Centering Youths’ Voices in the Development of Afterschool Programs

Deep orange and bright yellow hues with bold hand-written script that read Centering Youth's Voices represent the vibrancy, energy, and dynamism of young teens

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
4:00-5:00 p.m. PT

In-person at Western
Academic Instructional Center West, Room 210

And Online on Zoom



Check out this video to watch the Centering Youths’ Voices in the Development of Afterschool Programs.

Brought to you by the Psychology Department and the Center for Cross-Cultural Research in partnership with the WWU Alumni Association

One manifestation of systemic racism involves the development of afterschool programs without the voices, visions, and dreams of youth of color. This “top down” approach to program design perpetuates white supremacy and adultism (Bañales et al., 2021; Aldana & Richards-Schuster, 2019), as it considers adults’ perspectives—particularly those of white men—more valuable than youths’ perspectives.

To counteract these “top down” approaches to afterschool program development, the current study uses qualitative data with 675 youth of color ages 14-18 (36% Black, 11% Asian, 6% Latinx, 6% Middle Eastern or Arab, 4% Indigenous People, 4% multiracial) to investigate how youth consider their communities in their visions for afterschool programs. Findings and reflections on critical approaches to youth and afterschool program development will be discussed.

This talk is free and open to the public. Join us in-person at WWU or online on Zoom!

Decorative element
Portrait of speaker Josefina Bañales

Josefina Bañales, PhD


Josefina Bañales, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Community and Prevention Research Area at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr. Bañales infuses her personal experiences as a Mexican American woman who is a first-generation high school, college, and doctoral student from the Southwest side of Chicago with her community-engaged research with youth of color in schools and community organizations.

As an undergraduate student, Dr. Bañales completed the Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP). With the CAMBIAR Collective, her research examines how youth develop beliefs, feelings, and actions that challenge racism (i.e., youth critical racial consciousness development). In collaboration with youth, schools, parents, and community organizations, she co-creates opportunities that facilitate youths’ critical racial consciousness development.

Dr. Bañales loves hot black coffee, singing, and walking at a very leisurely pace.

Questions, Accommodations, and Parking

Contact the WWU Alumni Association for this event. Feel free to call (360) 650-3353 or email if you have any questions or comments.

Advance notice for disability accommodations and special needs is greatly appreciated. Please indicate your special needs on the registration form.

There will be auto-captions available for the Zoom webinar.

Limited paid parking is available in the C lots at the south end of campus. WWU parking details—including lot locations, fees, and campus map—are available here.