Roses In Concrete
Principal Investigator: Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D.
Our country is at risk of losing an entire generation of young people in urban centers who feel trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, violence, hopelessness and despair. Rather than continually investing in models that try to save the “deserving few” who can escape from these communities, we need solutions that can help the vast majority overcome these toxic conditions to become the responsible and productive adults that will eliminate those conditions. By creating a sustainable community, centered around a school that gives students and families security, nourishment, care, and education, we can create a model of success and revitalization that reverses decades of disinvestment. Instead of cultivating one rose that grows in concrete, we aim to break up the concrete so that an entire rose garden can blossom in our highest need neighborhoods. The Roses in Concrete (RiC) Project has the short-term goal of starting a K-12 school-center in Oakland that embodies the principles and practices described above. The school will function as the center of health within the neighborhoods surrounding it and provide wrap-around services in education, health, housing, and job training. The long-term goal is to create a model for urban education that prioritizes the needs of youth and families as the pathway to building healthy and sustainable communities across the U.S. and around the world.