Dr. Angeles J. Maldonado is a mother and human rights scholar activist in Arizona. She is the CEO for Ybarra Maldonado Law Group and the Founder and Executive Director of The Institute for Border Crit Theory, whose mission is to foreground the voices and experiences of people of color living in the borderlands (through social justice education and pedagogy, borderland research, and the publication of counter-narratives of resistance). She holds a PhD in Education and Policy Studies, with a specialization in Social and Philosophical Foundations, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies, with a minor in Philosophy.
Dr. Maldonado’s parents brought her to the United States when she was eight years old to provide her and her siblings with better educational opportunities. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, her family immigrated to the United States in the summer of 1989. Her experiences as an immigrant child, inspired her to become an advocate for social justice and migrant rights. Dr. Maldonado believes strongly that migration is a fundamental human right and all borders must be resisted. She is also part of an international network of children’s rights advocates, whose research focuses on preserving children’s participation rights in research and foregrounding the voices of young children. This collaborative study documents the perspectives of children in Arizona, and the findings inspired her to write the forthcoming children’s book “Donde Esta Papi?” (Where’s daddy?) that hopes to capture the beauty, strength, and resiliency of young immigrant children and their families, but most importantly to be a tool for healing, reflection, and praxis. Her most recent research, “Mothering Resistance,” documents the perspectives and experiences of migrant and activist mothers living in Arizona. She has presented her work at international academic conferences in Toronto, Puebla, and Barcelona. She is passionately interested in migration, discourse, children’s rights, and social movements while grounding her work within Border Crit Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Chicana feminist epistemologies.
Dr. Maldonado has a long history of public service and was a former member of the Community Advisory Board in the racial profiling lawsuit Ortega Melendres vs. Arpaio, where she served from 2013-2017. She also worked as an organizer for a variety of nonprofit and labor organizations such as the grassroots organization Tonatierra, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 99), the Service Employees International Union’s Civic Participation Campaign (SEIU Local 5), Chicanos Por La Causa, and as the Program Director for La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), a branch of the United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO), and for PUEBLO Center for Legal & Human Rights. She is presently living in Phoenix, AZ with her husband Ray Ybarra Maldonado and their boys Ray Emerson and Stokely Daniel.