By Veronica Terriquez, John Rogers, Alejandra Vargas-Johnson, and Caitlin Patler
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).
Since 2001, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)’s Wise Up! program has organized high school students in Los Angeles to address immigrant rights issues affecting their communities. Wise Up’s youth organizing has produced tangible gains. Members build empowered relationships with community leaders and public officials and acquire critical thinking and civic skills as they attend workshops, take part in regular meetings, and participate in campaigns.
This report described how Wise Up! contributes to the postsecondary educational attainment and civic engagement of members after they leave high school. Specifically, it compared the experiences of young adults who were members of Wise Up! while in high school with a group of young adults from similar demographic backgrounds who never participated in youth organizing. The central finding of this report was that Wise Up! alumni were far more likely than comparable peers across California to enroll in four-year colleges and universities and engage in various civic activities in early adulthood.
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.
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.