MetaConnects aims to connect academic researchers with community organizations in a process that is often referred to as community-based research or participatory action research. You will notice in many of our toolkit resources a call to "Get Participatory!" in your research efforts. Here we would like to describe a project that did just that as an example of the value of community-based participatory research.
MetaConnects team member George conducted a community-based participatory research project with the Bresee Foundation Community Center and their annual Youth Film Festival on Social Justice. Bresee is a non-profit community center that works with and serves low-income youth and families in the neighborhoods of Mid-Wilshire, Koreatown, Pico-Union, and Westlake. Now in its 6th year, Bresee's Film Festival aims to train and engage young digital media-makers in creating short films on important social issues that effect youth in Los Angeles. Past festivals have focused on social justice themes that tell stories about urban housing conditions, immigration, education, the economic recession, and community heroes. To view some of the past youth films, visit the festival's YouTube page.
Together, George and Bresee worked to define what research questions the organization wanted to answer, and George conducted research to try to provide insights to help improve their work.
The research documented the ways that Bresee addressed these issues:
The research documented these obstacles:
The research documented these lessons:
Community based and participatory research can serve as a key piece of both the academic landscape and the world of community organizations for years to come. A strong partnership can provide benefits that independent projects might not be able to accomplish.
Return to our collaborations page.