Reflections on Multiculturalism, Social Justice, And Empowerment Groups for Academic Success: A Critical Discourse for Contemporary Schools (Extended DISCUSSION)

Writing the article entitled “Empowerment Groups for Academic Success: An Innovative Approach to Prevent High School Failure for At-Risk, Urban African American Girls,” I anticipated that there would be mixed reactions, given the unique and nontraditional approach to working with a difficult and typically underserved population. The development and implementation of the Empowerment Groups for Academic Success (EGAS) approach requires operationalizing the multicultural counseling competencies (see Arredondo et al., 1996) and working toward true empowerment and social justice. Although most of the responses supported these notions, there was some questioning and skepticism about actually implementing an approach of this nature in real practice. I would therefore like to begin this rejoinder by addressing five key issues that impede doing effective work with at-risk and marginalized students similar to the student population that was presented in the EGAS article in order to establish a framework for more direct reactions to my colleagues’ responses regarding the EGAS approach. FIVE KEY ISSUES INHIBITING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EGAS APPROACH WITH AT-RISK AND MARGINALIZED STUDENTS

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