Chapter 18: Movements forward: finding healing through activism
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Research on youth experiences of social justice activism has tended to adopt a positive orientation, which emphasizes its potential for youth leadership, empowerment, and societal revitalization. Recently, a few studies have complicated this narrative by examining the mix of challenge, stress, and healing that can co-occur in activist projects. In this chapter, we review empirical studies and artistic products from around the globe to explore the practices that contribute to healing in activism, including not just beneficial experiences of connectedness, belonging, and agency, but also difficult experiences of trauma, stress, and marginalization. To conceptualize the complex relationship of activism and wellness, we employ theories of radical healing. We conclude by calling for more research on youth movements that embrace and reclaim ancestral traditions while leading towards new configurations of hope and possibility.

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