Gilda L. Ochoa

Professor of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies; Coordinator of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies
With Pomona Since: 1997
  • Expertise


    Gilda L. Ochoa has received awards for teaching and writing on Chicanas/os-Latinas/os, education, and race/ethnicity. Her last book, Academic Profiling: Latinos, Asian Americans, and the Achievement Gap, was named as one of 35 books that all educators of African American and Latino students must read. It also received awards from the Asian American Studies Association, the American Sociological Association, and the Society for the Study of Social Problem for its focus on race and eradicating racism. Ochoa’s earlier books include Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community, Learning from Latino Teachers and Latina/o Los Angeles. Her work has also appeared in public media outlets such as Rethinking Schools, Truthout, CounterPunch, Alternet, LA Progressive, and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Her poetry can be found at Latino Rebels and Latinx Spaces.

    With over 25 years of teaching in Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies, sociology, and women’s studies, Ochoa has worked with K-university teachers and has also taught in high school and college programs dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students in higher education. In the classroom, she strives for interactive and transformative learning spaces, and she regularly collaborates with teachers on various college-high school student-centered projects. She has received teaching awards from Pomona College and UCLA, and in 2016, she was named the Susan Currier Visiting Professor for Teaching Excellence at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

    She is a frequent presenter and has delivered keynote addresses and workshops at colleges, conferences and school districts on topics ranging from intersectional ethnic studies to critical pedagogy, identities, racism and education.

    As a community-engaged teacher, Ochoa has been involved with multiple struggles, including the successful push for by-area trustee elections in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District.

    Research Interests

    • Ochoa shares her background and research interests in an interview published on Esteem, an online journal for educators.
    • She discusses her most recent book Academic Profiling on KPBS

    Areas of Expertise


    • Latinas/os and Education
    • Chicanas/os in Contemporary Society
    • Race and Ethnicity
    • Community Partnerships and Critical Pedagogy
    • Latina/o Immigration
    • Race, Class, and Gender
    • Latina/o Studies
    • Qualitative Research
  • Work



    Academic Profiling: Latinos, Asian Americans, and the Achievement Gap (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

    Learning from Latino Teachers (Jossey-Bass, 2007).

    Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community: Power, Conflict, and Solidarity (University of Texas Press, 2004).

    With E.C. Ochoa (eds.), Latino Los Angeles: Transformations, Communities and Activism (University of Arizona Press, 2005).

    Special Journal Issue

    Ochoa, Gilda L., E.C. Ochoa, and S.G. Portillo (co-editors). “Reframing Immigration in the Américas,” Special Issue of Diálogo: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Center for Latino Research at De Paul University, fall 2015.

    Selected Articles, Book Chapters, and Other Publications

    Learning and Being in Community: A Latina Feminist Holistic Approach to Researching Where We Live.” International Journal of Research & Methods in Education 45, 3 (June 2022): 246-258.

    Enriquez, Laura E. and Gilda L. Ochoa. “On the Margins of Sociology and Grounded in Chicana/o Latina/o Studies: Cross-Generational Reflections on (Un)Disciplining.” Disciplinary Futures: Sociology in Conversation with American, Ethnic and Indigenous Studies, edited by N. Kim and P. Dhingra. New York University Press, 2023.

    “’A City of Puentes’: Latina/o Cross-Generational Memories and Organizing in the 2016-17 Struggle for Sanctuary.” Latinx Belonging: Community-Building and Resilience in the United States, edited by N. Deeb-Sossa and J. Bickham Mendez, University of Arizona Press, 2022, pp. 235-257.

    de los Ríos, Cati V., Gilda L. Ochoa, Arturo Molina, and Brenda Gómez. “Fostering and Sustaining Relationality in Chicana/o/x Latina/o/x Studies: Reflections on Transgenerational Learning.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies 47, 2 (Winter 2022): 147-160.

