This paper explores how women and non-binary Latinx Community Workers (LCWs) in Toronto, Canada, negotiate their identities, citizenship practices and politics in relation to settler colonialism and decolonization. We demonstrate how LCWs enact a Latinx decolonial politic of belonging, an alternative way of practicing citizenship that strives to simultaneously challenge both Canadian and Latin American settler colonialism. This can be seen when LCWs refuse to be recognized on white settler terms as “proud Canadians,” and create community-based learning initiatives that incite conversations among everyday Latinx community members around Canada’s settler colonial history and present, Indigenous worldviews, as well as race and settler colonialism in Latin America. We consider how LCWs’ enactments of a Latinx decolonial politic of belonging serve as small, incomplete, but crucial steps towards decolonization.
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We would like to acknowledge Nira Elgueta, Maria Montejo and Janet Romero-Leiva for their invaluable contributions to Cuentos del Sur, as well as the leadership of the Working Women Community Center and PODER for making this kind of program available to community members. We are deeply grateful to Latinx community workers and the mujeres who participated in the program for sharing their stories with us and for all their work in reimagining how we can create and sustain community with cariño. Thank you to the anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback and to the special issue editors Soma Chatterjee and Tania Das Gupta and Editor-in-Chief David Butz, for their generous support of this paper and making space for these important conversations.
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- Latinx identities
- settler colonialism