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PORTAL Immigration Forum

By LACSI on August 31, 2016 in
October 13, 2016 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
290 S Hull St
Athens, GA 30605

Cultivating Latinx youth voices: YPAR and Immigration Issues 

with Ruth Harman, Education

In recent youth participatory action research (YPAR) emergent bilingual youth have created counter narratives to express new perspectives on their lives through collective arts processes such as drawing, film making, performance, and poetry writing (Chapell & Faltis, 2013; Faltis, 2013; Ginwright, 2008). Gutiérrez (2008) called for the creation of a resistant educational “third space” that privileges and builds on students’ culturally-learned approaches to learning, including discourse, social practices, and political stances, arguing that the use of teatro (theater), critical theory, and discussion supports students in reframing every day and institutional literacies into “powerful literacies oriented toward critical social thought” (p. 149). This paper describes how and why a new bilingual learner from Mexico became involved and invested in a YPAR project at Coile Middle school (CMS); it also highlights the themes related to immigration and schooling that emerged from his work over the course of two years. The YPAR approach was developed by a combined UGA and Coile research team to cultivate youth voices through storytelling, poetry writing, photography and public presentations. Implications of this study point to the importance of moving the current reductive literacy approaches (e.g. teaching to the test and English only mandates) into more inquiry based participatory approaches that embrace code switching so that immigrant youth no longer feel silenced in mainstream classrooms.


The PORTAL immigration forum is a series of brown bag lunch presentations around immigration from multiple disciplines during Hispanic Heritage Month. Each session will feature faculty from UGA and LACSI presenting their research or service and then leading a discussion about their topics.

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