An Active Democratic Approach to Reducing Youth Violence Worldwide: Leveraging Technology as Tool for Engagement, Learning and Youth Social Action

By Kirk Harris and Karen McLean Dade.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Much of the problem associated with promoting issues of community safety and resolving matters related to youth violence have to do with identifying the point of entry with respect to addressing these issues. Adult generated solutions often dominate the discourse regarding the causes and solutions of youth violence, while youth are often silent and/or are relegated to the sidelines as third-party spectators to adult musings about what to do. This approach often leads to strategies that are intervention rather than prevention oriented and that typically position youth as recipients of an array of services that seek to “diagnose and treat” youth problems, shortcomings or needs. The developmental journey that youth must embrace to create and sustain collective consciousness and action will require youth to organically evolve and grow in their capacity to assert their self-determination and leadership within the framework of social action, with technology creating the possibility of expanding their reach and bringing to scale youth organizing efforts. This social action must be supported by information, study and research, as well as strategic actions that youth can put into play to address and stem the tide of youth violence that is emerging globally. The delivery of this information and research must take on new and innovative forms that leverage web-based technology that is utilized, embraced and enjoyed by the world’s youth. This paper seeks to discuss an approach and strategy to building youth social action that is driven by a participatory educational pedagogy and supported by research opportunities and exploratory experiences that advance local youth action premised on their growing understanding and learning related to anti-youth violence prevention theory and practice.

Keywords: Youth, Social Movement Technology, Pedagogy, Anti-violence

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp.95-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 601.340KB).

Dr. Kirk Harris

Faculty, Department of Urban Planning, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Dr. Kirk E. Harris is a faculty member in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and President/CEO of Parent and Community Technology and Law Center (PACT Law Center), which is a 501 (C)(3) non-profit corporation that seeks to promote and advance family strengthening and community building through strategic partnerships and collaboration utilizing web-based technology. Additionally, Dr. Harris is the Founder and former Chairman of the Board of the School for Urban Planning and Architecture (SUPAR), formerly a project-based public charter high school for inner city youth. Amongst his most recent publications, Dr. Harris is a contributor to a book on the Hope VI project, published by the Urban Institute, entitled, “Public Housing and the Legacy of Segregation” and K. B. Mclean-Dade and Harris, K. E. “Project SAVE: Creating a global non-violence youth movement through education and technology.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Education by the North American Chapter – WCCI, Special Issue on “Collaboration as a Function of Sustainability for Global Educators K-16”, Vol. 12, No. 1, (2012), pp. 171. Dr. Harris possesses a BA from Rutgers University, an MPA from the Martin School of Public Policy and Public Administration, University of Kentucky, a JD from Thomas Jefferson Law School and a PhD from Cornell University.

Dr. Karen McLean Dade

Associate Dean, Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA

Dr. Karen B. McLean Dade is Associate Dean, Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University. Dr. Dade is the Founder and Executive Director of Project SAVE (Stop All Violence with Education). Dr. Dade is a noted author, educator, researcher and scholar in the fields of cross cultural and creative studies for over 25 years. She has authored such books as, Divine N Promise: A Difficult Journey (2009), Through Students’ Eyes: Combating Racism in United States Schools (1996) and Shattering the Denial: Protocols for the Classroom and Beyond (2001); along with a host of contributing book chapters and refereed articles. Dr. Dade is an Associate Editor for IJME (International Journal for Multicultural Education). She holds a M.Ed. in Administration & Mgmt/Curriculum Development (Cambridge College) and an Ed.D. in Multicultural Education (Cultural Diversity and Curriculum Reform) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


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