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Kevin S. Alejandrez

Kevin S. Alejandrez is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology specializing in social inequalities. Kevin’s educational background includes a B.S. in sociology from Western Oregon University and an M.A. from the University of Kentucky. His current research utilizes ethnographic methods to analyze 1) how the white supremacist structure of U.S. agriculture reproduces racial stratification and economic precarity among Latinx farmworkers, 2) how the Covid-19 pandemic and gendered workplace structures negatively affect farmworker women, and 3) how Latinx farmworkers and community-based organizations work together to challenge inequitable power structures in the fight for positive social change.

Aside from his research, Kevin serves as the graduate representative for the department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee as well as the Rural Sociological Society’s Diversity Committee. He also sits on the Foundation Board for Western Oregon University and works as the Director of Community Engagement for Omnis Student Services.

Having worked with local government, nonprofits, schools, and universities, Kevin has developed a strong history of community advocacy, engagement, and organizing. He’s worked with Latinx families to develop community gardens, childhood education programs, improve city parks planning, and found the Latino Parent Action Committee for his hometown’s high school. He has also mentored and tutored students from lower-income backgrounds and coached high school track and field. In addition, Kevin has lobbied at the state and national level, advocating for greater farmworker rights and a direct pathway to citizenship. In 2016, Western Oregon University recognized Kevin for his efforts in organizing countless cultural and informative events, as well as fundraisers to help provide food, clothes, and toys to disadvantaged families in his community. In 2018, Kevin established the PODER (Pursuing Our Dreams, Embracing Roots) Presidential Scholarship at Western Oregon University, which awards four-year, $1,000/year scholarships to incoming DACA and undocumented students.

Moving forward, Kevin seeks to continue collaborating with marginalized populations, researching inequalities, educating, and working towards making the world a better place for all. #TMC.