Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Gallegos-Conlisk Liliana.


Throughout this study I will discuss my personal experiences in the K-12 education system focusing on racist communication practices (RCP) that pushed me towards the school-to-prison-pipeline. My case is but a microscopic sample of what has been done to many incarcerated youths. Through a critical ethnographical approach, I will analyze my experiences by applying a lens in critical race theory to further explore how RCP impacted my transitions from school into incarceration and how these practices continued to follow me into higher education. This study includes an overview of the impact that punitive inhumane practices, particularly long-term solitary confinement had on a) my personal ability to grow and have access to educational resources while incarcerated, b) how these punitive inhumane practices run parallel to those that were implemented on me during K-12, c) how parallel punitive practices later continued to occur during my experience in higher education, and d) how these experiences of discrimination, criminalization, and stigmatization affected my own personal communication style and how this style of communication continues to be misconstrued and used to justify further discrimination.