About Us

Purpose and Vision


A non-profit research and educational institute dedicated to the development and establishment of Border Crit Theory as a new and emerging academic discipline and theoretical framework for conducting research in the borderlands.  

We are dedicated to social justice education and promoting ethical standards that hold researchers, academics, politicians, artists, and anyone seeking to intellectually profit from "the border" accountable to the communities who live there.  

Our goal is to create a space and platform for critical thinking and analysis of issues that impact and affect people of color living in border areas. We seek to forefront the narratives, voices, and experiences of people of color, and to inspire, promote, and engage in direct action and advocacy for social change.

About Us & Our Mission


About The Border Crit Insitute:

Dr. Maldonado and Ray Ybarra Maldonado, from Ybarra Maldonado Law Group founded the Border Crit Institute as a way to give back to our communities by establishing an educational organization to raise consciousness and foster unapologetic resistance.  The Border Crit Institute collaborates with YMLG to develop social justice educational content and extend legal resources to immigrant and marginalized communities in the borderlands and beyond.    We engage in immigration advocacy, generate movement responsive research, and publish print and digital content and narratives that foreground the voices of people of color living in the borderlands.  We are dedicated to social justice education and building community knowledge that empowers immigrant communities living in the border and in the interior. 

Our Mission:

To foreground the voices and experiences of people of color living in the borderlands, through social justice education, community advocacy, and research.  We believe in the power of counternarratives and direct action.  Our stories mother resistance and (r)existence. 

Social Justice Education & Advocacy:

We are committed to advocating for the civil and human rights of undocumented families and their children.  We host "Know Your Rights" workshops, Family Preparedness education, provide legal resources and  "Immigration Toolkits," provide updates on current immigration laws/policies, collaborate with local communities to host quarterly events such as DACA and/or Citizenships Workshops, Know your Rights, & other Community Resource events 


We currently proactively operate in Arizona and Texas.  However, our work transcends geographical borders.  We believe it is important "to show up" when and where our communities are attacked.  

On Border Crit Theory:

Border Crit Theory, is a new and emerging critical theoretical framework to better address education and research in the borderlands. There is a pressing need to begin crafting a space for education and research that is mindful of the complexities and ethical responsibilities one has and should maintain when writing about or working with and within vulnerable border communities.  Border Crit Theory forefronts the perspectives and counter narratives of people of color as legitimate forms of knowledge. It begins with the understanding that race and borders are endemic to everyday life.  

This theoretical framework emerges from and is inspired by LatCrit, Tribal Crit, and Critical Race Theory. Border Crit Studies or BorderCrit Theory requires a re-imagining of a world without borders, geographic, and epistemological. It requires a call for context and a history of the beginning. It maintains that researchers have a responsibility to admit their privilege, and engage with the world they are ‘studying,’ to become close to the people and places they are narrating versus distancing themselves through insincere objectivity.



The Institute for Border Crit Theory and Research was founded by Dr. Angeles J. Maldonado and Attorney Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, in Arizona in the spring of 2016.  

Dr. Maldonado has a PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Arizona State University, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies with a minor in Philosophy.  

For more on Border Crit Theory, see:

Raids, Race, and Lessons of Fear and Resistance: Narratives and Discourse in the Immigration Movement in Arizona

by Maldonado, Angeles, Ph.D., ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, 2013, 625 pages; 3590934


Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado graduated from Stanford Law School and is a human rights activist, attorney, author, filmmaker, photographer, and public speaker. His recently published book Born on the Border, chronicles the origins of the anti-immigrant sentiment in Arizona.

For more on Born on the Border, See:
Born on the Border Minutemen Vigilantes, Origins of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Movement, and a Call for Increased Civil Disobedience  


Our Team

Dalila Reynoso, Community Advocacy Director


Dalila Reynoso is a mother and activist in Tyler, Texas.  She is passionate about immigration and imagining a world without borders. She is currently working on exposing the impact of anti-immigrant border and immigration policies on children and families. 

Join our Team


The Institute for Border Crit Theory is seeking applications from creative and passionate scholar activists, scholars, students and community organizers to join our team.  This is an unpaid position at this time.  Opportunity to build a fantastic organization dedicated to promoting social justice education and direct action.  To apply, email a letter of interest to angeles@bordercrit.org.



Board Members


Interested in joining our board of directors? Submit a letter of interest to angeles@bordercrit.org

Student Fellows


The Border Crit Institute Fellows help to advance the mission and goals of the Institute while receiving mentorship and support from our network of community supporters.

Community Partners


We are inspired by our partners.  The work and resiliency they do in our communities is our motivation.  We strive to be a resource to complement existing work and efforts.

Help Our Cause

Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions for border communities. Your generous donation will fund our mission of foregrounding the voices and experiences of people of color living in the borderlands through social justice education and ethical research.

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