On September 28, San Francisco Peer Resources is honoring Professor Emily Ozer as one of its 40 Changemakers during a 40-year anniversary celebration called “40 Years, 40 Peers.” This San Francisco-based organization is recognizing community members who are dedicated to empowering youth in the Bay Area. These 40 Changemakers include activists, educators, policymakers and professionals—all of them are Peer Resources youth alumni or allies of the organization’s mission.
A clinical and community psychologist who specializes in adolescent development, Ozer focuses on refining youth-led participatory action research (YPAR). YPAR amplifies youth voice in community-based research, a source of insight that Ozer sees as invaluable. “I work for youth voice as a psychologist, Berkeley professor and SFUSD parent because I know that young people have unique expertise and insights that are essential for improving their schools and communities,” she said in a SF Peer Resources statement.
Peer Resources is one of Ozer’s long-time community research partners. Founded in 1979, this organization is dedicated to supporting youth leadership and opportunities in schools and communities. With a similar mission as YPAR, the organization approaches young people as partners, using their voices and leadership to enact systemic change in their communities.
At Berkeley Public Health, Ozer co-directs Innovations for Youth (i4Y) as well as the YPAR Hub, which was developed in partnership with Peer Resources. “Peer Resources is all about transformative relationships,” said Ozer. “I am grateful for my relationship with Peer Resources and how it has transformed my career in community-partnered research.”