Organizing Against the Neo-Liberal Privatization of Education In South Los Angeles: Reflections On the Transformative Potential of Grassroots Research


  • Miguel Zavala California State University


This auto/ethnographic study narrates how members of the Association of Raza Educators (ARE), a grassroots teacher-led organization, came together in undertaking action-research within what eventually became a stalled campaign to defend South Los Angeles Elementary from corporate takeover. Most of the work within the campaign involved action-research, including what I term organic popular education. In this paper I analyze the ways in which action-research functions as public pedagogy, further arguing for studies conducted from the vantage point of people immersed in grassroots organizations.

Author Biography

Miguel Zavala, California State University

Miguel Zavala is Assistant Professor in the department of Secondary Education at California State University, Fullerton.  He is currently Chair of the Association of Raza Educators State Concilio and Chair of the Los Angeles Regional Network of the California chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education.  His research interests center on decolonizing pedagogies and grassroots action-research.