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Participation in Black Lives Matter and deferred action for childhood arrivals: Modern activism among Black and Latino college students.

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Abstract

Political activism is one way racially/ethnically marginalized youth can combat institutional discrimination and seek legislative change toward equality and justice. In the current study, we examine participation in #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) and advocacy for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as political activism popular among youth. Participants were 533 Black and Latino college students. We found that both Black and Latino students reported more involvement in BLM than DACA. There were no gender differences in participation for Black students, but Latina women reported greater participation in BLM and DACA than Latino men. We also tested whether demographic characteristics, racial/ethnic microaggressions, and political efficacy predict BLM and DACA involvement. For Black students, prior political activism predicted involvement in BLM and DACA and immigration status predicted DACA involvement. For Latino students, more experiences of racial/ethnic microaggressions predicted involvement in BLM and DACA and political efficacy predicted DACA involvement. Findings highlight rates of participation in modern sociopolitical movements and expand our understanding of how psychological factors may differentially promote activism for Black and Latino college students. © 2016 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Participation in Black Lives Matter and Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals: Modern Activism Among Black and Latino
College Students
Elan C. Hope
North Carolina State University
Micere Keels
University of Chicago
Myles I. Durkee
University of Michigan
Political activism is one way racially/ethnically marginalized youth can combat insti-
tutional discrimination and seek legislative change toward equality and justice. In the
current study, we examine participation in #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) and advocacy for
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as political activism popular among
youth. Participants were 533 Black and Latino college students. We found that both
Black and Latino students reported more involvement in BLM than DACA. There were
no gender differences in participation for Black students, but Latina women reported
greater participation in BLM and DACA than Latino men. We also tested whether
demographic characteristics, racial/ethnic microaggressions, and political efficacy pre-
dict BLM and DACA involvement. For Black students, prior political activism pre-
dicted involvement in BLM and DACA and immigration status predicted DACA
involvement. For Latino students, more experiences of racial/ethnic microaggressions
predicted involvement in BLM and DACA and political efficacy predicted DACA
involvement. Findings highlight rates of participation in modern sociopolitical move-
ments and expand our understanding of how psychological factors may differentially
promote activism for Black and Latino college students.
Keywords: Black, Latino, political activism, political efficacy, racial microaggressions
In the United States, Blacks and Latinos face
systematic disenfranchisement through individ-
ual and institutional racial/ethnic discrimination
(Bonilla-Silva, 1997). With this history of dis-
enfranchisement comes a strong history of en-
gendering political change through activism,
which may resonate strongly with youth. His-
torical and contemporary research shows that
marginalized and disenfranchised youth are of-
ten at the forefront of populist political move-
ments, such as the Civil Rights Movement, Chi-
cano Movement, and the Arab Spring (Kohstall,
2015;McAdam, 1986;Muñoz, 1989;Solomon
& Fishman, 1964). That said, there are conflict-
ing reports regarding Black and Latino youth’s
political involvement. Some research finds that
compared with middle-income White youth,
Black and Latino, and low-income youth report
lower levels of civic knowledge, political skills,
positive civic and political attitudes, and tradi-
tional forms of political participation (e.g., con-
tacting elected officials; Levinson, 2007;Na-
tional Center for Education Statistics, 2011).
However, researchers who consider a broader
conceptualization of political activism find that
racial/ethnic minority youth may be civically
engaged through nontraditional means such as
participating in youth-led social justice move-
ments and participating in politically motivated
cultural and artistic expression (e.g., poetry and
hip-hop; Ginwright, 2010;Watts & Flanagan,
Elan C. Hope, Department of Psychology, North Carolina
State University; Micere Keels, Department of Comparative
Human Development, University of Chicago; Myles I. Dur-
kee, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.
The research reported in this article was supported by
William T. Grant Foundation Grant 180804.
Correspondence concerning this article should be ad-
dressed to Elan C. Hope, Department of Psychology, North
Carolina State University, 2310 Stinson Drive, Raleigh, NC
27695. E-mail: ehope@ncsu.edu
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Journal of Diversity in Higher Education © 2016 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education
2016, Vol. 9, No. 3, 203–215 1938-8926/16/$12.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000032
203
2007). Given these conflicting findings and the
rise of nontraditional forms of civic engage-
ment, this is an important moment to advance
our understanding of the nature of political ac-
tivism for Black and Latino youth.
Two 21st century sociopolitical movements
that have emerged to counteract racial/ethnic
marginalization in the United States are BLM
and advocacy for DACA legislation. BLM ac-
tivists seek legislative changes to decrease the
negative (and often life threatening) effects of
discriminatory practices in our justice and po-
litical systems. The BLM movement began in
2013 with three queer Black women in response
to anti-Black racism as manifested through the
murder of Trayvon Martin and gained momen-
tum via social media following the police-
involved murder of Michael Brown Jr. (Garza,
2014). As more video evidence of questionable
police-related shootings is released, BLM activ-
ists and allies have continued to protest in a cry
for justice and transparency within law enforce-
ment following the deaths of Black Americans
Renisha McBride, Freddie Gray, Laquan Mc-
Donald, and several others that have received
less publicity. DACA activists seek legislative
change to address the obstacles faced by immi-
grant youth that severely limit their ability to
participate in American society. Advocacy for
DACA gained momentum in 2010 with antide-
portation campaigns led by undocumented ac-
tivists who sought citizenship for undocu-
mented people born abroad but raised primarily
in the United States (Unzueta Carrasco & Seif,
2014). The antideportation campaigns have re-
ceived substantially less media coverage and are
not as widely recognized as BLM. Given the
recency of these political movements little is
known about the level of college student in-
volvement or the sociodemographic and psy-
chological factors that predict levels of involve-
ment. In the current study, we use longitudinal
data to examine participation rates in BLM
and DACA advocacy and the relationship be-
tween precollegiate experiences of racial/
ethnic microaggressions, political activism,
and political efficacy and participation in
BLM and DACA campaigns. These issues are
examined using a sample of Black and Latino
college students attending predominantly
White universities.
