Yolanda Anyon

Yoli Anyon

Associate Professor

What I do

Youth are not problems for social workers to fix. Our job is to build on young people's strengths to engage them as partners in creating personal and social change.


children and youth, civic and community engagement, disparities, K-12 education, marginalized populations, race and ethnicity, racial justice, school social work, social justice

Professional Biography

Drawing on critical theories and mixed methods, Dr. Anyon’s research centers the roles of public schools and community organizations in youth development. Her scholarship focuses on policies and practices that mitigate or contribute to opportunity gaps, with an emphasis on equity-oriented and youth-led strategies for advancing social justice. Dr. Anyon’s current areas of interest include racial disparities in the school-to-prison pipeline, restorative approaches to discipline, and participatory action research with young people.


  • Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of California, 2012
  • MSW, Children and Families, University of California, 2008
  • BA, Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University, 2000

Key Projects

  • DU-DPS Researcher Practitioner Partnership on Disparities in School Discipline 2017-2018
  • Incorporating Video Storytelling into Trauma-Informed Practice with Low-Income Youth of Color

Featured Publications

Anyon, Y., Bender, K., Kennedy, H. L., & Dechants, J. (2018). A systematic review of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) in the United States: Youth outcomes, methodologies, and future directions. Health Education and Behavior.
Anyon, Y., Kennedy, H. L., Durbahn, R., & Jenson, J. M. (2018). Youth led participatory action research: Promoting youth voice and adult support in afterschool programs. Afterschool Matters, 27, 10-18.
Anyon, Y., Jenson, J. M., Altschul, I., Farrar, J. C., McQueen, J. T., Greer, E., et al. (2014). The persistent effect of race and the promise of alternatives to suspension in school discipline outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review.
Anyon, Y., Gregory, A., Farrar, J. C., Jenson, J. M., McQueen, J. T., Stone, S., et al. (2016). Restorative interventions and school discipline sanctions in a large urban school district. American Educational Research Journal, 53(6), 1663–1697.
Wiley, K., Anyon, Y., Yang, J. L., Downing, B., Pauline, M., Rosch, A., & Valladares, G. (2018). Looking back, moving Forward: Applying an equity-minded change framework to school discipline reform. Education Administration Quarterly, 54, 275-302.