Activism, Dignity, and Human Development
This concluding chapter highlights themes that cut across the prior empirical chapters and identifies implications for settings that foster youths' political participation. This book offered case studies of youth activism that varied along several dimensions. Some were local in scale, carried out by no more than ten to twelve youth, and initiated by educators in school classrooms or community organizations. Others emerged in relation to national and international networks of young people linked by shared concerns for immigration rights. Despite their differences, the groups profiled in these cases were united by their treatment of young people as political beings who interpret policies, make judgments about justice and fairness, and have a stake in the quality of institutions that shape their everyday lives. The chapter also discusses ways that youth development programs and schools can broaden the entry points for voice and participation. These include changing the deficit premise that defines youths as being in need of saving; inviting discussions of race, power, and privilege; and offering apprenticeships in participatory democracy.
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