Publications & Presentations

Selected Publications

    • Abstract: Racial battle fatigue (RBF) has been operationalized as the psychological,

      emotional, and physiological toll of confronting racism. In this article, RBF is used to analyze the toll of racism on teachers of Color who work within a predominantly White profession. We present counterstories of justice-oriented, urban, teachers of Color who demonstrate racism in their professional contexts as a cumulative and ongoing experience that has a detrimental impact on their well-being and retention in the field. We also share their strategies of resilience and resistance, as they rely on a critical community to persist and transform their schools.

  • Pizarro, M., J. Nkosi, & A. Rios-Cervantes (2019).  “Developing Chicanx Studies Methods: Living Racial Justice with Teachers, Communities and Students.”  In N. Deeb-Sosa  & A. de la Torre, From the Field and the Trenches: Community Empowerment, Sustainability and Community Based Research in Chicana/o Studies,University of Arizona Press.
  • Kohli, R., M. Pizarro, & A. Nevarez (2017). “The ‘New Racism’ of K-12 Schools: Centering Critical Research on Racism.”  Review of Research in Education, 41, 182-202.

    • Abstract: While organizing efforts by movements such as Black Lives Matter and responses to the hate-filled policies and rhetoric of President Donald Trump are heightening public discourse of racism, much less attention is paid to mechanisms of racial oppression in the field of education. Instead, conceptualizations that allude to racial difference but are disconnected from structural analyses continue to prevail in K–12 education research. In this chapter, our goal is to challenge racism-neutral and racism-evasive approaches to studying racial disparities by centering current research that makes visible the normalized facets of racism in K–12 schools. After narrowing over 4,000 articles that study racial inequity in education research, we reviewed a total of 186 U.S.-focused research studies in a K–12 school context that examine racism. As we categorized the literature, we built on a theory of the “new racism”—a more covert and hidden racism than that of the past—and grouped the articles into two main sections: (1) research that brings to light racism’s permanence and significance in the lives of students of Color through manifestations of what we conceptualize as (a) evaded racism, (b) “antiracist” racism, and (c) everyday racism and (2) research focused on confronting racism through racial literacy and the resistance of communities of Color. In our conclusion, we articulate suggestions for future directions in education research that include a more direct acknowledgement of racism as we attend to the experiences and needs of K–12 students of Color.
  • Marcos Pizarro (2017). “The Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice: Creating a Space for Racial Justice Community Building, Healing, and Transformative Praxis.” In B. Picower & R. Kohli (ed.s), Confronting Racism: Counternarratives of Critical Teacher Educators (pp. 151-156). New York: Routledge.
  • Kohli, R. & M. Pizarro (2015). Fighting to Educate our Own: Teachers of Color, Relational Accountability, and the Struggle for Racial Justice. Equity & Excellence in Education, 49, 72-84.
    • Abstract: Research demonstrates that many teachers of Color enter schools committed to challenging injustice, yet often face barriers to accomplishing this goal. This article presents emergent themes from a qualitative study with 218 self-identified, racial justice-oriented teachers of Color. Using Wilson’s (2008) indigenous cultural framework of relationality and relational accountability to analyze our data, we introduce the concept of community-oriented teachers of Color to describe the accountability these teachers have towards students of Color and their communities. We found that despite their connections, insights, and successes with students, hierarchies of ontology (ways of being) and epistemology (ways of knowing) within schools that promote individualism served to isolate and marginalize community-oriented teachers of Color and, thus, limited their ability to advance racial justice.

