Change Making: A Community of Practice at UofO

Change-making: A community of participatory, action, and activist researchers at the University of Oregon

Researchers have great potential to contribute to processes of transformative change for sustainability and social justice. However, research in universities largely encourages an external and objective approach that separates researchers from communities and where the goal of research is objective academic discovery, rather than social change.

Upcoming event on April 3, 2020. Email: to rsvp.

From this perspective, social change is something to be studied, rather than something for researchers to actively participate in. However, in another paradigm and other traditions of research (e.g. feminist, participatory, indigenous methodologies), research is viewed as a process of advancing social change.

Through processes of activist-scholarship, participatory-, action-, feminist- and indigenous- research, researchers engage in collaborative and transformative processes of co-discovery with communities and social movements. Yet, those pursuing this approach are often isolated and relatively un-supported in institutions that are rooted in the objectivist approach. We aim to nurture a community of practice amongst anyone interested in change-making through research. 

What we’re up to: We are an emerging group comprised of University of Oregon undergraduates, graduates, and faculty members who are working on issues surrounding social and environmental justice in both the North American and international context. We self-identify as engaged scholars, and are interested in working within and alongside social movements of farmers, indigenous people, workers, organizers, educators, and advocates who are transforming our food and political systems towards justice and ecological health. We are meeting to organize our scholarly community, with the aim to become ever more thoughtful, accountable, and effective partners in processes of social change in how we pursue knowledge production, and in how we share and mobilize this knowledge. We will be doing a range of different things such as:

  • Skills-oriented workshops on different methods, tools and approaches
  • Critical reflection
  • Spending time hanging out and getting to know one-another
  • Collective reading
  • Let’s Get Practical Sessions (where people bring their projects and dilemmas to collectively problem solve and scheme together)
  • Walk and talk meetings

This is an open community of practice, where everyone who shares these interests are welcome. It is also a community that will follow the collective energies and interests of those that participate and, as such, will evolve and change over time.

Contact: If you want to be involved in this community of practice at the University of Oregon, please email ZYZ to be added to the listserv (to stay in the loop) or if you have questions.