Who We Are


Adela C. Licona is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric in the Department of English at the University of Arizona. She is affiliated faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies, Family Studies and Human Development, and Mexican American Studies, and is a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the UA Institute for LGBT Studies. She is Co-Director of the Crossroads Collaborative, a cross-disciplinary and action-oriented research-initiative funded by the Ford Foundation. Licona is the author of Zines In Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric (SUNY Press, 2012) and co-editor of Feminist Pedagogy: Looking Back to Move Forward (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).  She is co-editor of a special issue of the Community Literacy Journal on Transdisciplinary and Community Literacies: Shifting Discourses and Practices through New Paradigms of Public Scholarship and Action-Oriented Research (2013) and is the author of articles on borderlands rhetorics, youth sexualities, critical and creative pedagogy, immigration, in/visibility, agency, and everyday experts. She is co-founder of Feminist Action Research in Rhetoric, FARR, a group of feminist scholars engaged in public scholarship and community dialogue. She serves on the boards for Women’s Studies in Communication (WSIC), Kore Press, Spoken Futures / Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, and Orion Magazine and is a member of the editorial collective for TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism.

Stephen T. Russell is co-director of the Crossroads Collaborative and Interim Director of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. He is also Distinguished Professor and Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair in Family and Consumer Sciences, and Director of the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families. Stephen conducts research on adolescent pregnancy and parenting, cultural influences on parent-adolescent relationships, and the health and development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. He received a Wayne F. Placek Award from the American Psychological Foundation (2000), was a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar (2001-2006), a Distinguished Investigator of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2009-2011), a board member of the National Council on Family Relations (2005-2008), and was elected as a member of the International Academy of Sex Research in 2004. He is co-editor of a special issue of the Community Literacy Journal on Transdisciplinary and Community Literacies: Shifting Discourses and Practices through New Paradigms of Public Scholarship and Action-Oriented Research (2013). He is President of the Society for Research on Adolescence. He can be reached at strussell@arizona.edu.


Collaborating Organizations

Eon Youth Program is a program of Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community center. Wingspan is a non-profit, charitable organization that serves Tucson and Southern Arizona. Wingspan provides an array of social and community services including the Eon Youth Program. Eon works to strengthen the gay, lesbian, bisexual, two spirit, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexed, and straight ally youth communities by creating social opportunities, providing information and support on health issues, advocating for youth rights and challenging society’s perceptions of youth as they face institutionalized oppressions that target the many facets of their identities. Our events and activities are free of charge and open to all youth ages 23 and under.

The Grrls Literary Activism Project are young women or female-identified or trans individuals ages 14-20. We explore issues, find our voice, write, read out loud, take photographs, and present our words and ideas to the public.

Our writing, our art, our voices matter.

We are part of the community, we are social activists.

The GRRLS statement: In the spirit of fostering a new generation of diverse, confident, independent-minded and creative artists/citizens/leaders, the Kore Press Grrls Literary Activism Workshops empower young women with the skills necessary to express themselves on social issues that matter most to them and become potent agents of change.

There is a commonly held assumption that women are given equal treatment because of the great strides made by social change movements of the last few decades, but somehow women are still rewarded for silence. We are changing that one Grrl at a time.

The Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a national youth leadership organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources through peer support, leadership development, and training.

GSA Network supports young people in starting, strengthening, and sustaining GSAs and builds the capacity of GSAs to:

  1. create safe environments in schools for students to support each other and learn about homophobia, transphobia, and other oppressions,
  2. educate the school community about homophobia, transphobia, gender identity, and sexual orientation issues, and fight discrimination, harassment, and violence in schools.

The Tucson Youth Poetry Slam advocates literacy, critical thinking and youth voice through poetry competitions, workshops and community showcases. Founded in 2010, the program regularly collaborates with diverse organizations across Tucson.

The monthly poetry slam competition is open to all youth 19 & under and is held every 3rd Saturday at Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea, 1730 E Speedway. Crowds at the TYPS regularly top 100 people.

The Tucson Youth Poetry Slam (TYPS) is made possible in part by generous support from: Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea, The Crossroads Collaborative, Womens Foundation of Southern Arizona & UNIDAS, UA Poetry Center, Tucson Pima Arts Council.

The Tucson Youth Poetry Slam is a program of Spoken Futures, Inc.


Collaborating Scholars

Sally Stevens, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the University of Arizona - Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) and a Distinguished Outreach Professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies. Dr. Stevens conducts collaborative process and outcome research in the area of health disparities, substance abuse, mental health, sexuality, and innovations in education.  Much of her work is community-based with a focus on gender and culture and informed by ecological perspectives and feminist theory and methodologies.

Shannon D. Snapp is a developmental psychologist with interests in health, well-being, sexuality, gender, and sociocultural contexts that support youth. She is on the leadership team of the Crossroads Collaborative, a Ford Foundation funded transdisciplinary research team that studies sexuality, health, and rights for youth. She is a Society for Research on Adolescence emerging scholar international representative on behalf of the European Association for Research on Adolescence. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Developmental Psychology at Boston College and her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish at the University of Kansas.

Leah Stauber is a cultural anthropologist with specialties in the areas of medical anthropology, applied anthropology, and education, and has worked on issues relating to marginalized youth since 1996. Her dissertation (2012) examined Chicana/o youth activism, and current work focuses on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and social justice activism among Mexican American and Puerto Rican diasporic youth. As well as working as a postdoctoral editorial associate with the Crossroads Collaborative, she holds a research affiliation with the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona.

Amanda Fields is a PhD Candidate in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English and a Crossroads Scholar at the University of Arizona. Her research emphasis is youth slam poetry discourse. She is also a creative writer whose work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

J. Sarah Gonzales founded national social justice consulting company, TruthSarita, LLC which supports building collective power to dismantle inequity. Sarah also serves as Codirector of Spoken Futures, INC developing programs including Tucson Youth Poetry Slam and Liberation Lyrics which creates space for youth to process and address issues such as the school to prison pipeline, LGBTQ rights and migrant justice through spoken word poetry.

Londie T. Martin is assistant professor of digital media and rhetorics in the University of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science where she teaches courses on social media, collaborative online communities, and digital storytelling. As Coordinator of Community Partnerships for the eSociety program, she facilitates community-based partnerships and advises undergraduate students majoring in eSociety. As a rhetorician, her interdisciplinary work emphasizes communication and composition in new media, performance, and activist contexts.

Jenna Vinson is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Vinson is currently at work on a book project focused on how contemporary representations of teenage pregnancy sustain problematic ways of thinking about women and the rhetorical strategies young mothering women use to resist these representations.

Ryan Watson is a fourth year Ph.D. student currently working on his dissertation, entitled "Risk and Protective Factors for Sexual Minority Youth Over Time and Across Cultures". His research focuses on sexual-minority adolescents and young adults and their interpersonal relationships. He works with Drs. Stephen Russell and Adela Licona to identify factors that lead to the positive adjustment for minority youth.


Youth Spotlight: Youth We Have Been Privileged to Work With & Learn From


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences