Latinx Immigrant Families With Youth With Disabilities Participating in Civic Engagement to Promote Social Justice


  • Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar
  • Amy Early
  • Daniela Miranda
  • Dalmina Arias
  • Claudia Garcia
  • Grisel Lopez
  • Jillian Gonzalez



Vulnerable populations are exposed to several disparities and inequalities representing an infringement of social justice and limiting their opportunities to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Latinx immigrant families with youth and young adults with disabilities represent one such vulnerable population. The purpose of this article is to describe and discuss the participation of Latinx immigrant families of youth and young adults with disabilities in two interrelated civic engagement projects aimed at promoting social justice and community participation. First, we will discuss the conceptual framework of social justice that grounded these cases of civic engagement, and then we will describe two case studies. Both cases of civic engagement emerged from Latinx immigrant families as part of meaningful conversations they had with the research team related to healthy lifestyles and community participation. The first case of civic engagement addresses walkability safety, and the second describes a community-engaged asset-mapping process. These two cases of civic engagement provided participants an opportunity to advocate for justice. Finally, we discuss the implications and challenges that vulnerable populations experience in making their voices heard by those in positions of power.