top of page


Centering Youth Leadership to Transform Teaching and Learning

Our Work _ Affordable Housing 2.jpg

WOKE Project

In efforts to disrupt the continuing cycle of harm experienced by low-income Black and Brown youth, our Healing through Justice model lays the foundation for the Working on Knowledge and Equity (WOKE) Project. The WOKE Project seeks to build restorative and positive school climates through healing-centered approaches to teaching and learning with a strong focus on students’ lived experience and leadership. This is a new learning movement that centers on young people who identify as survivors, and their communities, as assets. 

Teachers are supported in engaging students in designing and implementing a curriculum that centers on the lived experiences of students and their communities. The WOKE Project approach blends social-emotional learning grounded in positive youth development, restorative practices, and relevant and engaging learning opportunities that tie to pressing issues in the community that are top of mind for young people.


  • CU/VOYCE has piloted the WOKE Project across five Chicago Public Schools that span predominantly Black and Latinx communities on the northwest, west, and south sides of the city.

  • This year’s Working On Knowledge and Equity Project engaged over 300 students in understanding how their identity and mental health is shaped by community. From creating a mural that honors two students that were lost to gun violence, to students canvassing for Bring Chicago Home, the project was able to uplift student narratives and get them involved with their community.



To learn more about WOKE please contact Maria Degillo at or at 773-583-1387

bottom of page