Black and Latino Political Activism
The United States is a participatory democ-
racy, where political decisions are made
through participation in traditional politics (e.g.,
voting; contacting politicians). Black and La-
tino youth are positioned as outsiders in tradi-
tional political systems through restricted ac-
cess to economic resources, social capital, and
political power. Scholars suggest that youth of
color participate less in traditional politics due
to their history of political marginalization, lack
of government trust, and their perception of
government unresponsiveness (Diemer & Li,
2011;Watts & Flanagan, 2007). Specifically,
only 54% and 37% of Black and Latino 18- to
29-year-olds voted in the 2012 presidential
election, and only 28% and 18% of Black and
Latino 18 –29 year olds voted in the 2010 mid-
term election (Center for Information and Re-
search on Civic Learning and Engagement
[CIRCLE], 2011;2013). However, one can also
participate through extraparliamentary legal ac-
tivism (e.g., boycotts, social movements) and
illegal activism (e.g., civil disobedience, politi-
cally motivated violence; Amna˚, 2012).
Racial/Ethnic Microaggressions
Many Blacks and Latinos in America con-
tinue to experience racial/ethnic discrimination
and systematic inequality in schools, communi-
ties, and institutions (Cohen, 2005;Fine, Burns,
Payne, & Torre, 2004). While explicit forms of
interpersonal racism and oppression have be-
come less socially acceptable, one type of ra-
cial/ethnic discrimination that continues to be
quite prevalent is racial/ethnic microaggres-
sions—“brief and commonplace daily verbal,
behavioral, or environmental indignities,
whether intentional or unintentional, that com-
municate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial/
ethnic slights and insults towards people of
color” (Sue et al., 2007, p. 271). Microaggres-
sions are particularly unsettling because they
are chronic, often happen unexpectedly in pub-
lic and private contexts, and often remain un-
checked by perpetrators and bystanders who are
usually unaware of the offensive nature of these
encounters. Several examples include practices
of racial/ethnic profiling that involve assump-
tions of criminality among Black and Latino
youth, as well as ascriptions of intelligence and
204 HOPE, KEELS, AND DURKEE
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academic performance based on societal stereo-
types (Sue, 2010). The school context, in par-
ticular, is often a troubling environment where
many Black and Latino youth report experienc-
ing microaggressions from administrators,
teachers, and classmates (Benner & Graham,
2011;Carter, 2007;Hope, Skoog, & Jagers,
2015).
Scholars posit that political activism may
serve as an adaptive coping strategy and active
resistance to inequitable sociopolitical condi-
tions, including racial/ethnic microaggressions
(Hope & Spencer, in press). Experiences of
racial/ethnic discrimination might catalyze
Black and Latino youth toward political activ-
ism as a mechanism to effect change and miti-
gate future discrimination. Researchers have be-
gun empirical examination of the relationship
between race/ethnicity-based discrimination
and political activism. In one study, researchers
found that knowledge of institutional discrimi-
nation was related to political activism such that
the more Black youth acknowledged institu-
tional discrimination against Black people, the
more political activism activities (e.g., engaging
in a boycott) they participated in (Hope & Jag-
ers, 2014). Similarly, recognizing systematic
disadvantages experienced by African Ameri-
cans was related to activism within the African
American community (Szymanski & Lewis,
2015). Experiences of interpersonal discrimina-
tion were also positively related to political
activism. In a study of Black college students,
more frequent experiences of racial microag-
gressions (e.g., being followed in a store) were
related to more frequent civic engagement in the
African American community and a greater
sense of civic responsibility (White-Johnson,
2012). Further, more frequent experiences of
racist events were related to more activism in
the African American community (Szymanski,
2012). Comparably, experiences of interper-
sonal racial/ethnic discrimination were related
to greater activism (e.g., participating in a dem-
onstration) for Latino college students (Cronin,
Levin, Branscombe, van Laar, & Tropp, 2012).
Political Efficacy
In addition to the relationship between racial/
ethnic discrimination and political activism, po-
litical efficacy has been shown to relate posi-
tively to political activism for racially/
ethnically marginalized youth. Political efficacy
is the personal belief that one has the knowledge
and skills to understand and affect community
change through purposeful political actions
(Beaumont, 2010). In psychology, civic-related
efficacy is often described as sociopolitical con-
trol—the perceived capacity to change social
conditions and participate in individual and col-
lective social action to effect social change (Di-
emer & Li, 2011;Ginwright & James, 2002;
Mitra & Serriere, 2012;Zimmerman, 1995;
Zimmerman, Ramírez-Valles, & Maton, 1999).
In this research we consider political efficacy as
a cognitive and affective appraisal of one’s per-
sonal ability to participate civically and politi-
cally. A primary theoretical assumption of so-
ciopolitical development theory (SPD) is that
people take action when they believe that their
voice and behavior can have the intended so-
ciopolitical impact for them or their community
(Watts & Guessous, 2006;Zimmerman, 1995).
From this perspective, political efficacy is an
internal catalyst for political activism. Studies
have shown that political efficacy is related to
voting behavior, political activism, and commit-
ment to future political activism among minor-
ity adolescents and young adults (Diemer & Li,
2011;Hope & Jagers, 2014;Watts & Guessous,
2006).
Theoretical Framework
SPD extends the psychological study of civic
development by taking into consideration indi-
vidual and contextual factors that promote so-
cial justice activism among marginalized popu-
lations including youth, racial/ethnic minorities,
and the economically disadvantaged (Watts &
Flanagan, 2007;Watts & Guessous, 2006). SPD
is influenced by critical consciousness—the
process by which marginalized people under-
stand the nature of their oppression through
critical reflection and take individual or collec-
tive action to address structural inequalities
(Freire, 1970;Watts, Diemer, & Voight, 2011).
SPD posits that reflection on systematic oppres-
sion coupled with positive beliefs regarding
one’s capacity to participate in political systems
predict the likelihood that members of margin-
alized groups will engage in political activism
through proactive types of involvement. Indeed,
according to SPD the most ideal form of polit-
ical activism is a “critical” form, where one
205PREDICTING ACTIVISM
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engages in critical reflection to purposefully
discern root causes of social asymmetry and
take actions toward meaningful, systematic
change to correct such inequities. Thus, the
types of political behavior most explicitly ex-
plored through the SPD model are those that
bring about systematic change to contest op-
pression and inequality and move toward a
more just society.
