Adolescent High School Collaborative

Academic Co-Lead: Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD, FSAHM, Medical Director, Community and Population Health, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Community Co-Lead: Felicia Savage Friedman, M.ED, E-RYT 500, Founder & CEO, YogaRoots On Location, LLC

Community Co-Lead: Reverend Paul Abernathy, MPIA, MDiv, Chief Executive Office, Neighborhood Resilience Project

Violent acts and relationship abuse may be preventable through meaningful increases in positive bystander behaviors and opportunities for youth leadership in racial and gender justice.

The High School Adolescent Collaborative focuses on the continued development and implementation of Creating Peace, a youth leadership program in racial and gender justice for adolescents ages 13-19. Creating Peace delivers an intersectional and strengths-based approach to address the impact of racism and discrimination on young people. Through the program, youth engage with and explore material around race, gender, class, and other spheres of identity, and use arts-based strategies to explore gender inequity and racial injustice.

Creating Peace is an NIH-funded cluster-randomized controlled trial in which students bring their visions to life by developing a community-based project that reflects the future they wish to see. This project is led by young people who are supported by adult allies and neighborhood partnerships with churches, libraries, youth serving agencies, and schools in 24 disadvantaged neighborhoods across the region. Creating Peace is the first-ever adaptation of an international intervention to address violence and oppression in a U.S. setting.

Another unique aspect of Creating Peace is that it’s not delivered in schools. We engage with youth in their local community settings with churches, libraries, and youth-serving agencies, partnering with the county’s trauma response team to recruit youth exposed to community violence. Our program facilitators have direct investment and long-standing relationships with the youth in their communities and undergo extensive training for their roles.

As an evolution of this work, we’re also seeking opportunities for more positive engagement between youth and law enforcement officers. By strengthening youth-adult connections with youth-led restorative practices, there’s potential to reduce violence and help mitigate youth experiences of implicit bias-based discrimination among law enforcement officers.

Publications, Adolescent Collaborative

  1. Rankine J, Fuhrman B, Copperman E, Miller E, Culyba A. School absenteeism among middle school students with high exposure to violence. Academic pediatrics. 2022 Nov 1;22(8):1300-8.
  2. Hill AL, Miller E, Switzer GE, Abebe KZ, Chang JC, Pulerwitz J, Brush LD, Hill AV. Gender equitable attitudes among adolescents: A validation study and associations with sexual health behaviors. Adolescent Research Review. 2021 Sep 7:1-4.
  3. Hill AV, Mistry S, Paglisotti TE, Dwarakanath N, Lavage DR, Hill AL, Iwuanyanwu R, Stokes LR, Jones KA, Miller E. Assessing feasibility of an adolescent relationship abuse prevention program for girls. Journal of Adolescence. 2022 Apr;94(3):333-53.
  4. Fuhrman BJ, Copperman E, Risser L, Souza J, McFeaters C, Xie CX, et al. Randomized Cluster Trial of the Expect Respect Program as a School-Based Intervention to Prevent Violence among Early Adolescents. In Draft. Targeted journal: Clinical Trials.
  5. Fuhrman BJ, Copperman E, Risser L, Souza J, McFeaters C, Xie CX, et al. Rationale and design adjustments for a school-based violence prevention program in early adolescence during the COVID-19 pandemic: the Expect Respect Intervention Trial.  In Draft. Targeted journal: Clinical Trials

Explore additional TPS publications here.