The mission of the Youth Research Collaborative is to promote Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) as a counter space for discounted, diminished, and underestimated youth. YPAR empowers youth to work collectively and collaboratively to create knowledge and understanding of the pressing issues affecting their communities, and to resist stereotypical representations of young people and people of color. By working collaboratively to analyze issues relevant to their lives, the Youth Research Collaborative seeks to educate themselves and others, and to include the voice of the community in creating positive change.

We are currently conducting research on the relationship between gang violence, police brutality and media hype. We have analyzed gangsta rap music and news media, and interviewed gang-bangers and community members. Some of our preliminary findings include:

  • Among the 29 gangsta rap songs we analyzed, there are an average of three mentions of violence per minute, per song.
  • In a two-week period, major news outlets (t.v. and print) reported almost four times as many negative stories about people of color than positive stories, and most of those were about gun violence.
  • Our interviews revealed that media hysteria about violence causes people to be fearful, but youth who are involved in gangs are not violent monsters; they also experience empathy and optimism.

In addition to this research, the members of the Youth Research Collaborative are working to create a structured and sustainable YPAR program. The goal is to build upon this research project and continue to conduct community based research about issues we care about.

Mayor Emanuel talks with the Youth Research Collaborative at lunch on Aug 7, 2014.

Mayor Emanuel talks with the Youth Research Collaborative at lunch on Aug 7, 2014.

 

Youth Research Collaborative in deep discussion, with facilitator Brett and Alternatives counselor Dan.

Youth Research Collaborative in deep discussion, with facilitator Brett and Alternatives counselor Dan.

 

Youth Research Collaborative brainstorming questions to ask Mayor Emanuel when he came for lunch Aug 7, 2014.

Youth Research Collaborative brainstorming questions to ask Mayor Emanuel when he came for lunch Aug 7, 2014.

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If you'd like to learn more about the fellowship and how to apply, sign up for one of our info sessions!

Tuesday, October 10, 2023 4:30 PM

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 4:30 PM

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