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Make the Road CT Hosts Community-based Participatory Research Project

Recently, CPD worked with Make the Road Connecticut (MRCT) to launch a gallery walk that showcased the photography of members of MRCT's youth committee. The photographs were part of a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by CPD Senior Research Analyst, Michele Kilpatrick, CPD Co-director of Community Dignity Campaigns, Julio Lopez (then executive director at MRCT), and Professor Julie Henly at the University of Chicago. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a form of research that recognizes the expertise and centrality of the lived experiences of communities. In such projects, members of the community are active participants in the development of research questions, research design, and implementation. 

The main component of the project was a research method called photovoice, in which participants took pictures that illustrated their experiences, then joined group-discussion sessions focused on those experiences. After a few rounds of pictures and discussion sessions, participants chose the pictures they wanted to showcase, then decided how to showcase them. The youth selected three photos to be a part of a gallery walk and drafted sentences describing the meaning of those photos. The final project highlighted the challenges of immigrant families in a community facing disinvestment and white supremacist persecution as well as labor abuses.

The title, brochures, and format of the gallery were designed by the young people, working with local artist, Lindaluz Carrillo. On July 19, MRCT staff, members, family, and friends came together to see these pictures and learn from these young photographers. Congratulations to MRCT for a successful and fascinating project!