1. Assess the empowerment resources available for young girls and women in the Roxbury community
2. Develop objective tools to engage stakeholders in the process of addressing the gaps in empowerment resources.
Women's and girls empowerment is the transformative process by which women and girls go from having limited power, voice, and choice at home and in the community to having the skills, resources, and opportunities needed to access and engage equitably in society and the agency to control and benefit from economic and social gains.1 The effective empowerment of women results in significant health related advances for individuals, families, and communities.2 Nubian Square in Roxbury is a racially and ethnically diverse area of Boston, Massachusetts. A focus on young women's empowerment in Nubian Square could be substantially impactful given the significant economic, educational, and health inequities that this community and its growing population of young people face.3,4 In the months preceding the practicum work, The American City Coalition (TACC) organized focus groups, designed, and administered a survey to young women who frequent Nubian Square's Dudley Bus Station for routine transit. This study was initiated out of a rise in concern by community members who noted on-going exposures to crime, verbal and physical violence, and harassment experienced by young girl and young women at the station. The majority of the research overseen by TACC was conducted using a Youth Participatory Action Research model. The results of the research were the development of an Empowerment Model with a total of 12 domains divided into 3 categories (Bodily Integrity, Personal Assets, Institutional Structures) and a report entitled Pathways for Girls: Insights into the Needs of Young Women in Nubian Square (P4G). The youth prioritized 5 Key Empowerment Domains out of the 12. The key domains are Safety and Security, Mental Health, Family, Knowledge and Skills, and Social Capital. Youth researchers were temporarily employed by TACC and compensated for their time and contributions to the study.
1. Performed a review of the methods, results, and key findings of the Pathways for Girls: Insights into the Needs of Young Women in Nubian Square (P4G) report
2. Contributed and suggested language revisions to the Key Findings section of the P4G report.
3. Reviewed print, online media, and search engine results of existing empowerment elements in similar communities across the nation and state
4. Attended community meetings, market analysis press releases, visited community centers and locally owned businesses to develop relationships with, gather insights from, identify residents, strategic partners, and stakeholders in and around Nubian Square
5. Crafted formal place- and intent-specific definitions of each key empowerment domain concepts.
6. Operationalized the key empowerment domain concepts by creating a list of observable indicators of each
1. The creation of a SWOT analysis used to aid researchers at TACC in the development of a strategic plan to address the girls empowerment need gaps.
2. The development of a survey tool to objectively assess the quality of existing empowerment programming for young women in Roxbury.
1. Pilot the survey tool and make adjustments where necessary to optimize the reliability and validity.
2. Finalize a strategic plan to address key empowerment need gaps and to improve the quality of existing elements.
3. Provide thought-leadership to strategic partners and stakeholders who wish to craft policy memos, propose referendums, or advocate in any other way that prioritizes the empowerment of young girls and women in Roxbury.
Preceptor: Therese Fitzgerald, PhD, MSW, The American City Coalition, Boston, MA
1. Women's Economic Empowerment. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2020, from https://www.gatesfoundation.org/equal-is-greater/
2. Gender Equality. (n.d.). Retrieved April 27, 2020, from https://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/Global-Growth-and-Opportunity...
3. Boston Planning and Development Agency (June 2017). Roxbury. Retrieved on December 17, 2019 from http://www.bostonplans.org/getattachment/70aaac6d-0459-4b1f-b91f-fe19ba5....
4. The American City Coalition. (December 2019). Retrieved April 27, 2020, from http://tamcc.org/