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2011 - Seventh International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Words: 254 words || 
1. DeMeulenaere, Eric. and Surrette, William. "The Youth Action Research Council as a Form of Youth Development for Community Change" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventh International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain Illini Union, Urbana, IL, <Not Available>. 2019-09-23 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This final paper in our symposium examines how the creation of the Youth Action Research Council (YARC) worked to promote social justice in two forms. First, it examines the engagement of youth in the research process as a form of critical youth development. Through the process of engagement, youth become aware of community decision-making processes as they engage in dialogue with brokers of those decisions. They are forced to recognize the different opinions and how and why some positions win out over others. Additionally, they are afforded access to a social and cultural capital, including a distinct vocabulary and type of literacy, typically inaccessible to them. In this paper we examine these domains of critical youth development, relying heavily on the voice of youth involved in the YARC. Second, we examine the strategic process created by the YARC to forefront the lived realities and voices of urban youth from the community into the design process of the Main South Promise Neighborhood Initiative. We examine data from dialogues throughout the planning process to examine how the shared experiences and words of the youth engaged in the process tangibly shape the outcome of the entire initiative. Through this analysis we examine the potential of urban youth to shape the programming designed to address their needs. We speculate, through conversations with youth, on the potential such ownership of design has on the viability and impact of the programming developed into the future as a second level of social justice.

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