Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Ernesto Colin

Third Advisor

Shawn Ginwright


The compounding experiences of colonial miseducation of youth of color, neoliberal policies and logics in urban communities, colonial logics that render the role of spirituality in social movements as invisible, and adultism in legal and social institutions constrain the transformative possibilities of youth agency in social movements. This study explored (a) how educators working in youth movements can build a decolonizing paradigm and practice for transformative organizing and (b) new paradigmatic interventions and theoretical directions that can help inform a transformative youth organizing approach. The research was conducted through a decolonizing interpretive research methodology (Darder, 2015a) and utilized the interrelated lenses of critical pedagogy and decolonizing pedagogy, in order to gain a historicity of scholarly discussions about the logics of coloniality, social movement theories, and youth-organizing frameworks across various texts. By utilizing the decolonizing interpretive methodology and decolonizing and critical pedagogy theoretical frameworks, this study found that a decolonizing social movement framework for transformative youth organizing calls for (a) creating counterhegemonic havens that create solidarity spaces between youth and adults; (b) building authentic revolution through communion between youth and adults, community-building, and communion with indigenous peoples and the Earth; (c) cultivating a sense of love that sustains community bonds to facilitate healing; (d) promoting healing through engaging in dialectics and dialogue; and (e) creating opportunities for agency and creation to implement the praxis of transformative youth organizing. The findings support the need for adults seeking to authentically be in solidarity with youth to engage in transformative justice practices that help communities collectively heal from colonial violence and engage in a counterhegemonic praxis of creating new transformative and liberatory possibilities in communities.

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