EHHS professors awarded Kent State Anti-Racism and Equity Institute grant for coalition-building

Astrid Sambolín Morales, assistant professor for the Cultural Foundations of Education Program, and Francisco Torres, assistant professor in the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies, will collaborate on a research project, “Future Dreaming: Coalition Building in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Youth and Families for Empathy, Critical Engagement, and Praxis toward Educational Reform.”

"This research project centers coalition-building between BIPOC Youth and Families for their shared success and advocacy in educational contexts," said Morales. "By promoting and facilitating alliances of marginalized groups that tend to occupy different spaces and work separately on equity and social justice issues, this project seeks to create an institutionalized mechanism in Akron by and for BIPOC youth and families.

Morales and Torres were granted funding for the project as part of the 2023 Anti-Racism and Equity Institute (AREI) Equity Award program, which believes this project has strong potential to impact the field, strengthen community engagement, and lead to external funding.

Through a qualitative, ethnographic approach, the professors aim to understand what coalition building across communities in Akron can look like through the lens of BIPOC Youth and Families. Using the Freirean method of culture circles, the project will also explore how storytelling opens avenues for critical engagement across difference, empathy-building, and, ultimately, coalition-building.

"Bridge the Village, a local non-profit, will help facilitate this work because we recognize that local non-profits, especially those run by people of color, have made lasting commitments to local contexts and the people within those serving areas," said Torres. "The work of education reform must start with our most marginalized and the voices of these individuals, together as a unified front, are the best ones to advocate for the changes needed in their local communities."

POSTED: Thursday, April 27, 2023 01:35 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2023 02:50 PM