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REYSE Collaboratory

Our Work

Focusing on youth, social equity, race and ethnicity.

Recognition and respect of different racial and ethnic cultural groups is important for developing quality youth development supports, opportunities, programs and services in a culturally competent manner.

This requires an understanding of culturally based strengths, assets, resources and desires of specific groups rather than imagined or perceived problems or risks, as well as focusing on principles that assist in transforming our way of thinking:

  • Acknowledging culture as a prevailing factor in shaping behaviors, values, and institutions.
  • Understanding when the values of the dominant culture are in conflict with those of diverse cultural groups.
  • Respecting the culturally defined needs of a particular community.
  • Conducting cultural self-assessment, acknowledging, and accepting that cultural differences exist, and have an impact on how services are delivered and received.
  • Recognizing that the concepts of individual, family, and community often differ across cultural groups.
  • Adapting services to fit the cultural diversity of the youth, families and communities served.
  • Institutionalizing cultural knowledge in self, organizations, and systems.

Social Justice Youth Development Framework

As our guiding framework, social justice youth development incorporates cultural competency and is defined as:

“an approach focused on the development of equitable access and opportunities by actively reducing or eliminating disparities in education, health, employment, justice and any other systems that hinder the development of young people.” 


We articulate our goals and highlight specific programs and projects based on this framework: youth development, social equity and race and ethnicity.  

Current Projects

  • I Am a Scientist

    The I Am a Scientist project which is led by Drs. Harrison Pinckney and Barry Garst, Associate Professor and Professor, respectively, of parks, recreation and tourism management at Clemson University, is exploring how community resources and role models can be positioned to help black youth see themselves as scientists. The study is funded by the National Science Foundation ($300,000).

  • The Connector Project

    The Connector Project, a series of tools to help youth leaders learn how to organize supports, opportunities, programs and services so that young people are engaged in community change through social justice, developed by Collaboratory Founder and Director Dr. Corliss Outley and team. 

  • Playing While Black

    Playing While Black, led by Drs. Corliss Outley and Harrison Pinckney, uses multiple contemporary examples to demonstrate the impact of Race on the recreation of black youth. The article also presents three theoretical frameworks that may help advance the discussion on race, recreation, and youth development.

  • Parent Power Project

    Parent Power Project is an exploratory study conducted in partnership with Play Cousins Collective, a community-based organization in Louisville, KY. This project seeks to explore the experiences Black parents have with social service providers, including pediatricians, teachers, social workers, and mental health professionals. Results from this study will be used to develop trainings for social service providers who work in the Louisville community and create a Parent Power Resources Guide for Black parents in Louisville.  Dr. Brown serves as the Primary Investigator for this project. 

  • A.R.T. + Circles

    A.R.T. + Circles, a youth-based, social justice curriculum developed by REYSE researchers in conjunction with Momentum Bike Club, a community organization in Clemson. This group-mentoring program is designed to build community and assist Black and Hispanic students in overcoming racial trauma, finding their voice and increasing their understanding of their capacity to enact social change.

  • Camp as context for need satisfaction among Native American youth

    A study led by Dr. Ryan Gagnon, professor of parks, recreation and tourism management at Clemson University, examines the link between repeated camp participation and outcomes in Native youth.

  • State of Racial and Ethnic Youth in America

    State of Racial and Ethnic Youth in America brief series - Details Coming Soon!

REYSE Collaboratory at Clemson University
REYSE Collaboratory at Clemson University | 263 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0735