UROC Research Agenda

The UROC Research Agenda is a framework for healing, equity and financial well-being that addresses three 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 corresponding annual award competition aim to stimulate and guide collaborative research in the topic areas while improving outcomes through robust, long-term partnerships.

2022 UROC Research Agenda Grant Awardees

Cultural Adaptation of Trauma Systems Therapy for Elementary School Aged Latine Immigrant Youth
This College of Education and Human Development project builds on the Collaborative for Immigrant and Refugee Children’s Leadership and Excellence/CIRCLE Project that began in October 2021 to implement Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees, an evidence-based multi-tiered, culturally responsive intervention aimed at promoting resilience of immigrant and refugee youth in Minneapolis Public Schools. Principal investigator: Saida Abdi, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development. 

Investing With North Minneapolis
This College of Design project engages the community in developing grassroots urban designs that express North Minneapolis residents’ vision for their future. It leverages the work of University of Minnesota students and the college's Black Environmental Initiative interns to make design proposals that build on existing assets, identify missing assets and propose desired changes in the environment. Principal investigator: Julia Williams Robinson, Professor, School of Architecture, College of Design. Learn more. 

RIDGS Ethnic Studies Initiative
The RIDGS Ethnic Studies Initiative is an ongoing series of programs run by the University’s Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. A current priority of the initiative is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of one of the most advanced Ethnic Studies Programs in the state, St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS). SPPS intends to partner with RIDGS on an evaluation on its ethnic studies courses in order to gauge the progress towards the program’s myriad goals. Principal investigator: Keith Mayes, Associate Professor, Department of African American and African Studies, College of Liberal Arts. 

2021 UROC Research Agenda Grant Awardees

Is Fast Food Here Because We Want It, or Do We Want It Because It’s Here?
This project aims to investigate the history of urban planning policies and land use designations prioritizing fast food destinations, auto dependency, and a lack of access to fresh foods. In addition, the project hopes to inspect the food justice principles and their application to evaluative tools. Principle investigator: Humphrey School of Public affairs Assistant Professor Fernando Burga.

Collaboration for Resilient Kids and Families in Minnesota
This project seeks to provide both culturally relevant mental health services and improve the school climate for refugee and immigrant youth and families through extensive community engagement and strengths-based education. The key goal of the project is to extend the model to all Minneapolis public schools by the end of 2027. Principal investigator: College of Education and Human Development Assistant Professor Saida Abdi.

Bridges and Connectors: Networking for Anti-Racist Navigation in Education
This project intends to develop an infrastructure as a compass to counter systemic racism. This study draws on the supportive connections between communties to enhance network collaborations to mobilize anti-racist agendas and sustain/retain current and future teachers of color. Principal investigators: Assistant Professor Stefanie Marshall and Lecturer Abigail Rombalski.

2020 UROC Research Agenda Grant Awardees

eHEAT Dataset-based Support Tool for Energy Assistance Implementation in Minnesota
This project will create tools for community-based organizations to identify needs, allocate scarce resources, implement effective outreach in networks of local actors, and provide support for the neediest families and communities. It aims to alleviate “energy burden” by implementing energy assistance programs to households in need. Principal investigator: Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Assistant Professor Gabriel Chan, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, in partnership with Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Minnesota Community Action Partnership.

Linking Historical Trauma, Ambiguous Loss, and Financial Decision-Making Among African American Families

This research project aims to address economic disparities with a focus on African American families in the Northside community and provides training to help improve their financial well-being. The study hopes to alleviate financial traumas experienced by African Americans.Principal investigator: Family Social Science Professor Chalandra Bryant, College of Education and Human Development, in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension.

Operationalizing and Measuring Structural Racism in Minnesota
UROC's portion of the University's broader Multidimensional Measure of Structural Racism project will focus on exploring the measurement of the impact of structural racism in urban communities and also document the ways that Black communities have been and are currently systemically disenfranchised. Principal investigator: Health Policy and Management Associate Professor Rachel Hardeman, School of Public Health, in partnership with local North Minneapolis health care and clinic-based providers.