A photo of Laurent Reyes. Laurent Reyes, PhD, MSW

Assistant Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley

Activist Scholar, Our Way of Life Archive

[email protected]

Our Way of Life Archive

I am an activist scholar who is committed to developing research that challenges current structures of inequality and allows us to envision new ways of being, collaborating, and creating that are already existent in historically marginalized communities. My scholarly background reflects my commitment to social justice -- beginning with my undergraduate education in women and gender studies and social work, and my graduate training in social work with special emphasis on aging and health, and the Latinx population. My professional career conducting evaluation research on access to health and community services among indigenous, Black, Latinx, and immigrant communities in Mexico and the United States also speaks to my dedication to utilize research as a tool to advance access and well-being among historically marginalized groups. More recently, my research focus has shifted to understanding the experiences of Latinx and Black older adults in the United States, particularly as it concerns civic participation throughout the life course in the context of sociopolitical and historical inequalities. This work is guided by an intersectional life course perspective and draws from phenomenology and visual elicitation techniques. Thus far, results from my dissertation have highlighted the role of survival, solidarity, and empowerment as dimensions that are pertinent to understanding civic participation beyond altruism and civic responsibility. This work serves as the foundation to begin reconceptualizing civic participation from the lens of ethnoracially historically marginalized communities.

Keywords: civic participation, Latinx and Black older adults, immigration, systemic inequality, intersectional life course theory, participatory community-based research, arts-based research