Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alejandra Merino L&S Social Sciences

Womxn and Queerness: A Fire Within a Revolution

How have womxn and queer people of color created nurturing communities based on mutual aid, care, and solidarity, amid structural violence? Throughout history, revolutions such as the Cuban Revolution and the Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico, have become landmarks in the fight against colonialism and capitalism in Latin American, Central American, and Caribbean countries. However, there is a lack of research on the impact of womxn and queer people in the fight for revolutionary change. Over the course of the summer, my mentor Juana and I will collect data looking at how womxn and queer-identifying communities of color historically and in modern society, utilize abolitionist practices to organize and mobilize for social change. Through the lens of Cuban society, particularly communities of queer Cuban womxn, the experiences and demands of the most marginalized groups in society can be uplifted and shared. By understanding how womxn and queer community spaces weave intergenerational healing practices to mutual aid and political education, we can better transition existing revolutionary theory into tangible everyday practices within our own communities.

Message To Sponsor

I am especially grateful to the Gates Foundation for having this opportunity to pursue my research more deeply this summer. I look forward to expanding my skills on navigating and managing archival data and to working with my mentor to center the voices of women of color and the queer community throughout Cuba's revolutionary history. This fellowship is a unique experience that I hope will pave the way for more research that upholds and supports communities of color, womxn, and queer folks. Thank you for funding this project, I am excited to begin!
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Major: Major: Legal Studies; Minors: Education and Public Policy
Mentor: Juana Maria Rodriguez
Sponsor: Gates Foundation
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