Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Bruce J. Reed

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandra Hansmann

Third Advisor

Dr. Miryam Espinosa-Dulanto


From Nepantla to Aztlan: This dissertation sheds light on the supports and barriers that tenured/tenure-track Faculty Mothers of Color with Disabilities experience/d in their careers as students and faculty. Drawing from Indigenous methodologies (Relationality, Decoloniality, and Autoethnography), Liberation Psychology (Decolonial Designs, Conscientização, and Psicología social de la liberación), and Critical Theories (Latina Critical Theory, Pedagogies of the Home, Autohistoria-teoría and Disability Critical Theory), the researcher uses testimonios/pláticas as a method of inquiry to uncover the experiences of eight Nepantleras, Faculty Mothers of Color with Disabilities. The researcher initially hypothesized that she would find supports and barriers that fell into 4 categories: 1. Institutional Barriers 2. Familial/Cultural Barriers 3. Institutional Supports and 4. Familial/Cultural Supports. The researcher established rapport, established an ongoing relationship with the participants, and participants took an active role in the research; therefore, they are coresearchers. Coresearchers ethnically identified as: Boricua (2), Xicana (2), Cuban American (1), Indigenous (1), ethnic Jew (1), African American (1). Pláticas were conducted and recorded via Zoom, and the geographic distribution of coresearchers’ current geographic region where employed: Southwest (4), West coast (1), East Coast (1), Midwest (1), US Caribbean Islands (1). The distribution of the coresearchers disciplines were the following: Humanities (3), Behavioral Sciences (3), and Education (2). The following 18 supports and barriers were uncovered: 1. Male Allies, White Allies, and Mentors 2. University Community 3. Gatekeepers 4. Tokenism and Unpaid Labor 5. Microaggressions 6. Macroaggressions and Blatant Discrimination 7. Hypervisibility and Overcompensation 8. Invisibility of Disability 9. Family Trauma 10. Linguistic Terrorism 11. Domestic vs International minorities 12. Lack of representation as student/faculty 13. Childcare/Prenatal and Postnatal Care 14. Motherhood 15. Mental Health 16. Cultural Expectations 17. White Fragility and 18. Internalized Oppression and Colonized Mentality. These results yielded from the research could not be classified into the hypothesized 4 categories as they fell into more than one.


Copyright 2022 Maria Gabriela Bridges. All Rights Reserved.