What We Do
a hub for Philly metro region urban change-makers providing pathways to education, renewal and resources
We create credential-bearing educational pipelines for young, emerging, and mid-career community change makers, including:
Youth Empowerment & Urban Studies (YES). An 18-credit interdisciplinary, place-based academic minor for students in any major. The mission of YES is to amplify through study and action a critical understanding of the role youth can play in social change. The overall goals of the YES program are to contribute to making real community-based change in our local urban areas, especially the City of Philadelphia, and to develop “change-makers”: individuals who have the skills and knowledge to contribute as citizens, including increasing educational and political access for themselves and others.
Click the link below for more information on the YES Program
Urban Community Change (RUX, pronounced "ruckus") major. The courses for this soon-to-be-approved interdisciplinary undergraduate major build students’ knowledge, skills, commitment and vision concerning community and social change, preparing them for jobs or further education in this field or in cross-sector professions that value these competencies. Click here for course listings
Community Learning Partnership: We are affiliated with the national CLP organization ( whose mission is to contribute to progressive community and social change by expanding the credentialed workforce of knowledgeable and skilled leaders and organizers coming from low-income communities and communities of color. The CLP Network prepares people directly impacted by poverty and racism to enter careers where they can address injustice and inequality and improve the quality of life in their communities.
What Does Being Democratically Engaged Mean?
Our vision of democratically engaged citizens, including youth and young adults: those that have the knowledge, skills and affective resources needed to make real, substantive change both on particular issues of policy as well as within themselves and others. Democratic engagement means rigorous knowledge of history and current material realities- local, national and international; and it means a growth mindset towards the skills needed to establish relationships, engage groups, communicate across difference, analyze power and issues, create campaigns, and move institutions through policy and governance toward greater justice and equity. Lastly, it means having a vision of a society that promotes the equity and well-being of its citizens through just laws, systems and policies, which means - currently - having hope, courage, creativity, and openness, and the means to rejuvenate those attitudes and visions through community and connection.
We create support and connection for urban communities, youth, young adults, and their allies, currently through two ongoing efforts:
United to End Racism RUCCAS is the incubator for UER, an affiliated multi-racial peer support network for faculty, staff, students and community
ALL-U RUCCAS supports an affiliated student and alumni association (Antiracist Liberation & Learning Union) which unites WCU-affiliated youth workers to take loving action to flood all systems that affect youth with anti-racist narratives, policies and practices. ALL-U students lead alumni, faculty, staff and administrators by creating a brave space for participants to unpack their identities within intersectional racialized systems of oppression in order to take action, promote healing, and bring liberation.
We serve as an incubator and backbone organization for new and growing urban organizing and education collaborations. We work in partnership with many community organizations, our current list is here, where our students serve as interns and learn beside professionals in the field. Partner organizations can access university resources such as space, expertise and networks. Additionally, RUCCAS is currently serving as an active incubator and collaborator with:
Center for Youth Development Professionals. CYPD was founded to fill a significant gap in the region: support and rigorous professional development for out-of-school-time professionals.
iCAMP. Kicked off in summer 2017, DeCoding the World through Media (AKA iCamp) was founded by one of our affiliated faculty (Dr. Laquana Cooke), which brought Philadelphia youth interested in media and social justice to campus for one week, supported and taught by multiple units on campus. Want to check out the project?