Silvia Rodriguez Vega is a Ford Foundation Scholar and Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles where she is a PhD Candidate in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies. Before that, Silvia earned a Master of Arts in Education from Harvard University and majored in Political Science and Transborder Latina/o Chicana/o Studies at Arizona State University. At ASU, Silvia organized with undocumented communities in the borderlands of Arizona pre-and post-SB1070. She now continues her work with immigrant children and families in South Central, Los Angeles.
Silvia’s dissertation, Immigrant Children: Resilience and Coping with HeART explores the ways anti-immigration policy impacts the lives of immigrant children through new epistemological tools centering art and creative expression. Through a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), her research highlights the understudied preadolescent children of immigrants—both U.S.-born citizens and undocumented immigrant children. Through a multidisciplinary theater class at a local elementary school in Los Angeles, California her data includes family, child, and teacher interviews, class observations, artwork and performance videos, with recently arrived Mexican and Central American children ages 11 to 13. More broadly, Silvia is also concerned with issues of structural inequality, service-learning, immigration policy, mixed-status families, transborder relations, undocumented youth and children, and arts and artivism through performance and digital media.