• Posted on: October 26, 2012

EOYDC’s Youth Researchers present at the American Public Health Association (APHA)

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For Immediate Release: October 22, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

430 pm-600pm
Moscone Convention Center West, 800 Howard Street San Francisco, CASouth Esplanade Ballroom 307
MOAD Reception 6pm-8pm
685 Mission Street San Francisco CA 

From Data to Action: Youth and Adult Co-Researchers

Take Their Findings on the Road

From 2009-2011, youth and staff leaders from the East Youth Development Center (EOYDC) participated in a engaged qualitative research student based in and about their inner-city neighborhood. Many of the youth were eager to find out what happened once their words went from the tape recorder to the page. As a result, these youth collaborated with the “academic” adult researcher to form a research collective called ”My Identity is Community” or MiC, in which they created poetic texts from their interview data in order to make sense of their everyday lives and their home, school and neighborhood environments. In May 2011, these poetic texts were co-published by the youth in the form of a poetry anthology entitled, ”YU Gotta Call it Ghetto?” Since then, the youth leaders-turned-researchers-turned published authors have literally taken their data on the road, presenting at academic conferences, City Hall, the State Capitol, community events, town hall meetings, public libraries, bookstores, and doing television interviews. Poetry and other expressive mechanisms have been shown to draw out powerful emotions from historically under-represented groups that other methodologies might not be able to capture. As co-researchers in the study, ’s youth leaders are acknowledged as “experts” on issues pertaining to their own neighborhood. This presentation gives the youth-adult research team another MiC with which to share their findings. 


East youth challenge stereotypes of their generation and their neighborhoods and offer their eye witness opinions in new poetry anthology

Oakland, CA– “Successful,” “smart,” “blessed,” “caring,” and “helping the community,” are some of the top responses that nearly 30 middle school, high school, and college-aged youth from East answered in response to the question “describe who or what you want to be in the future.”  These youth, hailing from the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), took part in the Routes to Resilience research project, spearheaded by LeConté Dill, doctoral candidate at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.  These youth live, go to school, and work in the “killer corridor” of East Oakland.  Confronted by risks and stressors in their homes and communities on a daily basis, they still have a huge sense of hope for their lives. 

In addition to participating in interviews, and data analysis, the young people participated in a poetry workshop series that resulted in 95-page book entitled “Y U Gotta Call It Ghetto?”  Their poems center around the themes of coping with violence, seeking refuge at EOYDC, and relying on their faith.  In the poetry anthology, as the title suggests, they ask the reader ‘why do you gotta call it ghetto?’  The ‘it,’ up for interpretation, can refer to East Oakland, or Black or Latino youth, often relegated to negative stereotypes.

Y U Gotta Call It Ghetto, can be purchased by contacting EOYDC directly, Marcus Book Stores, or borrowed from the Public Library. 

YU Gotta Call it Ghetto website EOYDC has been serving youth and families in East since 1978.  For more information call (510) 569-8088 or visit www.eoydc.org


“The spirit of the young people of EOYDC is felt deeply on the pages of this book of poetry.  Y U Gotta Call It Ghetto? is the testimony of the life that is theirs now, their longing for what they know it should be, and their conviction that they will not be trapped by circumstances they did not create.  I’m very proud of these young people and the honesty they express on these pages—some profound and hopeful; others basic and raw, but never defeated.  This book is an example of the opportunity for good that is just waiting to be cultivated in our young.  And it should get the attention of us all.”

-Pam Moore, Anchor, KRON 4


I Come From

I come from God

I come from my wonderful family and friends

I come from my ancestors

I come from East

I come from poverty

I come from dirty streets

I come from violence

I come from independence

I come from false advertisement

I come from EAST OAKLAND!!

-Sha’Quea Pratt


They assume that

every teen


is gang affiliated

a criminal

a dropout

But that’s not the case

Genesis Preciado


Jackson, President & CEO


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