Accepting Applications: “What Went Wrong?” Engaged Research Conference

As Minnesota Rising prepares to reprise our “Fail Lab: Failing Into the Future” Collaborative Competence Learning Lab at bushCONNECT, we’ve come across others who agree that there is often just as much (if not more) potential to learn from our failures as our successes.  The “What Went Wrong?” conference will provide a space for those working for social justice to come together in active dialogue about what it means for communities and universities to practice deeply engaged research that is reflexive, questions power dynamics, and works toward shifts in practice. See below for event details, and consider submitting a proposal to share with others what failure has taught or shaped in you!

Call for Proposals

“What Went Wrong?”: Reflecting and Learning from Community-Engaged Research
**The website header image is from the artwork of local Dakota Sioux/Chicano artist and poet Richard Merlin Johnson, Jr.
OVERVIEW
Members of the Twin Cities metropolitan area (Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN) in conjunction with the University of Minnesota are convening the first ever “What Went Wrong?” conference from July 11-12, 2014, dedicated to understanding and enhancing community-engaged research practices. We recognize there is often just as much (if not more) potential to learn from our failures as our successes. Yet, we are rarely given intellectual settings to discuss, learn, and grow from our failures. Community-engaged research is an inherently messy process due to historically exploitative community/university relationships situated in unequal power dynamics that continue today. By highlighting the mis-steps and misalignments that can hamper potentially powerful community/university partnerships, our goal is to provide a participatory space for community members, community-based organizations, youth researchers, and university researchers committed to deep community engagement to gain clarity about our work.
The “What Went Wrong?” conference will provide a space for those working for social justice to come together in active dialogue about what it means for communities and universities to practice deeply engaged research that is reflexive, questions power dynamics, and works toward shifts in practice. We will unpack our interests, our values, and our ways of knowing to encourage honest collaboration and relevant research. We will seek to disrupt traditional ways of viewing community/university partnerships and power dynamics. We will directly address individual and collective motives and benefits that partners seek from collaboration and the ways these can both expand and limit possibilities. By highlighting our failures, we will analyze the complex conditions that surround engaged research. We will question the ways in which collaborative research for social justice can reinforce the status quo of unequal power dynamics. Finally, the conference will serve as a resource for community members, organizations, youth researchers, graduate students, and university faculty who are interested in developing critical community-engaged research partnerships. The “What Went Wrong?” conference is a participatory event. This call for proposals invites you to share the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that have come from “failure.”
The conference will be held in multiple sites around the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis: a vibrant, diverse community with access to theatres, music venues, and dining from international communities. Come for the conference and take advantage of the amenities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Proposals must be submitted online using this Proposal Submission Form. You can view and print a sample form here. Proposals are due by 5 pm Pacific time on Saturday March 29, 2014.
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