Spotlight . . .


Community - Campus Day of Service

April 5, 2014

On Saturday, April 5th, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicked off National Volunteer Week with an inaugural Community-Campus Day of Service. Over 60 students, faculty and staff worked with six community partners on seven projects to complete pre-construction projects, community garden spring preparation projects, flyering in the community, reorganizing classrooms at Tap in Leadership Academy, cataloging choral literature, and preparing a Bee Garden. A big thank you goes out to all who helped on April 5!


Enriching perspectives through community engagement

FAA 391 Spring 2010

FAA 391: Action Research Seminar





Making Space for Difference in Champaign-Urbana

Instructor: Abby Harmon
Office: 325 Noble Hall
Phone: 265-6341

Meets: Wednesdays 3-5:30PM, 317 Noble Hall 
Plus trips to East St. Louis as needed
(Approximately 2 trips to ESL, all expenses covered by ESLARP).
Credit hours: 3

This course is designed to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to develop research skills that are applied to real life needs in the community.  It is a semester-long course that approaches research from the participatory action research (PAR) paradigm, which seeks to transform societal injustice through changing power relations in society.  PAR principles include the following:
•    research should act as a vehicle toward social change,
•    research should use bottom-up analysis,
•    participants should shape the research, and
•    real life experience and tangible actions are important pieces of research.

In this course, it is important that we understand these principles.  We will explore what it means to do collaborative, participatory work as engaged citizens of our community and as a way of being in the world. 

Course Syllabus

Schedule and Readings:

Week 1 (1/20)
Introduction to course

Week 2 (1/27)
De Pastino "Citizen Hobo-Conclusion"
Miller and Keys "Understanding Dignity in Lives of Homeless Persons"
Wasserman and Clair "At Home on the Street-Introduction"

Week 3 (2/3)
Introduction to projects

Week 4 (2/10)

Sandercock "When Strangers Become Neighbors: Managing Cities of Difference"
Bennett "Participatory Planning in Binghamton, New York"

Week 5 (2/17)
Sweet and Escalante "How Planning Engages Gender Violence: Evidence from Spain, Mexico and the U.S."
Sweet and Hart "Collaborative Research: Cultured Economies and Gendered Experiences and Definitions of Work: The Case of Latinas in Chicago and Women In Mexico"

Week 6 (2/24)
Project work Day
Written evaluation of project progress due

Week 7 (3/3)
Reardon et al. "Participatory Action Research From the Inside: Community Development Practice in East St. Louis"

Week 8  (3/10)
Readings to be determined

Week 9  (3/17)
Fraser "Four Different Approaches to Community Participation"

Week 10  (3/24)-NO CLASS, SPRING BREAK

Week 11  (3/31)
Project work Day
Written evaluation of project progress due

Week 12  (4/7)
Readings to be determined

Week 13  (4/14)
Project work Day

Week 14  (4/21)
Project work Day

Week 15  (4/28)
Final reflection paper due

Week 16  (5/5)
Presentations of projects
Final project deliverables due


Additional Resources:

Berkeley Media Studies Group "Moving from Head to Heart: Using Media Advocacy to Talk About Affordable Housing"

 Little Black Book: Event Planning (a project of People for the American Way Foundation)




Last updated on 7/22/2011
Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
326 Noble Hall, MC-549 1209 South Fourth Street Champaign, Illinois 61820 (217) 265-0202 Fax: (217) 244-9320