This collection of original research explores ways that educators can create participatory spaces that foster civic engagement, critical thinking, and authentic literacy practices for adolescent youth in urban contexts. Casting youth as vital social actors, contributors shed light on the ways in which urban youth develop a clearer sense of agency within the structural forces of racial segregation and economic development that would otherwise marginalize and silence their voices and begin to see familiar spaces with reimagined possibilities for socially just educational practices.
"At this historical moment when so much is wrong in the world, when untold numbers of youth in the US and globally know violence, neglect, and miseducation, the contributors to Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement not only give us hope, they give us proof of the power of community-engaged, critically-turned, and equity-oriented scholarship. This volume provides compelling accounts of the creation, analysis, and, just as importantly, the sustenance over time of such educational programs both in and out of school. We see multiple examples in a range of contexts of how youth can be supported, as they come of age in challenging times, to develop ethically and aesthetically as well as intellectually, and to make their informed voices heard. But we also see modeled throughout this volume developmental paths for researchers and educators too, ones alert to the difficulty, possibility, and joy of genuinely collaborative work for social change."
Glynda Hull, University of California-Berkeley, USA
"In prioritizing youths’ voices, Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement offers important lessons for educators and community partners in supporting the next generation of civic leaders."
Kathryn Obenchain, Purdue University, USA
"In a standardized, educational climate that stifles youth voice and lived experience, Youth Voices, Public Spaces, and Civic Engagement provides hope and demonstrates how the arts can promote democratic practice."
Sarah Montgomery, University of Northern Iowa, USA