Carolina Sarmiento headshot

Carolina S. Sarmiento

Assistant Professor
Civil Society and Community Studies Department; Community and Nonprofit Leadership Major
Office 4253
El mundo que queremos es uno donde quepan muchos mundos.

-Subcomandante Marcos, EZLN

Carolina Sarmiento’s research and practice focuses on learning from the grassroots and building sustainable and creative alternatives that help address inequality and injustice.

Sarmiento is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Human Ecology and an affiliate with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. She is a graduate from both World Arts and Cultures and Urban Planning from UCLA, where she obtained her BA and MA. She received her PhD from UCI in Planning, Policy and Design. Her research investigates the intersection between urban development, governance, and the creation and destruction of cultural spaces in working class communities of color.

Download CV button


Carolina’s research examines the everyday responses of working class communities ranging from community-based planning, transnational development, to the creation of new democratic processes and spaces. She also forms part of a joint research team studying transnational indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico and Los Angeles that build economic projects across borders. Her research is grounded in community practice.

Carolina Sarmiento helped found a center for immigrant rights and community organizing in Santa Ana, California, el Centro Cultural de Mexico. Working in collaboration with the UCLA Labor Center, she also helped open the Community Labor Project at the University of California, Irvine, a project that seeks to increase the quality, scale and effectiveness of civic participation in communities of color and low-income populations in Orange County. She is co-founder of MASData, Data for Movement, Action and Strategy. Carolina currently sits on the board of directors of the Worker Rights Center here in Madison, Wisconsin.

Beard, Victoria, and Carolina Sarmiento. 2014. Planning, Public Participation, and Money Politics in Santa Ana (CA). Journal of American Planning Association.

Sarmiento, Carolina and Victoria A. Beard. 2013. Traversing the Border: Community-Based Planning and Transnational Migrants. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 33(3): 336-347.

Gonzales, Erualdo, Carolina Sarmiento, Ana Siria Urzua, and Susan Luevano. 2012. The Grassroots and New Urbanism. A Case from a Southern California Latino Community. Journal of Urbanism.

Beard, Victoria, A. and Carolina Sarmiento. 2010. Ties that Bind: Transnational Community-based Planning in Southern California and Oaxaca, International Development Planning Review 32:3-4.

Under Review
Sarmiento, Carolina and Revel Sims. Facades of Equitable Planning: The Affordable Housing Complex in Neighborhood Revitalization Journal of Planning Education and Research