On Monday, October 14, 2013 I presented at this year's first Racial Literacy Roundtables talk at Teachers College Columbia University. I presented on my current and ongoing research involving participatory design and working with young people who are involved in foster care and juvenile/criminal justice systems to develop TXT CONNECT, a free mobile platform for court-involved youth in NYC.
Highlights from the talk include:
- Ways to conceptualize and re-imagine participation.
- Reviewing youth demographic statistics in NYC, highlighting, in particular, the disproportionate number of Black and brown youth involved in juvenile/criminal justice systems and foster care.
- Reflecting on what it means to engage multiple stakeholders in the process of designing a technical and digital artifact with and for young people who are often disconnected and lack reliable access to information.
Some notable statistics (references included in slides below):
- 25% of youth (< 18-years-old) in NYC are considered Black/African American, yet make up 65% of the juvenile justice population in NYC, and 59% of the foster care population in NYC.
- 35.5% of youth (< 18-years-old) in NYC are considered Hispanic, and make up 30% of the juvenile justice population in NYC, and 27.4% of the foster care population in NYC.
- White youth make up 25% of the youth population in NYC, yet make up less than 5% of the juvenile justice and foster care population in NYC
This was the first time I was able to present my research, in depth, to my peers and others in the academic community. The conversations that emerged from the chat were inspiring, particularly as it had to do with the ways educators and researchers are currently thinking about how social and digital media can, and ought to be used as meaningful tools in the classroom and beyond.
So often we assume media are something young people simply and only consume, but in fact, we're learning that young people are also integral mediamakers and designers in the "stuff" they use.
Below is a highlight video from the talk.
I've also posted my presentation slides HERE.
For more information on my current research, please visit www.taralconley.org
Credits: Lalitha Vasudevan (photography and videography), Joe Riina-Ferrie (videography)