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The Latino Community Lab (LatLab) provides a platform for community driven projects with the participation of STS faculty and students in the role of applied researchers. Through partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations, LatLab conducts studies that contribute to development, implementation, and evaluation of projects and programs targeting Latinos/as and other transborder communities in Arizona.
This project is a result of collaboration between the STS and Chicanos por la Causa (CPLC) to support the development and wellbeing of children and families living in the Carl Hayden Neighborhood in South Phoenix.
STS faculty and students worked with CPLC to identify the needs of the Carl Hayden Community as perceived by its residents and leadership; explore a range of social, economic, and physical interventions with potential to reinforce community resilience and create development opportunities; and the production of knowledge useful in the formulation of an action plan to address community needs.
This study examined the way in which public park spaces are allocated among Latino/a and non-Latino/a populations in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, the two largest municipalities of the Phoenix metropolitan area. STS faculty and students participating in the Latino Undergraduate Research Collaborative (LURC) evaluated neighborhoods with diverse concentrations of Latino/a residents in terms of accessibility and the quality of available public parks. Geographical information systems were employed to assess availability and accessibility, and Google Earth was used to evaluate remotely the features and quality of parks.
The study results indicated differences between neighborhoods in terms of accessibility and quality features, but did not find systematic patterns of inequality affecting Latino/a neighborhoods. Ongoing research activities conducted by LURC researchers include an expansion of the study to other cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area and other cities along the Arizona-Sonora border.
The Latino Undergraduate Research Cluster (LURC) conducted five studies that explored educational gaps in Latino youth education in the Phoenix metropolitan area. One STS student project explored the geographical variations in the level of performance of high schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area by looking at how graduation rates and test scores compared across school attendance areas and how those outcomes correlate with social and ethnic composition of the population in each attendance area. Another project looked at which high schools in the Phoenix metropolitan area were most successful in the retention and persistence rates of Latino students. A project focused on parental involvement in the education of immigrant students in the Carl Hayden Community explored the role of institutional, social, and familial factors in Latino youth educational success. Additional projects focused on college transition programs for Latino students.