies, Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
California State University, Los Angeles

Guadalupe is a P.h.D. student in Ethnic Studies at the University of California Riverside. She received her Master’s in Latin American Studies at California State University Los Angeles and her Bachelor’s in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at California State University Long Beach. She is a leading member of Critical Anti-Violence Research and Action (CARA) at UCR, an abolition-feminist research centre. Guadalupe’s research uses transspecies ethnography to examine human and more-than-human kinship, memory and resistance in response to environmental injustice. Her dissertation is an intergenerational, transborder analysis of immigrant ecologies as a (re)turn to decolonial ontologies rooted in relationality. She is a recipient of the Cota Robles Fellowship and Crossing Latinidades Mellon Fellowship.
Research Interests:  critical refugee studies, memory studies, diaspora studies, felt theory, affect studies, Women of Color feminisms, abolion geographies, Latinx futurism, and decolonial theory

Valerie M Chacon

BA Native American Studies University of California Riverside
MA Ethnic Studies University of California Riverside

Valerie Chacon is a Payómkawichum scholar. At UC Riverside she is an Ethnic Studies PhD student living, learning, and working in her Native homelands. In her teaching life at UC Riverside, Valerie takes a radical Indigenous queer feminist approach that informs her teaching praxis to facilitate a learning community respective of positionality, reciprocity, and responsibility to community. As a student, Valerie takes seriously her role in embodying Native presence in the colonial land-grant institution of UCR.

Research interests
LAND BACK, Native epistemologies of wellness, prison abolition, Indigenous feminisms, Indigenous futurisms, affect theory, colonial border politics, Native sovereignty

Sneha George

Sneha George

Sneha George is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside. She received a master’s in international relations at The New School. She was a leading member of Critical Anti-Violence Research and Action, which is an abolition-centered research collective. Currently, she examines how property and ownership, as antiblack logics, shape the practice and making of the queered subject. In her dissertation, she uses the university as a case study to examine how this relationship between antiblackness and the queered subject manifests between scholars, cheaters, and other embodiments.
Sneha George. “Antiblackness and the Thieving, Gifting, and Owning of Scholarship,” Topia: Canadian Journal for Cultural Studies, 47. December 2023.
Sneha George, Emma Kauffman. “Notes on Incapacity & The Imposter,” Topia: Canadian Journal for Cultural Studies, Forthcoming, May 2024.

Pedro A Freire

Pedro Freire is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University
of California, Riverside.

He received his Master’s in Labor Studies at The City University of New York School of Labor and Urban Studies and his Bachelor’s in Political Science and Philosophy of Law at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York.

His fields are critical theory, Latinx studies, and global labor studies. Within these fields, he is interested in radical political economy, unequal exchange, world systems, dependency theory, imperialism, and anti-imperialism. His research seeks to understand the unique conjuncture of Latinx workers in the Inland Empire in relation to workers in the global South. He is generally interested in the radical potentiality of a 21st-century socialist internationalism between the Latinx workers in the global North with Third World labor movements in the global South.

He has conducted qualitative research for the Latino and Latin American Studies Research Center and the Inland Empire Labor and Community Center. He has taken a leading role as part of a transnational labor survey with almost 500 respondents with the Latino and Latino American Studies Research Center and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) on Mexican migrant labor in the Inland Empire. He has also conducted various interviews with workers across different economic sectors in the Inland Empire region, ranging from caregivers to service sector workers to warehouse workers and logistics workers.

Pedro’s interest in questions of Latinx labor struggles stems from his steadfast study of critical theory and his experience as the son of Ecuadorian and Taiwanese migrants and his participation in labor struggles in New York City and California. His goal is to become a professor at a major research university.

