Adolescents globally -- at 1.9 billion the largest population ever -- are facing a crisis in health and wellbeing driven by stark and rising inequalities. Rampant inequalities exist not only globally but in UC-Berkeley’s surrounding communities, where youth experience some of the greatest inequities in education, health, and economic opportunity in the nation. In response to this crisis there is an emerging global consensus, led by the work of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing, that the reversal of these inequalities and the promotion of adolescent wellbeing can only be solved through intersectoral, multi-level, scale-able approaches that are informed by adolescent development, grounded in evidence -- approaches enabled through meaningful collaborations with communities and youth.
Berkeley is well-suited to address these needs through a collective effort across disciplines and departments. The Youth and Inequalities Initiative will work to position Berkeley as an innovation lab for the study and reduction of inequalities, bringing together the best of our research with expertise from partners outside of the academy. Together, we will make Berkeley a global model for creative and rigorous community-partnered science and train the next generation of leaders in conducting community-collaborative research to improve youth wellbeing.