Youth are important members of a democratic society, and are often excluded from participating in public spaces and institutions that affect their lives. This includes the youth development field, which historically has failed to recognize youth as powerful agents in their lives and in their communities. By not taking youth rights, autonomy and participation seriously, researchers and practitioners can reinforce the normalization of youth disenfranchisement, marginalization and disempowerment.
Angie supports the political participation and empowerment of marginalized and minoritized youth in community, school and youth development settings. Her work focuses on (1) centering social justice in youth developmental research/practice, (2) critically examining and improving adult-centered institutions (e.g. schools, youth development spaces, etc.), policies, and practices that purport to benefit youth wellbeing and (3) developing/adapting methods for youth participatory action research (YPAR).
Her dissertation centers critical consciousness and youth organizing as important protective and promotive factor for minoritized and marginalized young people. She is using YPAR methods to examine the ambivalent role of social media in youth sociopolitical development. She is working with local youth organizers to translate findings into practice improvements (online and offline) at macro-, mezzo- and micro- levels with educators, youth service providers, organizations, families, and youth.