Muxeres en Acción: The Power of Community Cultural Wealth in Latinas Organizing for Health Equity.Am J Community Psychol. 2020 Jul 03 [Online ahead of print]AJ
Community psychology, despite its commitment to social justice, is prone to engage in deficit-based perspectives that do not appropriately capture the strengths of Latinx communities. Given these limitations, we use a Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) (Yosso, 2005) framework to describe how muxeres, Latina women who identify as promotoras, madres, and mamás, leveraged their political power and culturally informed leadership to improve the health and well-being of their communities. We highlight instances from our fieldwork, witnessing the agency of muxeres en acción for health equity. We offer three case studies to describe how we approached our collaborations with three groups of muxeres situated in different geographic locations in the state of California. The first case study discusses how immigrant muxeres who identify as promotoras (e.g., health workers) in the Central Valley developed their research skills through a promotora model that allowed them to build the capacity to advocate for the well-being of their communities. The second example offers reflections from a Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) project with a group of Mexican immigrant madres in a gentrified community in San José. Lastly, the third case study describes how a group of mamás in the East Side of Los Angeles addressed issues of educational inequities. Together, these case studies illustrate muxeres' advocacy for their health and well-being. Because women in general, and muxeres in particular, are considered gatekeepers of culture and tradition within their families, it is crucial that community psychologists ground their work in ethically and culturally appropriate frameworks that highlight the power of muxeres.