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McNair Scholar 2011Kiarra R McCain

Kiarra R McCain is a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Youth Studies and minoring in Afro and African American Studies.  Her research interest revolves around art as a tool that can be used to discuss political issues with young people. Her future plans include getting her Ph.D. in Youth Development and Non-profit management.

Kiarra R McCain photo
My dream is to start my own non-profit organization that would promote young people to use arts as a means to discuss political or personal issues. I believe that art is a common language and with the proper exposure and motivation, it can be used to create dramatic changes

Research project

Art and Social Justice Programs: Developing Young People

Abstract: Youth are often under-represented in the world of research. Even when research is done “for” them, it’s often not done “with” them; this is where this research separates itself from the majority. “Art and Social Justice Program: Developing Young People” is a project where the youth drive the research, methods and results. The research is done using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods at two arts based programs. The question that drives the research is, “As a young person, do you think arts based programs (like the one you’re participating in) promotes youth development, and if not where can it improve to do so? And what does the term youth development mean to you?” The data was collected through a series of interviews, observations/participation from the researcher. The purpose of this research is to better understand the effectiveness of arts based youth programs and provide useful literature to the programs less effective. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Ross VeLure Roholt is currently an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota - College of Education and Human Development, where he is an instructor in the Youth Studies department. Dr. VeLure Roholt attended the University of MN where he received his BA degree in International Relations/Political Science. After accomplishing his BA, he furthered his education at the University of MN receiving a MSW degree in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Education. Dr. Roholt is very much invested in the lives, wellbeing and politics of young people. His research interest includes youth civic engagement and participatory youth work.