Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Sarah K. Burgess

Second Advisor

Diana Negrín


Research shows that Latinx immigrants continue to face reproductive injustice; they are at risk of having worse reproductive health outcomes compared to U.S.-born citizens and have lower rates of reproductive health insurance coverage. Mainstream movements for reproductive freedom historically cast these issues aside, yet women of color organize against them. To better understand organizers’ work to combat Latinx immigrants’ reproductive injustice, in this Capstone I ask: how do community organizers in California use immigrant rights and reproductive justice to challenge and/or disrupt mainstream movements for reproductive freedom? I argue that Latinx immigrant organizers use storytelling to challenge mainstream conversations about reproductive freedom. Stories raise awareness of immigrants’ continued injustices, informing a new agenda inclusive of immigrant rights. While storytelling is an empowering tool for underserved communities to become politically involved, their impact is lessened as reproductive freedom coalition networks co-opt them. Using Erin M. Adam’s lens of the paradoxes of intersectional coalition building, I show how the historical power dynamics of reproductive movements continue to affect which stories are brought to the forefront. Even though coalition members aim to use storytelling to bring communities at the margins to the center, the conditions in which stories are told dampen their impact. With Adam’s lens, I apply Jodi Dean’s work on the solidarity of strangers to show that even through the proliferation of stories, the conditions of racial and economic power imbalances within coalition networks repress marginalized stories. Should coalition members continue to utilize storytelling as a strategy to disrupt mainstream narratives and influence policy, it is important for coalitions to re-examine the power imbalances between member organizations to positively impact Latinx immigrants’ reproductive justice.