Mobilizing Youth for Data-Driven Community Change
A new report, Mobilizing Youth, spotlights innovative efforts to help young people harness the power of data and advocate for the changes they want to see in their communities.
The report — funded by the Annie E. Casey and Robert Wood Johnson foundations — shares how local organizations in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) are striving to inject more youth voices into issues affecting youth. This work involves assisting young people with collecting and analyzing data, incorporating their perspectives into research, creatively disseminating results and recommendations and more.
NNIP partners mentioned in Mobilizing Youth include:
- The Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas, which is collaborating with local organizations to provide training — in advocacy, analysis and data literacy — to more than 1,200 young people engaged with social justice issues.
- The Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University and WorkReady Philadelphia, which launched a skill development series for youth — most of them African American — centered on health impact assessments.
- Public Health–Seattle & King County, which enriched its 2018–2019 assessment of the health needs of the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer population via listening sessions with affected youth and young adults.
- Boston’s Department of Youth Engagement and Employment and Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which incorporated youth perspectives into a redesign of the city’s summer jobs program — a move that made the program more effective in matching applicants with employers.
- The Data Center in New Orleans and the Media Arts Department at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, which are helping high-school students use film to explore local data on child well-being.
“Involving young people in data and research empowers them to think critically about community issues and to contribute new insights for addressing those issues,” says Chris Kingsley, senior associate for data initiatives at the Casey Foundation, “This approach can develop an emerging generation of leaders prepared to advocate for change, with enduring benefits for communities.”
NNIP is a partnership between the Urban Institute and public and private organizations in more than 30 cities. It is committed to connecting residents with neighborhood data to help advance equity and well-being locally. Mobilizing Youth was written by Camille H. Anoll, a research analyst at the Urban Institute and a member of the NNIP team.