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Becoming Activist

Critical Literacy and Youth Organizing

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Elizabeth Bishop

Becoming Activist is a revolutionary study of youth human rights activism and literacy learning. The book follows five urban youth organizers from the Drop Knowledge Project in New York City. Intentionally polyvocal, the voices of the five youth are featured prominently to highlight the shifting articulation of their activist identities in relation to social and economic justice. Becoming Activist explores critical literacy pedagogy beyond the confines of formal education. While it has been historically theorized within English classrooms, much existing research points to the limitations of conducting critical literacy in schools. In search of a space where critical literacy can be more fully realized, this book positions urban youth organizing as an alternative context for powerful community-based learning. A valuable read for educators, researchers, and young organizers, Becoming Activist offers insight into conducting literacy work to promote positive youth and community development. Ultimately, the idea of «becoming» is key to understanding and supporting youth activists as they grow to exercise their political power for positive social change.
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Acknowledgments

← vi | vii →ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Extract

Many inspiring people contributed to the creation, production, and distribution of this book. Thanks are due to everyone at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, in particular the faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Instruction and Learning. Special thanks are due to a group of extraordinary intellectuals: my longtime advisor Dr. John Myers, currently at Florida State University, who understood my interdisciplinary inclinations and assisted me every step of the way on this research journey; the wonderful Dr. Patricia Crawford at the University of Pittsburgh, who played a crucial role in the completion of this study; Dr. Kim Gomez at the University of California, Los Angeles, who expertly oversaw my apprenticeship into the world of the academy, all the while supporting my radical sensibilities; Dr. Michael Gunzenhauser at the University of Pittsburgh, who reignited the poststructuralist fire in my brain when we first met in 2009; Dr. Matt Luskey at the California Polytechnic State University, who encouraged my concept mapping and advised me through my experiments into and against forms of academic writing; and the estimable Shakespearean and queer theorist, Dr. Madhavi Menon at American University, one of my earliest advisors, whose own deconstructed writing and intellectual free play continues to mesmerize and inspire me. I could not have hoped for a more diverse, energetic, expert, ← vii | viii → supportive, and brilliant group of advisors guiding me through the dissertation marathon that resulted in this manuscript. The students at the University of Pittsburgh, both my doctoral colleagues and...

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