California Freedom Summer

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How Our Youth Create Change

Research Training

Research Training

The UCLA CSRC provides concurrent enrollment, through partner community college, courses to train youth in research, data analysis, and data collection.

Leadership Development

Through Civic Engagement and Data Collection, youth are able to increase their leadership skills in public speaking, team building, advocacy, etc.

Participatory Action Research

We recruit and train young people (ages 15 – 24) to conduct community-engaged research in their home communities

You Have The Power To Change The System

Young people have a lot at stake when it comes to the future of their communities and our democracy as a whole. The COVID-19 pandemic, recent movements for racial justice, and climate disasters have heightened the urgency to ensure that young people play an active, informed role in decision-making processes that have serious consequences for our collective future. California Freedom Summer (CFS), a participatory-action research project that will engage the University of California undergraduate students, California Community College students, and California high school students, helps address important questions and debates related to recent historical developments.

Our Call To Action

Through university-community partnerships, CFS trains young people (ages 15-24) as Youth Research Fellows and Youth Action Researchers through 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to conduct voter education and support grassroots campaigns. These student leaders also collect, analyze, and disseminate data that contribute to academic research and informs youth-led efforts.

What You’ll Be Working On

The project included a Winter/Summer 2-unit independent study and Spring ethnic studies coursework to prepare UC students for summer internships. Coursework oriented students to the historical, economic, social, and political dynamics shaping outcomes for racially diverse youth, while also equipping them with applied research skills to examine voter outreach and grassroots organizing efforts. Student training was conducted in coordination with community partners, including YO! California and Power CA.

Engaging Our Communities

Collectively, summer fellows registered over five thousand young people throughout California, hosted seven Youth Leadership Conferences and two community concerts featuring Las Cafeteras and Snow the Product, among other musical groups to inspire young people toward civic engagement.

Why Join Our Program

Promote youths’ leadership in their own communities;

Strengthen linkages among high schools, community colleges, and the UC system;

Enhance the capacity of civic engagement organizations;

Increase voter turnout in high poverty communities;

Contribute to research on youths’ civic engagement as their communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ucla News

UCLA Newsroom, Power to the Young people: UCLA students and others help educate California youth about voting


University of California, How UC students are unlocking the voting of California youth


KSBY, Central Coast organizations partner up to get more latinos to vote


UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Website