Dr. Rafael Hernandez: Advocating for Social Justice at a University Advocating for Social Justice
By David Ogul
When Rafael Hernandez looks across the Cal State San Marcos campus, he sees a university steeped in diversity, a university not afraid to take chances, and a university that is actively trying to expand its efforts to serve the underserved. These are among the reasons why the assistant professor of human development loves teaching here.
“Diversity, social justice and engagement with the community are important to me, and the objectives and values of this university reflect those qualities,” Hernandez said.
Wrapping up his first year at CSUSM, Hernandez’s research analyzes the strategies that Latinos and Latinas use to cope with racial microaggressions, the subtle insults and indignities aimed at people of color.
“We live in an age where overt acts of racism are commonly denounced,” Hernandez said. “But, the more subtle and camouflaged forms of racism are still pervasive at the university level for people of color.”
And that, Hernandez said, can adversely impact their adjustment, sense of value and college persistence.
He says he feels fortunate to be teaching at CSUSM during its 25th anniversary.
“I’m blessed to be at such a remarkable campus in a beautiful part of the country, and it is exciting to be at a place that has so much promise for the next 25 years. I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the legacy at Cal State San Marcos.”
Diversity, social justice, and engagement with the community are important to me, and the objectives and values of this university reflect those qualities.