Healthy Youth / Healthy Environments

Healthy Youth / Healthy Environments (HY/HE) is a new trans-disciplinary initiative to help promote stronger, more equitable youth opportunities and well-being outcomes.


Healthy Youth/Healthy Environments (HY/HE) is a new trans-disciplinary initiative to help promote stronger, more equitable youth opportunities and well-being outcomes.  In particular, we aim to better understand and improve the settings in which young people live, learn, lead, play, work and receive care. To this end, HY/HE will include four main areas of activity: Networking, Research, Translational Work and Teaching.

While the initiative was launched through a partnership between the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, the Department of Human Ecology and the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Youth, Families and Communities program and Healthy Families and Communities initiative, we rely upon the participation and leadership of colleagues across UC Davis and UC Cooperative Extension.


To launch HY/HE we’ve initiated a scan of campus and cooperative extension faculty and staff conducting related research.

HY/HE launched with a series of speakers who engage young people as leaders and knowledge-producers in their efforts to foster healthy youth environments. Our first speaker was Dr. Louise Chawla, Professor of Planning and Design Studies at University of Colorado.

Our second speaker was Dr. Philip Cook, Founder and Executive Director of the International Institute for Child Rights and Developments--IICRD, based in Victoria, BC, Canada (  Since 1994, IICRD has worked at the nexus of child rights, child development, community development and participatory governance across a range of cultures and contexts.  IICRD collaborates with local organizations (including youth-serving and youth-led organizations), governments, inter-governmental organizations and universities.  Their partnerships have resulted in a range of projects with and on behalf of particularly marginalized children, youth and their communities.

Our third speaker was Dr. Antwi Akom, Founding Director of the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design (I-SEEED) and Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Education at San Francisco State University gave a talk recently entitled "Race, Power and the Environment: Building a Youth-Driven Climate Justice Movement." I-SEEED aims to create sustainable cities and schools so that people do not have to leave their communities in order to live, learn, work and thrive. Dr. Akom's presentation was sponsored by the Community Development Graduate Group and the Center for Regional Change (Healthy Youth/Healthy Environments initiative) with co-sponsorship from the Environmental Justice Project of the John Muir Institute of the Environment.

Our final speaker was Dr. Susan Bissell, UNICEF's Chief of Child Protection, speaking about "The Protection of Children in Our Globalizing World: Change, Challenge and Champions."  The presentation is available for viewing here.


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