Equity, culture and diversity
Communities in the U.S. are experiencing phenomenal growth of ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as increasing disparities. Equity and inclusion are key elements and core values in promoting youth success. Learn ways to develop cultural competencies and create conditions for everyone to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
Comments on this page? Curator: Jennifer Skuza, PhD, assistant dean
Youth Development Insight
Our faculty blog about research, issues and trends in the field. Join the conversation!
Do you want to create an exchange opportunity for youth that goes beyond a "tourist" experience? Or maybe you want to bring together diverse groups within your community for a meaningful encounter? The 4-H Cultural Exchange model provides an avenue to fulfill these goals.
Having facilitated multiple cross-cultural experiences with young people, I've seen the transformative potential, as well as the big challenges that they can bring. I've learned that it's critical to provide intentional preparation for these experiences so that the young people can dive beyond the surface level. Read more about cultural exchanges.
Before you read this, type "Somali youth Minnesota" into your Google search engine. Take a look at the stories that populate and see if you see a pattern.
Did you do it? What did you notice? What did you learn?
I'm not trying to direct you to other sources of information about the Minnesota's biggest immigrant group. Instead, I want to draw your attention to an issue hindering the positive development of Somali American youth in Minnesota. Read more about ending stereotypes.
Reports & journal articles
The goal of this special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Research is to examine how issues related to culture (including race, immigration, and intersecting dimensions) matter to the effectiveness of afterschool programs and staff practices. 2017.
This article provides immediate action steps, introducing six strategies that comprise an action agenda for youth development professionals in OST settings to fight discrimination and help youth value their own and others’ identities. 2017.
In this commentary, the author reflects on our ability to improve social skill growth among trauma-exposed children and reinforces the importance of continuing to link positive youth development to the tenets of program quality and self-transformation. 2017.
This paper is included in Moving Youth Work Practice Forward: Looking Back to Move Forward, a collection of working papers produced by the NorthStar Youth Worker Fellowship. 2016.
Investing to Improve the Well-Being of Vulnerable Youth and Young Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice
This publication explores the important role and responsibility of each youth-serving system in supporting well-being for youth and young adults and presents a new framework for well-being for young people, highlighting the various domains of well-being and the role of families, communities, and public systems in supporting well-being. It also includes a series of concrete and actionable recommendations for youth system leaders, policymakers, and public and private funders for improving policy and practice to support the well-being of youth who are transitioning to adulthood. 2015.
Socialization of Culture and Coping with Discrimination Among American Indian Families: Examining Cultural Correlates of Youth Outcomes
This study examines the interrelations between observed parental cultural socialization and socialization of coping with discrimination, and youth outcomes among a sample of 92 American Indian adolescents and their parents in a rural reservation. 2015.
This publication looks at 4-H programming in remote rural Alaska. It highlights the importance of establishing 4-H programs within the context of culture, language and spirituality, building relationships outside of the village and promoting youth leadership. 2014.
Exploring socio-cultural factors that mediate, facilitate, & constrain the health and empowerment of refugee youth
This article contributes to a better understanding of how refugee youth themselves define and contextualize health, with particular emphasis given to socio-cultural factors that enable or constrain health promotion efforts and individual health agency. 2014.
Youth Development Through Mentorship: A Los Angeles School-Based Mentorship Program Among Latino Children
This article describes the development and evaluation of the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), a sustainable, high-quality, SBM program among urban Latino students in Los Angeles. 2014.
Although the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires accommodations for individuals with disabilities in community settings, many out-of-school time (OST) programs struggle to successfully support youth with special needs. Based on the premise that inclusion is beneficial for children with and without special needs, this study explores the role of OST providers in successfully supporting youth with special needs. 2012.
The After-School Needs and Resources of a Low-Income Urban Community: Surveying Youth and Parents for Community ChangeUsing a collaborative research approach, this project describes a partnership between community residents and university researchers to develop a comprehensive survey of the after-school needs of a low-income urban community in a large Midwestern city. 2010.
Journal article on how the effectiveness of mentoring programs may be affected by each protege's culture, age and gender. 2006.
Understanding the experiences of immigrant adolescents: Acculturation is not the same as assimilation
This book chapter provides a deeper understanding of acculturation and what it means to immigrant adolescents. 2005.
What we're reading
From journals and the popular media. Selected by our culture & diversity professor Jennifer Skuza.
- Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide | Torie Weiston-serdan
- Beyond resistance: Youth activism and community change: New democratic possibilities for practice and policy for America's youth | Shawn Ginwright, Julio Cammarota, Pedro Noguera
- An Equity Action Agenda for Youth Development Professionals | Jennifer Siaca Curry, Ed.D.
- The Mental and Physical Health of Homeless Youth: A Literature Review | Edidin, et. al. | Child Psychiatry & Human Development
- Identity Profiles in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth: The Role of Family Influences | Bregman, et. al. | Journal of Youth and Adolescence
- Promoting Positive Youth Development and Highlighting Reasons for Living in Northwest Alaska Through Digital Storytelling | Wexler, et. al. | Health Promotion Practice
- Inclusive anti-bullying policies and reduced risk of suicide attempts in lesbian and gay youth | Hatzenbuehler, Keyes | Journal of Adolescent Health
- Culturally responsive 4-H youth development in southeast Alaska | University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension
- Progressive Education, After-School Programs and their Impact on the Lives of African American Males: An Introduction | Savage | Peabody Journal of Education
- Youth Development Through Mentorship: A Los Angeles School-Based Mentorship Program Among Latino Children | Coller, Kuo | Journal of Community Health
Diversity & inclusion short films
The Extension Center for Youth Development diversity and inclusion shared learning cohort provided a year-long staff development opportunity to 15 staff members. The cohort focused on a digital media campaign to facilitate the transformation process within the organization as it strives to serve more diverse audiences across the state. Topics of the films include building partnerships across cultures, culturally responsive youth-adult partnerships, serving youth with disabilities, religious inclusion and working with immigrant youth.
Our past presentations
What is your definition of American Indian? (YD Brown Bag Webinar Series)
Explore our own cultural biases and learn how culturally responsive youth work practices can create a sense of belonging and empowerment in children and youth in our programs. 2016.
Culturally Responsive Youth Work Matters (YD Brown Bag Webinar Series)
Explore our own cultural biases and learn how culturally responsive youth work practices can create a sense of belonging and empowerment in children and youth in our programs. 2012.
An overview of research about the effects of gender, age, ethnicity and culture on mentoring. Sanchez provides examples of how these factors may have different influences on outcomes for specific groups of youth. 2007.
- Minnesota 4-H: Tolerance and equity
- University of Minnesota: Equity and diversity resource guide
- Freechild Youth Consulting: Youth equity
- Children, Families, and Youth Development: Racial equity tools
- Sprockets: Talking to youth about racism and violence
- Teaching tolerance
- The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Equity and Inclusion
- Equity Alliance MN: Resources to help address equity issues and have conversations