Dr. Diya Abdo (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from “Evaluating the CNNC Community Centers: A Guilford College and UNCG CNNC Collaboration.”
The proposed project is a collaboration between the UNCG’s Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) and Guilford College to evaluate the CNNC’s Community Centers Program, an innovative cradle-to-career initiative that supports the well-being of immigrants and refugees at three large housing communities in the Greater Greensboro area by providing on-site programming with a focus on employment, health, education, social service access, housing stability, and advocacy.
Guilford College students pursuing the Community and Justice Studies (CMJS) major, together with CNNC staff as well as residents served by the CNNC Community Centers, will design and conduct a Participatory Action Research (PAR) study. PAR is a community-based method of research grounded in the assumption that individuals possess “critical expertise” regarding their lives and experiences, which must be drawn upon to address key social issues and to imagine and work toward the transformation of unjust social and structural arrangements (Fine, 2008).
The CNNC Community Center members and many CMJS students have personal experience navigating and coping with social and economic injustices, and this collective experience positions the research team to be sensitive to the influences of such injustices on micro and systemic levels.