Reducing Out-of-School Suspensions of African American and African Immigrant Students: Building a Well-Educated Minnesota Workforce for the 21st Century
Nationally and locally, Black students are at risk for unemployment and underemployment due, in part, to disproportionately high out-of-school suspension rates. Yet, few studies have examined the perspectives of Black children who have been suspended, their parents, or educators. An understanding of the meanings of suspensions for these groups would offer multiple perspectives on the complexities of preparing vulnerable students to become productive adults, which is essential for tailoring an effective intervention.
Priscilla A. Gibson, Wendy Haight, and Misa Kayama (School of Social Work) will use a narrative approach to explore the culturally nuanced meanings of suspensions through individual, face-to-face interviews. During focus groups, findings from the interviews will be presented to participants and other community partners for consultation on the design of an intervention for reducing suspensions of Black children in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The research aims to improve opportunities for low-income, Black students to become educated, productive, contributing members of the Twin Cities metropolitan workforce. The findings also will be used as pilot data in a National Institutes of Health proposal to implement and evaluate the intervention.
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