The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University is offering a free summer course titled Conducting Participatory Action Research in Academia and the Community. As we work to address racial injustice and other inequities in the US and across the globe, we must also establish ethical, inclusive, and empowering practices for collecting data on historically marginalized populations. In this course, participants will learn how to employ Participatory Action Research (PAR), an approach to data collection that emphasizes participation of underrepresented groups in determining the questions to be studied and then helping to collect, analyze, and disseminate the data collected about them. PAR advocates for collaboration, shared learning, and broader social change. In this course, we will examine different theories about how data and ideas are created and work in groups to identify specific PAR strategies participants can apply to their own research and data collection projects. Participants will leave the course with an understanding of how historically exclusionary research perpetuates racial and other types of inequality. They will also leave with knowledge of alternative, more democratic approaches to data collection and a concrete plan to apply PAR principles in their research and organizations. We hope to also create a Community of Practice we can turn to for feedback and support after the training is over.
This course will take place over four weeks in July, 2021 for a total of 15-20 hours (exact dates/times TBD, based on participants’ availability). The course will be held on Zoom. While our focus is on organizations in Greater Boston, it is open to anyone who can participate synchronously on Zoom. The course will be taught by Dr. Anjuli Fahlberg, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tufts University, an activist-scholar who has conducted multiple PAR-based projects on activism and urban violence in Brazil.