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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Dr Jesica S. Fernández

Jesica S.

Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies Department, Santa Clara University, United States



Jesica Siham Fernández is an Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at Santa Clara University, and the author of the book "Growing Up Latinx: Coming of Age in a Time of Contested Citizenship" (NYU Press, 2021). She received her PhD in Social Psychology and Latin American & Latinx Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Grounded in a decolonial feminist praxis, she is a community-engaged researcher and practitioner of critical PAR paradigms and approaches to support youth, Latinx, student activists, and communities of color in their process toward sociopolitical wellbeing, and collective action. As a teacher-scholar-activist, Jesica is rooted in a commitment to supporting and cultivating spaces for young people to thrive, as well as actualizing intergenerational healing, transformative justice, and decolonial liberation.



Selected Relevant Publications:

Fernández, J. S. (2021). Growing Up Latinx. In Growing Up Latinx. New York University Press.

Fernández, J. S., & Watts, R. J. (2022). Sociopolitical Development as Emotional Work: How Young Organizers Engage Emotions to Support Community Organizing for Transformative Racial Justice. Journal of Adolescent Research, 07435584221091497.

Fernández, J. S., Nguyen, A., & Langhout, R. D. (2015). " It's a puzzle!". Elementary school-aged youth concept-mapping the intersections of community narratives. International Journal for Research on Extended Education: IJREE, 3(1), 24-38.

Fernández, J. S., Kirshner, B., & Lewis, D. G. (2016). Strategies for systemic change: Youth community organizing to disrupt the school-to-prison nexus. Contemporary youth activism: Advancing social justice in the United States, 93-112.

Govan, R. H., Fernandez, J. S., Lewis, D. G., & Kirshner, B. (2015). International Perspectives on Youth Leadership Development through Community Organizing. New Directions for Student Leadership, 148, 87-99.

Solís, J., Fernández, J. S., & Alcalá, L. (2013). Mexican Immigrant Children and Youth's Contributions to a Community Centro: Exploring Civic Engagement and Citizen Constructions. In Youth engagement: The Civic-Political Lives of Children and Youth. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Fernández, J. S. (2018). Toward an ethical reflective practice of a theory in the flesh: Embodied subjectivities in a youth participatory action research mural project. American Journal of Community Psychology, 62(1-2), 221-232.


Youth organizing, activism; Latinx youth; sociopolitical development; youth participatory action healing
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