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Conducting Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) Through a Healing-Informed Approach with System-Involved Latinas

In 2015, the National Compadres Network (NCN), with over 30 years of work embedded in the Chicano/Latino and Indigenous communities in California, developed a project to respond to the disparities in the juvenile justice system faced by Latina girls. Through this project, the NCN used a healing-informed curriculum (Xinachtli) and Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) to engage Latina system-involved girls as equal partners to inform detention alternatives and reform.

This paper will describe these efforts, provide insights from the YPAR facilitators and youth researchers, and provide recommendations for other community-based facilitators who are considering utilizing YPAR through a healing-informed approach within their own work with Latina girls.