YWFC’s Freedom Research Institute formalized our historic work collecting and analyzing our own data on our own experience so that we can tell our own stories and identify and promote our own solutions. The Freedom Research Institute uses participatory, community-driven research as a tool for social and political transformation. It is committed to decolonizing traditional academic methods by centering the voices of those most impacted by systemic violence. The Institute practices a collaborative, ethical model of research that can be replicated to drive local, state, and national policy. We provide opportunities and training for system-impacted youth to lead research and become experts in the field of justice reform. Our work investigates how marginalized communities navigate ecosystems of criminalization such as juvenile and adult justice, housing, foster care, and education to create opportunities for the most impacted to achieve self-determined futures.
Produce knowledge by those most impacted
Shift the narrative on who can be considered an expert
Work with system stakeholders to directly influence policy and practice
Use findings to support organizing and advocacy work of community-based organizations
Bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds to work together in collaborative teams
Address traditional power dynamics by questioning knowledge production and the purpose of research
Through their Eyes: Stories of Reflection, Resistance, and Resilience on Juvenile Incarceration from San Francisco cis and trans young women, trans young men, and gender-expansive youth
A research report that illuminates the experiences of 51 system-impacted cis and trans young women, trans men and young men, and gender-expansive youth who experienced the juvenile delinquency system, incarceration, and probation in San Francisco.
A Radical Model for Decriminalization: Centering the Lives of San Francisco system-involved cis and trans young women, trans men and young men, and gender-expansive youth and adults – a participatory and decolonizing model,
A research report that explores and understands how system-involved people navigate multiple governmental systems: housing, healthcare, judicial, and the job market to create self-determined futures.