USF RISES is a research project that explores school suspensions and the extent to which perceptions of racism or differential treatment are held by African American adolescents with multiple school suspensions occurring between August 2019 to present, and families and community members.
We seek to understand and address systemic racism using culturally responsive and transdisciplinary research approaches that capitalize on our existing authentic partnerships with three African American community entities in Tampa, Florida.
RISES is a mixed-methods study that addresses the long-standing phenomenon of out-of-school suspensions and school pushout resulting in African American middle and high school adolescents dropping out of school before graduation and entering the school-to-prison pipeline (Townsend Walker, 2020).
Surveying 100 Middle and H.S. African American students.
The focus groups are comprised of 50 students, 25 parents, and 25 community members for each of the three sites.
The overarching research questions are:
The RISES research project has the potential to improve the lives of the Black community. The RISES research study will have significant impact on not just the African American community, but also on teachers, principals, and other school personnel, including teachers in juvenile justice settings. Themes from Insights and recommendations gleaned from the participants will be disseminated to schools and colleges of education teacher education programs. Academic and lay audience venues are targeted (manuscripts for publication, radio spots, African American and mainstream news outlets, conference presentations, and research to practice briefs)
Our transdisciplinary research team partnered with Allen Temple AME Church, the Hillsborough County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa, Inc. (CDC) (all situated in high-populated African American communities) to recruit 400 African American participants and provide technology/internet for any participant who cannot access our website and Microsoft TEAMs links in their homes.
Long overdue, this one year, three-phased study is compelled by the recent civil unrest and resounding calls to eradicate racism in schools.
The 400 participants will receive a $25 gift card as an incentive for participating in the surveys and focus groups. These funds are made possible in collaboration with the University of South Florida and the Allen Temple AME Church.