The Current Study
In the current study, we examined activism
among Black and Latino college students via
advocacy for BLM and DACA and the relation-
ship of that participation to broader political
activism, experiences with racial/ethnic micro-
aggressions, and political efficacy. SPD sug-
gests that understanding oppression, belief in
one’s ability to participate in politics, and prior
political experience supports political activism
among marginalized groups, such as racial/
ethnic minorities in the United States (Watts et
al., 2011). Still, little research has tested these
assumptions with regard to political activism
among Black and Latino youth, and no research,
to date, has examined these relationships with
regard to advocacy for BLM and DACA. As
such, we were interested in three research ques-
tions. First, to what extent were Black and La-
tino students involved in activism related to
BLM and DACA? Second, is involvement in
BLM and DACA campaigns associated with
broader political activism? Third, do students’
experiences with racial/ethnic microaggres-
sions, level of political activism, and political
efficacy predict BLM and DACA activism?
Method
Participants
Data comes from the ongoing Minority Col-
lege Cohort Study, a longitudinal investigation
of 533 Black (N221) and Latino (N312)
freshmen who began college in Fall 2013.
These students were recruited from five pre-
dominantly White universities in the Midwest:
two urban private institutions (24%), one urban
public institution (35%), one rural public insti-
tution (28%), and one suburban public institu-
tion (13%). Approximately 75% of Black and
57% of Latino participants were female; this is
reflective of the gender imbalance in college
enrollment (Keels, 2013). Eight percent of the
sample was foreign born; 6% of Black and 10%
of Latino students. The mean age of the sample
at recruitment was 18.2 years old (SD 0.47).
Forty-nine percent of Black students and 69%
of Latino students were first-generation college
students.
Procedures
Administrators at each of the five universities
distributed an email containing a description of
the research study and a link to the online sur-
vey during September of the 2013–2014 aca-
demic year. Students that went to the online
survey provided informed consent and com-
pleted a screening questionnaire were enrolled
into the study. To qualify for the study students
were required to be enrolled as a full-time,
entering college freshman, and primarily iden-
tify as African American/Black or Hispanic/
Latino (this includes multiracial students who
identified as either Black or Latino). Six waves
of data collection took place during the first two
years of college: Waves 1 and 4 occurred during
the initial months of the fall term, Waves 2 and
5 occurred shortly after winter break, and
Waves 3 and 6 occurred at the close of each
academic year. For each wave of data collection
participants were emailed an individualized link
to the online survey. The fall and spring waves
of data collection took 45 min to complete and
participants were compensated with a $25 elec-
tronic gift card. The winter waves of data col-
lection took 15 min to complete and participants
were compensated with a $15 electronic gift
card. Data collection was managed using RED-
Cap software tools hosted at the University of
Chicago (Harris et al., 2009). Wave 1 consisted
of 533 eligible students and participant reten-
tion for each subsequent data collection was
above 90%. Participants remained in the study
and were surveyed regardless of changes in
college enrollment. The host institution’s insti-
tutional review board approved all study proce-
dures. Data from Waves 1, 4, and 6 were used in
the present study.
Measures
BLM and DACA activism. Involvement
in BLM and DACA campaigns was measured
with two items in Wave 6: For BLM, partici-
206 HOPE, KEELS, AND DURKEE
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pants were asked “since September 2014, have
you participated in Black Lives Matter or sim-
ilar political movements?” They indicated
“Yes” or “No” to “Participated online (i.e.,
Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, blogging)” or “Par-
ticipated in person (i.e., protests, meetings, sit-
ins).” For DACA, participants were asked
“since September 2014, have you participated
in Deferred Action/DACA or similar political
movements?” They then received the same fol-
low-up items as the BLM question. For Latino
participants the BLM items were presented first
and the DACA items second. This order was
reversed for Black participants. For the multi-
variate analyses these items were combined to
create one variable measuring none versus any
(online and/or offline) BLM involvement, and
one variable measuring none versus any (online
and/or offline) DACA advocacy.
Primary Predictors
Racial/ethnic microaggressions. Micro-
aggressions were assessed using a 15-item mea-
sure of race/ethnicity-based insults that was
adapted from the Racial Microaggressions
Scale (Torres-Harding, Andrade, & Romero
Diaz, 2012) and an unpublished measure used
as part of a quantitative and qualitative exami-
nation of racial microaggressions at a predom-
inantly White university (Harwood et al., 2012).
Items from these measures were selected based
on high factor loadings and face validity. Par-
ticipants indicated their frequency of experi-
ences over the course of senior year of high
school using a 4-point Likert scale (1 never,
2rarely,3sometimes/a moderate amount,
4often/frequently). Items included, “People
acted as if all of the people of my race/ethnicity
are alike,” “I was singled out by police or se-
curity people because of my race/ethnicity,” and
“People made me feel intellectually inferior at
school because of my race/ethnicity.” Internal
reliability was high (␣⫽.92) and in order to
reduce skewness, all items were recoded to in-
dicate whether a specific microaggression had
occurred (1) or did not occur (0). We then
created a count of microaggressions during
freshman year (0 –15). Finally, we created a
4-category variable by dividing student re-
sponses into quartiles by race/ethnicity.
Political activism. Participation in political
activism activities measured at Wave 1 (partic-
ipation during senior year of high school), and
at Wave 6 (participation from September 2014
to June 2015). Political activism was assessed
using five items that represent political activism
from the Youth Involvement Inventory (Pancer,
Pratt, Hunsberger, & Alisat, 2007). Respon-
dents reported frequency of political activism
by indicating how often they participated in
each activity (1 never,2once,32or3
times,44 –5 times,56 –10 times,6
More than 10 times). The five items were
“Work or volunteer for a political movement,”
“Join a protest, march, meeting, or demonstra-
tion,” “Participate in a boycott (not buying
something because you dislike or disagree with
the social or political values of the company),”
and “Participate in a buycott (buying a certain
product or service because you like the social or
political values of the company).” These items
were used to create a political activism breadth
score by counting the total number of activities
completed. The political activism breadth score
ranged from zero to all five possible political
actions. Analyses indicated strong internal con-
sistency (␣⫽.72).
Political efficacy. Political efficacy beliefs
were assessed through a measure of internal
political efficacy that combined two items from
the Black Youth Project (Cohen, 2006) and
three items from the Beliefs about Individual
Action and Societal Change Scale (Gurin,
Nagda, & Zuniga, 2013). These five items as-
sessed how much youth believe they can posi-
tively impact their community and participate in
politics. Participants indicated their level of
agreement on a 5-point Likert scale from (1
Strong Disagree to5Strong Agree). Sample
items include, “Even if it is hard, I still believe
I can change my community” (␣⫽.82).
