Welcome to UROC

We invite you to spend a little time getting to know us and learn about what makes UROC tick. UROC is a University of Minnesota research center, but it’s also an important resource for the North Minneapolis community. It’s a gathering place for local residents, an educational and cultural setting, and a living laboratory where the community and University researchers work together to improve the lives of those in urban areas.


The Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center is a unit of the University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement within the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Connect to the Office for Public Engagement»

Nourishing Youth through Kinship, Resistance, and YPAR—Friday, January 17

The University of Minnesota’s YoUthROC Youth Research Team will facilitate a half-day immersion into youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR). This event is for groups of young people with accompanying adults or others interested in learning alongside. Come ready to interact with others in an exploration of examples of YPAR that cultivate kinship and resistance.

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Economic Inclusion and the Promise of Cultural Districts: A UROC Critical Conversation—5 p.m. Thursday, December 5

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, Council Members Alondra Cano and Jeremiah Ellison, and other members of the council have been working on the establishment of "cultural districts" within the city limits. Cultural districts are defined as contiguous areas with cultural and/or linguistic identity rooted in communities significantly populated by Black, Indigenous, and immigrant people of color. Join community leaders and residents in a UROC Critical Conversation discussion of the possibilities and potential of cultural districts in North Minneapolis and beyond.

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Policing in Minneapolis: Northside Voices community forum—5:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 10

The public is invited to "Policing in Minneapolis: Northside Voices," a community forum on the past, present, and future of policing in North Minneapolis. The event will build off a University of Minnesota research project that examines how neighborhood residents in North Minneapolis understand policing in the wake of the Movement for Black Lives and related local organizing.

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Makeda Zulu-Gillespie named U of M UROC Executive Director

Makeda Zulu-Gillespie has been named executive director of the University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC). A staff member of UROC since its inception, Zulu-Gillespie has served as UROC's first director of community outreach since 2009. 
As UROC’s executive director, she will serve as the center’s chief executive with primary responsibility for securing the UROC’s success in all aspects of its work. She will provide executive oversight of UROC’s strategic planning, revenue generation, financial stewardship, organizational development, staff management, and operational activities. 

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In the