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The Practice of Youth Inclusion in Community Planning and Resiliency: The Case of Post-Hurricane Harvey

Beth M. Rauhaus and Justin M. Guajardo
JHHSA, Vol. 44 No. 1, 67-85 (2021)

This research emphasizes inclusive civic engagement by including youth participation in creating a comprehensive plan post-Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas. Traditionally, youth are less likely to be included in civic engagement initiatives; however, the community-based disaster resilience model and the public participation process model stress the importance of inclusion in rebuilding, resiliency, and planning processes. Using these theoretical frameworks to guide resiliency workshops with upper-class high school students, this research offers a unique perspective of what youth desire in community development and disaster recovery. Qualitative data was gathered from youth resiliency workshops and summative analysis was conducted to discover themes among youth responses. The findings indicate that young citizens are prepared to engage in local civic affairs, which contributes to a healthier and sustainable community. This study further highlights that youth have valuable and unique perceptions of their community and a concern regarding social equity and justice in community development and resilience.

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