Nurturing Civic Engagement in Latine Young Adults: Through their Critical Consciousness, Identity, Engagement, and Intergenerational Relations

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type




First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez


Activism has been introduced to America’s youth and has allowed them to seek change in topics ranging from mental health, environmental justice, and bodily autonomy. Civic engagement is defined as “Individual & collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual voluntarism to organizational involvement, to electoral participation (APA 2009).” In the United States there have been pivotal student-led movements and organizations. During the civil rights movement SNCC used sit ins and freedom rides to participate in civil demonstrations in SoCal, the brown berets Chicano movement allowed students to claim better education resources that led to significant changes for the Mexican American or Chicano community. Research has shown that youth activism is important and has brought together youth to feel empowered; however, research lacks the perspective of young adults who were involved in high school aged activism and are still active. How does early activism shape a young adult and what factors affect their desire to become civically engaged at an early age? My research focused on how young adults 18-24 felt/feel when they or if they still participate(d) in activism, how their demographics affect or influence their activism, how they dealt with intergenerational partnerships, and the skills that they learned through their activism. Data was collected by reaching out to individuals who fit the criteria from East Yards Community for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) and other individuals through an interview with the primary investigator. In my research I found that individual’s demographics played a role in the type of activism that they were actively involved in, intergenerational partnerships were important, and allowed these relationships to be a learning experience between generations that may have not interactive if they were not part of an organization and learned various positive skills like caring for their community.

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