Formerly Center for Public Policy Studies


The Center is a hub for participatory action research supporting equity, inclusion and the development of knowledge in the pursuit of social justice in the Central Valley. It partners with residents to conduct research that addresses local issues with creative, inclusive and multidisciplinary solutions to develop policy initiatives to address structural inequities.  


The Center is dedicated to conducting participatory action research created by and for historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups in the Central Valley. The Center is committed to partnering with communities to promote dialogue and critical reflection with invested stakeholders, for the expressed purpose of facilitating systemic change through local action, advocacy and policy formation, with the goal of improving equity, inclusion and social justice.


  • ​Social Justice – We value actions to promote a society where collective voice and participation are broadly shared among those who experience inequities in their community. ​
  • ​Lived Experiences – We value the experiences and expertise of historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups living in the Central Valley. ​
  • Community Driven Research – We value the ability of community members as partners to elevate pressing community issues and conduct research that promotes constructive actions. 

Community-Centered Research

  • Community members from historically underserved and underrepresented groups have expertise, knowledge, and networks that need to be elevated.​
  • ​Expertise of the people most affected by an issue or problem will drive research, policy development, and advocacy.​
  • ​University resources will support these community efforts to conduct high quality research, advocacy, and policy development.

Action Research

  • Faculty Co-Researchers-Faculty experienced in participatory action research will develop projects in partnership with community co-researchers.​
  • ​Community Co-Researchers-All Center projects will have community-based co-researchers with lived experience of the issues being examined. ​
  • ​Student Co-Researchers-Students who typically live in these communities will engage with and become empowered by this research methodology through their participation in projects.

Current Research Projects

Food and Housing Insecurities Presentation

Food and Housing Insecurities Final Report

Contact Information


Executive Director
Anysia Mayer, EdD

Executive Assistant
Jenn Lee, BS

Updated: September 22, 2023