Indigenous Knowledge Conference 2019

Congratulations to RCAH students Andrea Cota, Cecilia Galvan, and Sariah TheSensational Metcalfe and RCAH Professor Estrella Torrez, who recently hosted a roundtable discussion entitled “¡Adelante!: Moving Forward Through Youth and Community Engagement” at the Indigenous Knowledge for Resistance, Love, and Land: Lecciones for Our Children, for Our Future conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Adelante!: Moving forward through Youth and Community Engagement"

Here is a description of their roundtable:

This roundtable will present both practiced and emerging models and impacts for developing Latinx centered Youth Participatory Action Research Projects (YPAR) that involve collaboration across institutions, generations, and cultural differences. Through YPAR, youth are offered the opportunity to lead dialogue around shared needs, collect survey data, and propose real solutions to problems they see in their environment (Cammarota, J. and Romero, A. F. (2009), A social justice epistemology and pedagogy for Latina/o students: Transforming public education with participatory action research. New Directions for Youth Development, 2009: 53–65. doi:10.1002/yd.314). In this political climate wherein Latinx youth are being directly impacted by racist political action and discourse, such projects that facilitate reflection and community collaboration are of the utmost importance. This 2018/2019 school year, as a part of ongoing coordinated efforts to build educational supports for Latinx youth into the Lansing School District (LSD), high school counselors and students along with Michigan State University faculty and undergraduates, will use their platforms to aid in developing a Latinx YPAR model with LSD.

Through this YPAR project model, students will leverage their power as youth leaders and community members, to build and facilitate workshops surrounding the topics of leadership, self-reflection, and identity for themselves and for the school district. Within this school year, participants will facilitate discussions about these topics and other models of experiential research. In doing so, the faculty and undergraduates will engage with a method for mentoring Latinx youth and said youth will advance their sense of self-awareness and lead their communities into the future (Jacquez, F., Vaughn, L. M. and Wagner, E. (2013), Youth as Partners, Participants or Passive Recipients: A Review of Children and Adolescents in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). American Journal of Community Psychology, 51: 176–189. doi:10.1007/s10464-012-9533-7).