Cultivating Intersectional Communities of Practice: A Case Study of the New Mexico Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium as a Convergence Space for Co-creating Intersectional Inquiry, Ontologies, Data Collection, and Social Justice Praxis
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How can intersectional scholar activists and practitioners cultivate communities of practice that embrace intersectional ontologies and knowledge projects for the advancement of equity and social justice? What role can ongoing critical self-reflexivity about ethical inquiry, data collection, analysis, and praxis (action and reflection) play in advancing and institutionalizing intersectional social justice transformations? The purpose of this chapter is to provide a case study of the work of the New Mexico Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium as an example of a convergence space for communities of practice committed to intersectionality as a social justice praxis. Using United States Census and American Community (ACS) Survey data on New Mexico, the authors showcase how an intersectional lens can yield more complex portraits of intersecting inequalities in education and income in a given sociohistorical context. The chapter ends with policy recommendations for the creation of legislation that requires intersectional data infrastructure and analysis as the new “gold standard.”
A previous version of this chapter was circulated in the Sociology of Education Section Newsletter of the American Sociological Association (ASA): López, Nancy. 2015. “An Invitation to a Dialogue About Establishing. Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortia,” American Sociological Association Sociology of Education Section Newsletter. Spring, 18(2):4 as well as my opening remarks at the Race, Gender Class Conference in New Orleans published in López, Nancy. 2016b. “Want Equity? Consider Establishing a Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium for Social Justice Research, Policy and Practice,” Race, Gender, Class, 23 (1–2):132–150. We are also indebted to Dr Gabriel Sanchez and staff at the Health Policy Research Center as well as to the Sociology Department at The University of New Mexico for in-kind support for Institute and Consortium activities. We deeply appreciate Dr Lawrence Roybal’s efforts as interim VP for the Division of Equity and Inclusion at the University of New Mexico, as he has generously provided funding for food at several of our Consortium meetings. We want to make a special acknowledgement of all the work Leanne Yanabu has done in creating and maintain our website: race.unm.edu. And finally we would like to thank Dr Olena Hankivsky and Dr Julia Jordan-Zachery as well as anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on this chapter. Their leadership in intersectionality scholarship and praxis has inspired much of this work.
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