Control Variables
Race/ethnicity and gender. We created a
categorical variable of self-reported race/
ethnicity and gender: Black women, Black men,
Latina women, and Latino men.
Precollegiate experiences. Several vari-
ables were included as controls: first generation
college status, immigrant generational status,
high school GPA, and Fall 2014 postsecondary
enrollment. First generation college status was
calculated by considering the highest level of
parental education. Participants indicated the
207PREDICTING ACTIVISM
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highest level of education completed by their
mother and father on a 9-point scale (1 No
School to9Professional or Grad School).
We then coded participants as first generation
college students if both parents had not gradu-
ated from college. If one or both parents grad-
uated from college participants were not coded
as first generation. Immigrant generational sta-
tus was calculated by considering participants
and their parents’ nativity. Foreign-born partic-
ipants were coded as first generation immigrant
status; United States-born participants with at
least one foreign born parent were coded as
second generation immigrant status; and United
States-born participants with United States-born
parents were coded as third generation immi-
grant status. High school GPA was self-
reported. Finally, participants indicated whether
they were enrolled in a postsecondary institu-
tion in Fall 2014 (beginning of sophomore
year).
Analysis Plan
The first set of analyses included descriptive
evaluations of the level of BLM and DACA
activism based on race/ethnicity and gender.
The second set of analyses examined the cross-
sectional associations between BLM- and
DACA-related activism and Wave 6 political
activism. Mean differences in political activism
based on categories of BLM and DACA en-
gagement were compared using analysis of vari-
ance followed by pairwise tests with Bonferroni
correction. The third set of analyses used Wave
1 variables to predict Wave 6 BLM and DACA
activism using logit regression. Only variables
with significant univariate associations with
BLM and DACA activism were included in the
multivariate analyses. All analyses were done
for the full sample and separately for Black and
Latino students. Because the predictors were
substantively different for Black and Latino
participants, only multivariate analyses by
group are shown.
Results
Means and standard deviations for the study
variables are presented in Table 1. On average,
Black students were significantly more involved
with BLM than Latino students; 65% of Black
participants were involved online and/or offline
compared with 29% of Latino participants (Z
7.45, p.001). In contrast, Black and Latino
students reported equal levels of online and/or
offline involvement with DACA; 20% of Black
and 18% of Latino participants (Z0.13, p
.90). Race/ethnicity and gender also combined
to determine involvement with these move-
ments (Table 2). For BLM and DACA, there
was no difference between Black men and
women (Z1.73, p.08 for BLM, and Z
0.45, p.65 for DACA). Latina women re-
ported significantly higher levels of involve-
ment than Latino men (Z 3.16, p.002 for
BLM, and Z2.99, p.003 for DACA).
Table 1
Means and Standard Deviations for the Study Variables by Race/Ethnicity
Study variables
Black Latino
M SD M SD p value
BLM involvement 65.22% 28.51% .000
DACA involvement 19.89% 19.38% .898
Political activism (Wave 1) 5.55 3.11 4.90 2.82 .016
Political activism (Wave 6) 3.06 2.51 2.18 2.11 .000
Political efficacy 3.64 .86 3.61 .81 .718
Microaggressions 7.82 4.95 5.74 4.72 .000
High school GPA 3.48 .44 3.56 .45 .067
Female 74.55% 56.03% .000
First generation student 48.62% 71.17% .000
Immigrant generation 2.69 .59 2.06 .50 .000
Enrolled in college fall 2014 92.68% 97.28% .021
Note. Group differences in the binary variables were compared using tests of proportions. BLM Black Lives Matters;
DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
208 HOPE, KEELS, AND DURKEE
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Overall, Latino men reported the lowest level of
involvement in either sociopolitical cause.
Involvement in BLM/DACA and Broader
Political Activism
Analyses of the cross-sectional association
between Wave 6 BLM and DACA involvement
and Wave 6 political activism shows that higher
levels of involvement with either BLM or
DACA is associated with higher levels of po-
litical activism (F71.22, p.001 for BLM,
and Z39.28, p.001 for DACA; Table 3).
There were no differences between Black and
Latino students in the pattern of findings so only
results for the pooled sample are shown. Post
hoc pairwise tests revealed that participants re-
porting only online BLM involvement had a
higher level of political activism than those
reporting no BLM involvement (2.83 vs. 1.60
mean political activism, p.001), and those
reporting both online and offline BLM involve-
ment had a higher level of political activism
than those reporting only offline BLM involve-
ment (5.09 vs. 3.47 mean political activism, p
.001). Similarly, participants reporting only
DACA online involvement had a higher level of
political activism than those reporting no
DACA involvement (3.44 vs. 2.12 mean polit-
ical activism, p.001), and those reporting
both online and offline DACA involvement had
substantively but not a significantly higher level
of political activism than those reporting only
Table 2
BLM and DACA Involvement by Race/Ethnicity and Gender
Type of
involvement
Percent of group
All Black women Black men Latina women Latino men
BLM involvement
None 53.23 31.69 46.34 63.36 82.47
Only online 21.41 29.58 21.95 22.14 8.25
Only offline 3.65 4.23 7.32 1.53 4.12
Both 19.71 34.51 24.39 12.98 5.15
N411 142 41 131 97
DACA involvement
None 80.54 79.29 82.50 74.42 89.69
Only online 8.37 7.86 10.00 11.63 4.12
Only offline 2.22 5.00 .00 .78 1.03
Both 8.87 7.86 7.50 13.18 5.15
N406 140 40 129 97
Note. BLM Black Lives Matter; DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Column total percentages for BLM
and DACA involvement, columns sum to 100%.
Table 3
Average Level of Political Activism by BLM and DACA Involvement at Wave 6
BLM involvement (N412)
Omnibus
pvalue
All students None Only online Only offline Both
M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD
Political activism 2.62 2.29 1.60 1.64 2.83 1.87 3.47 2.23 5.09 2.31 .000
DACA involvement (N407)
Omnibus
pvalue
All students None Only online Only offline Both
M SD M SD M SD M SD M SD
Political activism 2.60 2.28 2.11 1.92 3.44 2.40 5.00 2.06 5.61 2.45 .000
Note. All groups are significantly different from each other. BLM Black Lives Matter; DACA Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals.
