Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Since the late eighteenth century, organizing and activism have been part of the urban landscape, from the labor organizing of Eugene Debs in the early twentieth century to the community organizing work of Saul Alinsky during the 1950s and 1960s. The development of community organizers is strongly tied to local institutions such as factories, houses of worship, and schools. For many youths in Chicago, schools often become the sites of political and social awakening and lead to activism beyond the schoolhouse. Within the current context of urban education scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and community organizers alike agree that the perspectives of youth are essential to education policy and practice. Yet youth and young adults are rarely engaged as creators of knowledge. The present study engaged 14 young adult activists in semi-structured interviews to explore the relationship between their K-12 schooling experiences and their later young adult activism.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.