“Another Haiti starting from the youth”: Integrating the arts and sciences for empowering youth climate justice action in Jacmel, Haiti


Despite being on the front lines of climate catastrophe, the voices and actions of critically affected groups are often overlooked. The present research partnered with Haitian youth—who are marginalized from climate decision-making on the basis of nationality and age—to explore and address sustainability challenges in their coastal community. Specifically, this study explored processes of individual and collective empowerment made possible through a community-based arts center course that integrated the arts and sciences to position youth as change agents for a more sustainable Haiti. Through interviews conducted with arts center staff and students, we found that the arts were critical in facilitating collective empowerment, particularly towards resisting and rewriting dominant cultural narratives that marginalize Haiti on the world stage and marginalize youth as critical actors for sustainability in their communities. Moreover, we found that integrating the arts and sciences had the potential to empower individual youth by supporting their critical awareness of environmental problems, their capacity to communicate with adults—including decision-makers—and by encouraging their active participation in transforming their communities. Findings of the present study have implications for youth-centered educational programs, collaborative research, and community organizing for intergenerational and climate justice.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v6i2-2p48

Keywords: arts, children, climate change, participatory action research, sustainability, water, youth


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