    With E. C. Ochoa. “Framing and Containing Ethnic Studies in Southern California Schools: Between Add-on, Power-Evasive Programs and Transformational Intersectional Ethnic Studies.” Race Frames in Education: Structuring Inequality and Opportunity in a Changing Society, edited by S. Rodriguez and G. Q. Conchas, Teacher College Press, 2022, pp. 111-131.

    The Interlocking Processes Constraining the Struggle for Sanctuary in the Trump Era: The Case of La Puente, CA.” Social Sciences 10 (5), April 2021.

    With E. C. Ochoa, M. Oropeza Fujimoto, S. Orozco, B. Coreas, J. Coreas, E. Oropeza Fujimoto, M. Maldonado, and V. N. Miranda Cordero. “’Hijacking a Public Process:’ The School District and Community Activists in the Battle for Trustee Area Representation.” Centering Youth, Parent, and Community in School Leadership, edited by K. C. Rodela and M. Bertrand. Routledge/Taylor Francis, 2022, pp. 174-193.

    With J. Coreas, B. Coreas, E. Fujimoto, E. C. Ochoa, M. Oropeza Fujimoto and S. Orozco, “¡Juntos Podemos! Community Organizing, the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and the Struggle for School Transformation in a Southern California School District.” Journal of Latinos and Education November 2020.

    Family Separation and Detention: A Rant” and Other Selected Poems, Latinx Spaces, August 7, 2018.

    “That’s Just Like Here, at Our College’: Tracking Latina/o Inequality from High School Programs to Honors Colleges,” New Directions, co-edited by A. G. de los Santos, G. F. Keller, R. Tannenbaum, and A. Acerada. Bilingual Press Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University, 2018, pp. 123-139.

    Ode to the Class of 2017: In the Midst of So Much Inequality,” Latino Rebels, May 24, 2017.

    “'I’m Watching Your Group': Academic Profiling and Regulating Students Unequally,” Beyond Black and White, edited by Z. Valdez. SAGE Publications, Inc. 2016, pp. 208-222.

    Getting to the Foundations of Hate in Our School,” Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, November 15, 2016.

    “Framing the ‘Gap’: Dominant Discourses of Achievement,” Gender Through the Prism of Difference, co-edited by M. Baca Zinn, P. Hondagneu-Sotelo, M. A. Messner, and A. M. Denissen. Oxford Press, 2015, pp. 459-475.

    “Gendered Expectations and Sexualized Policing: Latinas’ Experiences in a Southern California High School,” Inequality, Power and School Success, edited by G. Q. Conchas and M. Gottfried. Routledge, April 2015.

    With E. C. Ochoa, “Campus Protests are the Result of Generations of Racist Exclusion.” Truthout Speakout, November 25, 2015.

    Shifting School Cultures Through Better Health Education,” LA Progressive, October 12, 2015.

    With E.C. Ochoa, “The Ties that Bind: Ferguson and AyotzinapaCounter Punch, December 12-14, 2014.

    With L. E. Enriquez, S. Hamada, and J. Rojas, "(De)Constructing Multiple Gaps: Divisions and Disparities Between Asian Americans and Latinas/os in a Los Angeles County High School," Transnational Crossroads, edited by C. Fojas and R. P. Guevarra, Jr. University of Nebraska Press 2012, pp. 143-170.

    With C. V. de los Ríos, “The People United Shall Never Be Divided: Reflections on Community, Collaboration, and Change,” Journal of Latinos and Education 11, 4 (September 2012): 271-279.

    “Immigration, Sports, and Resistance: An Interview with Carlos Borja,” Rethinking Schools, Summer 2012.

    “Transformational Caring: Mexican American Women Redefining Mothering an Education.” Chicana/Latina Mothering, edited by D. Smith Silva. Demeter Press at York University 2011, pp.104-121.

    “Teaching is a Fight: An Interview with Sal Castro,” Rethinking Schools, Winter 2010-11.

    “(Re)Conceptualizing Race/Ethnic Relationships in US Schools,” Sociology Compass 4, 2 (February): 136-148, 2010.

