chapter  4
17 Pages

“Spanish Speakers” and “Normal People”: The Linguistic Implications of Segregation in US High Schools


This chapter discusses the Ginwright, Cammarota, and Nogueras youth development framework to demonstrate how specific out-of-school literacy practices provide opportunities for young people to learn how to successfully advocate for policy change. It focuses on a practice that is a promising way to build the skills, spaces, and structures youth need to organize: counter storytelling. The chapter examines the experiences of two young women who use storytelling to create change and question the boundaries of the spaces delineated by policies that are blind to the needs of their communities. Here Zainab demonstrates the importance of not only producing counter stories, but also using comments in order to question dominant narratives or to help others understand where the dominant narrative fails. The chapter discusses the social justice youth development frameworks to identify the critical factors that helped both Neesha and Zainab acquire the skills and social capital that are foundational for engaging in successful advocacy.