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ACES-J IG ... Call for CSCA Panelists: Community-Led Research as Social Justice Scholarship

Call for CSCA Panelists: Community-Led Research as Social Justice Scholarship

I’d like to put together a panel for 2023 CSCA. Note the deadline for CSCA submissions is Fri (10/7). If you’re interested in this panel, I’d need to hear from you by Wed (10/5).

Here’s the idea: I’d like to bring together folks who conduct community-based participatory research as a means of furthering social justice or overcoming injustices. I am particularly interested in showcasing work that goes beyond involving the community members as participants to structuring the project as community led. Such an approach would elevate the experiences, knowledge, and voices of people belonging to traditionally marginalized groups or communities. Often, we think of this research as focusing on topics or groups dealing with inequitable experiences or with marginalized groups, and those are certainly excellent fits for this panel. But I encourage you to also consider being part of this panel if you are using approaches such as indigenous methods, decolonizing methodologies, or others that focus on creating equitable and respectful scholarly partnerships that privilege the voices of community members—regardless of the topic or group with which you’re working.

The goals of the panel are threefold:

  1. Sharing and learning from each other’s experiences with community-led research as it pertains to advancing social justice through our scholarship,
  2. Engaging both panelists and attendees in a conversation about how to these methods and approaches intersect with other theories and methods in communication research, and
  3. Brainstorming, with both panelists and attendees, how to bring more community-led and social justice-driven methodologies into “mainstream” communication research and publications.

I’d love to learn about the work you’re doing to advance social justice through community-led research!

If you’re interested in being part of this panel/conversation, send me an email ( by Wed (10/5). Let me know your name, institutional affiliation, if you are a student or faculty member, and provide a brief description of the project you’d like to share about in this panel.

I plan to submit this to the Activism, Communication Ethics, and Social Justice Interest Group. I want to also note upfront that I am the Chair of our Interest Group, so our Vice Chair will handle this submission separately. I will not see the reviews or make the decision for acceptance/rejection. 

To give an example of the type of scholarship I’m envisioning including in this panel, I’ll share what I’m currently working on. I’m working on a project to increase the use of palliative care among Native Americans living on the Rosebud, Cheyenne River, and Pine Ridge Reservations. Health disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous communities are stark, so addressing health needs is always already a matter of social justice. We consider this project community-led rather than community-based, because Community Advisory Boards from each tribe will lead discussions on how best to connect with community members and how best to convey persuasive messaging about palliative care; board members receive stipends for their time. We will host Talking Circles that focus on listening to each person’s story in its entirety (an important element of storytelling for these communities), as compared with focus groups where the goal is to invite interactive discussion; participants receive incentives for their time. The Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board (who have been awarded a subcontract that constitutes roughly have our grant funding) will do the graphic design for the messages and lead recruiting and data collection efforts as we use surveys to test the efficacy of the persuasive messages. Survey respondents will also receive incentives for participation. We see our role as conversational facilitators and experts in making sense of the data in order to provide knowledge on how to share and act upon this information in sustainable ways.


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