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Bianca Baldridge
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Bianca Baldridge

Harvard University

Fellowship year

2024 - Harvard University - Study 36

During her time at CASBS, Bianca Baldridge will complete her second book, tentatively titled, The Youthwork Paradox: Shaping Black Futures in an Anti-Black World. Her book examines the essential role of youth work professionals in the fabric of American social, political, economic, and educational life. She demonstrates how the labor of youth workers is often hidden within a powerful and rewarding field that is also unstable and paradoxical, thereby creating layers of precarity in youth workers’ personal and professional lives. Based on nearly 100 interviews with Black youth workers in the US, Baldridge illustrates how this precarity is exacerbated for Black youth workers. The Youthwork Paradox examines how Black youth workers navigate the profession while supporting Black youths’ educational trajectories and futures amid anti-Black racism and injustice.

Baldridge is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a sociologist of education with expertise in race and community-based education. Baldridge’s research explores the sociopolitical context of community-based youth work and examines the confluence of race, class, and gender and their impact on community-based spaces. 

She is the author of Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work (Stanford University Press, 2019) and leads the Critical Youthwork Collective, an engaged research lab committed to humanizing research, critical youth work pedagogies, and honoring youth work professionals. 

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