Building confident and resilient youth to prevent domestic violence
Reimagine Lab: Preventing cycles of violence, now and into the future is a human-centered design lab supported by the Foundation that produced new and innovative solutions to breaking the cycle of domestic and family violence. The lab launched in 2018, with 16 community fellows from diverse backgrounds and from across California from inside and outside the domestic violence field. The engagement of community-based fellows in the development of new ideas to prevent domestic violence reflects the Foundation’s vision for engaging those with lived experience in the design of solutions. The fellows formed teams to develop their ideas for preventing violence with the help of Foundation partners Gobee Group, a health and social innovation design firm based in Oakland. Gobee designed and facilitated the Reimagine Lab experience with guidance from Foundation staff and leadership.
History Reimagined aims to break the cycle of domestic violence and the school-to-prison pipeline by building the confidence, resilience, trust, and agency of at-risk youth. By reclaiming their stories and creatively sharing family and community history, these youth can then begin to redesign their future. The following blog is a reflection from Andrea Jacobo, design intern at Gobee Group, on how History Reimagined prototyped their idea:
Building resilient youth starts with exploring their own history—personal, family, and community. During a conference led by intergenerational trauma scholar Dr. Joy DeGruy, team member Addison Rose Vincent (they/them) was introduced to a 2001 study linking childhood confidence and resilience to knowing one’s family and community history. During the team’s initial research, they also read about the impact of trauma within the home and its adverse consequences and risk of more violence among youth. Young people who experience family violence not only have lower levels of confidence and resilience, they often lack protective factors such as strong connectedness to family, school, and their community, exposing them to the school-to-prison pipeline.
This team learned from the students they worked with and were reminded of the power of storytelling. The human-centered design aspect of this process was key in meeting the needs of middle- and high-school aged youth in Los Angeles County, especially students who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, survivors of violence, and/or living with disabilities or mental illness.
This work gave the team the idea that “our greater community history is our history. We are all connected”—inspiring the essential pieces of history and storytelling in the overall curriculum.
The team continues to develop their annual school-based curriculum through a series of prototypes tested with middle and high school students at various Green Dot Public Schools locations. While they started there, they never intended to limit their scope to traditional school environments.
History Reimagined is currently piloting the latest version of the curriculum at a middle school and a high school. The concept received unexpected interest from an alternative school for adults, so the team has scheduled additional prototypes with parents, guardians, teachers, and staff, as well as formerly and currently incarcerated students over the age of 18 to see how this program impacts other user groups. You can learn more about this team’s approach by visiting HistoryReimagined.org and reaching out to Addison Rose Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ana Rosa Najera at email@example.com Also be sure to check out this team’s video that shows their idea at work in a Los Angeles middle school. We will continue to follow the progress of the Reimagine Lab fellows to share new insights with the field.