Research Programs

How does it work?

Action Research - Income and Wealth Inequality in the United States

          Income and wealth inequality in the United States has risen sharply over the past few decades. This world-historical increase in inequality is far greater, far more concentrated at the top, and far more destructive to the power of workers compared to other advanced industrial democracies. This is the American story of inequality (Hacker & Pierson, 2020). This action research program aims to study the issue of economic inequality using data provided by reliable, peer-reviewed sources, develop deeper understanding of the lives of millions of ordinary Americans, and bring awareness among youths and communities. 

US Wage 1947-2018 b


Hacker, J., & Pierson, P. (2020). Let them eat tweets. Liveright Publishing.

Economic Policy Institute, State of Working America Data Library, “[Wages for Top 1.0%, 0.1% and Bottom 90%],” 2019. 

Longitudinal Research - Swing States Policy Watch (2020-2024)

​          In this study, the term "swing states" refers to the five states (AZ, GA, MI, PA, and WI) where the Republican Party won in the 2016 presidential election but lost in 2020. The mission of this study is to keep track of both policy changes that affect these states and how ordinary American lives change over the next four years. This is NOT a partisan study, but rather a study that strives to engage young people in democracy by providing them the tools and skills needed, so that they can see through their own critical eye how policies are made and how communities, families, and lives are affected. 

Exploratory Research - What Makes Gen Z Different?

​          Gen Z refers to the newest generation that were born between late 1990s and early 2010s. There are nearly 68 million of them in the United States alone. Born in the age of information explosion, Gen Z's experience is hardly comparable with those came before them. Studies of Gen Z have explored areas including physical and mental health issues, risky behavior, political views, social tendencies, and more. Almost all studies are conducted by the older generations, i.e., the researchers did not experience the world like Gen Z does. In this exploratory research, students are going to review the previous studies and conduct surveys among their peers to find out the following:

1. Does Gen Z agrees with the research findings about them?

2. Is Gen Z interested in studying their own experience and their lives?

3. What does Gen Z's ideal world look like?