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See the latest updates from this study here!

**Recruitment for this study has ended. Thank you for your interest!**

Study Overview:

The Collaborative Sustainability Lab supports the work of youth climate justice activists. We know that addressing the climate crisis is a matter of addressing ecological collapse as well as social injustice. We also know, as young people, that decisions made today will affect our lives and future generations. That's why in our past work, we've partnered with youth to address climate change and environmental injustice in their communities. Now, we are launching an interview study to elevate the voices of, and support the work of youth climate justice activists, especially BIPOC youth (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color) whose perspectives are often overlooked in research on youth climate activism. Who is eligible to participate? If you are 15 to 25 years old, speak English, and identify as a youth climate justice activist, we encourage you to fill out the survey. All eligible youth are welcome to take part, but BIPOC youth (and those from other marginalized identities) are especially encouraged to participate. After we get your survey response, we'll reach out to schedule a Zoom interview with you. Your survey and interview responses will be made anonymous and your responses will not be shared with anyone outside the research team. To thank you for your participation in the survey and interview, we will send you a $25 gift card to an online store of your choosing. Additional details about the study and research team are below. 





Why participate?

  • Bring visibility to the youth climate justice movement through your stories and experiences;

  • Collaborate on issues relevant to young activists and the movement (see below);

  • As a thank you for your interview we will provide a $25 gift card to your choice of one of four stores (Steam, Kroger, Barnes & Noble, or Best Buy).

More About The Study:

Many research studies are "one and done" projects that gather up data in a style that can feel extractive and exploitative (sound familiar?), especially when study participants do not feel that the research benefits them. Our approach to research is different. We, as researchers, consider ourselves to be co-conspirators with the youth climate justice movement. The interview study described above is Phase I of what we hope will be a multi-phase study. We hope that future phases will be co-designed with youth climate justice activists. We do not know exactly what future phases will look like, but here's what we anticipate for Phase II: In the interviews described above, we will ask activists if they would like to ask questions of fellow activists in a second round of data collection and analysis. The research team will compile these ideas and co-develop tools (e.g., survey, interview questionnaire) with activists as co-researchers. Phase II study findings will then be reported back to all contributors, with hopes that findings will provide a platform for future collaboration and action. In short, the research team hopes to put our skills to use in the form of participatory solidarity research.


Research Team:

Carlie D. Trott, PhD (she/her/hers) is a scholar-activist, educator, lifelong learner, and head of the Collaborative Sustainability lab. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cincinnati.  Her research has mainly focused on youth-led community action to address the climate crisis.  She first became involved in climate activism as a graduate student in Fort Collins, CO. You can read more about Carlie here:

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Emmanuel-Sathya Gray (he/him/his) is a musician, poet, teacher, and student. Inspired by the fights for justice around the world and locally, his wish is to use research to amplify the voices of those historically oppressed (e.g., BIPOC, LGBTQIA, low income, etc.). He has just completed his first year studying Community Psychology at the University of Cincinnati. His three big research interests include youth activism, climate justice, and backing efforts for liberation in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH.


Stephanie Lam (She | They) is a lover of humor, dancer, and student. I value interdisciplinary, decolonial, justice, and feminist processes in the work I do and always try to bring forth my authentic self. My larger research interest is couched in “exploring the intersection of social issues to create preventive solutions with local community members” – but I am not there yet. To do this I need to focus on collaborative research approaches because of the belief that all issues are interconnected. I am excited to collaborate on projects that involve people of various backgrounds of knowledge and intersectionalities to work towards positive transformative change that will promote collective well-being.


Hayden Courtney (He/Him/His) is an avid reader, art-buff, general board game enthusiast, and student. Having a background in social psychology and philosophy, he moved back to his hometown of Cincinnati to study Community Psychology at UC. He found that work in other fields just didn’t allow for real hands-on collaborative change to better communities, but Community Psychology was an avenue for such change. His current work focuses on collaborating with immigrant communities and labor organizers in order to create intersectional solidarity and systematic change for (and with) workers. His main research interests are: labor, economics, immigration, intersectional social movements, and solidarity.


Jessica Roncker (she/hers) is a graduate student in Community Psychology. She is interested in participatory action research, creative placemaking, sustainability, climate justice, moral foundations theory, and community engagement. 


Delaney Malloy (she/her/hers) is a current freshman at the University of Cincinnati with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology. She is working towards the betterment of our planet, regarding the ways we address climate change and its affects/impacts. Moreover, she one day hopes to graduate in May 2024 and continue this pursuit in academia and throughout global communities. 


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Land Acknowledgement


As our research team is based out of the greater Cincinnati area,  we acknowledge the traditional Shawnee, Myaamia and Cherokee lands on which we live and work, and on which the cities of Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY were built. Many lands in this area were ceded, at gunpoint, including the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, as well as hundreds of treaties in the early nineteenth century. After long and violent campaigns by the United States, native occupants were forcibly removed and relocated west of the Mississippi to states such as Oklahoma. We acknowledge the rights of the descendants of those removed to reclaim ancestral lands, such as is pursued by indigenous-led movements including Landback. We stand in solidarity with all those experiencing the most enduring effects of the Doctrine of Discovery.

Phase I Study Run-Down:

Who is conducting the study and what is this study about?

Researchers from the psychology department at the University of Cincinnati are recruiting participants for a study. This study is about the perspectives and experiences of youth climate justice activists. There are no known risks to participating in this research.

Who can join this study?

You can join this research if you are an English-speaking person, ages 15 to 25, who self-identifies as part of the climate justice movement.

Why should I join this study?

This study will help identify what challenges and what supports the work of youth climate justice activists. It will also raise the visibility of the youth climate justice movement.    

How do I join this study?

You can join this study by filling out this survey or by sending an email to the research team (see below).

What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked to complete a brief socio-demographic questionnaire (10 to 15 minutes) and to participate in an audio-recorded interview conducted over Zoom, lasting approximately 60 to 90 minutes. The survey will help us learn more about who is participating in this study – for example, in terms of age, gender, and socio-economic status. The interview will help us to learn more about the perspectives and experiences of youth climate justice activists. In data analysis and publishing, your name will not be tied to your data. You are free to withdraw your participation at any time before, during, or after the study. For participating in the survey and interview, you will be compensated with a $25 gift certificate to an online store of your choosing.


Please reach out to for more information.

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