Research and Action
The César E. Chávez Institute (CCI) faculty and staff engage in studies that include factors of resiliency and strength, as well as processes that empower communities in their struggles for equality and self-determination. CCI aims to bridge academic research and the practice of community empowerment though multiple approaches – including participatory action research – that make their studies and research findings accessible and useful to policy makers, service providers, educators, and community advocates.

Our evolving research agenda

Partnering with community advocates, practitioners and policy makers, CCI researchers work on meaningful projects that create change within our communities.   We employ a wide range of methodologies, from survey and policy analysis to oral histories and literary criticism.  We use research, arts, and action to address issues of social injustice and oppression, and to highlight the resiliency and strength in our communities. 

Our research covers three broad areas of research:



We examine and document barriers to self-determination, and highlighting already-present sources of resiliency and strength.  In our work we aim to build the capacity of individuals, families and communities, expand wealth, foster the leadership and promote the enfranchisement of people of color. 

* The structural dimensions of disadvantage.

* The impact of under-representation on communities of colors.

* How to incorporate communities of color to the green economy.

* Youth Activism as a source of community empowerment and educational achievement.

* The capacity of non-profit organizations in communities of color.



We examine health and wellbeing in communities of color.  Disparities continue to persist in term of access to health care and exposure to environmental hazards.  We aim to improve the health in our communities and to ensure that policy responds to the needs of all community residents.  

* Environmental hazard and the strategies communities are employing to address the issue.

* Latino laborers health care outcomes and access to care.

* Culturally appropriate health care programs for immigrant communities.

* Substance abuse among young adults.



We examine the educational achievement of student color and the barriers to education.  African Americans and Latinos continue to have some of the lowest educational achievements.  We aim to improve educational progress and ensure that students of color have the opportunity for a high quality education.

* Culturally appropriate curriculum and critical pedagogy.

* Retention and promotion of students and teachers.

* Access and quality of education in urban schools.