Local Nodes

URBAN Philadelphia – community conversation about public education in our city

The recent election and subsequent cabinet level nominations, especially in education, are cause for alarm on many levels. As members of URBAN Philadelphia, we want to provide the space for educators, parents, and concerned residents to engage in conversation about how we can collectively address the challenges that are in store for public education in our city. Please see information on this event below. We hope to see you there. Continue reading


Join us for OUR 7th Season of Critical PAR Institutes!
The Critical Participatory Action Research Institute is designed to introduce the theory, methods, and ethics of critical participatory action research (PAR) to graduate students, faculty, and members of community based organizations. Through seminars, roundtables, and hands-on workshops with experienced researchers, participants gain the necessary skills and knowledge to integrate a critical PAR approach into their scholarship, research, and/or organizing.

Learn more here!

URBAN Gathers for Third National Meeting: “Critical Solidarities and Multi-Scalar Powers”

Urban Research-Based Action Network (URBAN) Gathers for Third National Meeting at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

On Thursday, March 31st and Friday, April 1st, nearly one hundred scholars, activists, and artists gathered for the third national URBAN conference at the CUNY Graduate Center: Critical Solidarities and Multi-Scalar Powers. Continue reading

New URBAN Hartford Node is Formed

The URBAN network continues to expand with the formation of the Hartford node, chaired by Dr. Paige M. Bray, Director of the center of Learning and Professional Education under the Institute for Translational Research http://www.hartford.edu/enhp/community/itr/learning/. The creation of the Hartford URBAN node offers the opportunity to expand connections within academic and community-based arenas for collaborative purposes.  Establishing a formal link between Urban Research-Based Action Network (URBAN) and Institute for Translational Research further vitalizes our existing interdisciplinary research efforts by: a) Bringing regional and national URBAN network insights to established relationships between community members, University researchers and philanthropic organizations, b) Expanding the capacity for mentoring and support, c) Supporting ongoing public dissemination of community engaged, participatory research which presents translational, practical outcomes, and d) Dialogues about ethical engagement and social justice issues through regionally-based forums offered by the Center of Learning and Professional Education.

You can follow the Hartford node on twitter:

URBAN Boston Node Updates

URBAN Boston node continues to bring researchers and community members together to work on mutual areas of interest including but not limited to health, housing, education, transportation, and the ability for community members to use diverse data sources and analytic methods to devise evidence-based interventions. Through monthly eblasts and other communications, the Boston node is working to connect the Boston community around engaged research and action. Continue reading

From Youth Organizers to Social Justice Activists? Experiences of Youth Organizers Transitioning to Adulthood

From Youth Organizers to Social Justice Activists? Experiences of Youth Organizers Transitioning to Adulthood documents the experiences of former youth organizers in Boston and identifies the ways in which they stay connected to social justice work as young adults. This report also discusses the challenges of staying connected to social justice work and recommends ways that youth organizing groups can help their alumni stay connected to social justice work as they transition into young adulthood.

This report is the product of a collaborative research partnership between the University of Massachusetts, Boston and three youth organizing groups in Boston: the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project (BYOP), Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP), and The City School. The UMass Boston team included five doctoral students that participated in the Practicum in Community-Based Research course offered in the Department of Public Policy. This course is taught by Prof. Mark Warren, chair of URBAN Boston and co-chair of national URBAN.

Open Letter to Philadelphia School Reform Commission Highlights Concern over School Privatization

In an open letter to the School Reform Commission (SRC) of the School District of Philadelphia, several Philadelphia-area faculty members raise concerns over the plans to privatize three elementary schools.  The letter questions the process by which the SRC decided on privatization, as it excluded parents and communities who prefer neighborhood schools, and the rationale that poor student performance drives privatization.

Reflections on the Second National URBAN Conference

On Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th, over fifty scholars and activists from the Urban Research-Based Action Network (URBAN) gathered for their second national conference at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Gilda Ochoa, Professor of Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies and Sociology at Pomona College, reflects on the conference: Learning from the Contradictions: A Critical Reflection on Collaborative Action-Research.