Can Secular Immigrant Assimilation Promote Equality? Pt. 2

Andreea Nica, pentecostalismI often wonder how my life would have been different if I had undergone a secular immigrant assimilation process. My former faith within Pentecostalism not only shaped my identity, but augmented my ability to assimilate into the American culture. Subsequently, this led me to explore how nonreligious narratives help immigrants better acculturate to western society. Despite my interests originating in personal exploration, emergent studies within religion and sociology show that there are many factors that come into play when considering social and cultural assimilation.

Following up on my most recent post, Liberations of Immigrant Women in Western Religious Conversion, I will draw on a comparative analysis to consider secular immigrant assimilation processes. Women’s experiences during their migration process contribute to their cultural and social identity formation. Many studies point to the established idea that religion is a key variable in influencing immigrant assimilation, particularly among the Latino community. “Faith plays an important role in their lives: 74 percent of Latinos say religion provides a ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a bit’ of guidance for them” (Philanthropy Roundtable). Continue reading “Can Secular Immigrant Assimilation Promote Equality? Pt. 2”

Being Renewed at the Hispanic Theological Initiative by Xochitl Alvizo

Feminist theologians have long affirmed the fact that who we are and where we stand, as human communities and as individuals, affects what we see and how we see it, and in turn affects the theology we produce.

Sometimes I think I am being birthed to myself over and over again. That somehow in the process and action of living I become fragmented and compartmentalized into disparate pieces without even knowing it. Then comes that moment when one of the pieces comes back to full view and realization, and I feel the unexpected and overwhelming joy of being birthed anew all over again – and it is a beautiful thing. This is what happened to me recently as I participated in the summer dissertation workshop of the Hispanic Theological Initiative. The Latina part of me came back to full view and was integrated into the whole.

The Hispanic Theological Initiative, or HTI, is a project that exists to nurture and support Ph.D. Latina and Latino students (‘Latino/a’, as is now commonly said) through their doctoral program. As HTI scholars these students are assigned a senior Latino/a scholar as a mentor, are provided with networking funds to support their professional development, are assigned a dissertation editor, and attend the annual gathering to participate in a variety of workshops, lectures, and seminars. This past June I was able to participate in their summer dissertation workshop. It was a one-time opportunity for me, but getting the chance to participate even for just those three days was an amazing gift. The gift  came in the form of a journey back to myself that included the overcoming of fears along the way. Continue reading “Being Renewed at the Hispanic Theological Initiative by Xochitl Alvizo”

%d bloggers like this: