Great Falls Forum with Andrea Breau
The 2020-2021 season of the Great Falls Forum continues on Thursday, February 18, featuring Youth Studies scholar Dr. Andrea Breau, on the topic “It’s a lot of pressure for us to understand this stuff: Lessons About Race and Place from Lewiston’s Teenagers.” The program will take place from 12 noon to 1 PM virtually via Zoom and streamed to the Lewiston Public Library Facebook page. Register here to attend.
In the past two decades, there has been much media attention devoted to Lewiston’s rapid demographic shift and, depending on the source, either its stubborn “race problem” or its thriving “multicultural community.” In these stories, youth and their behavior serve as a primary gauge for diversity—especially teenagers. They are cast as either the present problem because they “can’t get along” or as a sign that hope is on the horizon due to activities that bridge racial and cultural difference. But what is known about the lives of youth, and their own understandings of race, beyond these media stereotypes?
In her Great Falls Forum talk, Andrea will discuss her research with the first generation of white and Black youth coming of age together in the context of Lewiston as a historically and still predominantly white town. By examining the ways that youth themselves draw on place to make meaning of their past, present, and future selves, her research challenges the harmful yet commonplace belief that youth are either those who need to “be saved” or those who will “save us all.”