Publication Date

Summer 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Rebeca Burciaga

Subject Areas

Educational leadership


The path to Chicana leadership is laced with struggle, adversity, and intergenerationaltrauma—but strengthened by resilience. This research focused on unrecognized Chicana leadership generated by adversity and in response to years, decades, and centuries of social injustices, inequities, and systematic oppression. Interviews and focus groups were conducted using a Chicana feminist epistemology lens and testimonio methodology. Culture, language, spirituality, and intuition were dominant factors in the research. From an intuitive knowing, the women of the study redefined notions of sacrifice, healing, resilience, leadership, and liberation. In modeling what their mothers and the women before them had done, they understood the embodiment of sacrifice as a conscious and deliberate choice. They debunked myths and stereotypes that Chicana / Mexican women are weak and submissive and asserted that Chicanas are tenacious, resilient, and persevere! They encouraged finding and creating “home” as a place of belonging where leadership is nurtured and thrives. The women of the study advocated for honoring and respecting all relations, including the ancestors and spirit guides, and remembering those who came before us and the seven generations that are yet to come.