Crossing borders and forging bonds: exploring interracial/intercultural relationships among youth of color

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cherese D. Childers-McKee (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Silvia Bettez

Abstract: The majority of U.S. Black and Latino/a students attend schools that have 75 percent or higher minority enrollment (NCES, 2007). Despite frequent contact among students of color, there is limited research about youth of color interaction in educational spaces (Quijada, 2009; Quillian & Campbell, 2003). In this ethnographic dissertation, I engaged a group of youth of color (Black and Latino/a) in yearlong participatory action research (PAR) group called the Youth Coalition for Change (YCfC). As students participated in critical, social justice-oriented activities in the YCfC, I explored how collaboration and critical dialogue influenced and shaped youths’ relationships, as they navigated racial/cultural/class/gender/academic track differences. Data consisted of individual interviews with youth, school-wide observations, observations of the YCfC, artifacts, and a final focus group. Individual interviews with teachers and administrators at the school were critically important in describing the influences of school social structures on youth interaction. Data suggested that the YCfC provided youth a space to perform their fluid identities while raising their consciousness to issues facing their communities. The results of this dissertation inform research on the development of personal and collective agency; provide data about the role of emancipatory experiences in fostering better interracial/intercultural relations among youth; and provide fertile ground for theorizing about the fluidity of youth of color identities and the role of interracial/intercultural coalitions in addressing systemic oppression.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Black/Latino Relations, Feminist Methods, Interracial/Intercultural Relations, School Ethnography, Social Justice Education, YPAR (Youth Participatory Action Research)
Action research in education
Social justice $x Study and teaching (Secondary)
Multicultural education
Educational anthropology
Social interaction in youth
Hispanic Americans $x Education (Secondary) $x Social aspects
African Americans $x Education (Secondary) $x Social aspects

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