Participatory Action Research and Race Part 1: Fighting for Immigrant Justice

Thursday, Oct 15, 2015
5:00 - 6:30 pm
Room 9-451

Presented by Dr. Jose Calderon, Professor of Sociology + Chicano/a Studies, Pitzer College

"My struggles with learning English and growing up in a poor immigrant farm worker family became the foundations of language, labor, and immigration issues that I passionately took up in my organizing, teaching, and research as an activist intellectual in academia," explains Dr. Calderson.  Through scholarship and organizing he helped defeat an English Only movement in the city of Monterey Park, assisted farmworker unions, and has build long-lasting partnerships between communities and higher education institutions.  While many academics enter communities unlike their own for the purposes of PAR, Dr. Calderon already belonged to the immigrant networks and places in which he wanted to fight for civil rights.  In this session, Dr. Calderson will discuss his newly published book, Lessons from an Activist Intellectual: Teaching, Research, and Organizing for Social Change.  He believes that those who experience injustice have the knowledge needed to fight oppression.


MIT CoLab invites you to a weekly Participatory Action Research (PAR) speaker series on Thursday from October 15th - November 19th, 2015 from 5:00-6:30 PM in Room 9-451.  These talks are free and open to the public. 

PAR is a collaborative approach to inquiry, scholarship, and social justice in which the boundaries between "subjects" and "researchers" are blurred.  The subjects are no longer objects and become partners in the research process, which includes selection of the research topic, data collection and analysis, as well as decision-making about what action should happen as a result of the research findings.  Since PAR values situated knowledge and lived experience, innovation research methods outside the standard scientific framework are crucial to obtaining and analyzing information.  

In this series, we will explore how different individuals and organizations are practicing elements of participatory action research in their work to fight for labor rights, promote economic democracy, and organize against racial discrimination in the United States and abroad.  Futhermore, we will learn about creative methods to capture and disseminate knowledge with the aim of advancing social justice.