Morayma Flores-Higinio

B.A. Human Development
California State University, San Marcos
Morayma Flores-Higinio is a PhD student in the Ethnic Studies department at the University of California, Riverside and an inter-disciplinary alumna from California State University, San Marcos. Her dissertation research intervenes in larger global political and social justice dialogues that have largely centered on urban social justice movements. Consequently, her work pays special attention to sustained organizing/activism within rural Latina/o/e enclaves. Flores-Higinio’s ethnographic research hopes to unearth how Latinas/os/es in the Northern borderlands region of San Diego, are and have historically practiced democracy, citizenship, and oppositional politics in spite of persistent vulnerabilities experienced under the neoliberal political milieu. Broadly, her research seeks to demonstrate how Latinas/os/es who are relegated to the marginalized corners of American society are seeking and building political and spiritual communities that struggle for social justice.

Jazmin Garcia

Jazmin Garcia

A.S Paralegal/Legal studies
B.A Ethnic Studies
Jazmin Garcia is a former teen mom, first generation, and non-traditional Ph.D student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside.
Research interest: Social Movement Theory, Critical Ethnography, and Abolition Feminisms

Sung Kim

Michael Madrigal

B.A., Social Relations, University of California, Riverside
Michael is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians from the Cahuilla Indian Reservation located near Anza, California. He grew up on the Soboba Indian Reservation and works there as an administrator and lay minister. He has been active in efforts to strengthen tribal culture and spiritual traditions for most of his life. Growing up at a time of cultural revitalization in the tribal community, he was gifted to learn tribal traditions and Cahuilla Bird Songs from elders, including Robert Levi, Alvino Siva, Anthony Andreas, Lloyd Marcus, and Katherine Saubel. He participates in efforts to preserve landscapes sacred to tribal communities through the work of the Native American Land Conservancy, where he serves as the current board president. Presently, motivated by his experience working in local tribal communities, he has entered the ethnic studies graduate program to increase his academic research skills in order to more effectively carry out the goals of sustaining and revitalizing traditional ties of indigenous communities to the land. He is aware that as indigenous communities, our strength comes from the land.

Jenni Martinez

Jenni Martinez is a Ph.D. student in the department of Ethnic Studies. She is a proud & devoted daughter of deported Mexican parents, a first generation college graduate and an award winning teaching assistant 💁🏻‍♀️

Jenni seeks to better understand the ways in which deportation as a form of state violence permeates through every facet of the lives of those affected. Her work focuses on exploring the ontological changes of deportees, deportee specific trauma & its temporalities and how deportation is an active necropolitical agent of the state.

Research Interests: deportation, temporalities, necro politics, death, immigration, affect, ontology, phenomenology, Mexican/ Chicanx feminist epistemologies, art-based ethnographies

Nathaly L Ortiz

M.A., Women & Gender Studies, San Francisco State University

Nathaly Ortiz is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She was raised in Pittsburg, California and received her Master’s in Women & Gender Studies from San Francisco State University. Her M.A. thesis looked at how structural racism and exploitative labor during World War II shaped the East Bay Area landscape. The Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Concord, California—the largest weapons facility on the West Coast during WWII—served as the site of examination. She analyzed archived oral histories, court proceedings, naval service records, a memorial, and WWII propaganda posters. Her research builds upon this work by looking at historical resistance to U.S. militarism and how it has shaped the restructuring of state power and the landscape.
Research interests: gendered/state violence, memory/memorials, militarization/militarism, redress, and resistance.

Carol K. Park

B.A., English
M.F.A, Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts, Fiction/Non-Fiction
University of California Riverside 

Carol K. Park is a first-generation college graduate and a first-year student in the ethnic studies Ph.D. program at UC Riverside. From 2010-2020, Park was a research assistant at the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UCR under the guidance of its director, Dr. Edward T. Chang.

At the Center, Park studied Korean and Asian American history, social and political issues, race relations, and more. She worked on and completed several projects: two documentary films; a Korean American Oral Histories record; assisted in the designation of Pachappa Camp – the first Koreatown USA – as Riverside’s first Point of Cultural Interest; edited and worked on articles, books, and more. In 2014, she was part of a team that received a $135,000 Academy of Koreans Studies Grant. Park is also the author of Memoir of a Cashier: Korean Americans, Racism, and Riots, and co-author of Korean Americans: A Concise History.

