Eloisa Campuzano

Major and Classification

American Studies & Ethnicity

Faculty Mentor

Stanley Huey, PhD., Associate Professor of Psychology and American Studies & Ethnicity

Department

Dornsife: Psychology, American Studies & Ethnicity

Research Gateway Project

“Stitching a Community Together: Youth as Agents of Community Transformation”

Project Abstract

Previous research, such as Evans (2007), demonstrates that marginalized youth can serve as agents of community change or transformation when they receive support, whether in the form of financial aid or mentorship, from adults. Previous research was conducted with programs aimed towards giving youth the opportunities to create community change, but has not considered how youth-led movements can transform their communities. I utilize interviews, textual/visual content analysis of social media posts, and personal anecdotes to understand how the youth-led art collective Stitches is transforming the community of Springdale, Arkansas. My project was shaped within the already established theories of sense of community (Evans 2007) and the ‚Äúrevitalization movement‚ÄĚ (Wallace 1956). The preliminary findings of my research are that Stitches is transforming the youth community by giving them a voice and a place in the larger physical transformation of Springdale. Yet, this project cannot fully assess the impact of Stitches in the Springdale community due to the 10-week time constraint of this project and the novelty of the organization. Hopefully, this project serves as an ode to the diverse and beautiful community of Springdale.