School of Education News

UW-Madison’s Baldridge to discuss 'Reclaiming Community' at Wisconsin Book Festival

October 07, 2019

UW-Madison’s Bianca Baldridge will be giving a book talk on her new work, “Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work”, at the Wisconsin Book Festival on Oct. 18.

Her presentation begins at 4:30 p.m. in Community Room 301 at Madison's Central Library.

Baldridge, a sociologist of education and an assistant professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies, is a life-long youth worker and community-engaged scholar. She is a highly sought-after speaker and facilitator given her expertise guiding community-based leaders and youth workers through professional development opportunities to disrupt whiteness and deficit-based narratives within youth-serving organizations. 

Bianca Baldridge with Reclaiming Community
Bianca Baldridge will talk about her new book,
"Reclaiming Community," on Oct. 18.
Working with a number of community-based organizations and city agencies across the country, Baldridge has spent almost two decades engaged in community-based youth work as a curriculum developer and educator working alongside minoritized youth towards educational freedom and justice. 

“Reclaiming Community” tells the story of a community-based program, Educational Excellence (EE), shining a light on the invaluable role youth workers play in such spaces, and the precarious context in which these programs now exist. 

Approximately 2.4 million Black youth participate in after-school programs, which offer a range of support, including academic tutoring, college preparation, political identity development, cultural and emotional support, and even a space to develop strategies and tools for organizing and activism. 

Drawing on rich ethnographic data, Baldridge contends that the story of EE is representative of a much larger and understudied phenomenon. With the spread of neoliberal ideology and its reliance on racism, these spaces of community support are losing the autonomy that has allowed them to embolden the minds of the youth they serve.


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