i4Y catalyzes innovative interventions, practices and policies to improve equity and well-being for youth locally and worldwide.
Capitalizing on UC Berkeley’s unique combination of 1) Leadership in community-engaged research and the structural determinants of health, 2) Depth in adolescent-focused research, and 3) Commitments to equity and diversity, Berkeley is positioned to be the hub and innovation lab for the promotion of adolescent health and wellbeing.
YPAR is an innovative approach to positive youth and community development in which young people are trained to conduct systematic research to improve their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them. YPAR is a cyclical process of learning and action – research is done not just for the sake of it but to inform solutions to problems that young people themselves care about.
We focus on marginalized youth and the effects of social determinants of health on their health and wellbeing. We are working to understand how social determinants can be modified to provide youth with scaffolding in their transition into successful adults. i4Y collaborates with community stakeholders to pilot, evaluate and disseminate structural interventions that address youth inequities in real-world settings.
Our student training program is designed to provide methodological expertise for multi-disciplinary, applied work focused on youth equity. We train our students with the focus on providing rigorous and formative experiences in trans-disciplinary, real-world, youth-involved, team-based practice, and building cross-disciplinary partnerships for social innovation, human-centered design, and skills to work collaboratively with community partners.
Our center focuses on reproductive health, sexuality and relationships by providing evidence on what type of interventions will provide long-lasting benefits to positive reproductive outcomes, emphasizing the use of YPAR methods in this work, and using this information to aid in the development of new policies targeting youth transitions to adulthood.
Community engaged scholarship is vital for responsive research efforts. But, this line of work comes with an array of institutional challenges. We are currently drawing upon insights from our various partnerships to better inform templates to streamline future community-academic partnerships as part of our initiative to strengthen conditions for community-partnered scholarship at Berkeley.
i4Y emphasizes multidisciplinary collaborations both within the university and in the broader community. We work across multiple disciplines at UC Berkeley including faculty & staff, graduate and undergraduate students from School of Public Health, Graduate School of Education, School of Social Welfare and College of Letters and Science. Our community collaborations span across multiple fields including direct service, non-profit and policy work targeted at youth equity.