49
49
2

Decolonize Anthro: Support Post Maria Research

$3,070 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 53 people in 4 months
Melinda Gonzalez (aka La Poeta Guerrera) is Writing her dissertation entitled “Rhyming Thru Disaster: Arts-based Community Organizing in the Puerto Rican Diaspora after Hurricane Maria.” Her research examines how multiple forms of everyday disasters and climate emergencies impact the lives of ordinary citizens. This research is situated in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and traces how Puerto Rican diaspora communities mobilized community-based hurricane recovery through arts movements. Melinda lives and works in NY with her daughter. She is a single mother who teaches to support her family, but finishing this dissertation will take funds that free her to work part time, dissertate part time, all while mothering solo full time. Her work is inspired,  relevant and so necessary. Please consider donating what you can to help make this project possible.

Added 7/11/2019

Crowd-sourcing for my dissertation writing year.

One of the major barriers to academic success as a first generation college graduate, let alone PhD student is the lack of networking and wealth that I possess. Because I came from an extremely financially impoverished family, I heavily rely on scholarships and grants (and student loans, which I already owe $100,000) to fund my research. I’ve been successful at getting small grants from a few organizations like the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Foundation through their Woodrow Wilson Foundation and Social Science Research Council affiliations as well as a MAXQDA #ResearchforChange Grant and travel grants from the Society for Applied Anthropology and the Society for the Anthropology of North America. Other funds came from the LSU West Field Research Grant. All of these smaller grants have been super helpful in getting part of my research done, but they only cover the cost of research. Not living expenses. Not healthcare. Not childcare. That has pushed me to adjunct A LOT. I’ve been teaching 160 students for 2 semesters while doing my fieldwork in New York. And I’ve applied for numerous grants hoping to catch just one.

I applied and was rejected from:
The Wenner Gren Dissertation Research Grant, twice
MMUF Dissertation Writing
Ford Foundation Dissertation Writing
LSU Dissertation Writing 
PEO Scholars Award 
SWS Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Maryjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship
Lewis & Clark Research Grant, twice
Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, twice
The AAA Minority Dissertation Writing Fellowship
and others I cannot recall at the moment…

This is daunting and exhausting. Receiving these grants isn’t just about receiving the money, although the money is a major help. It’s also about receiving access to a network of well-established scholars. But also, it is about the money, because I have to work multiple part-time jobs while writing my dissertation. And that takes time away from the dissertation. 

So, I have moved to crowd-sourcing after numerous friends suggested it. 

What these fellowships usually give is about $25,000 to help offset the cost for a PhD Candidate to finish their dissertation. So I am hoping and asking folx to donate/share if you’re able to help me raise $25,000 to fund my dissertation writing year during the 2019-2020 school year.

For more ways to donate visit my blog: http://phddreams.com/index.php/2019/05/24/help-first-generation-college-student-complete-my-dissertation/

Read below for more information about me and my project and what a dissertation is.


About Melinda:

Melinda González is a first-generation high school graduate, college graduate, and PhD Candidate in the field of Anthropology at Louisiana State University. Her family is from Moca, Puerto Rico, but she was born/raised in Newark, New Jersey by a single mom of three kids. Melinda always aspired to get her doctorate degree from a young age, beginning to study archaeology and anthropology at just 10 years old. But her deep interest in history and the social sciences began when she was a student at Science High School in Newark. Upon graduating, Melinda attended Franklin & Marshall College her freshman year, where she began taking courses in Archaeology & Anthropology. Upon taking a course with ex-hockey star Dr. Christopher Tarnowski, Melinda fell in love with environmental anthropology and decided to pursue this as her main interest within the field. After completing her first year at F&M, Melinda moved to New York to complete her Bachelor’s degree as a transfer student at Barnard College/Columbia University and graduated with a 3.3 GPA. In 2012, she completed a terminal Master’s degree at Rutgers University in the field of Anthropology and gave birth to her daughter. After focusing on being a mom and running her own business for a few years, Melinda felt the pull back into academia. She continued to do independent research on environmental anthropology issues like food sovereignty and climate change and presented at conferences. In 2016, she decided to go back to graduate school to complete her PhD and began courses at LSU under the guidance of Dr. Micha Rahder, who has provided great advising and support. In May 2018, Melinda completed her exams and defended her proposal to make PhD Candidacy. She hopes to complete writing her dissertation and completing her degree at the end of 2019-2020 school year. She is also a performance and published poet under the pen name La Poeta Guerrera and a capoeira instructor, known as Andorinha, under Grupo Senzala de Capoeira.

About My Project:

My work examines how multiple forms of everyday disasters and climate emergencies impact the lives of ordinary citizens. This research is situated in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and traces how Puerto Rican diaspora communities mobilized community-based hurricane recovery through arts movements. I am currently concluding research and have begun the writing phase of my dissertation, entitled “Rhyming Thru Disaster: Arts-based Community Organizing in the Puerto Rican Diaspora after Hurricane Maria.”

