How can we creatively and concretely include diversity and empowerment in our research to help create the world we want?
Diversity and Empowerment in Research
Invite diverse people and communities (e.g., POC, queer, ability, age, etc.) to this conference/research symposium that are interested in EE. Help others to remove barriers. We need to hear diverse voices.
Working across diverse groups is difficult when we are working from a position of dominance. We need to collaborate with various groups, and design inclusive research methodologies and methods.
Avoid putting people in boxes. We need to expand EE "boxes" to include diverse voices, versus limiting groups (e.g., POC) to certain methodologies (e.g., PAR).
Offer opportunities for community input. Examples include researchers offering participants opportunities to co-author articles, books, etc.
Consider living systems in IRB and/or use different review methods (e.g., indigenous) when assessing research design
How do we agree that we have "included" everyone? The first step is to name the difference, include yourself in relation to that other. But we need to go beyond this.
The "world we want" can be prescriptive. Who is the "we" ? Need to critically consider this in research but doing this will involve tensions and discomfort.
Recommend to NAAEE: scholarships (e.g., money and support) to bring youth, community members, etc, to the research symposium; panel with researcher participants on how it feels to be apart of the research, how they want to be included, etc.
Challenge: participant/collaborator deep/continual engagement should be optional
Challenging "empowerment" - researcher sharing power/agenda with participants. Researchers need to overcome fear of losing/sharing power. Requires a lot of sensitivity and reflection.
Authenticity criteria. Research isn't valid unless it recognizes structured dominance. What about knowledge mobilization? Reciprocity? Staying open-minded to voices that we might not recognize as valuable (as recognized from the position of dominance).
Yet, we operate within a paradigm of the "scientific method" so we can't completely reject the "traditional" expectations of academia. Where lies the obligation of researchers? Journals and universities are lagging behind.
Herein lies the biggest tension: scientific tradition (accepted and prescriptive) versus other ways of knowing.
Community goals may be different than researcher goals.
The standard model isn't flexible enough!
"Two-eyed seeing" is a worthwhile way to align scientific method and other ways of knowing.
There needs to be a relationship between the practitioner/NGO/org and the researchers. Practitioners will receive "grant applications" to study their work with vry little notice or involvement with the discussion of the plan. The trust needs to be there (from our small group discussion)
Involve community members in eval of programs from very beginning- rather the researcher be fly on the wall, involve the teachers/admins/community leaders from the beginning - what do they want as outcomes from the project? Include them in the discussions of what and how to measure.
Make sure y use language that is accessible for all parties- don't exclude through jargon.