SELF-DETERMINED EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY ACTIVISM: A COMPARATIVE HISTORY OF NAVAJO, CHICANA/O, AND PUERTO RICAN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE ERA OF PROTEST
Cantu, Carlos L.
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This study examines the educational self-determination of Navajos, Chicanas/os, and, Puerto Ricans, through a comparative lens of community activism and the founding of their own institutions of higher education. These colleges emerged within their own historical contexts in the late 1960s and evolved throughout the 1970s. In comparing these historical case studies, I argue educational self-determination was more widespread than has been recognized by scholars. In addition, the push for educational self-determination was intergenerational, involved a wide spectrum of activist strategies, and changed over time. The founders of these colleges sought to disrupt the culture of exclusion in the U.S. schools by incorporating the language and culture of the communities they served while at the same time empowering them with new opportunities in higher education. This dissertation will contribute to the historiography of educational self-determination among communities of color.