What We Do
Freedom Research Institute
We provide opportunities and training for system-impacted youth to lead research and become experts in the field of justice reform.
YWFC’s Freedom Research Institute formalized our historic work collecting and analyzing our own data on our own experience so that we can tell our own stories and identify and promote our own solutions. The Freedom Research Institute uses participatory, community-driven research as a tool for social and political transformation. It is committed to decolonizing traditional academic methods by centering the voices of those most impacted by systemic violence. The Institute practices a collaborative, ethical model of research that can be replicated to drive local, state, and national policy.
We provide opportunities and training for system-impacted youth to lead research and become experts in the field of justice reform. Our work investigates how marginalized communities navigate ecosystems of criminalization such as juvenile and adult justice, housing, foster care, and education to create opportunities for the most impacted to achieve self-determined futures.
YWFC’s COVID-19 Emergency Housing Program was one such leap of faith and is a testament to the fact that such bold efforts are often required to produce our movement’s greatest successes. This report is a small window into our experience providing safe and supportive emergency housing differently with our communities during uncertain times.
We know that as a community we can do better for young people. Young people deserve better from us as a society. All young people deserve to be nourished and loved and should be able to grow up free of systems that criminalize them and demean their humanity. With this report, we honor the brilliance and power of young people impacted by mass incarceration and racist systems of oppression. We see you. We stand by you. We fight alongside you for a free and joyous future.
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