Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Melissa Nemon


Youth voice is often excluded from important community conversations regarding social issues. Most individuals do not know how to engage in such complex topics with youth and often find themselves silencing youth or staying silent themselves when it comes up in discussions. This project was created in an effort to determine if art can be used as an effective mechanism for engaging youth in these critical conversations. A month-long program was created and implemented with eleven youth members and culminated in a final showcase where the youth shared their perceptions on racism with community members. The goal was to discover whether or not community members felt that art was an effective tool to engage youth and if they had something valuable to contribute to the conversation. Findings suggest that the majority of attendees not only agreed that the art was an effective way to convey their messages, but also that the youth had something important to share about racism. Furthermore, attendees strongly agreed that they will include youth in these conversations in the future. Therefore, this project is evidence that art can be used as a powerful mechanism for community conversations and a safe way to engage youth in them.