first page of report featuring a data table of the number of youth programs per Build Healthy Communities site
Social Movements and Governing Power

June 2016

By Veronica Terriquez and Abdiel Lopez

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

Initiated in 2010 by The California Endowment (TCE), the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative has sought to increase access to resources that promote health and well-being in 14 low-income communities across the state. A key component of this 10-year initiative has been to support youth leadership and youth organizing efforts so that young people can play a role in advancing community health. In line with this objective, TCE has funded organizations that take a broad range of approaches to engaging youth in the goals of the BHC initiative.

This report inventories youth programming at the BHC initiative’s five-year midpoint. Drawing on web-survey data collected from the staff of 132 youth-serving organizations across the state, this report describes the characteristics of youth organizations and their participants. It also lists key community issues that youth organizations are seeking to address and describes youths’ roles in grassroots efforts. Overall, this report illustrates the breadth of the BHC youth programming and takes stock of the initiative’s investments in developing the capacity of young people to care for their own well-being and that of their communities. The findings presented here build on earlier evidence that demonstrated how BHC-affiliated youth programs have contributed to the healthy development of participants, fostered a collective commitment to community well-being, and produced tangible campaign victories that seek to reduce health-related disparities.

Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

    a view of the Los Angeles skyline