Youth Health & Wellness Programs

Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR)

We are grateful to the Kaiser Permanente Center for Gun Violence Research and Education for selecting us for exploratory project funding to support a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project. This research will engage youth with lived experiences with gun violence in a YPAR, leading to transformative civic leadership and action to reduce youth gun violence. Our research design is YPAR within a Socio-ecological model, together with Autoethnography. YPAR draws upon youth’s lived expertise to better understand the phenomenon under study, in this case, youth gun violence in selected high-violence communities located along the West Blvd corridor in Charlotte NC. By Fall, 2024, we will engage fifteen youth, ages 12-17 in the study of root causes of gun violence, consequences for their community, and violence intervention strategies. Through learned qualitative data collection and analysis methods, they will conduct local interviews and focus groups to gain insights from community elders and share perspectives with peers. From their research and analyses they will formulate recommendations that will be shared during presentations. Youth will document their own stories framed within the socio-political and cultural contexts discovered through research. They will construct autoethnographies to share their personal experiences with gun violence and their understanding of causes and solutions. Stay tuned for more details.


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