What, Exactly, Is AMJ doing?

Local drama happened so I’m a bit behind in starting up my Collaborative Curiosity participation but I definitely wanted to be sure I got my research summary in on time. This week, we’re supposed to share what we want to research for the next 7 weeks. I’m admittedly REALLY nervous about putting my research details out there for potential pilfering (not from classmates but [insert rant about rampant thievery from activist (especially black women’s) blogs and tweets] but at some point, I did say that this blog is supposed to be(come) an academic blog. Or something. So here goes…

My dissertation will focus on gaining understanding the experiences of LGBTQ homeless youth. I don’t want to give away too much here but I’ll share some of the broad (non-theoretical) points of the project:

So what, right? I care about all of this ‘cuz

You may notice a pattern in the above sources:

  • Of the research that does exist, we still don’t know much of anything about youth’s experiences while homeless.
  • On top of that, there really isn’t much in the way of research that privileges the voices of the youth being studies.

We already know from the Mental Health Consumer Movement (pdf) that input from the people impacted by programs and policies improves outcomes for both individuals and programs. As such, I’ll be taking a CBPR-inspired approach to my research. CBPR (community-based participatory research) is defined as a

“collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community, has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities.”  WK Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholars Program(source: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health)

There are lots of different ways one can go with a CBPR (inspired) project but, in the name of graduating relatively soon, I have already set some things in place that I hope my partners are interested in. Of course, if they aren’t, we will put our heads together and make the necessary changes.

Welcome to my project!


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