Meet Tashal Brown at Our Inaugural Community Research Conversation!

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Our inaugural Community Research Conversation featuring former Summer Institute faculty member and curent doctoral student, Tashal Brown is happening on Wednesday May 8th from 6:30 to 8. Tashal will be sharing her research which examines the Nasher experience of participation in Power, Identity, and Privilege (PIP), a Summer Institute core class for over 10 years! Tashal taught the course at our Brooklyn and Queens site and is spending her Spring semester conducting focus groups with Nashers who have taken PIP which will inform her dissertation. We had an opportunity to catch up with Tashal and learn more about her work and what it means to have a liberatory research practice

Tell us about your research

My research centers the experiences of girls of color as it pertains to their participation in the Summer Institute course on Power, Identity and Privilege (PIP). More specifically, I seek to better understand how critical interrogations of power can open up opportunities for girls of color to examine and make sense of the social and political issues that impact the everyday lives.

Why did you decide to focus on Sadie Nash as a site for your research?

During my first summer as PIP faculty, I was captivated by the critical consciousness, creativity, care and sense of community that was fostered within the Summer Institute. I knew that I wanted to continue learning from and with the Sadie Nash community. As PIP faculty, I had become a part of that community and I wanted to sustain my participation in the space in ways that reflect my commitment to teaching and learning about issues of power with youth.

How would you characterize your approach to research?

As a researcher, I am aware that my social identities and lived experiences shape the way I view and understand the world as well as the choices I make about the people, places, and experiences that inform my research. I have been blessed to be exposed to and mentored by a strong community of critical scholars that ground their work in humanizing research theories and practices. These scholars continue to challenge the ways I think about the purpose and goals of research.  For example, Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang write extensively about the harmful and exploitative research practices that are often taken up in research about historically marginalized communities. Cynthia Dillard (2006) argues that educational researchers must seek out “new ways of looking into the reality of others that opens our own lives to view—and that makes us accountable to the people, interests, and needs of whom we study” (p. 2). Thus, developing a liberatory research practice requires a shift that recognizes the need for community members to be involved in the process of conceptualizing, developing and conducting research.

 Dillard, C. B. (2006). On spiritual strivings: Transforming an African American woman’s academic life. Albany: State University of New York Press

Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (2014). Unbecoming claims: Pedagogies of refusal in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry20(6), 811-818.

Thanks Tashal! If you’re curious to learn more about Tashal or our new Research Homeplace initiative, join us at our inaugural Community Research Conversation, Wednesday May 8th from 6:30 to 8pm. RSVP here.