Institute for Community Research
Building Youth Leadership Capacity in Food Justice Campaigns

Building Youth Leadership Capacity in Food Justice Campaigns

Food justice garden beds

Integrating Participatory Action Research into Capacity for Organizational Youth Leadership Development in Food Justice Work

The Institute for Community Research works with a network of food justice organizations across Connecticut to develop youth leaders in the statewide food justice movement. ICR participates in the Food Justice Corps, a statewide network that is building a community of practice among organizations that are committed to working as partners with community members on food justice issues. Our role as an intermediary is to promote the connections between youth participatory action research, community organizing, and youth leadership development within the framework of youth-led campaigns.

ICR is collaborating with partner organizations in the FJC to integrate approaches to modeling and participatory action research within existing food justice youth programs. ICR staff meet with FJYC organizations and conduct trainings and workshops on the intersections between modeling, action research, community organizing principles, and youth leadership. ICR supports organizations in their efforts to expand their youth programs and build transformative youth-led food justice campaigns.

As part of the FJYC, ICR staff also facilitates a young leaders committee that unites youth from participating food justice organizations and create opportunities for youth leadership development. The young leaders committee provides a space for youth voice within the decision-making arm of the FJYC network and connects youth working at local organizations to the larger statewide movement.

Project Staff

Dan Jordan, MA
Prevention Researcher/Educator

Kathy Engle-Dulac, MSW
AmeriCorps VISTA Member

Jean Schensul, PhD
Founding Director and Senior Scientist

Food Justice Youth Corps Member

Hartford Food System
FRESH New London
Greater Hartford YMCA
NEAT Middletown
Grow Windham