Collaborative research is research in action, in which researchers, community members, and policymakers respect the knowledge that each partner brings to the conversation so that they might better understand the complex problems facing different communities. Vera’s use of collaborative research will ensure the project is shaped and informed by the people and communities most affected by street violence.

This project is primarily about understanding how young men get help from young men themselves. To that end, Vera is interviewing young men of color ages 18 to 24 in New York City who have experienced street violence. We will also speak with victim service providers and analyze data from the National Crime Victim Survey to provide the needed social context—the range of social responses available for young men of color and the relationship to national victimization rates.

This project is in direct response to the alarming rates of victimization for young men of color. The hypothesis driving this work is that young men of color are not getting the help they need to heal after these traumatic events, which can lead to a cycle of violence that impacts their futures and the well-being of their families and communities.