first page of report featuring an image of diverse youth holding signs that promote community health and well-being
Social Movements and Governing Power

Building Healthy Communities Youth Programming and Participants’ Developmental Outcomes

By Veronica Terriquez, Jiayi Xu, and Marlen Reyes

As part of the ten-year Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative, The California Endowment (TCE) has invested heavily in youth-serving organizations to improve community health and well-being. Serving young people in high-poverty neighborhoods, these organizations offer a range of programming that aims to enhance members’ capacity to contribute to their communities and succeed and thrive as individuals. Notably, TCE’s investments over the course of the 2010s resulted in many significant youth-led policy victories that improved health in the targeted communities and contributed to youth development. This report delves into BHC youth programs fostering healthy development.

It compares developmental outcomes—specifically civic, educational, employment, and health outcomes—within two broad types of youth-serving organizations affiliated with the BHC initiative. The first type consists of youth organizing groups that focus on engaging young people in leading policy change and/or civic engagement campaigns. The second consists of youth leadership groups, which enable young people to have a voice in their communities and work toward common goals and interests but do not necessarily involve them in the various stages of policy change efforts. In this report, we examine developmental outcomes among a cohort of BHC organizing and leadership group BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) members who were surveyed in 2014 as adolescents and then surveyed again in 2019 as young adults.

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.

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