Brenda Nicolas is Zapotec from San Jerónimo Zoochina, Oaxaca, Mexico. Brenda is a PhD Candidate in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, where she works on Indigenous notions of belonging and identity across three Zapotec generations (first, 1.5, and second) in Los Angeles. Brenda earned a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from UC San Diego, a master’s degree in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, and as a transfer student received her bachelors in Sociology and Latin American Studies from UC Riverside. While at UCLA Brenda has earned a certificate in Gender Studies and was a key research assistant for the Mapping Indigenous Los Angeles Project ( MILA ), a digital archive. Her research topics include: Identity & belonging, race, migration, children of migrants, Land, settler colonialism, gender, transborder/transnational studies, and oral histories. Brenda is a Ford Foundation Scholar, a UCLA Dissertation Year Scholar, and a Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellow. She has also received the University of California Office of the President Award for her commitment to diversity and mentorship in higher education, the Institute of American Cultures Research Grant, the American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship, and the Graduate Dean’s Scholar award at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a community-engaged scholar, Brenda has served as a board of directors of the Indigenous Oaxacan non-profit in California, the Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous Communities (CBDIO) and is a co-founder of the Oaxacan College Initiative (OCI) that provides mentorship to a growing Indigenous diaspora entering U.S. colleges and universities.