Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices in Higher Education

Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices in Higher Education

Examine the Intersections of Race, Identity, and Higher Education

Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices in Higher Education examines the intersection of race and identity in determining positioning within society, with the goal of contributing awareness and promoting more inclusive practices among higher education communities. This text offers an important new perspective for faculty and administrators, policymakers, upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, as well as general readers with an interest in Black and immigrant narratives and the undocumented experience as an academic subject.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Findings from the book:

  • Access and success within higher education for undocumented students cannot be achieved unless those implementing policies understand the full context of the community. 
  • Black undocumented students experience invisibility and a lack of belonging in undocumented and Black native spaces.
  • Black undocumented students are not advocated for because policymakers, higher ed leaders, and practitioners are unaware of the nuances of the undocumented community.

Meet the Author

Dr. Felecia S. Russell is a Black DACA recipient and scholar. Currently, she is the Director of the Higher Ed Immigration Portal at the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. She previously served as the Director of Undergraduate Admission at California Lutheran University, and as adjunct professor in the College of Education. Her research agenda explores the experiences of non-Latinx undocumented students, more specifically Black undocumented students, and the intersections of race and immigration status.

Her forthcoming book, Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices in Higher Education which centers her own educational journey and a qualitative study exploring the experiences of 15 Black undocumented students, is set to be released by Routledge on April 15, 2024. Most recently, she published two groundbreaking articles, “What Does it Mean to be UndocuBlack? Exploring the Double Invisibility of Black Undocumented Immigrant Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities” and  “The (Un) Embraced: The Experiences of Black Undocumented Students on College Campuses” with the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Dr. Russell received a BA in political science from Cal Lutheran, an MPP from Pepperdine University, and an Ed.D. in higher education from Temple University.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Buy the Book Here

Dr. Felecia S. Russell

Here’s what people are saying about Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices in Higher Education

“In recent years, the plight of undocumented immigrant young people has received considerable attention. Yet despite increased media coverage and advocacy efforts, still very little is known about young Dreamers who are also Black. Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices helps to fill this needed gap. Compelling in its approach, this powerful book tells the contemporary story of a diverse group of young adults who yearn for a place to belong, while navigating America’s racial and legal structures. Essential reading for educators and policy makers alike, the stories in this book should compel all to act.”

Roberto G. Gonzales, University of Pennsylvania, USA

“Felecia Russell’s Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices succeeds on all accounts- a compelling memoir of her own educational and professional journey, nuance narrative of the varied experiences of Black undocumented students in higher education, and scholarly study of how colleges and universities can and should better support Black undocumented students on their campuses. An invaluable addition to higher education scholarship, it will be a thought-provoking first-year book selection.”

Miriam Feldblum, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration

“Drawing on valuable lived-experience and deep engagement in research, Dr. Russell writes with conviction to center the voices of UndocuBlack students who are too often painfully excluded from spaces of belonging on college campuses across the country. Beginning with her own personal story and bolstered by the similar patterns she found in her interviews with students, the book makes evident the unacceptable gaps in resources and safe spaces. She compellingly calls on all educators and higher education staff to develop policies and practices to better serve these students, first by recognizing their unique needs and contributions. All allies of undocumented students – within and outside of academia – should read this.”

Leisy J. Abrego, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

“Felecia Russell’s storytelling is nothing short of captivating, and as you read each word of this book, you’ll find your heart both shrinking and growing in response to the profound experiences shared within. Amplifying Black Undocumented Student Voices is a must-read for scholars, experts, and anyone intrigued by the intricate experiences of Dreamers and undocumented immigrants.”

Gaby Pacheco, CEO of TheDream.US