Study. Reflect. Act.
Our community led action research is about linking our ability to study to our ability to act together. Through partnerships with Free Your Voice, Benjamin Franklin High School, Towson University and others we bring tools into the hands of youth and community members to dig deeper into the challenges we face everyday. Whether it is vacant homes, polluted air or lack of family sustaining jobs we use the research process to build community knowledge as a source of collective power to drive a process towards securing tangible change.
You can follow updates and reports from our research process here on our site and please reach out to get involved. Check out a few highlights below:
The Vacant Housing research group focused on disrupting the pattern of blighted vacant homes being bought by entities with no near term interest in creating housing, let alone affordable housing in the community. Reacting to a fire that destroyed 10 properties across the street from a local recreation center, the group developed a plan for community ownership and redevelopment to respond to a tragedy with a new precedent of development that raises standards without displacement. The work of this student led research process culminating in a call for millions of dollars in public investment in rebuilding the fire torn block was impeded by seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Recently though, the effort achieved a major breakthrough in securing community ownership of several properties on the impacted block as part of a comprehensive vision for community development without displacement.
The Trash and Pollution research group made a connection between the trash we see on the streets everyday and the pollution we all breathe from the city’s worst air polluter, the BRESCO incinerator. Starting with the goal of increasing diversion of recyclable and compostable materials from their own school cafeteria, students went on to secure regular recycling collections and hauling at Benjamin Franklin High School.
In 2019, students living in between the BRESCO incinerator, the Quarantine Road Landfill and the nation’s largest medical waste incinerator – all in South Baltimore – decided that a systemic approach was needed to initiate a just transition away from burning and burying. Students named this the Zero Waste Challenge and followed up by leading a citywide planning process with the assistance of national experts in the field to generate the plan we are now working to implement.
Invest in our Future through Community Education, Research and Action!
Community owned participatory action research is at our core. We would not be able to transform vacants into permanently affordable homes or shift from incinerators to Zero Waste infrastructure without an ongoing process of study, reflection & action.
This mode of education that is all about building collective agency and pushing critical thinking and action to the limits is inherently out of the box and challenges the status quo. It requires support to sustain and grow. We appreciate your generous contribution.