From community centers, to local neighborhoods, to a historic downtown church, IUPUI researchers are working collaboratively with different communities to study the issues impacting the well-being of everyday people. This is the focus of IUPUI’s newest research journal, ENGAGE!.
The first issue celebrates the campus’ 50th anniversary, highlighting the how and why of a distinctive way we are addressing the cities’ questions: “community-engaged research.” Each article in ENGAGE! reflects the personal, the social and the cultural aspects of community-engaged research. Community-engaged research practices are equity-driven and intentionally change-oriented. This means paying attention to and studying concerns that are political and related to power.
We draw attention to the voices of children of immigrants; note the importance of preserving the history of Indianapolis’ African American community; share how parents of children with special needs serve as educational experts; and consider the creativity of Latino youth expressing their deeply held concerns. We also document an on-the-ground leadership approach to tackling the state’s infant mortality rate.
“Community-engaged research in city settings is focused on the processes and results of inquiry-focused relationships between community partners and representatives of the university. Social justice, mutuality, reciprocity and cultural humility must guide the way we work. And this is practiced through dialogue, co-learning, and long-term commitments to participation,” said Dr. Khaula Murtadha, Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Community Engagement at IUPUI and editor of the new journal.
IUPUI cares deeply about finding solutions to society’s most complex problems. Some of the basic elements of community-engaged scholarship and research are highlighted in the launch of ENGAGE!, which includes how leaders in communities partnered with IUPUI faculty, staff and students from the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, the Herron School of Art + Design, the School of Informatics and Computing, along with the Schools of Nursing, Social Work and Education.
Just as IUPUI Vice Chancellor for the Office of Community Engagement Amy Conrad Warner reflects, “By partnering and collaborating with the community, IUPUI and our neighbors can observe and understand trends, find life-saving solutions, and develop ways to improve the health, safety and quality of life of community members.”