My research and practice focuses on learning from the grassroots and building sustainable and creative alternatives that help address inequality and injustice. I investigate the intersection between urban development, governance, and the creation and destruction of cultural spaces in working class communities of color.
In my research, I examine the everyday responses of working class communities ranging from community-based planning, to transnational development, to the creation of new democratic processes and spaces. I also form part of a joint research team studying transnational indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, and Los Angeles that build economic projects across borders. My research is grounded in community practice.
I helped found El Centro Cultural de Mexico, a center for immigrant rights and community organizing in Santa Ana, California. Working in collaboration with the UCLA Labor Center, I also helped open the Community Labor Project at the University of California, Irvine, a project that seeks to increase the quality, scale, and effectiveness of civic participation in communities of color and low-income populations in Orange County. I am co-founder of MASData, Data for Movement, Action and Strategy. I currently sit on the board of directors of the Worker Rights Center here in Madison.
Sarmiento, C. S. (2021). Defend, disrupt, and build: Guerrilla urbanist interventions and fighting gentrification in the barrio. Journal of Community Psychology, 49(8), 3178–3193. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22703
Sarmiento, C. (2022). Not diverse enough? Displacement, diversity discourse, and commercial gentrification in Santa Ana, California, a majority-Mexican city. Urban Studies, 59(9), 433–447. https://doi.org/10.1177/00420980211020912
Sarmiento, C. S. (2020). From Jails to Sanctuary Planning: Spatial Justice in Santa Ana, California. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 40(2), 196-209. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X19893743
Zastoupil, G., & Sarmiento, C. (2022). Service Learning, Rights to the City, and Justice in Community Practitioner Preparation. Journal of Community Practice, 30(2), 169-180. https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2022.2070315
Sarmiento, C. S., Sims, J. R., & Morales, A. (2017). Little Free Libraries: An examination of micro-urbanism interventions. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 11(2), 233-253. https://doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2017.1387588
For a full list of publications, see Sarmiento’s CV.
- Civil Society & Community Studies
- PhD Human Ecology: Civil Society & Community Research
- PhD, Planning, Policy and Design, University of California, Irvine
- MA and BA, World Arts and Cultures and Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
Office: 4253 Nancy Nicholas Hall