209PREDICTING ACTIVISM
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offline DACA involvement (5.61 vs. 5.00 mean
political activism, p.05).
Predicting BLM and DACA Involvement
Univariate regression analyses predicting
BLM and DACA involvement are shown in the
Appendix. First generation college status, high
school GPA, and college enrollment status were
excluded from all multivariate analyses because
they were not associated with BLM or DACA
involvement.
The top half of Table 4 identifies the factors that
predicted none versus any involvement with BLM
and DACA for Black students. Only the degree of
high school political activism was predictive of
later BLM involvement (␤⫽.27, p.003), and
only high school political activism (␤⫽.29, p
.003) and immigrant generational status (third vs.
first generation ␤⫽.21, p.01; third vs. second
generation ␤⫽⫺.03, p.78) were predictive of
DACA involvement.
The bottom half of Table 4 identifies the
factors that predicted no involvement versus
any involvement with BLM and DACA for
Latino students. Racial/ethnic microaggressions
in senior year of high school and gender were
significantly predictive of later BLM and
DACA involvement. Participants who experi-
enced a high level of exposure to microaggres-
sions were more likely to be involved than those
reporting a low level (for BLM ␤⫽.18, p
.05, for DACA ␤⫽.28, p.005); there was no
difference between those reporting low versus
moderate levels of exposure to microaggres-
sions. Level of high school political activism
had a significant association with BLM involve-
ment (␤⫽.17, p.03), but became insignif-
icant in the presence of the other predictors of
DACA involvement (␤⫽.07, p.41). Polit-
ical efficacy at the beginning of college was
predictive of later DACA involvement (␤⫽
.36, p.001).
Table 4
Regression Analysis of Wave 1 Variables Predicting Wave 6 BLM and
DACA Involvement
Variables
Black participants (N184)
BLM involvement DACA involvement
BSE BSE
Political activism 1.18 .07 .27
ⴱⴱ
1.20 .08 .29
ⴱⴱ
Immigrant generation
Third gen (reference)
Second gen .87 .45 .03
First gen 4.52 2.77 .21
ⴱⴱ
Adj. R
2
.04 .09
n184 181
Latino participants (N227)
BLM involvement DACA involvement
BSE BSE
Microaggressions
Quartile 1 (Ref)
Quartile 2 1.01 .48 .00 1.66 .99 .09
Quartile 3 .95 .40 .01 .98 .54 .00
Quartile 4 2.24 .95 .18
4.20 2.17 .28
ⴱⴱ
Political activism 1.13 .06 .17
1.06 .07 .07
Political efficacy 2.62 .77 .36
ⴱⴱⴱ
Female 2.50 .84 .23
ⴱⴱ
2.63 1.09 .22
Adj. R
2
.08 .16
n227 224
Note. BLM Black Lives Matter; DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
210 HOPE, KEELS, AND DURKEE
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Discussion
For members of marginalized groups, a crit-
ical analysis of structural oppression leads to
civic and political action to reform sociopoliti-
cal conditions of inequality (Watts et al., 2011).
Still, there has been limited research on factors
that affect political activism among Black and
Latino youth, and even less consideration has
been given to how racial/ethnic discrimination
may deter or inspire involvement. In this paper
we focus on activism as indicated by involve-
ment in advocacy for BLM and DACA, two
modern sociopolitical causes with growing in-
terest and participation among emerging adults.
Results from this study are consistent with pre-
vious research and SPD theory which suggest
that Black and Latino youth are politically en-
gaged through modern activist movements and
that personal background, prior political activ-
ism, and psychosocial factors predict such in-
volvement (Watts et al., 2011). Further, this
work broadens our understanding of political
activism by explicating differences in involve-
ment for Black and Latino college students.
Both Black and Latino students reported higher
levels of involvement in BLM than DACA. We
speculate that differences in involvement may
be due to BLM activists’ use of social media,
however more research is needed to test how the
accessibility of social media influences oppor-
tunities for online and offline participation.
Still, twice as many Black students indicated
BLM involvement compared with Latino stu-
dents, while both groups participated in DACA
related activism at similar rates.
These data also highlight the relationship be-
tween BLM and DACA involvement with
broader political activism. As expected, partic-
ipants who indicated both online and offline
participation with BLM or DACA related cam-
paigns had also reported the highest level of
broader political activism. This suggests that
participation in either of these movements is not
a solitary political experience, but is accompa-
nied by participation in various types of politi-
cal activism, including protests, boycotts, and
campaign donations. Students who engaged in
BLM or DACA advocacy only through online
participation reported less involvement in
broader political activism than offline-only par-
ticipants. This suggests that modern activism
through online social media or blogging alone
did not necessarily relate to greater political
activism among Black and Latino college stu-
dents. However, only a small fraction reported
offline-only participation and previous research
has found no difference between online and
offline political activism (Kahne & Cohen,
2012).
Finally, scholars suggest that experiencing
racial/ethnic discrimination likely contributes to
greater participation in political activism as a
mechanism to mitigate future instances of dis-
crimination (Hope & Jagers, 2014;Hope &
Spencer, in press). We found support for this
hypothesis for Latino students, but not Black
students. Latino students who experienced the
most microaggressions during high school were
more likely to participate in both BLM- and
DACA-related activism in college. This racial/
ethnic difference may be due, in part, to the
large variation in experiences of discrimination
based on one’s racial/ethnic group membership
and identification (Greene, Way, & Pahl, 2006).
The repeated incidents of police-involved
deaths that sparked the BLM campaign all in-
volved Black adolescents and young adults,
which may have been enough to catalyze Black
youth involvement regardless of their previous
experiences with microaggressions, whereas
previous exposure to racial/ethnic microagres-
sions may have been important in priming La-
tino student participation. It is important for
future researchers to examine how youths’ ex-
periences with interpersonal and institutional
discrimination might be associated with in-
volvement in social justice movements.