Park’s preliminary dissertation research involves looking at Korean diaspora in the U.S. during the early 20th century, examining nationalism/transnationalism, imperialism, geopolitical, educational, and socioeconomic issues, and how Asian immigrant identities were constructed.

Prior to pursuing an academic life, Park was an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in various newspapers, magazines, and journals. As a hobby, Park practices karate and is a licensed USA National Karate referee. She is also the proud mother of her dog Gamja (Potato in Korean).

Research Interests: Korean and Asian American identities, race relations, diaspora, critical race theory, civil unrest, nationalism, transnationalism, colonialism, imperialism, and decolonization.

Ramon Pineda

B.A. Anthropology, San José State University
M.A. Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, California State University, Los Angeles 
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Instagram: raypineda83
Twitter: @ray_pineda
Ramon Pineda Jr. is father to Citlali Itzel, an inquisitive and rebellious toddler. He is a xicano from the San Gabriel Valley, a first-generation college graduate, and McNair Scholar. Ramon completed a master’s degree in Chicanx/Latinx studies at California State University, Los Angeles. His research interests are situated at the intersections of Chicanx feminists epistemologies, third-world feminisms, Latinx geographies, cultural and spatial production, and artivisms.
His M.A. thesis: “CumbiaLAndia: digital ephemera, borderlands sounds and the dissonant DJs queering LAs Cumbia scene” highlights undocumented queer Latinx DJs who confront and denounce heteromasculinity, patriarchy, nationalism and racism cultural and spatial production.

Maya Shah

Larry W Smith

Amanda Soto

Takahito Tanaka

M.A. Sociology
California State University, Fullerton
B.S. Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
Takahito (Taka) Tanaka is a Ph.D. student in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside. He earned his B.S. in sociology from Virginia Tech with concentrations in social inequality and crime/deviance. Taka returned to the academy following a twelve-year hiatus where he earned his M.A. in sociology from California State University, Fullerton.
For his thesis, Taka conducted an ethnographic case study on the intergenerational and intercultural relationships between the Japanese American and Muslim American grassroots social movement groups in Los Angeles titled “The Oppositional Solidarity Against the Muslim Ban.”
Taka’s current research projects involve the Harada House where he is currently assisting in the historical preservation process with the Harada House Foundation and the Museum of Riverside. He is also exploring multiple theoretical vantage points that will elucidate how the Harada House is an intersectional project that transcends individual national identity.
Research Interests: Asian American studies, citizenship, critical ethnic studies cultural genocide, decolonization, Harada House, indigenous research methods, intersectionality, Japanese American incarceration, oral history, racialization, state violence, social movements, transnationalism

Michelle C Rawlings

B.A. Ethnic Studies, University of California Riverside
B.A. Anthropology, University of California Riverside

Michelle Rawlings is a first-generation graduate student in the inaugural master’s cohort program in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Michelle graduated in 2022 from the University of California, Riverside with a double bachelors in Ethnic Studies and Anthropology. Her current work involves exploring processes of ethnogenesis through colonization and racialization within the United States and her long term focus includes further academia and ethnographic research.

Research Interests: Ethnogenesis, ethnic heterogeneity, and biracial/multiethnic identity, cultural and social adaptations, ethnography, biracial/multiethnic identity expression through art and textiles.

Kelvin Villalta

B.A. Central American Studies, California State University of Northridge
B.A. Creative Writing, California State University of Northridge
Kelvin is a Master of Arts student in the department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California Riverside.

Research Intrests: Central American Literature (Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Film, Music, Art), Race, Ethnicity, Identity, Gender, Sexuality, Class, Labor, Spirituality, Migration, Transnationalism, Assimilation, Colonial, Capitalist, and Neoliberal contradictions and exploitation, State and Corporate Repression and Violence, Social Movements, Revolutions, and Civil Wars, Historical and Dialectical Materialism, Dependency Theory