    With D. Pineda, "Deconstructing Power, Privilege, and Silence in the Classroom," Radical History Review 102 45-62, 2008.

    With E.C. Ochoa, "Framing Latina/o Immigration, Education, and Activism," Sociology Compass 1, 2 (November): 701-719, 2007.

    "Pump Up the Blowouts: Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of the Chicana/o School Blowouts,” Rethinking Schools, Summer 2008.

    "Entre Nosotras/os: Theorizing, Researching, and Constructing Cross-Latina/o Relations," Latinos/as in the United States, edited by Havidán Rodríguez, Rogelio Saenz, and Cecilia Menjivar. Springer Press 2007.

    With E.C. Ochoa, "Education for Social Transformation," Latin American Perspectives 31 (1): 59-80, 2004.

    Select Keynotes Addresses

    “Highlights, Hopes and Resistance: Reflection on How and Why We Do This Work for the Long Haul.” Sociology of Education Association, Alisomar, CA, February 23, 2020

    “(Re)Claiming Voices and Sharing Stories,” Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, University

    of Connecticut, April 18, 2019.

    “Memories, Generations of Struggle and Lessons Shared in Community,” Association of Raza Educators Annual Conference, Los Angeles, April 13, 2019.

    “Critically Hopeful Approaches to Educational Justice,” Oxnard Live, Oxnard Community College, September 20, 2018.

    “Chicana/o School Blowouts,” Civic Justice, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles, July 2018.

    “Researching Where We Live: A Latina Feminist Reflection on Becoming Neighbors and Claiming Voice,” Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies’ Feminist Seminar, UC Davis, April 2017.

    “Abolishing Academic Profiling and Building Affirming Spaces, Annual Summit for Courageous Conversation," Austin, TX, September 2016.

    “Unpacking Diversity and Excellence: Lessons for Institutions of Higher Education,” California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, April 2016.

    “Moving Mountains, Building Bridges: The Power of Local-Global Learning,” Montebello United School District Global Learning Conference, Montebello, CA, May 2015.

    “Disrupting Dominant Constructions of Education,” Showcase Oregon: Incorporating Best Practices in Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, University of Oregon, Eugene, May 2014.

    “Abolishing Academic Profiling, White Supremacy, and White Privilege in Our Schools.” White Privilege Conference, Madison, WI, March 2014.

    “Educational Access and Justice for All: Learning from Latina/o Teachers and Students,” Faculty and Staff In-Service, College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA, January 2012.

    “Unpacking Latina/o Diversity and Building Authentic Relationships,” Irvine Foundation Arts Regional Initiative, San Luis Obispo, March 2011.

    “Improving Race Relationships in Schools,” California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Conference, Long Beach, CA, February 2009.

    Featured Work

  • Education


    University of California, Los Angeles

    Master of Arts
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Bachelor of Arts
    University of California, Irvine

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Chicanas/os-Latinas/os in Contemporary Society
    • Chicanos/Latinas and Education
    • (Re)Claiming Voices and Sharing Stories in Chicanx-Latinx Communities
    • Qualitative Research Methods
    • Los Angeles Communities
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    • John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, Faculty Fellowship, 2022-2023, 2011-2012, 2005-2006 and 2000-2001
    • Lavender Graduation Faculty Award, the Claremont Colleges, 2022
    • Pomona College, Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2004, 2009, 2015, & 2020
    • California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, Susan Currier Visiting Professor for Teaching Excellence, 2016
    • Academic Profiling was awarded the Social Science Award by the Association for Asian American Studies; co-awarded the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award through the American Sociological Association Section of Racial and Ethnic Minorities for significant and distinguished contributions to the eradication of racism, 2014; co-awarded the 2014 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva book award through the Society for the Study of Social Problems division of Racial and Ethnic Minorities for books that address race or racism
    • Phi Beta Kappa Society, member of the Senate, 2009-2012
    • Pomona College, Irvine Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Award, 2003-2004
    • American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Recipient, 1992-1995
    • Luckman Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award, University of California Los Angeles, 1995