Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Devin G. Atallah

Second Advisor

Abbey Eisenhower

Third Advisor

Urmitapa Dutta


The ravages of colonization continue to impact communities that have survived colonialism, even after nation-states gain independence from empire (Quijano, 2000). Decolonial scholars have conceptualized the continuation of colonial systems of oppression as ‘coloniality’ (e.g. Maldonado-Torrez, 2007). Central to coloniality is the use of narrative to shape discourse and cognitions which make colonialism possible (Lugones 2010; Said 1984; Wynter 2015). Colonial master narratives are a force of coloniality, which deny Back, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities the right to self-determination and, effectively restrict BIPOC’s lived experiences as something to be constructed “through the eyes of others” (Du Bois, 1903/1999; p. 10-11). In the struggle against coloniality, a critical enactment of decoloniality involves BIPOC communities taking back the ‘permission to narrate’ (Said 1984) through the co-creation of ‘counternarratives’ and ‘counterspaces’ (Atallah et al., 2022; Dutta et al., 2022; Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 2020; Wynter, 2015). Youth-focused grassroots organizations can play pivotal roles in supporting BIPOC Youth in cultivating ‘counternarratives’ and ‘counterspaces’ as critical to decolonial and antiracism processes. This study will use community-based, decolonial qualitative methods in partnership with a grassroots Youth-focused organization in urban Boston to explore how their organization supports BIPOC Youth in the face of coloniality and interrelated systems of oppression. Findings will contribute to understandings of the ways in which educational spaces and community-based organizations can become sites of decolonial resistance processes in the lives of BIPOC youth.


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