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Our Projects

Justice-Oriented Youth Education Lab

Since its founding in 2019, projects in the JoY Lab have been unified by a human-centered approach to research inspired by our mission to advance justice in all its forms. Collaborations with community partners have led to two major lines of work thus far.

One focus area has been around the experiences of Black women in STEM and STEAM. We have several ongoing research projects which investigate the ecologies of access and persistence for Black women in the STEM/STEAM fields.

The second focus area has been around place-based concerns and interests voiced by residents of West Philadelphia. Through multiple youth-led and community-driven participatory action research (CDPR) projects, we investigate how various sociopolitical forces have acted upon and through the P-20 educational institutions located in West Philadelphia.

Black Women in STEM and STEAM

bgsd JoY Lab BGSD

Black Girls STEAMing Through Dance

Black Girls STEAMing through Dance (BGSD) is a transdisciplinary after-school program for 7–12-year-olds that engages Black Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math-related activities.

engaging-women-in-engineering JoY Lab EngWINS

Engaging Women in Engineering

The Engineering Women in Natural Sciences (EngWINS) program is an out-of-school STEM program for high school women of color where students learn about the engineering design process, coding basics, and participate in summer internships with engineering professionals.

women-in-natural-sciences JoY Lab WINS

Women in Natural Sciences: A Longitudinal Comparative Case Study of Black Women in STEMM

This comparative longitudinal study examines the life trajectories among 20 years (1995-2015) of Black women who participated in and did not participate in the Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) out-of-school STEM program in Philadelphia.

West Philadelphia Youth and Community-Driven Participatory Action Research Projects

West-Phila-Community-Dialogue-Project WPCDP Joy Lab

West Philadelphia Community Dialogue Project

The West Philadelphia Community Dialogue Project identify, supports, trains, and equips community leaders to address issues related to race and racism through an asset-based participatory and civic action research approach to empower the community.

West-Phila-HS-Preservation-Intergenerational-Cultural-Heritage JoY Lab WPHS

West Philadelphia High School-Preservation, Intergenerational, Cultural Heritage

This preservation project is in partnership with West Philadelphia High School and their active Alumni Association to preserve the history, beauty, and significance of the African American ties to the school and community by engaging in an intergenerational, people-centered cultural preservation movement.

Anti-Displacement JoY Lab AmeriCorps Project

Anti-Displacement: The Untapped Potential of University-Community Cooperative Living

This Community-driven Participatory Action Research (CPAR) study brings together an intergenerational university-community research team to investigate the landscape of residential displacement and affordable housing options in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone.

Arts-centered-Community-Action JoY Lab AmeriCorps Project 2

Arts-centered Community Action

This community-driven study examines how intergenerational arts programming can strengthen civic engagement and catalyze civic innovation towards transformative solutions.

Placekeeping JoY Lab NSF project

Placekeeping: A Co-designed Model for Intergenerational Co-housing and Coalition Building

The purpose of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate the Second Story Collective (2SC) arts-centered model for intergenerational co-housing as an anti-displacement and aging-in-place strategy for equitable development, particularly for historically marginalized Black communities.