Generation NEXT Projects
Generation NEXT Projects are a series of projects geared to support, engage and develop young people to make use of research to better understand their environments and make change when necessary. Our projects offer young people tools to analyze and engage inequalities at multiple levels and when ready, IUPR supports youth in addressing issues they identify. Central to Generation NEXT projects are opportunities to discuss, share experiences and explore new concepts of community based research, social justice and community building, while learning from Institute staff, senior fellows and the youth. Our method of “popular education” is central to our work with young people and used based on the assumption that we are all teachers and learners with important experience and insight to share.
Social Justice Living Learning Community
In partnership with the Residential Living staff at UT Dallas, the Institute sponsors a novel Living Learning Community for freshmen interested in Social Justice. The Social Justice LLC, the first on campus to be run by a research institute and not an academic program, exposes interested freshmen to opportunities for service, involvement and understanding of important social policy issues, and the chance to make meaningful freshmen year connections that will shape the rest of their college experience. Members of the LLC live together in the new residence hall, attend one class together each semester, and participate in social justice oriented events throughout the year.
dfwIDEA Youth Ambassador Program
Each summer, a small group of high school juniors from neighborhoods throughout Dallas spend time with the Institute exploring issues of quality of life in their communities. While their research is based in and informed by the dfwIDEA system, they incorporate much more into their work. Their capstone project at the end of the summer is a presentation. This summer, students presented their findings at the Dallas Museaum of Nature and Science. They focused on issues of teen dating violence, parent relationships, and teen pregnancy. Their work also highlighted their perceptions of the differences between Dallas's northern and southern communities.