At Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success), we are committed to supporting the educational outcomes and experiences of boys and men of color at the local, state, and national level. As such, we recognize that it is imperative that we do not perpetuate social marginalization based upon gender and sexuality. While we are going to maintain our focus on boys and men of color, with an emphasis on research on Latino men, we are modifying our approach to be more proactive about addressing issues of gender and sexuality within our collective research and practice.
This document highlights the ways in which we have reflected and engaged about creating a more inclusive environment to participate in critically-informed research, practice, and pedagogy related to boys and men of color in education.
Changes in Collective Practice
This Fall 2020, our staff and members of the Project MALES community (i.e., Affiliates, Consortium members, students) met three times through one-hour Zoom meetings to discuss topics of gender and sexuality regarding boys and men of color. We provide a list of these members at the bottom of this document. These conversations led us to think about potential changes to our practice, especially with our work with the Mentoring Program, the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, and the Research Institute.
As we celebrated our ten-year milestone, we recognize the importance of moving our organization toward a culture of greater inclusion. As we approach this work with humility, it is vital for us not to make any assumptions about the communities that we serve. Thus, we provide more information about who we serve and terms that we often use for our publications and various dissemination outlets.
Who We Serve
Although our name (“Project MALES”) evokes questions about sex assigned at birth (e.g., male), our focus has been and will continue to be on boys and men of color, recognizing that it is our responsibility to challenge gender binary norms. Thus, with “boys and men of color,” we primarily mean Latino and African American men as these are the main student populations represented in our local school districts. However, we also recognize the importance of conducting critical research on other racial subgroups that identify as men (e.g., AAPI men), as highlighted by our latest Research Digest III.
We do not limit ourselves to working with and serving with only cisgender men. With cisgender, we mean individuals whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex. Instead, we work and will continue to work with boys and men of color who hold multiple and marginalized identities, including but not limited to non-binary gender, LGBTQ+, undocumented/DACAmented, formerly incarcerated, non-English speaking, and students of all ages and generations.
For our practice, we will continue to be more inclusive of these identities in our brand, website, and the stories and videos we share. We also recognize the role that we play in expanding the types of masculinities, theories, and gender concepts that we use throughout our programs and initiatives at the local, state, and national levels.
How We Use “Latino” and Related Terms
We recognize that the use of the term “Latino” has evolved over time (see for example, Salinas & Lozano, 2019; Salinas, 2020). Because much our research activity is focused on Latino men, we provide clarification on this terminology. Although the term “Latino” is grammatically gendered in conventional Spanish, the term has been widely adopted in the United States by federal agencies (e.g., Census), mainstream media, and the private sector to represent individuals of Latin American and Caribbean descent (Bigler, 2012). At the same time, efforts have been made to challenge gender binary norms. Such variations have included Latinx, Latinx/a/o, Latine, and Latin* (Milian, 2017; Salinas, 2020; Salinas & Lozano, 2019). Thus, we rely on this emerging body of research to make decisions about how we use these terms in our scholarship and other publication outlets (e.g., policy briefs).
Similarly, when applicable, we apply the same approach to our work with other boys and men of color populations outside of Latino men. These men of color identities include but are not limited to Black, African, African American, Indigenous, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and multiracial. As a result, we believe it is appropriate to approach our work with boys and men of color through an intersectional lens that acknowledges how power and oppression interact with other marginalized identities such as sexual orientation, race, and immigration status, to name a few (Hurtado & Sinha, 2016)
About Project MALES
We encourage you to continue to learn more about our partners, history, and core values in our website at www.projectmales.org. For more specific information, please contact Project MALES director, Dr. Emmet Campos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PM Staff Members
For a full list of Project MALES staff members, please visit our website.
Non-PM Staff Members:
Jonathan Perez – Fort Worth ISD
Stephanie Hawley – Austin ISD
Sarah Rodriguez – Texas A&M, Commerce
David Martinez – University of South Carolina
Grant Loveless – ACC/Texas State University
Antonio Duran – Florida International University
Rich Reddick – UT Austin
Beth Bukoski – UT Austin
Nolan Cabrera – University of Arizona
Joseph Allen – Austin ISD
Bigler, E. (2012). Hispanic Americans/Latinos. In Scupin, R (Eds.), Race and ethnicity: An anthropological focus on the U.S. and the world (pp. 272-301). Pearson Publishing.
DeGuzmán, M. (2017). Latinx/a/o: Estamos aquí!, or being “Latinx/a/o” at UNC-Chapel Hill. Cultural Dynamics, 29(3), 214 – 230. https://doi.org/10.1177/0921374017727852
Hurtado, A., & Sinha, M. (2016). Beyond machismo: Intersectional Latino masculinities (First edition). University of Texas Press.
Milian, C. (2017). Extremely Latin, XOXO: Notes on Latinx/a/o. Cultural Dynamics, 29(3), 121-140. https://doi.org/10.1177/0921374017727850
Salinas, C. (2020). The Complexity of the “x” in Latinx: How Latinx/a/o Students Relate to, Identify With, and Understand the Term Latinx. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 19(2), 149–168. https://doi.org/10.1177/1538192719900382
Salinas, C., & Lozano, A. (2019). Mapping and recontextualizing the evolution of the term Latinx: An environmental scanning in higher education. In Critical Readings on Latinos and Education (1st ed., pp. 216–235). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429021206-14