CSRC Report: "Resilience Orange County 2023"

By Veronica Terriquez and Angelica Quintana

December 2023

Founded in 2016 by young residents of Santa Ana, California, who were personally invested in tackling broken immigration laws, punitive school discipline policies, and unfair policing, the grassroots organizing group Resilience Orange County (ROC) developed comprehensive programming to help young people thrive and hold institutions accountable to their largely immigrant community. Within several years, ROC’s founders and members played a central role in diminishing the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline in Orange County and securing vital resources for the community’s well-being. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has devoted increased attention to resident organizing. This report contextualizes ROC’s work within the broader research on youth civic engagement and immigrant youth incorporation, documenting its groundbreaking youth programming and campaigns during the group’s initial years of operation. The summary and analyses presented here rely on in-depth interviews, focus groups, and observations collected from 2016-2020, in addition to published academic research, local news media reporting, and voting records. The report concludes by considering the broader implications of ROC’s youth programs.

This report is supported by the Tamar Diana Wilson Fund for the Study of Urban Poverty, the Stuart Foundation, The California Endowment, and the James Irvine Foundation.