The Faculty Learning Community studying Community Based Participatory Research gathered this week for their first meeting of the semester. After sharing progress on our research endeavors, we focused our conversation on issues related to building mutual trust and empowerment in community partner relationships. A few highlights:
It is important to consider the difference between a partnership with community members and with a community organization and how the distinction influences the research initiative.
What is our role if our research reveals that members of the community aren’t best served by our community partner? How do we handle communicating those findings in a way that preserves a positive long-term relationship with the organization staff? Building a strong trusting relationship prior to that eventuality is key, as is trusting the research process itself and the value of trustworthy data.
How staff turnover in the nonprofit sector, schools, and public agencies can affect the timeline of our research projects. Is there a way to prevent larger delays than necessary or is this just a reality of the work?
Honoring the voice of the community in the direction of projects is a hard and fast value in this work - but what if the staff we are working with is new and inexperienced and, not to put too fine a point on it… we think they’re wrong?
If you are interested in joining a Faculty Learning Community in 2019, contact Wendy Wagner: firstname.lastname@example.org.