Dream Big: Exploring Empowering Processes of DREAM Act Advocacy in a Focal State

Brad Forenza, Carolina Mendonca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This original, qualitative research analyzed in-depth interviews with five undocumented, college-age, Latino DREAM Act advocates in a single state. An organizational empowerment framework was utilized to explore processes allied with such advocacy. Four emergent themes transcended the data inductively: (1) Challenging Social Injustice, which pertains to participant motivations for involvement; (2) Inherent Connection, which pertains to the unique personal experiences among DREAM-ers; (3) Combatting Internalized Stigma, which pertains to overcoming the shame or embarrassment of an undocumented identity; and (4) Civic Literacy, which pertains to political proficiencies that participants acquired throughout their DREAM Act involvement. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-300
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Latinos and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2017


  • DREAM Act
  • Organizational empowerment
  • legal issues
  • post-secondary education
  • qualitative research
  • youth development


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