Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education
Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education


What We Do


What We Do

CYCLE provides customized trainings; ongoing technical assistance; convening design and facilitation; and research support to parent and youth organizing groups, schools and districts, and educators. This combination of services and supports is focused on:

  • Capacity building for individuals and organizations to utilize information and skills to be effective voices for equity-focused change;

  • Power building that occurs by disrupting systemic power dynamics that devalue the people most negatively impacted by racial, cultural, and class-based hierarchies and other systems of oppression;

  • Alliance building to ensure that decision-making tables not only include but also prioritize the expertise and experiences of those who are most affected – in education, this typically includes youth and families (particularly those who are low-income and of color), and teachers.



Capacity Building
CYCLE works to build essential knowledge and skills with youth, families, and school/district staff, to substantively engage communities in educational change processes. This may include:

  • Leadership development for youth, families, and residents focused on building community organizing skills

  • Leadership development for school district staff and educators focused on partnering effectively with communities

  • Thought partnership and technical/strategy support to districts, schools, and community-based organizations to identify, recruit, and develop local community and youth participation and leadership

  • Political education that addresses systems of oppression including racism and classism

  • Research support to analyze and present relevant data and policies, and working with constituencies to understand and utilize data and policies, especially when there is evidence of disparities



Power Building
CYCLE works to push for both collective community power and power sharing with schools and districts. This may include:

  • Community organizing training, strategy, and support for issue-driven campaigns

  • Assistance in developing policy options that are constituency-driven and research/data-based

  • Review and development of organizational structures that prioritize grassroots leadership, equity-focused outcomes, and youth and parent voice and leadership

  • Exploration of existing power dynamics through tools such as power analyses and a focus on building relational (power with) rather than unilateral power (power over)

  • Training and support for participatory action research initiatives that engage families, youth, and other community members



Alliance Building
CYCLE works to support alliances within and across stakeholder groups to ensure that families and youth are supported to sit effectively at decision-making tables, and that the experiences and expertise of all partners are valued and leveraged equally. This may include:

  • Developing and/or supporting networks and alliances focused on increased power and collective action

  • Intentional cross-constituency relationship building focused on shared visions of educational equity

  • Helping to bring various constituencies to the same table to build mutual understanding and, when possible, consensus around action and implementation

  • Support and facilitation of inquiry and analysis processes, engaging multiple constituents, to help school systems identify issues and collectively plan interventions that advance equity

  • Convening and research design that draw out the experiences and ideas of a range of community, school, and district stakeholders, to inform policy and practice decisions

  • Facilitation and support of cross-site networks and learning communities