Resources that share examples, experiences, outcomes, and reflections on particular community-based research endeavors.

From Youth Organizers to Social Justice Activists? Experiences of Youth Organizers Transitioning to Adulthood

From Youth Organizers to Social Justice Activists? Experiences of Youth Organizers Transitioning to Adulthood documents the experiences of former youth organizers in Boston and identifies the ways in which they stay connected to social justice work as young adults. This report also discusses the challenges of staying connected to social justice work and recommends ways that youth organizing groups can help their alumni stay connected to social justice work as they transition into young adulthood.

This report is the product of a collaborative research partnership between the University of Massachusetts, Boston and three youth organizing groups in Boston: the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project (BYOP), Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP), and The City School. The UMass Boston team included five doctoral students that participated in the Practicum in Community-Based Research course offered in the Department of Public Policy. This course is taught by Prof. Mark Warren, chair of URBAN Boston and co-chair of national URBAN.

Professor Dana Wright’s New Book: “Active Learning: Social Justice Education and Participatory Action Research”

Active Learning: Social Justice Education and Participatory Action Research

Dana Wright (Routledge)

This new book was published in Routledge’s Teaching/Learning Social Justice series. It is endorsed on the back cover by Mark Warren and Pedro Noguera and includes a forward by Lee Anne Bell.

Here is the table of contents and link to purchase the book:[]

Active Learning examines a participatory action research (PAR) project led by young people as a teaching and learning approach with implications for pedagogy, schools, educational policy and education reform and transformation. Continue reading

Professor Ben Kirshner’s New Book: “Youth Activism in an Era of Education Inequality”

Youth Activism in an Era of Education Inequality

BEN KIRSHNER (NYU Press) ($27, paper).

The book is part of NYU’s Qualitative Studies in Psychology series. See below for a blurb. It is available for order from NYU Press[] or other fine stores.

This is what democracy looks like: Youth organizers in Colorado negotiate new school discipline policies to end the school to jail track. Latino and African American students march to district headquarters to protest high school closure. Young immigration rights activists persuade state legislators to pass a bill to make in-state tuition available to undocumented state residents. Students in an ESL class collect survey data revealing the prevalence of racism and xenophobia. Continue reading

New Book on Social Justice Education and PAR

Active Learning: Social Justice Education and Participatory Action Research examines a participatory action research (PAR) project led by young people as a teaching and learning approach with implications for pedagogy, schools, educational policy and education reform and transformation.  This book was written by Dana E. Wright and published by Routledge in March 2015. Continue reading

The Formation of a Grassroots Movement

When the city of Los Angeles banned gas-powered leaf blowers in 1996, the law sparked one of the most dynamic grassroots campaigns by Latino immigrants in recent history. Latino immigrant gardeners, working with a small group of Chicana/o activists, organized the Association of Latin American Gardeners of Los Angeles (ALAGLA), which pressured city leaders to reverse the ban. ALAGLA pursued its objectives by engaging in the political process, taking direct action, advocating technological adaptations, and reframing the gardeners and their tools in a positive light. Turning public opinion in their favor, they persuaded city leaders to void the draconian elements of the ordinance, which included a misdemeanor charge, a $1,000 fine, and jail time for gardeners using the blowers. ALAGLA’s movement can be compared in some ways to earlier immigrant-organizing efforts by organized labor, notably the United Farm Workers and the Service Employees International Union’s Justice for Janitors campaign, but it is also distinguished from them by ALAGLA’s nonbureaucratic grassroots structure. The association’s campaign for social and economic justice shows the potential for collective action among marginalized immigrant workers and petty entrepreneurs in the informal economy. Continue reading

Establishing and Evaluating Equitable Partnerships

In this paper, the authors present two models for establishing and evaluating partnerships. They also provide a working definition of a partnership, propose strategies for identifying resources for starting and maintaining partnerships, and provide several methods for evaluating them. Their purpose is to increase understanding of the dynamics of building stronger, more equity-based partnerships. Models recommended are the Give-Get and Double Rainbow. Continue reading

Participatory Research and Community Youth Development: VOICES in Sarasota County, Florida

This article reports a case study of community-based participatory action research conducted as a community youth development activity, demonstrating a trend toward engaging youth in youth development efforts. The project actively engaged middle school youth in their communities and offered an avenue through which they could contribute to matters of importance to them. Youth are presented as stakeholders in the research process. Concrete strategies for collaborating with youth are described and evaluated. Continue reading

The Crabby Creek Initiative: Building and Sustaining an Interdisciplinary Community Partnership

In this article, we identify the steps and strategies that emerged through an interdisciplinary, community-based participatory research (CBPR) project—the Crabby Creek Initiative. The Initiative was undertaken jointly by Cabrini College faculty in biology and psychology, the Valley Creek Restoration Partnership (VCRP), the Stroud Water Research Center, (SWRC) and local residents of this eastern Pennsylvania region. The paper examines the phases the partners have gone through and the strategies used as the building blocks of partnerships in the process of collaboration: trust, mutual design, shared implementation, joint ownership, and dissemination of knowledge, the building blocks of sustainable partnerships. Ultimately, the lessons learned have the potential to galvanize practitioners to engage not only in citizen science, but also more broadly in the practice of applied and engaged democracy. Continue reading

Developing a Community-Led Education Pipeline

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the University of Idaho Extension, and other community and regional partners have been collaborating on the development of an education pipeline as a result of several years of leadership training in the community. Through their collaboration, gaps in educational services have been identified, new partnerships are being developed, and a deeper analysis of the root causes of the high rate of school dropouts is taking place. Continue reading