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Tara  Yosso

Tara Yosso

Professor, Author & Thought Leader Behind the Cultural Wealth Model


Dr. Tara J. Yosso is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. Her research and teaching apply the frameworks of critical race theory and critical media literacy to examine educational access and opportunity. Her work seeks to understand the ways Communities of Color have historically utilized an array of cultural knowledge, skills, abilities, and networks to navigate structures of racial discrimination in pursuit of educational equality. Read More >

She is a first generation college student who earned her B.A. at UCLA in an individual major she designed: “Social Psychology of Education with an Emphasis in Chicana/o Studies.” She earned her Ph.D. also at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, in Urban Schooling. She has authored and co-authored numerous chapters and articles in publications such as the Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Popular Film and Television, and History of Education Quarterly. Her research is extensively cited within and beyond education. For example, her article, “Whose Culture has Capital? A Critical Race Theory Discussion of Community Cultural Wealth,” has become the top cited article in Race Ethnicity and Education since its publication in 2005—with almost 7,000 citations. The American Educational Studies Association recognized her book, Critical Race Counterstories along the Chicana/Chicano Educational Pipeline (Routledge) with a 2008 Critics’ Choice Book Award. She has been awarded a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for Diversity and Excellence in University Teaching and was honored by the Critical Race Studies in Education Association with a 2017 Derrick Bell Legacy Award. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Community Cultural Wealth

Dr. Tara Yosso’s six-part Cultural Wealth Model includes six types of capital that educational leaders may use to frame their interactions with students: Aspirational, Linguistic, Familial, Social, Navigational, & Resistance. Yosso argues that all forms of capital can be used to empower individuals. Yosso designed this model to capture the talents, strengths and experiences that students of color bring with them to their college environment. The Cultural Wealth Model represents a framework to understand how students of color access and experience college from a strengths-based perspective. In this inspiring and thought provoking keynote presentation, Yosso challenges the audience through real life examples and data to determine how their program, school, college, or other institution can promote each specific type of capital.