Engaged Research Projects

A significant part of the work being done at UROC involves research centered on issues and challenges that face North Minneapolis residents. The research is conducted with the resources of the University and the knowledge and assets of the community.

Click on the research title for more information on UROC-sponsored research projects.

Critical Conversations

UROC’s Critical Conversations is a series of public discussions about urban issues and ideas. It brings together scholars, activists, historians, artists, and community leaders as a "gathering place" for urban-focused research, dialogue, and cultural events.

Northside Job Creation Team

The Northside Job Creation Team set a goal of attracting 1,000 jobs to North Minneapolis by 2019. The team uses research to identify businesses that match the employee profile of North Minneapolis and develops partnerships to encourage businesses to relocate or expand here.

Safe Harbor for All Strategic Planning Process

The Minnesota Department of Health awarded the University of Minnesota's Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, the Advocates for Human Rights, and Rainbow Research a grant to develop a strategic plan to help guide legislators on how to extend Safe Harbor legislation to better support adult victims of trafficking and exploitation.

Sex Trading, Trafficking and Community Well-Being Initiative

UROC's ongoing Sex Trading, Trafficking and Community Well-Being Initiative examines sex trading, prostitution, and sex trafficking with a focus on the problem at large and how North Minneapolis and other urban communities can take steps to reduce exploitation and harm.

Trauma Recovery Project

Minneapolis’ Northside community is disproportionally impacted by historical and structural trauma that manifests in high crime rates, alcoholism, drug use, out-of-home child placement, and lost human potential. Through community meetings, discussions, and work groups, members of the project's six workgroups examined individual and community trauma.

UROC Research Agenda

Launched in September of 2020, the UROC Research Agenda is a framework for addressing themes that community members and University of Minnesota researchers and practitioners identified as being critical to a thriving North Minneapolis and Twin Cities urban core. The agenda and its companion RFP aim to stimulate and guide collaborative research and advance the University's public engagement agenda in three topic areas—individual and community healing; systems and systemic racism; and individual, family, and community financial well-being—while improving outcomes through robust, long-term University-community partnerships geared toward making meaningful change. 

Workers' Experiences in Strip Clubs

This initiative is based on community-based research completed in April 2017, which sought to understand the workplace experiences of entertainers within Minneapolis strip clubs, and to provide information to guide policy. After completing the research, the UROC team was invited by Minneapolis City Council to help engage entertainers in review and recommendations related to potential policy and ordinance changes in Minneapolis.

Young Women's Initiative of Minnesota

The Women's Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) commissioned UROC to design and conduct a research engagement process to create a Blueprint for Action and qualitative findings for the Young Women's Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN). YWI MN is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the Governor’s Office of the State of Minnesota. The goals of this initiative are to improve equity in outcomes for young (aged 12-24) women of color, American Indian young women, LGBTQ youth, women with disabilities, and women in greater Minnesota.

YoUthROC Research Team

YoUthROC is a community-connected youth research team working to develop a public, accessible space committed to youth, kinship, and action in the Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) of the University of Minnesota.