  • Marcos Pizarro (2014). "The Twists and Turns of Ethnic Prejudice and Discrimination: 21st Century Manifestations of Historically Entrenched Racial Ideologies."  In Martin Urbina (ed.), Twenty-First Century Dynamics of Multiculturalism: Beyond Post-Racial America (pp. 153-170).
    • Abstract: This chapter analyzes the historical forces shaping contemporary manifestations of institutionalized racism that are experienced by Latinas/os in schools.  Deconstructing evolving ideologies of deficit thinking, the work explains the powerful impact of racial microaggressions and racial battle fatigue experienced by Latina/o students today, with an overview of ways in which specific tools can be used to help students transform these experiences.
  • Marcos Pizarro (2005). Chicanas and Chicanos in School: Racial Profiling, Identity Battles, and Empowerment. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
    • Abstract: By any measure of test scores and graduation rates, public schools are failing to educate a large percentage of Chicana/o youth. But despite years of analysis of this failure, no consensus has been reached as to how to realistically address it. Taking a new approach to these issues, Marcos Pizarro goes directly to Chicana/o students in both urban and rural school districts to ask what their school experiences are really like, how teachers and administrators support or thwart their educational aspirations, and how schools could better serve their Chicana/o students.  In this accessible, from-the-trenches account of the Chicana/o school experience, Marcos Pizarro makes the case that racial identity formation is the crucial variable in Chicana/o students' success or failure in school. He draws on the insights of students in East Los Angeles and rural Washington State, as well as years of research and activism in public education, to demonstrate that Chicana/o students face the daunting challenge of forming a positive sense of racial identity within an educational system that unintentionally yet consistently holds them to low standards because of their race. From his analysis of this systemic problem, he develops a model for understanding the process of racialization and for empowering Chicana/o students to succeed in school that can be used by teachers, school administrators, parents, community members, and students themselves.
  • Marcos Pizarro (2004). "Searching for Curanderas: A Quest to Revive Chicana/o Studies." Journal of Latinos and Education, 3, 145-164.
    • Abstract: Chicana/o Studies has fallen victim to the contradictions of challenging the academic apparatus from within. In this article, I argue that Chicana/o Studies and its scholars are still struggling with the most basic issues introduced in the early 1970s. This is of grave concern because a race war is now being fought in U.S. academia and Chicana/o Studies and its scholars are losing. The heart of this analysis focuses on the possibilities of reinvigorating Chicana/o Studies by creating a new framework that emerges from the unique world-views and systems of knowledge that exist within Chicana/o communities.
  • Marcos Pizarro & Margaret Montoya with Monica Nañez, Ray Chavez, and Nadine Bermudez (2002). "Seeking Educational Self-Determination: Raza Studies for Revolution." Equity & Excellence in Education, 35, 276-292.
    • Abstract: This article is a multi-textured effort to explain the educational, social justice work of MAESTR@S, an innovative, organic group of educational activists fighting to address the needs of Latina/o youth. It is unlike anything we have ever written and probably unlike anything you are likely to read in an academic journal such as EEE. We do not have a well-defined result that we are reporting to you. Instead, we see ourselves on a quest, with a deep concern about the current educational choices facing most raza youth and their teachers and a commitment to try to work in community with others who share these concerns.
  • Marcos Pizarro (2002). "Somos Aztlan." In, Cantos al Seto Sol: A Collection of Contemporary Aztlanahuac Writing (pp. 225-227).
  • Marcos Pizarro (1999). "!Adelante!: Toward Social Justice and Empowerment in Chicana/o Communities and Chicana/o Studies." In, Race Is ... Race Isn't: Critical Race Theory and Qualitative Research in Education (pp. 53-81).
  • Marcos Pizarro (1999). "Racial Formation and Chicana/o Identity: Lessons from the Rasquache." In, Race, Ethnicity and Nationality in the United States: Toward the 21st Century (pp. 191-214).
  • Marcos Pizarro (1998). "Contesting Dehumanization: Chicana/o Spiritualization, Revolutionary Possibility, and the Curriculum." Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 23, 55-76.
  • Marcos Pizarro (1998). "“Chicana/o Power!”: Epistemology and Methodology for Social Justice and Empowerment in Chicana/o Communities." International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 23, 57-80.
  • Marcos Pizarro (1997). "Power, Borders, and Identity Formation: Understanding the World of Chicana/o Students." Perspectives in Mexican American Studies, 6, 142-167.


Selected Recent Presentations

  • Community Cultural Wealth as Daily Racial Justice Classroom Praxis, Equity in Education Conference,Hollyhock Fellowship Program, Stanford University Graduate School of Education, 17 July 2018.

  • Building Racial Literacy: Using Latinx Community Assets for College Success,
    Cañada College Equity Lecture Series, 24 April 2018.
  • Transformative Teaching through Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Ethics for Ethnic Studies, Professional Development for Coachella Unified School District, 28 September 2017.

  • Transforming Higher Education: The Power of Raza Students and our Communities, Washington State University Semana de la Raza Keynote, 25 February 2017.
  • Beyond the Deficit Model: Concrete Strategies for Enhancing Latin@ Student Engagement, CSU Eastbay Office of University Diversity Speaker Series, 29 April 2016.
  • Community Cultural Wealth & Effective Mentoring of Youth, Mentor Workshop for SJSU Climate Change GENIE Project with local schools, 30 January 2016.
  • Applied Chicana/o Studies: Insights from Social Justice Projects Working with Communities. National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, 42nd Annual Conference, April 2015. (Panel organized for MAS Graduate Students, chair & discussant).
  • From Microaggressions to Community Cultural Wealth: Insights for Intellectually Engaging Latina/o University Students.  Latina/o Students in Higher Education Forum, San Francisco State University, 27 February 2015.

  • Teachers of Color and Racial Battle Fatigue: Hostile Racial Climate and Tools for Healing in Urban School Contexts (co-presented with Rita Kohli). National Association for Multicultural Education, 24th Annual Conference, November 2014.
  • Research as Social Justice: Ethical Validity & Relationship-Building as Method (with SJSU Students, High School Students & MAESTR@S).  National Association for Ethnic Studies, 42nd Annual Conference, April 2014.

  • Teachers of Color Working for Racial Justice: Navigating the School Racial Climate (with Rita Kohli). Teachers 4 Social Justice, Annual Conference, October 2013.
  • Preparing Racial Justice Workers for Supporting Youth in Disenfranchised Communities (with community partner, Mario Ozuna-Sanchez).  National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, 40th Annual Conference, March 2013.

  • Intergenerational Trauma, Internalized Racism, & Community Cultural Wealth: Applied Research for Community Change.  National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, 40th Annual Conference, March 2013. (Panel organized for MAS 135 Students, discussant)

  • Building Community with Teachers of Color: Lessons from the Institute for Racial Justice (with R. Kohli and R. Burciaga).  Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association 2012 Conference.

  •  Internalized Racism Across the Educational Pipeline.  Panel Chair.  American Educational Research Association 2012 Conference.