Watch: Afterschool Matters Dialogue on Social Justice in Youth Programming
October 29, 2020
On Monday, October 26, 2020, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) hosted a virtual webinar as a part of the Afterschool Matters Dialogue series. The program was moderated by Georgia Hall, Ph.D., director of NIOST, and was on the topic of promoting social justice.
The segment featured guest speaker Mariana Quintanilla, manager of Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) programs. Quintanilla spoke from her own experience in training staff and organizing out-of-school time programs as well as from the perspective of current research and theory on the topic of creating successful afterschool programs that promote equity, social justice, and diversity.
Quintanilla described out-of-school time as a critical aspect of a child’s life and the crucial importance of program staff taking action.
“It takes more than putting a poster on a window to make a difference. It takes more than protesting to make a difference,” stated Quintanilla. She reinforced that as out-of-school time professionals, program staff have the ability and social responsibility to truly enact change for youth and believe in their fullest potential.
During the presentation, Quintanilla stressed that biases can form at a young age, but they also can be dismantled. She explained that it is imperative to use out-of-school time to attempt to “rewire our brains” to create a more empathetic and understanding future generation and to create experiences that “will enrich [a student’s] life, and that will help them celebrate and recognize the good things and the things that can be improved from a resourceful and empowering place.”
Quintanilla is a fellow of the National Afterschool Matters Fellowship, a one-year professional development and leadership training program hosted by NIOST at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College and generously funded by the Robert Bowne Foundation.