Online Program

“I've done all that I can, and I still cannot get what I deserve”: Using Photovoice to Explore Latino youths' experiences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cruz Nunez, Partners for Youth, Carrboro, NC
Kari Thatcher, MPH, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Kashika Sahay, MPH, Maternal and Child Health, UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel HIll, NC
Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Economic opportunity, educational attainment and health are highly interrelated.  For a subset of undocumented youth, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), presents limited opportunities (i.e. protection from deportation, work permit, driver’s license) for advancement. However, DACA recipients in some states such as North Carolina (NC) do not receive in-state residency for college tuition, a crucial omission that limits educational advancement, economic opportunities and, ultimately, long-term health. Methods: A community-based youth advocacy organization in partnership with academic researchers used the community-based participatory research method of Photovoice to explore the question “How does being an undocumented Latino/a affect my aspirations for higher education?” Five youth explored this question by taking photos and engaging in structured conversations using the SHOWED dialogue process. A youth community partner and two academics conducted an extensive secondary qualitative analysis. Results: Our findings highlight the day-to-day challenges faced by DACA recipient youth in NC. Youth describe feeling “locked out” of higher education because their legal status makes college unaffordable, thus limiting their lifelong employment opportunities to low-paying jobs. Latino/a youth advocate for organizing to make their voices heard to bring about policy changes. This roundtable will discuss youth-generated solutions that emerged from our photovoice study and subsequent advocacy efforts of Latino youth for improving policies surrounding immigration reform to increase educational and economic opportunities.

Conclusions: The voices of structurally marginalized youth highlight our need to build coalitions to advocate for youths’ rights and opportunities. Comprehensive immigration policy is imperative for the health and prosperity of our society.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how photovoice was used to explore the impact DACA status has on Latino/a youths’ every-day lives and aspirations for higher education. Discuss youth-generated solutions and strategies for advocacy in relation to educational access and immigration reform.

Keyword(s): Latinos, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 2 years of youth leadership experience. In addition, I was a participant in a Photovoice project and have gained experience facilitating discussions, disseminating findings and using photovoice to move social action forward. I've had the honor to speak in many events and interviews throughout the past two years to share my experience and activism. Some of the events have been on television, will be written about in books or shown at museums.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.