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Israel Pastrana

Caring Campus Coach

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Israel Pastrana is a Chicanx historian and educator from the San Diego-Tijuana borderlands. A first-generation college graduate and the U.S.-born child of immigrant parents, Pastrana was pushed out of high school before finding a sense of belonging at a local community college. His experience with a racialized education system has profoundly shaped his teaching practice, which both values lived experience and employs place-based pedagogical approaches that center the history and perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.

At Portland Community College, Pastrana has worked closely with student leaders to co-create a new Ethnic Studies program at the college. Today Ethnic Studies at PCC employs two full-time instructors and offers six lower-division courses including a three-course sequence for the Critical Educators of Color Program, an Ethnic Studies-focused Grow-Your-Own teacher preparation program. Pastrana has served as co-chair of the Rock Creek Diversity Council and the college’s Culturally Responsive Teaching Steering and Action Group. Currently, he is developing a digital exhibition titled #StandUpFG: Latinx Youth Activism in the Willamette Valley for Five Oaks Museum in Portland, OR.

Pastrana is a proud alumnus of Southwestern College in Chula Vista, CA. He earned the B.A. in History from the University of Oregon and the M.A. in History from the University of California, San Diego, where he also completed doctoral studies in United States History and Comparative Ethnic Studies.

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