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Reclaiming Community  - Bianca J. Baldridge - <span class="date-display-single">10/18/2019 - 4:30pm</span>

Reclaiming Community

10/18/2019 - 4:30pm

Central Library - Community Room 301

Approximately 2.4 million Black youth participate in after school programs, which offer a range of support, including academic tutoring, college preparation, political identity development, cultural and emotional support, and even a space to develop strategies and tools for organizing and activism. In Reclaiming Community, Bianca Baldridge tells the story of one such community-based program, Educational Excellence (EE), shining a light on, both, the invaluable role youth workers play in these spaces, and the precarious context in which such programs now exist. Drawing on rich ethnographic data, Baldridge persuasively argues that the story of EE is representative of a much larger and understudied phenomenon. With the spread of neoliberal ideology and its reliance on racism-marked by individualism, market competition, and privatization-these bastions of community support are losing the autonomy that has allowed them to embolden the minds of the youth they serve. Baldridge captures the stories of loss and resistance within this context of immense external political pressure, arguing powerfully for the damage caused when the same structural violence that Black youth experience in school, starts to occur in the places they go to escape it.

Bianca J. Baldridge

About Presenter Bianca J. Baldridge


Bianca J. Baldridge is a life-long youth worker, educator, and community-engaged scholar. Bianca is a highly sought-after speaker and facilitator given her expertise guiding community- based leaders and youth workers through professional development opportunities to disrupt whiteness and deficit-based narratives within youth-serving organizations. Bianca has worked with a number of community-based organizations and city agencies across the country, including Harlem Health Promotion Center, New York City Lab School, Ohio Youth-Led Prevention Network, and several organizations in the Madison community. Bianca has spent almost two decades engaged in community-based youth work as a curriculum developer and educator working alongside minoritized youth towards educational freedom and justice. Bianca’s experiences as a community-based youth worker in domestic and international contexts continues to inform her research and activism in profound ways. Earning her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s and PhD from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, Bianca is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies with affiliations in Afro-American Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.




Reclaiming Community

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