The essential role of ABCD in developing two community engagement frameworks for supporting Latinx students

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Marisol Morales


Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is an important framework to understand and develop community-engagement experiences for Latinx students, especially at Hispanic Serving Institutions that play an important role in educating Latinx students. This article presents the conceptual findings of a research project that looked at the community-engagement experiences of Latinx students at an HSI. Drawing on in-depth interviews and critical frameworks for engagement, two models were developed: Prism of Liberatory Engagement and Asset Based Critical Engagement. These frameworks are presented as ways to (1) understand and differentiate the service learning experiences of Latinx students and (2) provide a framework for faculty and Community Engagement Professionals (CEPs) to situate their courses and community relationships, and work from an asset-based philosophy of engagement. The Prism of Liberatory Engagement gives explicit attention to the themes (awareness, agency and action; positive interaction with faculty; engaging sameness, and engagement for uplift) and the significant factors (personal/familial trauma, constraints and previous experience with service) that shape the community-engagement experiences of Latinx students. The Asset Based Critical Engagement model presented in this article provides a theoretical asset-based framework for critical pedagogy for service learning and community engagement that can be vital for institutions, in and outside of the United States, which are serving an increasingly diverse student population.

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Research articles (Refereed)