Crossroads Collaborative: Youth, Sexuality, Health, and Rights

The Crossroads Collaborative includes University of Arizona (UA) faculty, a postdoctoral research associate, graduate students, and youth-oriented community partners including, Eon/Wingspan, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Kore Press Grrls Literary Activism, Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, and YWCA Tucson. The collaborative is dedicated to advancing research, graduate training, public conversation, and ultimately social change in the area of youth, sexuality, health, and rights (YSHR). The Crossroads Collaborative aims to lead and engage others in an informed and productive dialogue around YSHR.

We seek to generate and enhance discussions at the crossroads between academic disciplines, researchers and community organizations, youth, media, experiential knowledge, and public advocacy and policy.

The Crossroads Collaborative brings together research from the Frances McClelland Institute, the English Department's Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English program, and the Southwest Institute for Research on Women

 

The Need for Youth Voice

Every aspect of youths’ lives is impacted by issues of sexuality, health, human rights and racial justice. Yet, often as the community most impacted, youth do not have a voice in decision-making about policies, practices and cultural expectations that impact their lives.

Youth have knowledge to share and are effective advocates when we listen to their expressive and creative output. Change in the status quo in fact requires increased understanding of youth perspectives and support for amplifying their voices as they speak out.

 

“We are a new generation. We are change, tolerance and understanding. We the youth want love, no more ignorant love.” Enrique Garcia, TYPS Poet

 

What is Crossroads Collaborative?

The Crossroads Collaborative unites University of Arizona (UA) faculty, a postdoctoral research associate, graduate students, and youth-oriented community partners, including Eon/Wingspan, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Kore Press Grrls Literary Activism, Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, and YWCA Tucson.

We bring stories and numbers together through action-oriented research with academics, youth- serving organizations, and youth from the community to develop knowledge, increase understanding, amplify youth voice, and share what we learn with the broader community.

 

“We want to change the conversation, not from above, but by listening and being informed by youth.” Adela C. Licona, Ph.D., University of Arizona  

 

Our Work

In 2011, Crossroads Collaborative received a nationally competitive grant from the Ford Foundation to train students to be sexuality scholars—while working with local community-based, youth-serving organizations to foster collaboration and create more spaces for youth voices and action. Together, affiliated faculty, graduate students, community organizations and youth work to understand what and how young people learn about the intersections of the full spectrum and dimensions of their identities, and what it all means for their health and well-being.

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