Session: Weathering the Storm: Examining the Contextual and Societal Factors Promoting Youth Empowerment and Resistance (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

79 Weathering the Storm: Examining the Contextual and Societal Factors Promoting Youth Empowerment and Resistance

Friday, January 17, 2020: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Marquis BR Salon 7, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Communities and Neighborhoods (C&N)
Symposium Organizer:
Nkemka Anyiwo, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
In the last several years, America has regressed in its attempts to rectify its legacy of systemic racial marginalization as evidenced by vast segregation and disproportionate treatment in the educational system, disparities in the justice system, and employment, and gentrification in urban cities. Along with the normative developmental challenges experienced in childhood and adolescence, youth of color are also challenged with learning to effectively navigate and cope with racial contention and social stratification. Beyond passive observers of these dynamics, youth of color are actively engaged in sociopolitical movements that have sought to promote community change and drive social policy. Yet there is a paucity of research which comprehensively investigates the constellation of factors which promote youth's social awareness and advocacy. This symposium takes a multimethod approach to examine the contextual and societal factors that shape youth awareness and empowerment. Paper one qualitatively examines the social and community factors that shape youth's confidence and motivations to promote social change as they transition from adolescence to early adulthood. Paper two quantitatively examines the associations between youth's experiences of racial discrimination, their engagement in racial justice activism, and their mental health outcomes. Paper three quantitatively examines the factors that enable teachers to combat racial contention in the school context and facilitate the engagement and empowerment of youth. Collectively, these papers provide insight into the social and community contexts that facilitate the cultural and political empowerment of youth. Further, this work highlights the need to more extensively identify the factors that promote the wellbeing of youth as they navigate inequitable systems and strengthen the ability of youth allies (e.g., social work practitioners, educators) to advocate for and empower youth of color.
* noted as presenting author
"I Have a Say, Too" Perceptions of Social Change Involvement from High School into Adulthood
Charrise Phillips Hollingsworth, M.S.Ed, Vanderbilt University
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