Center for Social Justice Youth Development Research


The mission of the Center for Social Justice Youth Development Research (CSJYDR) is to advance the research on social justice youth development by creating mechanisms to inform the professional development of youth workers and promote transformational change alongside marginalized and vulnerable youth and their communities.

At CSJYDR we recognize that structural and systemic racism and oppression hinder the development of youth and young adults. We take a social justice youth development approach to our research to actively engage in resistance against white supremacy and foster transformational change in the field of youth development and beyond.

We define social justice youth development (SJYD) as an approach to youth development “focused on creating equitable access and opportunities for all youth by actively reducing or eliminating disparities in education, health, employment, justice, and any other system that hinders the development of young people” (Outley, Brown, Gabriel, Sullins, 2018, p. 486, informed by Ginwright and Cammarota, 2002).

CSJYDR Research Focus Areas

  • Youth civic engagement and political education
  • Youth identity development
  • Youth worker professional development
  • Racial equity policies and practices within youth serving organizations
  • Youth participatory action research (YPAR) and youth participatory evaluation (YPE)


Ginwright, S., & Cammarota, J. (2002). New terrain in youth development: The promise of a social justice approach. Social justice, 29(4 (90), 82-95.

Outley, C., Brown, A., Gabriel, M.G., & Sullins, A. (2018). The Role of Culture in Youth Development. In P. Witt & L. Caldwell (Eds.), Youth development principles and practices in out-of-school- time settings (pp. 463-492). Sagamore Venture.

For more information about CSJYDR, please contact Dr. Aishia Brown at or 502-852-5164. Please continue to check this webpage for updates and events happening at CSJYDR.

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