Lisa Patel, Rocío Sánchez Ares

Lisa Patel, Associate Professor of Race,

Language and Education,

Lynch School of Education, Boston College.,


Rocío Sánchez Ares,

PhD Student in Curriculum and Instruction,

Lynch School of Education, Boston College

“Coming Out as Undocumented:” Immigrant Youth Resistance in Oppressive Times.


The concept of resistance can be understood as a space in which racially minoritized, White, rich, poor, cisgender, queer youth all are overtly and differentially assigned and assign themselves.  Resistance and risk-taking are fundamentally political acts, but they are also as imbued with identity politics, social relations, mainstream, and refractions of power and ideology as any constituting social force, such as family, schooling, and labor, which cannot be overlooked. In this presentation, we delve into the intricacies of youth resistance and risk-taking to better understand both the ways that youth are located and locate themselves when coming out as undocumented immigrants in the U.S. political arena. We ask and theorize what kinds of structures are created through the very act of “coming out.”



Lisa Patel is an educator, writer and sociologist. For the past seven years, she has worked and researched with recently immigrated youth in the Boston area. Her scholarship cuts across the discplines of policy studies, education and migration studies to interrogate the political intersections of opportunity and restrictions, particularly for low-income youth of color.  


My name is Rocío Sánchez Ares.  I am from Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  I received two MA’s from the University of Kansas.  In my work with immigrant Latinos, we use participatory action research methods, such as theater and playwriting, to grapple with issues of racism.  I love dance improvisation, theater, reading, cooking, …and sharing life with people.

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