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Storytelling, Self actualization, Higher education -- Qualitative research, Social justice -- California -- Oxnard, Education -- California -- Oxnard, Mexican Americans -- California -- Oxnard


In this talk, Martín makes a connection between counterpunches in the sport of boxing and his community's reputation. He argues that his people from Oxnard are constantly in a fight. However, unlike an ordinary boxing match that takes place in a boxing gym or in a run-down alley, this fight takes place in an entirely different arena—that is, through stories. Every day, negative stories are told about Oxnard, especially its Brown people. Using boxing as a metaphor, Martín suggests that we can change this by punching back through counter-stories. That is, positive stories that empower the community.

Martín Alberto Gonzalez is a Xicano raised in Oxnard, CA. He completed his undergraduate studies at California State University, Northridge. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in the Cultural Foundations of Education Department at Syracuse University, where he became the first Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in the university’s history. He is the youngest of seven, yet the only one in his family to go to a four-year university. Because he personally observed his older siblings and his community’s talents and interests be denied and repressed via their schooling, he became interested in educational issues related to Latinx students. He is the author of 21 Miles of Scenic Beauty... and then Oxnard, which is a collection of stories that bring to light various injustices in his city, such as inequitable schooling practices, gentrification, segregation, and so on.


Filmed at Pacifica High School in Oxnard, CA.