Limitations and Future Directions
This study represents an important first step
in understanding modern activism among Black
and Latino college students through BLM and
advocacy for DACA; however, this research is
not without limitation. First, we are limited in
the generalizability of our findings. While we
were able to sample several different types of
colleges and universities, we cannot speak to
the experiences of community college students,
students in other geographic regions, or students
who attend predominantly minority-serving in-
stitutions. Thus, future research should examine
activism related to populist political movements
nationally to determine if there are regional and
institutional variations in participation. Addi-
211PREDICTING ACTIVISM
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This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
tionally, future research may consider addi-
tional specificity in the types of activities stu-
dents are engaged in during both online and
offline involvement. Finally, more research is
needed on whether racial/ethnic identity (e.g.,
connection to one’s racial/ethnic group and cen-
trality of race/ethnicity to one’s identity) has
direct or indirect relationships to BLM/DACA
or broader political activism among racial/
ethnic minority students (White-Johnson,
2012).
Implications for Higher Education Practice
Two common themes among college and uni-
versity mission statements are commitment to
diversity and civic service by both the students
and the institution (Morphew & Hartley, 2006).
As the prevalance of activism to address issues
of racial/ethnic injustice grows among Black
and Latino college students, as well as allies,
colleges and universities must shoulder the re-
sponsibility to support student development in
alignment with the institutional mission. Insti-
tutional support can manifest in two related
ways. First, student services practicioners might
consider a thoughtful integration of social jus-
tice themes in curricular (e.g., service-learning
courses) and cocurricular (e.g., living-learning
communities) civic engagement initiatives (Ay-
ers, Hunt, & Quinn, 1998). This strategy simul-
taneously supports university missions of diver-
sity and civic service through purposeful
inclusion of issues that negatively impact a seg-
ment of the student population. Second, diver-
sity officers should consider offering programs
and workshops that teach best practices for race/
ethnicity-related activism and increase aware-
ness of appropriate channels for public demon-
stration that minimize administrative sanctions
and penalties. This approach provides safe
spaces for students to explore activism while
also supporting the ultimate goal of college
enrollment: to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Conclusion
This study represents an important prelimi-
nary step in investigating political activism and
modern sociopolitical causes (BLM and
DACA) among Black and Latino college stu-
dents. This research provides some empirical
support that political activism functions as a
positive and proactive coping response to neg-
ative experiences of discrimination for Latino
students. Further, this research confirms that
Black and Latino college students are engaged
in advocacy and action that seek to improve
sociopolitical conditions for racial/ethnic mi-
norities in the United States.
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214 HOPE, KEELS, AND DURKEE
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Appendix
Univariate Associations Between Study Variables Predicting BLM and DACA Involvement
Black participants (N184)
BLM involvement DACA involvement
BSE BSE
Microaggressions
Quartile 1 (Ref)
Quartile 2 1.73 .72 .13 1.50 .77 .10
Quartile 3 2.47 1.08 .22
.81 .46 .05
Quartile 4 2.25 1.04 .18 1.53 .83 .09
Political activism 1.18 .07 .27
ⴱⴱ
1.21 .07 .31
ⴱⴱ
Political efficacy .97 .19 .01 1.13 .27 .05
High school GPA .73 .31 .07 1.09 .55 .02
Female 1.86 .67 .14 1.23 .57 .05
First gen. student .78 .24 .07 .73 .28 .08
Immigrant generation
Third (reference)
Second 1.14 .47 .03 1.02 .52 .01
First .98 .58 .00 4.78 2.78 .23
ⴱⴱ
Latino participants (N227)
BLM involvement DACA involvement
BSE BSE
Microaggressions
Quartile 1 (Ref)
Quartile 2 1.06 .50 .01 1.76 .96 .12
Quartile 3 1.11 .46 .03 1.17 .61 .04
Quartile 4 2.72 1.09 .23
3.94 1.86 .31
ⴱⴱ
Political activism 1.18 .06 .24
ⴱⴱ
1.15 .07 .21
Political efficacy 1.30 .25 .12 2.46 .64 .37
ⴱⴱⴱ
High school GPA .82 .31 .04 .85 .37 .03
Female 2.72 .88 .26
ⴱⴱ
3.08 1.20 .29
ⴱⴱ
First gen. student 1.40 .47 .09 1.59 .63 .12
Immigrant generation
Third (reference)
Second 1.11 .45 .03 2.19 1.23 .19
First 1.01 .61 .00 2.43 1.78 .14
Note. BLM Black Lives Matter; DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
Received October 1, 2015
Revision received January 18, 2016
Accepted May 9, 2016
215PREDICTING ACTIVISM
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... Historically, the social and political dimensions of society have deeply impacted adolescents' development (Wray-Lake et al., 2018). Youth are responsive to sociopolitical contexts, and unsurprisingly, they have participated at the forefront of social movements both in historical and contemporary moments (Diemer et al., 2021;Hope et al., 2016). Developmental shifts among adolescents may occur as they engage with different sociopolitical contexts and actions (Anyiwo et al., 2020). ...
... Yet, I-O youth's contributions to society can be obscured if only more conventional measures of sociopolitical participation are used (e.g., voting, signing a petition; Su arez-Orozco et al., 2018). For example, in the past decade, I-O youth have led movements to protect undocumented communities (Hope et al., 2016;Pinetta et al., 2020), participated in the BLM movement (Hope et al., 2016), and otherwise demanded social and political change in a society that is stringently working to exclude them (Pinetta et al., 2020;Su arez-Orozco et al., 2018). Furthermore, I-O youth may uniquely draw upon transnational contexts (Wilf et al., 2022) or draw from their position as first-or second-generation youth to inform their SPD development. ...
... Yet, I-O youth's contributions to society can be obscured if only more conventional measures of sociopolitical participation are used (e.g., voting, signing a petition; Su arez-Orozco et al., 2018). For example, in the past decade, I-O youth have led movements to protect undocumented communities (Hope et al., 2016;Pinetta et al., 2020), participated in the BLM movement (Hope et al., 2016), and otherwise demanded social and political change in a society that is stringently working to exclude them (Pinetta et al., 2020;Su arez-Orozco et al., 2018). Furthermore, I-O youth may uniquely draw upon transnational contexts (Wilf et al., 2022) or draw from their position as first-or second-generation youth to inform their SPD development. ...
