Bianca Baldridge - "Reclaiming Community" - Shantá R. Robinson

Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Bianca Baldridge

"Bianca Baldridge offers a brilliant and timely alternative to metric-driven services; her research provides a refreshing and illuminating vision of how those who support youth of color can create more holistic alternatives to youth programming."—Shawn Ginwright, Professor of Education and African American Studies, San Francisco State University

Bianca Baldridge discusses Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work. She will be joined in conversation by Shantá R. Robinson. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: Approximately 2.4 million Black youth participate in after-school programs, which offer a range of support, including academic tutoring, college preparation, political identity development, cultural and emotional support, and even a space to develop strategies and tools for organizing and activism. In Reclaiming Community, Bianca Baldridge tells the story of one such community-based program, Educational Excellence (EE), shining a light on both the invaluable role youth workers play in these spaces, and the precarious context in which such programs now exist. Drawing on rich ethnographic data, Baldridge persuasively argues that the story of EE is representative of a much larger and understudied phenomenon. With the spread of neoliberal ideology and its reliance on racism―marked by individualism, market competition, and privatization―these bastions of community support are losing the autonomy that has allowed them to embolden the minds of the youth they serve. Baldridge captures the stories of loss and resistance within this context of immense external political pressure, arguing powerfully for the damage caused when the same structural violence that Black youth experience in school, starts to occur in the places they go to escape it.

About the author: Bianca J. Baldridge is a life-long youth worker, educator, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies with affiliations in Afro-American Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her scholarship explores the social and political context of community-based youth work and afterschool education. Bianca’s research examines the intersections race, class, and gender, and its impact on educational reforms that shape community-based spaces. Some of Bianca’s research has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Review of Research in Education, Teachers College Record, and Race, Ethnicity, and Education.  Bianca’s experiences as a youth worker continues to inform her research in profound ways.

About the interlocutor: Shantá R. Robinson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Shantá's research interests include the role of social identity in marginalized students’ educational experiences, aspirations, and outcomes; empirical investigations of marginalized student achievement and underachievement; inequities in the distribution of educational resources; and the history, culture, and social organization of K-12 educational institutions. Her most recent work focuses on the educational experiences and occupational aspirations of adolescents experiencing homelessness. While Robinson’s research is framed for scholarly outlets, its purpose is to assist school members—teachers, administrators, and community leaders—in living up to the grand potential of public education: to identify, support, and make possible the capabilities and promise of every student, irrespective of the student’s familial background, neighborhood, or other social location.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637