Katherine Maldonado Fabela

Katherine Maldonado Fabela is a mother of three from South Central Los Angeles, and a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include medical sociology, inequalities, critical criminology, and visual methodology. She earned her BA in Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. While at UCLA, Katherine conducted research as a McNair research fellow on gang-affiliated mothers’ resistance through education. She received her Master’s degree in Sociology where she examined the ways gang affiliated women experience institutional violence and developed a conceptual model on life course criminalization. She continues this line of work in her dissertation by examining the experiences of Latina/Chicana mothers with the carceral system, specifically the Child Welfare system. The investigation centers the institutional violence that mothers navigate via child welfare, how it affects their mental health, and the ways they resist and heal from multiple forms of criminalization through motherwork. Katherine is a Pre-Doctoral Ford Foundation Fellow, American Sociology Association Minority Fellow and American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education fellow. Her research has been funded and recognized by grants including Abolitionist Teaching Network grant, Women’s Health, Gender and empowerment grant, among others. Katherine’s research has been published in the Journal of Critical Criminology, Aztlan Journal of Chicana/o Studies as well as multiple book chapters. She has been invited to speak about her research to international audiences at the European University Institute and the United Nations.