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Exploring (r)evolutionary college-going literacies with immigrant youth in a youth participatory action research (YPAR) seminar

Danielle Filipiak (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)
Limarys Caraballo (Department of Arts and Humanities and Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 28 June 2023

Issue publication date: 31 July 2023




This paper aims to examine critical, college-going identities and literacies of first-generation immigrant youth within a dual enrollment, youth participatory action research seminar.


This study is a qualitative case study drawn from a larger, critical ethnographic study.


Findings illustrate that youth’s multiple literacies, forged in a deliberately intergenerational and relational space, served as a powerful site of analysis as well as a means to disrupt restrictive definitions of success, supporting youth’s worldmaking amidst the construction and negotiation of new and critical “academic” identities grounded in the familial, cultural and historical knowledges that their inquiries surfaced.


This research attends to the transformative power afforded by humanizing collectives that center youth voices and perspectives, specifically those of first-generation immigrant students.



The authors are grateful to the Cyphers for Justice youth and adult allies who have graced us with their passion and participation, and for the ongoing support of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME). Thank you also to the anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback. Authors are especially indebted to Daniela Francisco (in memoriam) for her vision and commitment to social justice in the CUNY College Now program, and to Craig Michaels (Queens College Dean of Education, 2012?2020), without whom the College Now cohort of Cyphers for Justice would not have been possible.

Funding: This work was supported by the School of Education at Queens College and the College Now Program at the City University of New York (CUNY) as well as the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, Columbia University.


Filipiak, D. and Caraballo, L. (2023), "Exploring (r)evolutionary college-going literacies with immigrant youth in a youth participatory action research (YPAR) seminar", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 349-367.



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