Haitian and Haitian American experiences of racism and socioethnic discrimination in Miami-Dade county: At-risk and court-involved youth

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We examine how juvenile justice-involved youth of Haitian descent in Miami-Dade County cope with structural racism and its impact on their mental health. Drawing on longitudinal ethnography, psychosocial assessment data, and a family-based clinical intervention funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this article explores youth narratives of discrimination prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We use critical race theory and theory of practice to understand youths' perceptions as racialized bodies and stigmatized selves, highlighting the experiences and perspectives of a particular black immigrant group, ethnic beings caught up in the everyday practices of racialization, sociocultural marginalization, and racism. We frame these experiences as a variation of the complex continuum of structural racism and racial domination in the US. These experiences have caused anger, fear, anxiety, chronic anticipatory distress, and hopelessness among youth of Haitian descent. We conclude with some recommendations for therapeutic support that encourages youth to process their experiences, promotes their development of a positive self-concept, and provides them with mind-body techniques to attenuate the physical impacts of discriminatory events. The clinical trial registration number for this study intervention is NCT03876171.


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