This qualitative study examines how youth of Color with and without disabilities used youth participatory action research (YPAR) to advance a youth-centered conceptualization of inclusive education (IE). We examined data over the course of an academic year, which included weekly video recordings of whole-group and small-group interactions in the YPAR meetings, participant artifacts, youth and school adult interviews, and weekly adult researcher reflections. Using an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, we used inductive and deductive ethnographic approaches to code and categorize data. Findings indicate that both YPAR youth and school personnel contended with a lack of resources, but only youth identified relational tensions with their teachers. YPAR youth re-envisioned an action-oriented school with new teacher–student relationships, whereas school personnel wanted student voice but for academic rather than emancipatory outcomes. A youth research presentation functioned as a critical tool for personnel to re-envision equity through a youth-centered vision. The findings make the case for a participatory era of IE that centers the experiences of historically marginalized youth.

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