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Abstract

This qualitative study examines the progress of a rural New Jersey school in addressing longstanding racial conflict after implementing a Youth Participatory Action Research project two years prior. Here we take up the thread as students continued to develop activities meant to increase awareness of ongoing issues, and as adults used professional development time to model best practices in managing racialized interactions. Eight teachers and staff not originally involved and nine students who had been directly involved were interviewed and a student focus group conducted. All participants agreed that progress had been made though issues around curriculum and discipline remained. Both the adults and the students engaged in considerable self-reflection about their roles. Adults reported the impact of hearing the students’ voices on school practices, and students discussed how their roles as researchers and peer leaders had contributed to their standing as experts.

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