#Reflections, March 6, 15
I began working with Professor of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College Edwin Mayorga this semester (Spring ‘15). Our project is called Education in our Barrios or #BarrioEdPHL (@BarrioEdPHL). It focuses on researching educational reform in Philadelphia’s core Latino areas of South Philly and Hunting Park (in North Philly). The project is centered on critical participatory action research (CPAR), which stems from the idea of incorporating communities as investigators in research.
In order to disperse the purpose of the project to the community, the #BarrioEdPHL project utilizes social media and other digital forms of information sharing platforms. It also places a high value on the relatively new idea of social media as a tool for social change, and social media a source for social data.
Since our start with the #BarrioEdPHL project, we have been working to set up a network of co-researchers in the Tri-co (Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore) and in the communities of interest. Together we make up the “#BarrioEd Research Collaborative.” We have recently added five more co-researchers from the TriCo, including:
Amanda Acosta, Haverford, 2018;
Iliana Dominguez-Franco, Bryn Mawr, 2016;
Fatima Salcido, Bryn Mawr 2017;
Amit Schwalb, Swarthmore, 2017;
Ramelcy Uribe, Haverford, 2018
We have been in contact with different non-profit organizations from the South Philly area and Nueva Esperanza Charter School in Hunting Park. These non-profit organizations focus on helping the Latino community of the area on issues such as education, public health, and immigration. On Wednesday, March 4 the five of the co-researchers were able to travel to South Philly and meet with one of the co-founders and the director of Casa Monarca, a non-profit that concentrates on educating the youth on Mexican culture and history and helping adults on digital and language skills. The meeting was a great success. We explained the aim of the project and the model, and we were able to understand some of Casa Monarca’s goals on a deeper level. The co-founder and director seemed very enthusiastic and agreed to work with us. This meeting left me very enthusiastic for what is next to come with the project. I look forward to building more connections and working with great people like those from Casa Monarca.