Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities


Latinxs in higher education, while numerous, still lag behind all major racial groups in terms of graduation. Why is that? It is society’s hope that education will provide equal opportunity and a path out of poverty, but are schools really providing equal opportunities for attainment or are they simply reproducing inequalities in society? To what extent does this idea, if at all, exist even at liberal and multiculturally focused institutions like Macalester? I ask first generation Latinx alumni to recount their college experiences at Mac in order understand how their narratives compared to those promoted in college advertisements on the official website and Youtube account. What emerges from interviews with alumni are intense feelings of isolation based on not only racial but also class differences. It seems that colleges and universities do a lot to bring racial and economic minorities onto their campuses but often lack a community to support them. Now the question is, what needs to change in order for higher education to become truly accessible?

Author Biography

Luz María Ramírez Cruz is a graduating senior at Macalester College from Escondido, California. She is an American Studies major also minoring in Educational Studies and Studio Art. Her current goal is to work in education advocacy as to positively impact the lives and schooling of students with similar life experiences to her own.


I would first like to thank Erika Busse-Cárdenas for her continual support, patience, and mentorship throughout this project. You motivate and remind me that work like this matters. Additionally, I would like to thank Alicia Muñoz, Karin Vélez, Donna Maeda, and all of the women of color in my life who continue to inspire and encourage me.

Finally, I dedicate this project to my family and the endless unconditional support they have shown through the years. It is truly a privilege to spend life searching for purpose and for this gift, les debo la vida y todo mi corazón Mamá y Papá.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.