Panel Discussion: Power, Possibility, and Equity in Research Practice Partnerships

In partnership with the Spencer Foundation and the Forum for Youth Investment, on June 10, we hosted a 90 minute panel discussion, “Power, Possibility, and Equity in Research Practice Partnerships.”

RPPs have been an important approach to research that seeks to center issues of practice and the voices of educators in the research process by building deep and sustaining partnerships between practitioners and researchers. A key issue in the design and implementation of RPPs is how to do so in ways that reflect a commitment to equity, and that does not reproduce problematic power dynamics between practitioners, families, youth and researchers—power dynamics which are often racialized and which can be exploitative to communities. Too often RPPs fail to take up equity explicitly and intentionally.

This session highlighted two RPPs, one in the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and one in Seattle Public Schools, that center equity in the design and implementation of the partnership. Panelists discussed strategies to develop equitable partnerships including the necessary relational conditions, reconfiguration of power and hierarchy, the role of the community, institutional dynamics, and sustainability. The discussion attended not only to these existing partnerships, but what they suggest about what is possible for creating truly equitable partnerships moving forward.

Meg Escude’, University of Berkeley
Erin Gutierrez, Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco
Ann Ishimaru, University of Wisconsin
Keisha Scarlett, Seattle Public Schools
Shirin Vossoughi, Northwestern University

Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Spencer Foundation

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