Participation in civic and social engagement among community members promotes community growth and strengthens communities and schools. Such engagement begins with creating and maintaining a sense of trust among all stakeholders. Research indicates that participation in civic and social engagement activities in minority communities depended on various factors but the two most common factors are economics and social capital (McBride, Sherraden, and Pritzker, 2004; Nath, 2012; Zani & Barrett, 2012). While there is an awareness of the importance of actively engaging in civic and social activities to support our communities, limited players in this endeavor are the youth. Thus, schools can be a major influence on increasing student involvement in community activities.


McBride, A., Sherraden, M., & Pritzker, S. (2006). Civic Engagement

among low-Income and low-wealth families: In their words. Family

Relations, 55(2), 152-162.

Nath, S. (2012). Civic engagement in low income and minority

neighborhoods, and the role of public investment. Undergraduate

Economic Review, 9(1). Article 8. 1-24.

Zani, B., & Barrett, M. (2012). Engaged citizens? Political participation and

social engagement among youth, women, minorities, and migrants.

Human Affairs, 22, 273 - 282.

Key Take Away Points

  • The barriers to civic and social engagement in minority communities
  • The benefits of civic and social engagement to community schools
  • The importance of increasing minority youth participation in community activities.

Author Biography

The author is an Associate Professor Multicultural Education at the University of Houston - Clear Lake. The author's research interests include the achievement gap, gender equity, and minority student achievement.