Urban Sanctuaries: Neighborhood Organizations in the Lives and Futures of Inner-City Youth

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Wiley, Aug 15, 2001 - Education - 288 pages
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Kids grow up in our inner cities trying, in the words of one youth worker, "just to live, just to duck the bullet." This book is the story of exemplary neighborhood organizations - the urban sanctuaries that have given hope to inner-city adolescents - and it is the story of the adults who created and sustain them. The experience and accomplishments of these youth organizations challenge myths about inner-city youth - their capacities, their interest, and their ambitions. The six teenagers featured in this book are not invulnerable children who survive the precarious corridors of their environment against all odds. They survive because of their participation in neighborhood-based organizations that offer them support, guidance, safety, companionship, and opportunities to learn and grow in ways they can accept. Much of the disappointment of past policies and programs is due to a poor fit between outsider assumptions about what is best for inner-city teens versus what really works. Using the voices and experiences of teenagers and their advocates, Urban Sanctuaries shows that the youth of our inner cities want a better life and a legitimate role in society and that they will reach for it when given a real chance to learn the needed skills, attitudes, and values. As Tito, one gang member profiled in the stories, put it, "Kids can walk around trouble, if there is some place to walk to, and someone to walk with." Urban Sanctuaries describes that someone and someplace.

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About the author (2001)

MILBREY W. MCLAUGHLIN is the David Jacks Professor of Education and Public Policy at Stanford University.

MERITA A. IRBY is cofounder and director of programs for the Forum for Youth Investments, an initiative of the International Youth Foundation.

JULIET LANGMAN is assistant professor of bicultural-bilingual studies at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

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