Brief Project Abstract:

Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, roughly 200,000 people have moved to the continental U.S.  Roughly 12,000 evacuees reside in New York. Many of them remain in homeless shelters. Immediately after the storm and into the present moment, arts movements were essential to bringing supplies to Puerto Rico and helping families recover from the long-term impacts of Hurricane Maria. My dissertation research uses multi-sited and multi-method ethnography to document the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and how New York-based Puerto Ricans mobilized via artistic movements to address growing poverty in Puerto Rico and the impact of the disaster on evacuee families. Through my research, I answer the following questions: (1) What strategies and tactics are Puerto Rican diaspora communities using to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria? (2) What is the role of art and poetic movements in diasporic disaster response? (3) How have Puerto Rican evacuee families adjusted to living conditions in the aftermath of the hurricane? (4) How are Hurricane Maria evacuees reshaping Puerto Rican identity through their participation in community organizing and arts movements in the continental U.S.?

What is a dissertation?

A dissertation is an essay/book that is about 250-300 pages long. Basically, it’s the bare bones of a book that you write at the end of your research. It details all of the research you’ve done, analyzes it, and provides theoretical and methodological contributions to your field. It is a mandatory part of completing the PhD. It takes about 1-3 years to write depending on your field of study. It’s full-time work to write it. You must complete a dissertation and defend it to your committee in order to complete your PhD.
+ Read More
Please continue to share/support.

Melinda shared this, today:

There's so many days where I wish I just would've gone to Purdue...I love my dissertation chair, my committee and my dissertation research but the financial precarity I am constantly under is exhausting and distracts from the work that I can actually accomplish as a PhD student...I went to LSU because the department felt so much more supportive, because I was scared of being alone in Indiana with a kid...but as much love and moral support as I got from my folx at LSU, half my committee went to other institutions and the lack of real financial support along with super high student fees is literally killing me...like my health has suffered. I'm so close to the finish line....but I feel like the closer I get, the heavier the chains on my ankles.

I had a horrible panic attack where I broke out in hives, today, when I realized that they decreased my student loan eligibility by over $11,000 from what I was able to borrow last year. On top of that, my income went down $5,000 (from about $20k to $15k) because my appointment changed from RA to TA, and I have to pay over $4000 in student fees. I'm doing everything I can, but how am I supposed to find time to write this dissertation? I'm teaching 4 classes in the Fall semester plus TAing....
+ Read More
From Melinda:
Today, I submitted an abstract to present my research at 2 conferences, created and disseminated a call for participants for my dissertation research, and applied for a scholarship to get my dissertation edited. It's easy to feel defeated after all of these scholarship / grant rejections, but having so many people donate to my funds, share my research, and encourage me with words keeps me going.
+ Read More
Hello everyone,
Melinda received the unfortunate news, today, that she was rejected from yet another dissertation writing fellowship. You have all been quite generous and supportive and we are appreciative. The fundraising must continue in the absence of adequate funding provided by the academy. Melinda is set to work at 3 universities in the Fall adjuncting and doing research to be able to cover her living expenses, but with your help, perhaps, she wont need to take on such a heavy workload. Please continue to donate (if you are able) and share the gofundme with your friends, family, colleagues and networks.

And if you would like to learn more about Melinda's research, here is a Blog that she wrote when she won the MAXQDA #ResearchforChange 2018 Grant. We will be following up with more information about Melinda's research. Please continue to share and donate. Thank you.

https://www.maxqda.com/fieldwork-across-diasporas
+ Read More
Hello! This is Anna, Melinda's friend, I just wanted to check in and let people know these funds have indeed been making their way to Melinda and I will make my way through each of you to thank you personally. I also wanted to share that Melinda is also raising money for her dissertation year through Facebook on this page: https://www.facebook.com/donate/2080091485624183/.

Melinda shares more regular updates on that page, so please check it out to learn more about what she's working on. You can also check out her website: http://phddreams.com.

You should feel free to share both this Gofundme and the Facebook fundraiser with your friends and communities (academic or otherwise) to help us reach our goal. I've been using #decolonizeanthro on Twitter.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$3,070 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 53 people in 4 months
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
JK
$50
Jordan Kraemer
4 days ago
JS
$20
Jen Schaefer
4 days ago
$20
Anonymous
12 days ago
$50
Anonymous
12 days ago
SD
$20
Sarah Dillon
12 days ago
SD
$20
Sarah Dillon
1 month ago
$75
Anonymous
1 month ago
LM
$50
Luna Munoz
1 month ago
$50
Anonymous
2 months ago
LD
$20
Laura Draucker
2 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.