From Hunger Strike to High School: Youth Development, Social Justice and School Formation GCP-05-01

David Stovall
Assistant Professor,  Department of Education

The following project seeks to identify the attempt of two communities (one Mexican-American,
one African-American) to authentically involve young people in the development and planning
process of a community high school. As an active participant in the process, I have utilized the
tenets of participatory action research to identify challenges faced by young people and adults in
neighborhood school development. Where issues of race, class and gender are usually given
nominal attention in school improvement, the subsequent study seeks to highlight an instance
where community members realized that engaging young people was the most viable means by
which to address potential racial/ethnic conflict in a new school. Through youth development,
young people are leading the process to engage dialogue and coalition building to address
commonalities between cultures with distinct histories and realities.

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