A Case Study of Liberation among Latino Immigrant Families who have Children with Disabilities
journal contributionposted on 06.03.2012, 00:00 by Fabricio Balcazar, Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, Sandra Bibiana Adames, Christopher Keys, Manuel García-Ramírez, Virginia Paloma
Latino immigrant families with children with disabilities experience multiple sources of oppression during their settlement process in the United States. Unfair social structures and dominant cultural values and norms and the way they influence the immigrants’ personal life stories generate a cycle of oppression very difficult to break. This paper presents a case study of how a group of Latino parents carried out a process of liberation fueled by the generation of empowering community narratives (critical awareness leading to transformative action) that resulted from a community-university partnership. Participants initiated a process that led them to discover their own stories of oppression and create new stories; to deconstruct the dominant cultural narratives and modify existing ones; and to understand contexts for power sharing. This joint reflection and increased awareness propelled group members to take action by founding a grassroots organization to redress some of the injustices that were partly responsible for their oppression, thus generating shifts at the personal, relational, and collective levels. In light of the theory of liberation, we discuss the participants’ development of critical awareness that led them to take action to address their unmet needs.