project leader
Frampton T
232 Third Street #D201
City-wide (Gowanus)
latest update rss
Launch of our newest collaboration!

the project

What does civic engagement look like for youth today? How can students have an impact in the age of Trump?

CUP’s Urban Investigations educational programs have always given high school students the tools to ask tough questions about important issues and hold decision-makers accountable. Those skills are even more critical today—and in the next year, our students will use them to find their own voice and path to meaningful civic engagement in an increasingly hostile political climate.

Join them in tackling issues from immigrant rights to climate change to racial justice to LGBT rights! These issues hit close to home for many of our students, many of whom are from low-income communities of color, and many of whom are recent immigrants. With your support, CUP will lead five Urban Investigations over the next year, allowing 75 students to explore these complex topics, understand their impacts, and identify where they can have a voice in decision-making in their communities. 

Our first project kicks off in late June with court involved youth in Red Hook!

Your support will go directly to helping CUP provide a paid stipend for every participating student. Many of our students have afterschool jobs to support their families and themselves, preventing them from participating in afterschool educational programs without financial assistance. Your donation also supports the purchase of digital equipment that students will use to document their work while learning interviewing, audio and video recording, and editing skills.

For your donation you will receive:

-Updates from CUP and participating students about the projects

-Invitations to the five project launch events, where you can meet the students and hear them present their work

-A copy of all five of the student-created Urban Investigation final products

All donors will be listed on the CUP website. If you donate $500 or more, you will also be listed as a supporter on each project and in all related materials. Most of all, you will have the satisfaction of knowing your support helps CUP provide this unique experience for public high school students.

the steps

Urban Investigations are collaborations of CUP, CUP-trained Teaching Artists, and public high school students from Title 1 schools (schools with high percentages of students from low-income families).

Our first project will start in just a few weeks, and the four remaining projects will take place in Fall of 2017 and Spring 2018. These programs will be partnerships with schools in Red Hook, Bushwick, South Bronx, and other neighborhoods across the city. 

During the program students will:

• Investigate issues coming out of the new administration that are directly impacting their communities

• Engage in rigorous field research by interviewing decision-makers and stakeholders

• Identify how decisions impacting their community are made and how they can participate in the process

• Learn 21st century skills including critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, and public speaking

• Receive a stipend for their participation

• Collaboratively create a teaching tool that teaches others about the issue

• Present their projects at public launch events where the students will present their work and debut the teaching tools

why we're doing it

Communities across New York City are experiencing fear, harrassment, and the negative impacts of policies coming out of the new administration. CUP is dedicated to supporting the frontlines of the social justice movement with programming and educational tools that support needs identified by historically under-represented communities themselves. Supporting students with the skills and knowledge to actively engage in decision-making that impacts their communities is a key way we do this.

While CUP has organized Urban Investigation projects on a wide range of topics, from food justice to siting of homeless shelters, this campaign allows us to channel resources into the most critical issues at a critical time. These issues are close to home for our students. Recently, for example, students at one of our partner high schools experienced intimidation from immigration agents outside their school. These issues are real and tangible in their lives, and the programs you support will give them meaningful and productive ways to engage in understanding and navigating them.

Everyday, announcements come out of Washington that impact our students, their families, their schools, and their communities. In this program, students will interview stakeholders and decision-makers, and collaborate to create an educational tool that teaches others what they learned, and that can be used directly by the communities being impacted. In this moment where many are feeling powerless and unrepresented, these Urban Investigations will help students find meaningful paths to civic engagement.

Through these projects, students have rare access and opportunities to interact with neighborhood stakeholders, community groups, and city agencies. In doing so, they learn how civic engagement is within their reach, how important it is to incorporate into their daily lives, and how they can use it to have a voice in shaping their city.


Disbursement goal:

The updated budget is as follows:
$2,500 CUP Staff, Teaching Artists, and Designers
$1,905.85 student stipends

RAISED = $4,572.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $132.15

Updated goal (7.28.17):

$2,500 CUP Staff, Teaching Artists, and Designers

$6,500 student stipends

$1,000 Program Materials and Final Production

Project Subtotal =  $10,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $300
Total to raise on ioby = $10,335

Original goal:

SUBTOTAL = $12,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $375
TOTAL TO RAISE = $12,910

$2,500 CUP Staff, Teaching Artists, and Designers

$7,500 student stipends

$1,500 New video and digital cameras

$1,000 Program Materials and Final Production


Launch of our newest collaboration!


Our summer Youth Education collaboration with Red Hook Community Justice Center kicked off this week! The students, a cohort of youth ranging from age 14 to 18 in Red Hook, are investigating segregation in schools, including looking at who decides what school you can attend and how schools are funded. During their first session, students drew portraits of each other and created collages that represented their current school versus their dream school.

This project is made possible with your support – we have five days and $8,000 left to raise for this project, and four other Urban Investigations over the next year. Make a $10 donation today!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Sammie Ablaza Wills
  • Joseph Heathcott
  • Indigo (from ioby)
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Dana S.
  • Anonymous
  • Shehzad Nadeem
  • Anna R.
  • Ansley Whipple
  • Barika
  • Ricardo Rodriguez
  • Seher E.
  • Hillary Brown
  • Elisa Wouk Almino
  • Beom Jun Kim
  • Brooke H.
  • Anthony H.
  • Rachel Finkelstein
  • Anonymous
  • Tony Daniels
  • Katie Lorah
  • Christine Coletta
  • Rukku S.
  • Guillermo Patino
  • Dylan House
  • Jeremy Robinson-Leon
  • David Smiley and Lauren Kogod
  • Anonymous
  • Faizah Malik