Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

John Ungerleider


In this paper, I consider the impact of positive youth development in the lives of Black youth, in the Historic Near East Side of Columbus, OH. More specifically, I examine initiatives centered in cultural arts, holistic support, and African centered education in order to identify positive trends impacting urban Black youth. My research is guided by the question: How are Black youth impacted by urban development in a historic African-American neighborhood?

The Near East Side(NES) is a distinguished neighborhood, and in the past laid the foundation for some of the most prominent and successful African American owned businesses in Columbus, Ohio. In the present, it still holds onto its historical and cultural significance, it is home to one of oldest National Urban League affiliates and continues to host multicultural and renowned artists from all over the world at the Lincoln Theater. Similar to other historic African American neighborhoods across the country, the Near East Side was subjected to both racial and social exclusion in order to promote urban renewal projects, which played a large role in the destruction of the community (Columbus Urban League).

This research aims to provide examples of theories and practices grounded in cultural and historical preservation pedagogy by linking them to positive youth development trends impacting Black youth. The literature review is comprised of case studies, annual reports, community observations and an in-depth interview, as well as my personal experience working and serving as both a Program Coordinator at the Columbus Urban League and a community organizer.


African American Studies | Art Education | Art Practice | Creative Writing | Educational Psychology | Political History | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Social History


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