Article
The sociopolitical context for immigrant‐origin (I‐O) youth's civic development in the U.S. has dramatically shifted in the years following the 2016 election (e.g., heightened xenophobia). I‐O children comprise 26% of young people in the U.S. and include those born outside the U.S. (first generation) and those with at least one parent born outside the U.S. (second generation). Using a qualitative approach, this study examined how I‐O youth (N = 65, M = 16.22 years) experienced and engaged with the phenomena of the 2020 election season amidst recent economic, political, and social consequences from the pandemic and the current social movements against systemic racism. Findings expand our understanding of how I‐O youth engage as political actors by examining the processes surrounding their sociopolitical development.
... With regard to anti-racist activism, gender has had an impact on the tendency to support, join, and form alliances with BLM. Women were more supportive of BLM than men across different races (Arora and Stout 2019;Hope, Keels, and Durkee 2016), while older, Republican, and conservative men more often opposed BLM than younger, more liberal women (Updegrove et al. 2020). A study on antiracist allies found that people of color did not identify gender as relevant when labeling white allies, suggesting that race had more salience than gender (Ostrove and Brown 2018). ...
... The clear sense that racial justice issues had reached a boiling point, and that people should protest in solidarity with each other (across racial lines), stood out as a common thread in these narratives, especially for themes 5 and 6. With social movements being a goal directed action, research has suggested that potential activists need to combine their perceptions of racial injustice with a high level of collective efficacy before joining BLM (Hope, Keels, and Durkee 2016). Moreover, their faith in BLM protests as a potential vehicle for social change have historical grounding, as civil rights protests helped to usher in the passage of affirmative action, voter rights protection laws, and school desegregation efforts (Biggs and Andrews 2015;King 2011;Olzak and Ryo 2007). ...
... Other conversion factors can be important as well. Measures of face-to-face encounters with discrimination are crucial to activism (Hope et al., 2016) and are being personally mistreated by the police (Ilchi & Frank, 2021). Measuring trauma in relation to police and policing could also prove useful in future studies as can perceived racial discrimination within LGB communities (Battle & Harris, 2013). ...
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Introduction This study traced sexuality differences in Black Lives Matter (BLM) approval before using theories of “political distinctiveness” to explain why sexuality differences occurred. Methods A random sample of 3489 US adults completed the 2016 wave of the American National Election Survey (ANES) Time Series project. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions assessed differences in BLM support by reported sexual identity when adjusting for possibly relevant covariates. Results Lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGB) backed BLM more than heterosexuals. Increased LGB support of BLM was driven by sexuality differences in racial backgrounds, marital statuses, perceptions of police biases, approval of Black empowerment, authoritarianism, and emotional bonds to people of color. Conclusions Sexual identities shape reactions to antiracist social movements. LGB alignment with BLM is partly due to sexual discrepancies in demographic qualities, group memberships, and the way sexual identities alter an awareness of social biases. Policy Implications Greater LGB liberalism, plus the queer friendly nature of BLM, offers greater prospects in the creation and maintenance of intersectional social justice movements that seek to improve the lives of racial and sexual minorities.
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How does the self-relevance of a social movement shape individuals' engagement with it? We examined the decision-making processes that underlie support for Black Lives Matter (BLM) among Black, Hispanic, Asian, and White Americans. We find significant between-group differences in levels of support for BLM, both in terms of past behavior (Study 1) and in terms of future intentions to support the movement (Study 2). These differences notwithstanding, thinking about how one's decisions impact others - which we label impact mindset - explains support for BLM across racial groups, cross-sectionally as well as longitudinally (over 8 months later). Our findings underscore the equivalence of the impact mindset construct across racial groups and its predictive power in the context of BLM. We conclude that, although the struggle for racial justice has different meanings for different racial groups, the same mindset underlies both in-group advocacy and allyship in the context of BLM.
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Black women in America have consistently been at the forefront of almost every civil, political, and cultural activist movement. Within the past two decades, Black women have created movements such as Black Lives Matter, the Black Youth Project 100, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Say Her Name, and Black Girls Vote. Considering these trends, there is a need to understand what factors influence Black women’s commitment to activist movements. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to identify factors that contribute to activism among Black women. To do this, 107 Black women from a mid-sized, Southeastern city were sampled for primary data analysis. Regression analyses were used to assess associations between activism, perceived racism, psychological empowerment, and spirituality. The results indicated significant positive relationships between activism, perceived racism, and psychological empowerment; such that perceived racism and psychological empowerment were both significantly related to increases in activism. Contrary to expectations, spirituality and activism were not related in the present study. These results have implications for future researchers, mental health professionals, and policymakers.
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The police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd sparked a resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests throughout the summer of 2020, reminiscent of the wave of Black Lives Matter protests that occurred after several police killings in 2014 including the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Based on qualitative analysis of mainstream media coverage of the protests, this paper examines key themes in the discourse surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014 and 2020. Our findings highlight the ways in which mainstream news sources situate the Black Lives Matter protests within a broader history of Black uprisings. We also emphasize the erasure of violence against Black women in mainstream media depictions of the BLM movement, as well as the erasure of Black women’s leadership in the movement.
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Historical and contemporary political events underscore that Latinx people do not necessarily view race and racism in the United States through a shared lens with other Latinx people and other communities of color. Thus, it is critical to understand how Latinx youth develop attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that challenge white supremacy—or anti‐racist identities and behaviors—that actively disrupt racial oppression communities of color face as well as their own communities. In this paper, we review theoretical mechanisms by which Latinx youth may develop anti‐racist identities and actions on behalf of their own ethnic/racial communities and other communities oppressed by white supremacy. We conclude by offering suggestions for how institutions may support Latinx youth’s anti‐racist identities and actions.
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Research around the importance of activism for positive development has been primarily focused on a single identity, missing the ways in which race and sexual orientation intersect to influence the communities young adults advocate for. The current study assesses how Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) young adults’ experiences of discrimination, identity, and community predict involvement in intersectional activism (e.g., activism for LGBTQ communities of color). With a sample of 216 Black LGBTQ young adults from the Social Justice Sexuality project, we used hierarchical linear regression to examine relationships between intragroup marginalization, identity, community involvement, and intersectional activism. While all three constructs explained a significant variance in intersectional activism, only racial marginalization within the LGBTQ community and involvement in LGBTQ communities of color were positively associated with intersectional activism. These findings demonstrate that experiences of intragroup marginalization and connection to communities that center both race and sexual orientation may be important in fostering activism among Black LGBTQ young adults.
