The Sexual Minority Youth Action Research Project of the Youth Action Research Institute trains lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth of color and their allies to use research as a tool for addressing issues of concern and importance to them, their communities and schools. Teams of Community Youth Researchers conducted research on the availability of and access to support systems for urban, primarily minority, LGBTQ youth in two urban areas of Connecticut.
ICR's prevention program in West Hartford is a collaboration between the West Hartford Substance Abuse Prevention Commission, Institute for Community Research, West Hartford high school students and school administration, and community members.
This three-year project built upon 12 years of prior intervention projects that conducted Participatory Action Research for social change and risk prevention, with both youth and adults. The project followed three previously CSAP funded YPAR interventions for substance use prevention, Teen Action Research for Prevention (TARP), Urban women against substance abuse (UWASA), a mother-daughter program and Desarollando el poder dentro de ti, a prevention program to strengthen Puerto Rican families in the context of community substance abuse activities. Youth Action Research for Prevention offered ICR the opportunity to conduct a much needed rigorous evaluation of the process and outcomes of a YPAR program for prevention filling a gap in the YPAR literature.
This pilot study sought to understand the risks and resilience of unaccompanied unstably housed youth living in small urban areas in Connecticut with high HIV prevalence, and to pilot test an internet-based peer recruitment methodology (webRDS) to reach groups of youth who are not using services.
As a part of the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) and Viole-Free Zone (VFZ) initiatives, this project aimed to map out assets in the 06210 zip code of Hartford useful in preventing violence. Young researchers worked in this summer intensive to learn basic research methods and present their findings to decision makers.