“Lucha Is What My Life Is About”: Students’ Voices on Social Justice
The four students who wrote this chapter, Maria Barbosa, Adrián Calderón, Grisel Murillo, and Lizandra Nevárez, were in my two-year class, their seventh and eighth grades, from November 1997 to June 1999. Except for Grisel, they were part of a group of about eight students whom I recruited in their seventh grade to be “co-researchers.” I never quite figured out how to maximize their knowledge and insights, but we met fairly regularly for over a year, often at a local taqueria, and tried to make sense of the class. Although we may not have learned that much from those sessions, they were at least a time for students and myself to reflect on what was happening in class. During their ninth grade, Adrián, Lizandra, and I presented at a national conference, and as seniors, all five of us presented at two conferences, one state and one national (Gutstein, Barbosa, Calderón, Murillo, & Nevárez, 2003). They have also come to my teacher education classes at my university and shared their perspectives with pre-service teachers. In all those presentations, I gave a short introduction and sat down, and they did the rest. As of this writing (April 2005), Maria, Adrián, and Grisel are
college sophomores, and Lizandra is working, helping support her family and saving money to attend college.