Participatory Action Research
Participatory action research (PAR) is social inquiry based on the principle that those most impacted by research should take the lead in framing the questions, design, methods and analysis. In PAR studies, participants help to design studies, frame questions, collect data, complete data analysis, and strategize about how to act on findings. In addition to building knowledge from the expertise incumbent in neighborhoods, Participatory Action Research is an organizing tool: building the case for positive government and philanthropic intervention and galvanizing action and involvement by community stakeholders.
Since its inception, BCC has relied on a PAR methodology underpinned by a social determinants of health framework, generating studies that have informed informed community-based healthcare provision, new affordable housing development, wealth building strategies, workforce development, and career pipeline efforts.
Participatory Action Research with Black Entrepreneurs and Business Owners in East and Central Brooklyn (2022-2023)
In 2022, researchers compiled information on key demographic and economic indicators in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, and East New York, and conducted hour-long dialogue interviews with Black business owners located in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, and East New York. The insights on their successes, their challenges, and their potential to become healthcare suppliers and contractors lays the groundwork for anchor procurement diversification efforts.
Sponsors and Research Team Coordinators: Brooklyn Communities Collaborative, CUNY Hunter College, Wellness Empowerment for Brooklyn, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Participatory Action Research on Health & Housing in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and East New York (2020-2021)
Between 2016 and 2019 PAR teams of 40 – 50 student researchers surveyed neighborhoods of Central, East, and Southwest Brooklyn to learn what would make a difference in improving health and wellness. Finding affordable, safe and healthy housing in Brooklyn has become a challenge for communities where residents are of low to moderate income and have poorer access to resources.
Sponsors and Research Team Coordinators: Community Care of Brooklyn (CCB) /Maimonides Medical Center (MMC); Community Action and Advocacy Workgroup
Participatory Action Research on COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination (2021)
From January 27th – February 1, 2021, a team of 22 WEB youth researchers conducted a brief survey on experiences and perspectives with COVID-19 testing and vaccination with more than 1,600 Brooklynites.
Sponsors and Research Team Coordinators: Community Care of Brooklyn (CCB) /Maimonides Medical Center (MMC)
Bay Ridge, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, and Sunset Park (2019)
Focus of Recommendations: Physical and mental health; housing affordability and access; immigrant advocacy and support; access to resources; community engagement; physical environment
Sponsors and Research Team Coordinators: CCB; Brooklyn College; Kingsborough Community College; Dubois-Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College; MIT CoLab
Canarsie, Flatbush, and Flatlands (2018)
Focus of Recommendations: Increasing awareness, communication, and programming around health and mental health; Enhancing existing systems, institutions, and organizations; Building relationships among community stakeholders
Sponsors and Research Team Coordinators: CCB; Kingsborough Community College; Dubois-Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College; MIT CoLab
Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and East Flatbush (2017)
Focus of Recommendations: Housing affordability through equitable development strategies; Individual income and community wealth; Local organizing capacity; Hospitals as economic and community anchors; Health care workers in community leadership roles
Sponsors and Research Team Coordinators: CCB; New York Community Trust; Interfaith Medical Center; Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center; Dubois-Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College; NextShift Collaborative, LLC
Brownsville and East New York (2016)
Focus of Recommendations: Food justice; Nutrition; Physical Activity
Sponsors and Research Team Coordinators: CCB; Dubois-Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College; NextShift Collaborative, LLC
- The East Brooklyn Call to Action: The East Brooklyn Call to Action is an ongoing collaboration between residents, community organizations, elected officials, and labor groups to build upon the Brownsville and East New York PAR findings in four areas where attention and resources are most needed: Food & Fitness, Health & Housing, Premature Mortality, and Workforce Strategy. Based on community feedback, the East Brooklyn Call to Action will determine which action area to address first.
- Brownsville Collaborative Middle School Hydroponic Farm: Based on PAR findings around access to nutritious foods, CCB teamed up with Teens for Food Justice to build a hydroponic farm at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School. Students now spend some of their science class periods learning about the farming process, planting and harvesting crops, and learning how to cook the food they have grown. The farm is expected to produce 15,000 pounds of fresh, nutritious produce every year for their school and the larger Brownsville community through a food box program, which allows community members to buy a week’s worth of produce for $14. More from NPR here!