Southern California Program

Loyola Marymount University

Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
December 2020

Youth organizing is a form of civic engagement in which young people identify common interests and work collectively to address community concerns.  Emerging research indicates that participating in such efforts contributes to the academic achievement and social-emotional development of young people.  Recognizing the benefits of youth organizing, a group of five foundations launched an initiative in June 2019 to strengthen the capacity of 26 nonprofits across the region engaged in this work.  These grantee organizations have received three years of unrestricted funding and are participating in a peer learning community to increase their effectiveness and become better positioned to serve more youth.  A Keck grant will help support the evaluation of the initiative, which is being conducted by the Psychology Applied Research Center at Loyola Marymount University (LMU).  The evaluation will provide important data on conditions negatively impacting vulnerable communities, what is needed to strengthen and sustain these organizations over time to improve their capacity individually and collectively to address these challenges, and ways in which philanthropy can adapt and evolve to support their efforts to develop and equip youth leaders to inform policy change.

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