Ashley Hernandez

University of California, Irvine


Ashley Hernandez is a sixth-year PhD Candidate in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine where she studies and teaches on urban inequality, race and ethnic politics, and social movements. She is a first-generation, Chicanx non-traditional college student from Los Angeles. With the support of the Eugene Cota Robles and Haynes Fellowships, Ashley’s dissertation research investigates anti-gentrification activism and Latinx politics in East Los Angeles. Drawing from participant ethnography and activist oral histories, her work encompasses both nonprofit and grassroots strategies to fight gentrification and displacement in and beyond the neighborhood. Through housing and land use struggles she examines the ways in which collective neighborhood efforts for social and economic justice work to build broader movements against the commodification of land and housing with other organizations and activists in cities across the United States. In 2023, she will be joining the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as an Assistant Professor where she will continue this work. Ashley is deeply committed to public scholarship and equitable policy, particularly that which centers and serves the experiences of underrepresented communities fighting displacement.