The Research Hub collaborates with youth organizing groups and networks to infuse their work with relevant and timely research around the world. Our current partnerships include twenty-one organizations and four networks.
Philanthropiece is a non-profit organization based in Longmont, CO, with branches in Quiche, Guatemala and Baja California Sur Mexico. This organization accompanies local leaders as they create programs and initiatives that improve their communities. Focusing on collaboration, innovation, inclusion, celebration and integrity, this emerging partnership aims to empower changemakers to co-create resilient communities. Representatives from Colorado’s Philanthropiece and Guatemala’s Asociación Filantropis, both of whom work in the Ixil Triangle in Guatemala, are studying the impact of their work with indigenous youth, on education access to university scholarships, and social entrepreneurship efforts with community members. The Research Hub has provided research guidance in conceptualizing the documentation process and identifying measurable outcomes for organizational efforts in Guatemala.
Californians for Justice (CFJ) is a statewide youth-powered organization fighting to improve the lives of communities of color, immigrant, low-income, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities. CFJ covers issues from youth leadership to public education to break the cycle of racial bias in the school system. By activating other young people, this organization works together to lead campaigns for social change. The Research Hub is partnering with CFJ on a radical social dreaming project related to the proposed Schools and Communities First Funding Act. The information gathered will help CFJ lay out a new vision for investing in California’s communities based on the dreams, creativity, and innovation of young people.
The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) works to create equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD aims to build the power of communities so the rest of the country can embody their vision of an inclusive, equitable society where people of color, immigrants, working families, women and LGBTQ communities can thrive together. The Research Hub collected and analyzed data related to school discipline and law enforcement in schools to co-create the city profiles featured in Youth Mandate for Education and Liberation: A Mandate to Guide us From Crisis to Liberation. Earlier, the Research Hub also co-created and co-led a youth organizing workshop in 2019 that drew on cases of youth-led education campaigns in Chile and South Africa to provide lessons on base-building and political education for US-based groups in the CPD network.
Democracy Moves is a network for scholars interested in research and research collaborations emphasizing youth democracy and human rights activism outside of the US. Their mission is to develop, connect and inform youth activists who collectively improve the global state of democracy. Democracy Moves hopes that young people will lead the way to more inclusive, effective, and participatory democracies where all voices are respected and heard. The Research Hub recently collaborated with the SNF Agora Institute to co-host a video call with youth organizing researchers who focus on collaborative research with activists across the globe. This project is under development but is aimed at developing a new scholars network focused on global youth activism for human rights, racial justice, and democracy.
Equal Education is a member-based organization made up of students, parents, teachers and community members working for quality and equality in South African education, through analysis and activism. Equal Education builds understanding of the education system while drawing attention to problems faced by schools and their communities. EE offers a new way to participate in the democratic system and bring change to education and society. After completing an international study of youth organizing with Tafadzwa Tivaringe and Ben Kirshner, EE and the Research Hub have evolved their partnership to focus on co-developing toolkits and training resources for young adult facilitators.
The Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is a dynamic collective of social justice funders and youth organizing practitioners dedicated to advancing youth organizing as a strategy for youth development and social change. FCYO recently partnered with the Research Hub on the Pipeline’s to Power Initiative (P2P) was a three-year evaluation partnership (2018-2020), sponsored by FCYO. This initiative focused on building the capacity of fifteen youth organizing groups to further develop their political and constituent power. Organizations had an opportunity to experiment with new organizing strategies and broaden their theories of change. In addition, FCYO and the Research Hub recently produced 20 Years of Youth Power: The 2020 National Youth The 2020 National Youth Organizing Field Scan which provides an in-depth look into the field of youth organizing and shares findings across several data sources.
Puente Human Rights Movement is a grassroots human rights organization centered on improving the quality of life for Arizona’s most marginalized communities. Their mission is to educate, organize, and empower our communities to unite and build political power in a collective effort to bring about lasting change to their state. We are supporting Puente by providing background research on the topic of mental health in schools, regularly consulting with lead organizers and youth, attending high stakes meetings as research allies, and connecting organizers to leaders and youth at Schools of Opportunity. By working with Puente, we hope to create a world where all people have the right to a good quality of life and are treated with dignity.
Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is a multi-issue organization led by people of color who work for educational equity, racial justice, immigrant rights and advocating for equal access to achieve a better quality of life. Our Freedom to Learn framework is based on the belief that education is a right, not a privilege. The RH collaborates with PJU around issues of "organizing in digital spaces." In 2019, we worked with PJU to develop a youth action research project for their 2019 summer program to co-develop a survey about how youth use technology to engage in political organizing. We also helped them design their Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) Teacher's Toolkit, which provides an overview of YPAR, recommendations, and meeting example templates.
RISE Colorado works to Educate, Engage, and Empower low-income families and families of color to rise as change agents for educational equity in our public school system. RISE emphasizes these ideals to create and sustain the type of empowerment RISE wants to see in communities in Aurora, Colorado. RISE Colorado plays an instrumental role in ensuring that the voices of Aurora Public School (APS) families and students are heard and centered in decision-making processes. In 2020-2021, the Research Hub is partnering with RISE on the Aurora for Aurora project, specifically focused on designing a family and student-friendly survey tool that can be administered in multiple languages to the APS communities.
Founded in 2012, Student Voice is a completely student-led organizing group focused on educational equity across the United States. Student Voice runs under three major initiatives: amplifying students’ voices, creating a sustainable cycle of student organizing, and forming institutional partnerships with students at the forefront. Student Voice programs include the Learning Lab, for students interested in learning more about issues of educational equity and developing organizing and leadership skills; the Organizing Fellowship, for students already involved in grassroots campaigns who are looking to build power; the Journalism Fellowship, for students looking to use storytelling to advance social justice; and the Ambassadors Program, for students who are leading organizing efforts in their communities. The Research Hub partners with Student Voice in assessing program impact, designing web-based professional development trainings, curriculum development, offering speakers with a variety of expertise, and conducting policy research to inform policy initiatives.
URBAN is a multidisciplinary, distributed network of scholars and practitioners committed to articulating and strengthening the collaborative methods and impact, sharing findings, raising visibility, developing career pathways, and increasing the acceptance within the academy of community-based research. URBAN’s Colorado node brings together educators, organizers, researchers, and activists to develop collaborative research projects that address social justice issues. URBAN Colorado is co-chaired by Antwan Jefferson (UC Denver) and Ben Kirshner (CU Boulder). The Research Hub contributes in-kind support to URBAN planning and events.
Thank you to Lucia Sandoval for the photograph featured above.