As a PhD candidate at UC Davis, I am currently working toward the completion of my dissertation entitled, "Seattle in Coalition: Working-Class Activism, Multiracial Unity, and Third World Activism in the Pacific Northwest, 1969-1999.” This project uncovers political activism that brought together African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian Americans in labor coalitions, mass protests, and Third World solidarity movements. In doing so, the dissertation demonstrates how people of color became significant actors against economic recession, globalization, and deindustrialization during the 1970s while also challenging neoconservative policies during the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, Seattle activists were cognizant of the ways globalization and the shift toward a service-oriented economy at home connected American workers with economic exploitation in the Global South. In this frame of mind, activists challenged multinational corporations and US foreign and economic policies through Third World activism.
This research project stems from my personal experiences in the Pacific Northwest. As a woman of Mexican and German descent, my biracial identity deeply informs my work. I grew up in the small agricultural community of Yakima, Washington. Yakima is a city with a rich history of Mexican American culture, but is also a space of racial discrimination. Growing up in this context, I began to conceptualize how education and public outreach can be used to challenge racial inequality. After taking African American and Chicano history classes and participating in the McNair Scholars Program as an undergraduate at Eastern Washington University, I chose to study United States history at UC Davis. In my studies, I continued to grapple with the rigid and socially constructed boundaries of race and the nation-state. Thus, my work seeks to break down traditional categories of US history though a transnational and multiracial lens.