Saludos! I am a PhD candidate in Sociology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Currently, I am a visiting student and teaching associate in the Sociology Department at UCLA. My research agenda focuses on the lives of Black and Latinx youth in California. More specifically, I am a sociologist of gender and masculinity, youth activism, education, the carceral state, and intersectionality.

Drawing on interviews, survey data, and fieldwork in South Central Los Angeles, my dissertation examines how the social organization of South Central Los Angeles, the carceral state, community-based organizations, and youth activism shape the lives of Black and Latino young men. I also map out the organizational, cultural, and intersectional strategies Black and Latino young men activists adopt in their efforts to decriminalize youth of color.

I am currently an American Sociological Association Minority Fellow and a past AAHHE Graduate Fellow. My past work includes a campus racial climate study at a Hispanic Serving Institution in the California State University system. Recognition for my scholarship includes funding and awards from the Social Science Research Council, Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Project MALES at the University of Texas at Austin, the Research Center for the Americas at UC Santa Cruz, and the UC Santa Cruz Blum Center.

I have presented my research at the American Sociological Association, American Educational Research Association, Pacific Sociological Association, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the National Association for Ethnic Studies. To date, I have given guest lectures at Santa Clara University, Chapman University, Hartnell College, Monterey Peninsula College, and Prairie View A&M University.

Born and raised in the Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills neighborhood, I graduated from Susan Miller Dorsey High School and earned a BA and MA from California State University, Los Angeles. Before enrolling at UC Santa Cruz, I worked in after-school programs, as a counselor for visually impaired and blind youth, and the First-Year Experience Program at Cal State LA.

Pronouns: he/him/his/el.

Photo Credit: Joshua Ham

Photo Credits

Portrait: Alma Villa