Laura E. Enriquez and Alana LeBron

Laura E. Enriquez, Chicano/Latino studies associate professor, and Alana LeBrón, Chicano/Latino studies and public health assistant professor, are leading two new projects aimed at rebuilding, reframing, and transforming community members and institutions for inclusive excellence. Their work - part of 10 new projects funded by the UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence’s Confronting Extremism through Community, Thriving and Wellness program totaling nearly $250,000 in support - focuses specifically on supporting undocumented student well-being and anti-racism training. Learn more about the social sciences projects below, and congratulations to all funded researchers.

Thriving in the Face of Anti-Immigrant Extremism: Building a Toolkit for Undocumented Student Well-Being
Laura E. Enriquez, Associate Professor, Chicano/Latino Studies
Project lead with collaborating researchers Martha Morales Hernandez (co-PI), Iliana Arias, Angela Chen, Alejandra Garcia Ceja, Alejandra Jeronimo, and Shaozhuan Li

Undocumented students experience high rates of emotional distress fueled by rising anti-immigrant extremism. This project proposes development and piloting of an empirically grounded toolkit that can be implemented to support undocumented students’ wellbeing and thriving in the face of anti-immigrant extremism. Researchers will draw on three studies conducted by PI Enriquez and doctoral student co-PI Morales Hernandez to identify key areas in which anti-immigrant extremism compromises undocumented student wellbeing and the means through which students’ resist and thrive. Working with staff practitioners across campus, researchers will develop six, one-hour modules to guide students through contextualizing their mental health in light of rising extremism and developing the tools to thrive on their journey toward wellbeing. Researchers will pilot the modules as workshops and follow up with a cohort of 30 students to assess their efficacy. A program toolkit will enable annual facilitation of these workshops at UCI and support their replication beyond UCI.

Evaluating an Anti-Racism Curriculum to Inform the Development of the Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research (CEHDR)
Alana LeBrón, Assistant Professor, Chicano/Latino Studies and Public Health, and Co-Director, UCI Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research
Project lead with collaborating researchers Jun Wu, Abigail Reyes, Mextli Lopez, and Candice Taylor Lucas

The new Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research is launching an anti-racism training, Three Questions: People, Power, and Place in Southern California's African, Black, and Caribbean communities. Support from the Confronting Extremism grant will enable the team to evaluate this anti-racism intervention to inform future iterations of this training; identify next steps for collectively growing anti-racism praxis; and guide principles, processes, practices, and areas of focus for centering affected communities in action research to advance environmental and climate justice.

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