UA Crossroads Collaborative Funding Reaches $1M

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Having already successfully completed the first phase of an initiative aimed at involving youth in creative processes and informing conversations about youth rights, members of the University of Arizona Crossroads Collaborative are entering the second phase of the initiative.

The project, jointly led by UA researchers Stephen T. Russell and Adela C. Licona, was funded initially by the Ford Foundation for two years at $730,000. Since the first award was made at the start of 2011, the foundation has provided an additional grant at $330,000 to fund the program through 2014. All told, that brings funding to $1.06 million.

"One of the amazing things about the Ford Foundation is that it is funding aspects of our work that are hard to get funded," said Stephen T. Russell, interim director of the UA Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

"Part of what the grant is about is helping us to think about the utility of our work and figuring out how we can make sure that it is going to advance the conversation around youth rights," said Russell, who also directs the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families. "The resources allow us to have the time to think about what we've learned and what the implications can be."

In the second phase, the team will continue to address youth voice in research and how it might inform local practices and policies while also continuing to work to undercut deficit-based language that suggests youth are disinterested, ill-informed and unable to make choices about their own lives.

"Youth have had a chance to learn more about the Crossroads Collaborative, and we, too, have learned a lot about what their voices are telling us about what they know and what they need," said Licona, a UA associate professor of rhetoric. "We've built these relationships over the last two years and want to be sure we do something with all we are learning. I am privileged to be involved in change-oriented research and teaching practices."

In developing that practice, the team will be sharing the knowledge gleaned from the first phase of the project with educators, youth, families, other scholars, youth-serving organizations and policymakers, among others, in an attempt to inform policy and practice, namely for the benefit of youth.

Read more from this September 24 UANews article at the link below.

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