See below for resources on arts for social change, youth and leadership development, participatory action research, and more!


leadership at the threshold - by clara (Waloff) parker

What experiences do youth have in the process of emergent leadership development? And what can the adults around them learn from those experiences? Divided into chapters on the arts, voice and agency, and mentoring relationships, this volume identifies opportunities for “enhanced participation” in areas that lead to the development of leadership capacity.



enhanced participation - by clara (waloff) parker

The term “leadership” appears frequently in the language and literature of youth development, and for many after-school programs it is one of many expected developmental outcomes for youth. What characterizes youth leadership development? What do youth participants identify as its key elements? Turning to youth who have been identified as leaders, this article looks at what they have to say about their own experience as emerging leaders.


the ART-IVATE TOOLKIT - by clara (waloff) parker, jlove calderón, and frances lucerna

How can the ARTS and CREATIVE EXPRESSION be used as powerful tools for learning and engagement? How can the passion found in creativity move participants from inspiration to action as leaders for social change? This toolkit was designed to share one of El Puente’s core frameworks in the area of arts and social justice – The Creative Justice Approach – which has been honed through 30+ years of practice. The Global Justice Institute works to codify and clarify all of El Puente’s best practices AND to translate those practices for use in the wider field.


THE ART-IVATE SERIES: A CASE STUDY - by jana lynne umipig, edited by clara (waloff) parker, jlove calderón, and frances lucerna,

El Puente infuses into its arts practice a commitment to social justice and culturally relevant education. “For the sake of what?” is a guiding question at El Puente, and the arts play a major role in raising consciousness in youth about issues impacting them. El Puente’s mission is to “inspire and nurture leaders for peace and justice.” This case study will share how one teaching artist and group of youth members were able to use El Puente’s codified practice of integrated arts and social justice education – a framework we call The Creative Justice Approach – to work toward that mission in the movement of racial justice.


Prepare for action! an implementation guide for facilitators of participatory action research

- by clara parker (in partnership with montgomery county collaboration council for children, youth and families)

The Prepare for Action! PAR Guide was developed from several years of training and implementing PAR, with the goal of translating the best practices and codified methods to use PAR as a professional and youth development tool. The result is a 100-page, comprehensive, and graphic guide. It takes users through every step of implementing PAR in their organization - identifying individual goals, developing a timeline and plan for a project, engaging youth in developing research questions, collecting and analyzing data, and taking action steps based on what is discovered. The guide includes chapters on the background of PAR, preparation and tips for facilitators, 9 comprehensive lessons, handouts, and additional resources. Click 'Learn More' to contact Clara about the guide and training opportunities.


the activate TOOLKIT - by clara parker, Rosa scott, and frances lucerna

Are you ready to make a change in your community? El Puente Transformative Community Building framework offers a dynamic formula for inspiring community-wide leadership and sustainable change. The ACTIVATE Toolkit is designed for organizational and community leaders who are committed to positively impacting the communities they serve. The Transformative Community Building framework emerges out of decades of best practice in the fields of youth and community development, coalition building, and social justice organizing. The framework provides a structure to support leaders in visioning and reflecting on their work and ensuring it is grounded in and aligned to their organization’s mission and values.


Banner image: original photography by Clara Parker