The National Latino Research Center (NLRC) is an applied research center at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) whose mission is to promote scientific and applied research, training, and the exchange of information that contribute to the knowledge and understanding of rapidly growing U.S. Latino populations. In order to fulfill this mission, the NLRC received a grant through AmeriCorps 2015 National Service and Civic Engagement Research Competition under the scholar category.
The Cultivando Liderazgo (Cultivating Leadership) study examines changes in civic engagement behavior, including traditional forms of political involvement (e.g., voting, volunteering for candidates or political organizations, contributions to campaigns) and nontraditional civic engagement activities (e.g., grassroots efforts aimed to shape local initiatives or produce positive social change at the community level) among Latino/a adults and youth. Through a longitudinal survey, the Cultivando Liderazgo study seeks to understand the civic engagement of participants who are learning the curriculum alongside their families and those attending the class as individuals. It also explores the dynamics of geographical infrastructure and accessibility on the effects of civic engagement curriculum. A supplemental study engaged in community conversations with Latinos/as using photo-elicitation interviews and oral histories with artifacts to showcase the depth of civic engagement.
The study has concluded and the project is currently conducting data analysis for all time periods – baseline, after the course ended, and 3 months afterwards. Specific analysis has included results for women, millennials, and elders. A serious of reports to the community on the data analysis has occurred in Spring 2019. Scholarly manuscripts are in progress. The project seeks to share ways to scale up the Cultivando Liderazgo approach.