Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology
Livia K. Stone
In this thesis, I explore the lived experiences of alumni from City Year, an AmeriCorps education nonprofit dedicated to providing academic and social-emotional interventions to address social inequity in education in disadvantaged schools throughout the U.S. and abroad. Their thoughts and ideas reflect the complexities of working on a diverse team, serving students of color in a nonprofit organization that is limited in its ability to create structural change. Guided by an analysis of historic systems of oppression, whiteness, white saviorism, and the nonprofit industrial complex, I examine how the nonprofit sector operates as a shadow state that is restricted from taking action for structural change, designed to reinforce a neoliberal economic and political system that justifies disinvestment in social services. The lived experiences of racially diverse City Year alumni reflect the tensions between making the most of the service year while acknowledging the limitations of nonprofit work. This project demonstrates that racial identity has a major influence on the service experience and highlights the need for transparent and honest conversations in all aspects of City Year’s work and beyond.
Ficsor, Orsolya, "Experiences from City Year: a Glimpse into the Complex Roles of Racially Diverse Americorps Members and What That Means for the Nonprofit Field" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 1275.