The Samuel D. Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice | GSE | Rutgers

New Report Covers the Virtual Communities Built by the Latinx/o/a Scholars during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Natalie Passov | | 848-932-0728

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., April 6, 2023 – The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute of Leadership, Equity, and Justice (Proctor Institute) is proud to announce the release of its latest report, “Survival Pláticas of Latinx/a/o Scholars During a Global Pandemic.” The report highlights the experiences of Latino/a/x scholars during the COVID-19 pandemic, the collective they were able to form, and how they were able to maintain communities of collaboration, support, and mentorship. 

“Authors shed light on how important it was, and still is, to find a community of people that encourage and lift each other up. The pandemic was an isolating time for everyone, especially those in academia, and it’s inspiring to see the creative ways that these scholars connected,” shared Marybeth Gasman, Executive Director of the Proctor Institute and Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University.

The report highlights the experiences of nine Latinx/a/o scholars during the pandemic, and how they were able to create a virtual collective through the use of Zoom calls, social media, and text message threads to support their academic endeavors and celebrate their identities. Authors detail individual and group reflections throughout the report to highlight the unique challenges that are faced by Latinx/a/o scholars, who are traditionally underrepresented in the academy. 

“Survival Pláticas came from our need to not only survive, but build comunídad and thrive,” shared Lazaro Camacho Jr., Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island and one of the authors of the report. “As a group, we were able to gather over a virtual space during life changing events, and now, as we all have returned in-person, we've been able to sustain the power of the collective, and hope this report will inspire others to develop a comunídad too!"

Findings describe how authors were faced with feelings of loss and disconnection because of the pandemic, how they sought out community, and how this shared time and space was used to resist challenges faced by them in academia. Through the community they built, the #ScholarHomies – as the report calls the collective – found ways to reject traditional narratives of academic solitude that can affect scholars of all backgrounds.The goal of their reflection is to inspire those that hold leadership positions in graduate programs to evaluate their services and ensure that all students receive the support they need to be successful. 

The report also features cover artwork from Gisselle Criollo, Programs and Marketing Coordinator for the Proctor Institute, that takes influence from the traditional game Lotería, a popular game that is meant to create community in many Latinx/a/o cultures.

The report is available freely on the Proctor Institute website. Access the report here.

About the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice 
The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice (Proctor Institute) is a national center that focuses on issues of leadership, equity, and justice within the context of higher education. It brings together researchers, practitioners and community members to work toward the common goals of diversifying leadership, enhancing equity, and fostering justice for all. The Proctor Institute is located at Rutgers University—New Brunswick, in the Graduate School of Education and houses the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI). Learn more at

Thursday, April 6, 2023
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