Youth and staff from the Attic, Philadelphia’s LGBT Youth Center, teamed up with Associate Professor Amy Hillier to encourage the School District of Philadelphia to develop a comprehensive policy enumerating the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) youth. After meeting with the School District’s Director of Rights and Responsibilities in November 2015, the team submitted a draft policy for the School District’s consideration in the spring of 2016. With only minor additions from School District staff, the School Reform Commission unanimously passed the policy (252) in June 2016.
Critical Participatory Action Research
After drafting a policy for the School District of Philadelphia enumerating the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming students, our team began interviewing high school youth to learn more about their experience. Associate Professor Amy Hillier and Kel Kroehle, an MSW Penn alum, worked with staff member Phantazia Washington and the youth in the Bryson Institute’s Justice League to secure funding for the study from Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI), through their Community Driven Research Day. The youth researchers are Pau’laijha Sparrow-Kutcher, Rahsaan Galloway, and Hazel Edwards. We chose Participatory Action Research (PAR) as our method in order to ensure that youth were involved throughout the research process, following the PAR mantra, “Nothing about us without us is for us.”
LGBTQ Housing & Lending Profile
This mixed-methods study is coming soon!
Gender, Housing, & Asset Accumulation
According to the Consumer Federation's Review of more than 4 million home loans, single female homeowners were over-represented among risky loans by 46% during the housing crisis and African American women were 256% more likely to receive a sub-prime loan than a White man with a similar financial profile. Dr. Castro Baker's research in this area explores the implications of these trends on a generation of women who experienced extreme asset depletion during the Great Recession.
Writing Group for Trans and GNC Youth
Kelly Writer’s House (KWH) is sponsoring a new monthly writing group for transgender and gender non-conforming youth ages 14-22 that features trans-identified facilitators and transgender and GNC-identified guest writers who will lead the group. The group will be held at Kelly Writer’s House and, on occasion, the Penn LGBT Center.
Rachel Zolf, the Community Partnerships Developer at KWH, and Associate Professor Amy Hillier worked together to organize the writing group through partnerships with the Attic, Mazzoni Center, and CHOP Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic. The writing group is being funded by KWH and a gift to Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice.