Making Connections and Creating Solidarity with African American Youth


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  • What do you think her grades look like?
    Is she in an advanced English/Language Arts?
    Do her teachers like her?
    What direction can you imagine her going in the future? High school? College?
  • Have then reflect on their own preconceived notions about African American Youth
  • Making Connections and Creating Solidarity with African American Youth

    1. 1. Making Connections & Creating Solidarity with African American Youth Jeffrey Lewis and Adrienne Duke Cooperative Extension Conference October 20, 2010 Madison, WI
    2. 2. Outline • Context of Research and Program • What we learned about African American girls and possible selves • What we learned about working with African American youth in school
    3. 3. History of Working in Beloit Student, family and school perspectives on the special education referral process African American students’ perspectives support for school Working with students and teachers to transform relationships and practices
    4. 4. • 62.5% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Hispanic 16% White 43% Black 39% Asian 2% Native American 0.5%
    5. 5. Research and Programming School Narratives Research Possible Selves Research
    6. 6. Possible selves • the self-knowledge that pertains to how individuals think about their potential and about their future (Markus & Nurius, 1986)
    7. 7. Definition of “selves” • Hoped for possible selves provide the individual with futures to dream about; they are the ideal selves that one would like to become (Markus & Nurius, 1986). • When hoped for selves are viewed as attainable they become expected selves. • There are also future selves that individuals hope to avoid or they worry about becoming; these are feared selves.
    8. 8. Expected Selves • making good grades • involvement in extracurricular activities (sports/arts) • having a job • having challenges and conflict in high school • attending college • being a mature and responsible person
    9. 9. Feared Selves • Getting suspended, dropping out of school, or failing • Being/becoming a “bad” person • not having friends or being less social in high school • extended dependency on mothers
    10. 10. Findings • Current positive experiences whether socially, academically, or through extracurricular activities, positively affected their expected or hoped for selves. • Current experiences of girls who are not yet achieving their desired state, were motivated to do better than they are currently.
    11. 11. Findings cont. • Significant others- parents, siblings, or other relatives- are very important in the formation and sustenance of possible selves • Sisters and brothers were the most frequently cited people that influence school based possible selves. Siblings were both positive and negative influences.
    12. 12. Findings cont. • These girls had an interdependent view of self “…Self found in the context of family and community” (Collins, 2000) • Their relationships with others, peer status in high school, and image was central to every possible self category and theme
    13. 13. Most people do not know these things about the girls because they never ask…
    14. 14. DO YOU KNOW HER? • “I like things like history, social studies and language arts where you read all the time.” • “If I get interested in a book, then I have to take it everywhere with me” • “I read over the summer” • “I like to draw cartoons and really like my art teacher” • “I get frustrated and angry when I don’t understand my homework” • “I am frustrated when I’m late for school”
    16. 16. Perceived Negativity How much do we project negative or stereotypical images onto African American Youth?
    17. 17. Gang Affiliation “Teachers always think that everything we do is gang related.” • Colors • Styles • Music • Friendships
    18. 18. Growing up too “Fast”/ Too Sexually Mature “We can’t help that we are developed and have a body…” • Body Type • Dress Styles • Music
    19. 19. “I think that some of the teachers are racist… When white kids dress or act the same way we do they don’t in trouble like we do” Inconsistent/Unfair Treatment
    20. 20. Relationship Building For positive relationships to exist there must be: • Respect • Trust • Positive Interactions • Consistency • Inclusivity
    21. 21. Remember…
    22. 22. Contact Information • Jeffery Lewis • Adrienne Duke