Dear Colleagues, Friends & #BarrioEdProj supporters,
As some of you know in 2013 I launched Education in our Barrios, #BarrioEdProj (https://barrioedproj.org) in East Harlem, NYC. As a participatory study, two young people (Honory Peña and Mariely Mena) from the neighborhood took part in the project as co-researchers. Working with these two youth co-researchers from this long time urban Latino core community we examined the intersections of education reform and neighborhood development. Our collective work focused on conducting interviews and surveys of community members, doing archival research, participating in community education events, creating research sharing events, and using social media to engage with people of the neighborhood. By documenting and sharing this information we sought (and continue to seek) to inform the work of residents, policy makers, scholars and education personnel as they shape public education and the future of the neighborhood.
In the fall of 2014, I began work as an Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College, just outside of Philadelphia. This wonderful opportunity created challenges and opportunities for the work of #BarrioEdProj. Questions about how to sustain the project in New York remain, and much of this school year has been spent staying in contact with the various people from East Harlem that we built relationships with. Keeping up these relationships, albeit virtually, has been very fulfilling and there look to be some positive ways to sustain these relationships into the future.
At the same time I have spent the past six months working to establish the project in Latino neighborhoods in Philadelphia and connecting these communities to Swarthmore College. With a grant from the TriCo digital humanities I have been recruiting students from Swarthmore and the rest of the TriCo (Bryn Mawr, Haverford & Swarthmore) to participate as co-researchers.
I’m happy to share that Education in our Barrios, Philadelphia #BarrioEdPHL, is coming into being. The #BarrioEdPHL research collaborative is now comprised of seven people, including myself, and six TriCo students:
Amanda Acosta, Haverford, 2018
Iliana Dominguez-Franco, Bryn Mawr, 2016
Alondra Rosales, Swarthmore, 2017
Fatima Salcido, Bryn Mawr 2017
Amit Schwalb, Swarthmore, 2017
Ramelcy Uribe, Haverford, 2018
We have begun meeting, visiting with potential community partners, and are working on recruiting youth from the barrios we are seeking to work with including parts of North Philadelphia, Hunting Park, and South Philadelphia.
Between April and June we will be doing trainings in Participatory Action Research (PAR), conducting interviews, archival research, and community surveys. We will also be working on WordPress site building, social media planning, and video and audio production. Co-researchers will also be writing blog posts, managing our social media, and doing outreach work with our partnering communities.
In the Fall of 2015 we will begin conducting research and sharing bits of our data with the public through our website and other social media platforms.
We invite you to connect with us and be part of our ongoing journey into social science for the public good.
From time to time I will also send out notices of upcoming events that the project is hosting or co-hosting.
Director of the Education in our Barrios Project (NYC & Philadelphia)