Gottlieb, Derek

Committee Member

Youngs, Suzette

Committee Member

Kyser, Christine

Committee Member

Alexander, Apryl


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; School of Teacher Education, Educational Studies


University of Northern Colorado

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Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



129 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The experiences of Black, indigenous, and person of color (BIPOC) youth in our school systems often share a common thread of having to navigate deficit thinking, institutionalized racism, marginalization, and discrimination (Hammond, 2015; Ladson-Billings, 2016; Roy et al., 2019). While youth organizing has emerged as a potential counter to deficit narratives, it is rarely seen in school settings (Arthurs, 2018; Kirshner & Ginwright, 2012; Roderick et al., 2020; Roy et al., 2019). Using critical race theory as a framework, this case study examined a sample of BIPOC middle and high school students serving on a district Youth Equity Council, their perceptions of their school experience and their activism, and any potential relationship between the two. Specifically, through this case study, I sought to understand how the experiences of BIPOC students sitting on the council might have contributed to their participation, identity development, motivation to engage in equity work, and how they viewed their participation in relation to individual and/or community change. This case study required data collection that included interviews, observations, and document review. Findings of this case study indicated a strong relationship between school experience and participation on the council and a connection to individual change with strong hopes for community change.

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Copyright is held by the author.