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We examine how Black high school students, participants in a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) program, understand issues of racial discrimination and inequality in their schools. Through semi-structured individual interviews conducted early in the program, eight students (six boys and two girls) recount experiences of racial stereotyping, discrimination from teachers and staff, lack of institutional support for a positive racial climate, and lack of racial diversity in curricular offerings. Further, through evolving critical analysis supported by the YPAR experience, these students describe rationale for and implications of such negative race-based educational experiences. Findings reveal how Black adolescents interpret the racial discrimination and inequality they experience in school and the implications of parental and community socialization on the development of a critical understanding of race-based social inequalities.
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Many studies provide evidence for the strong influences of same-race peer networks on Black student achievement and racial identity in private and elite schools; however, research is lacking regarding these influences for Black achievers in predominantly White public schools. In this article, the author examines how nine high-achieving Black students in a predominantly White public high school created and used informal and formal same-race peer networks in their school to buffer experiences with racism and affirm their racial identity. Drawing on data ftom a yearlong qualitative investigation, the author discusses how the use of these identity-affirming counter-spaces serve as a positive resistance strategy for these students and allows them to maintain a strong racial sense of self in their maintenance of school success. Findings from this study reinforce the importance of having safe spaces in predominantly White learning environments for Black students to escape psychological, emotional, and physical stress stemming from experiences with racism.
Chapter
In this chapter we use Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (P-VEST) to consider civic engagement as a coping response to systems of inequality faced by racial minority children. After a brief introduction we present a historical and theoretical overview of civic engagement with regard to children and adolescents and racially marginalized communities. We then introduce the P-VEST framework and examine civic engagement as a proactive reactive coping method to counteract the vulnerability and stress of systematic racial injustice. Following a discussion of the current empirical literature we explore the utility of civic engagement programs (e.g., Youth Participatory Action Research) as interventions to support positive development of minority youth. We conclude with policy implications and future directions for research to leverage civic engagement as a coping strategy for the positive development of minority children and their communities.
Book
Due to continuing immigration and increasing racial and ethnic inclusiveness, higher education institutions in the United States are likely to grow ever more diverse in the 21st century. This shift holds both promise and peril: Increased inter-ethnic contact could lead to a more fruitful learning environment that encourages collaboration. On the other hand, social identity and on-campus diversity remain hotly contested issues that often raise intergroup tensions and inhibit discussion. How can we help diverse students learn from each other and gain the competencies they will need in an increasingly multicultural America? Dialogue Across Difference synthesizes three years worth of research from an innovative field experiment focused on improving intergroup understanding, relationships and collaboration. The result is a fascinating study of the potential of intergroup dialogue to improve relations across race and gender. First developed in the late 1980s, intergroup dialogues bring together an equal number of students from two different groups such as people of color and white people, or women and men to share their perspectives and learn from each other. To test the possible impact of such courses and to develop a standard of best practice, the authors of Dialogue Across Difference incorporated various theories of social psychology, higher education, communication studies and social work to design and implement a uniform curriculum in nine universities across the country. Unlike most studies on intergroup dialogue, this project employed random assignment to enroll more than 1,450 students in experimental and control groups, including in 26 dialogue courses and control groups on race and gender each. Students admitted to the dialogue courses learned about racial and gender inequalities through readings, role-play activities and personal reflections. The authors tracked students progress using a mixed-method approach, including longitudinal surveys, content analyses of student papers, interviews of students, and videotapes of sessions. The results are heartening: Over the course of a term, students who participated in intergroup dialogues developed more insight into how members of other groups perceive the world. They also became more thoughtful about the structural underpinnings of inequality, increased their motivation to bridge differences and intergroup empathy, and placed a greater value on diversity and collaborative action. The authors also note that the effects of such courses were evident on nearly all measures. While students did report an initial increase in negative emotions a possible indication of the difficulty of openly addressing race and gender that effect was no longer present a year after the course. Overall, the results are remarkably consistent and point to an optimistic conclusion: intergroup dialogue is more than mere talk. It fosters productive communication about and across differences in the service of greater collaboration for equity and justice. Ambitious and timely, Dialogue Across Difference presents a persuasive practical, theoretical and empirical account of the benefits of intergroup dialogue. The data and research presented in this volume offer a useful model for improving relations among different groups not just in the college setting but in the United States as well.
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The purpose of this study was to examine three forms of race-related stress (i.e., cultural, institutional, and individual) and six racial identity dimensions (i.e., Pre-Encounter Assimilation, Miseducation, and Self-Hatred, Immersion-Emersion Anti-White, and Internalization Afrocentricity and Multiculturalist Inclusive) as predictors of involvement in African American activism in a sample of 185 African American undergraduate women and men. When examined concurrently, these race-related variables accounted for more than one fourth of the variance in involvement in African American activism scores. Results indicated that cultural race-related stress, Immersion-Emersion Anti-White, Internalization Afrocentricity, and Internalization Multiculturalist Inclusive were the only significant and unique positive predictors of involvement in African American activism. In addition, Internalization Afrocentricity attitudes mediated the cultural race-related stress → activism link and both Immersion-Emersion Anti-White and Internalization Afrocentricity attitudes mediated the institutional race-related stress → activism link.
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University students played a pivotal role in the Arab uprisings in 2011. This article explores the link between reform policies and social mobilisation through a comparison of university reforms and student protests in Egypt and Morocco. It argues that both—the fabrication of social policies and the formation of protest—are rooted in the specific political configuration of authoritarian regimes. Egypt and Morocco have both embarked on internationalising higher education, but the monarchy was more successful in embracing change through a more pluralistic type of governance. Hence, Morocco was able to escape the disruptive dynamics of the uprising, unlike Egypt, which was more reluctant to establish a new type of governance.
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Civic engagement is important for individual and community well-being. In the current study, we use survey data from a nationally representative sample to examine how sociopolitical attitudes, such as political cynicism, perceptions of institutional discrimination, and political efficacy, along with civic education relate to civic engagement among 593 Black youth, ages 15–25. We found perceived institutional discrimination, political efficacy, and civic education were associated with civic engagement, while political cynicism was not. There is evidence to suggest civic education may strengthen the association between perceived institutional discrimination and civic engagement. The present findings contribute to our understanding of how acknowledging systemic inequity promotes civic engagement among Black youth. Findings are discussed in terms of study limitations and future research directions.