Featured Articles

Special Issue of Urban Education: Building the Emerging Field Of Collaborative, Community Engaged Education Research

issue_artThis special issue includes a set of articles designed to advance the theory and practice of CCES in education research and related fields. CCES has emerged across a range of disciplines and research domains, relying upon different methodologies and ethical frameworks, including participatory action research, youth participatory action research, action research, community-based research, and other forms of engaged scholarship like community-based participatory research.


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Fighting for the Souls of Our Schools: Understanding Youth Leadership in the 2016 Boston Student Walkout Movement

issue_artThis report is the result of a collaborative research project undertaken by students in the Practicum in Community Based Research under the direction of Professor Mark R. Warren at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The purpose of this research project was to study how Boston youth emerged as leaders of the Spring 2016 BPS student walkout and how these young people understand and experience their leadership roles in the broader movement for educational justice during and since the walkout.

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The Formation of Community-engaged Scholars- A Collaborative Approach to Doctoral Training in Educational Research


Community-engaged scholars working in the field of education collaborate with families, teachers, and communities to support their efforts to address educational inequities, marking an important way that researchers can promote social justice in public education. Yet these collaborations require particular skills and orientations of researchers, which traditional models of doctoral education are not designed to develop. One of the few in-depth investigations of doctoral practices that support community-engaged scholarship, this study offers critical lessons for those who care about the development of a new generation of education researchers committed to working with communities to transform schools and society.

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From Private Citizens to Public Actors: The Development of Parent Leaders Through Community Organizing


Practitioners and scholars join hands to share promising practices and research‐based examples of community initiatives that have had positive impacts on families, schools, and communities. Educators are coming to recognize the need to move beyond traditional forms of parent involvement toward meaningful engagement of families in the life of schools. In these models, parents are not only supporters of their own child’s learning — as important as that is — but also advocates and decision makers at the school and district level. Some educators, for instance, have called for the development of “demand parents” — parents who are capable of advocating for their own child, as well as other children in the school. Demand parents support their own child, while also demanding systemic improvements and holding schools accountable for change.

Access a free pre-publication copy at this link.


Transforming Public Education: The Need for an Educational Justice Movement


Nearly fifteen years after the passage of No Child Left Behind, the failures of our educational system with regard to low-income children of color remain profound. Traditional reform efforts have sought improvements solely within the confines of the school system, failing to realize how deeply educational failure is part of and linked to broader structures of poverty and racism. A social movement that creates political and cultural change is necessary to transform the racial inequities in public education itself and to connect this transformational effort to a larger movement to combat poverty and racism. The seeds of a new educational justice movement can be found in the rise of community and youth organizing efforts, in the development of teacher activism, and in the recent creation of new alliances at local, state, and national levels like those combating the school-to-prison pipeline. Many activists and educators have begun to offer a program for school transformation that connects to a broad agenda to combat racial segregation and economic insecurity, to improve housing, public health, and safety, and to reform immigration laws.

Download a free copy from the New England Journal of Public Policy here.

Suggested Articles & Other Publications

Organizing for School Reform and Educational Justice

“A Movement’s Legacy: Southern Echo and the Continued Struggle for Racial Justice in the Delta,” with Mara Tieken, Sociological Focus 49, No. 1 (January, 2016): 84-101

The Emergence of a Youth Justice Movement in the United States,” with Luke Kupscznk, forthcoming in Contemporary Youth Activism: Advancing Social Justice in the United States, edited by Jerusha Conner and Sonia M. Rosen, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO/Praeger, 2016.

“Community Organizing, School Improvement and Educational Justice,” in Learning from the Federal Market Based Reforms: Lessons for Every Student Succeeds Act, edited by William J. Mathis and Tina M. Trujillo, Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2016.

Review of “Turning lightning into electricity: Organizing parents for education reform,” for the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, January 2015, available to read here.

“Transforming Public Education: The Need for an Educational Justice Movement,” New England Journal of Public Policy, Volume 26 (2014). Free download here.

“Youth Organizing: From Youth Development to School Reform,” with Meredith Mira & Thomas Nikundiwe. New Directions for Youth Development, Volume 117 (Spring, 2008): pp. 27-42

“Beyond the Bake Sale: A Community-Based Relational Approach to Parent Engagement in Schools,” With Soo Hong, Carolyn Leung Rubin & Phitsamay Sychitkokhong Uy. Teachers College Record 111 (9): pp. 2209–2254. (2009) Download PDF

“Communities and Schools: A New View of Urban Education Reform,” Harvard Educational Review, 75 (Summer): 133-173. (2005). Read Online

“Community Schools and Community Building,” Our Children: Magazine of the National PTA, February/March 2007. Read Online

Community Organizing and Social Capital

Community Organizing in Britain: The Political Engagement of Faith-based Social Capital,” City & Community 8, No. 2 (2009): 99-127. Read Online

“The Role of Social Capital in Combating Poverty,” first author, with J. Phillip Thompson and Susan Saegert, in Social Capital and Poor Communities, edited by Susan Saegert, J. Phillip Thompson and Mark R. Warren, New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press. (2001) Download PDF

“Building Democracy,” Shelterforce: The Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Building 23 (January/February): 17-19. (2001) Read Online

“Power and Conflict in Social Capital: Community Organizing and Urban Policy,” in Beyond Tocqueville, edited by Bob Edwards, Michael W. Foley and Mario Diani, Hanover, NH: University Press of New England. (2001)

“Community Building and Political Power: A Community Organizing Approach to Democratic Renewal,” American Behavioral Scientist 41 (September): 78-92. (1998).

Community Engaged Scholarship

“Creating an Academic Culture that Supports Community-Engaged Scholarship,” with John Saltmarsh, Patricia Krueger-Henney, Lorna Rivera, Richard K. Fleming, Donna Haig Friedman and Miren Uriarte, Democracy & Diversity, 18(1), Winter 2015. Read Online

“Knowledgeable Power and Powerful Knowledge: Research and Organizing for Educational and Social Justice,” in Sociologists in Action on Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality, edited by Kathleen Odell Korgen, Jonathan White, and Shelley White. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2014.

Faith and Democracy

Faith-based Community Organizing: The State of the Field, with Richard L. Wood, report of the findings of a national survey of faith-based community organizing, Jericho, NY: Interfaith Funders, January 2001. Read Online

“Faith Communities and American Democracy,” in One Electorate under God? A Dialogue on Religion and American Politics, edited by E.J. Dionne, Jr., Jean Bethke Elshtain and Kayla M. Drogosz, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. (2004)

“Faith and Leadership in the Inner City,” in Religion as Social Capital, edited by Corwin Smidt, Waco: Baylor University Press. (2003)

“A Different Face of Faith-based Politics: Social Capital and Community Organizing in the Public Arena” with Richard L. Wood, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 22 (No. 9/10): 6-54. (2002). Read Online

Policy Briefs, Magazine & Newspaper Articles

The Promise of Community Organizing for School Reform, policy brief for the Scholars Strategy Network, May 2012. Read Online

“Race in America,” review essay on Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics, by Cathy Cohen, in Perspective on Politics 10 (September 2012): 763-766.

“Sociologists Help Establish Network to Promote Community Engaged Scholarship,” with Jose Calderon, ASA Footnotes, 41(2):1, February 2013. Read Online

“National Growth of Community Organizing: Essential to School Transformation,” with Keith Catone, AISR Speaks Out: Commentary on Urban Education, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, April 3, 2012.
“No Parent Left Behind,” Washington Post Bookworm, November 16, 2011. Read Online

“Parent Trigger or Parent Power?” with Karen L. Mapp, San Jose Mercury News, October 21, 2011. Read Online

“How White Americans Embrace Diversity,” Fair Housing Focus (April 2011): 1.

“The White Fight,” American Prospect (April 2011): A20-21. Read Online

“How White Activists Embrace Racial Justice,” Poverty & Race Research Action Council Newsletter, 19 (November/December, 2010): 1-2, 10-13.

“Partners for Change: Public Schools and Community-based Organizations,” Voices in Urban Education, 14 (Fall, 2007): 44-52.From Private Citizens to Public Actors: The Development of Parent Leaders Through Community Organizing