While nearly all research involves participants and participation of some sort, participatory approaches to research are distinct because the contributions of academics and community-member participants are viewed more equitably, with each seen as having expertise to lend. Participatory approaches can be a particularly strong tool for ensuring marginalized communities, including youth, are actively engaged in research from conceptualization through implementation and dissemination.
In this workshop, we will describe best practices and innovations in youth participatory research focusing on how youth participation can be a conduit for embodying social work values in research. Drawing on our more than a dozen years of experience in youth participatory action research and community based participatory research, we will outline key principles and practices for successful youth engaged research. Focus areas will include how to account for power dynamics and systems of oppression in working with marginalized communities, as well as how these power systems intersect with the power of adulthood.
Participants in this workshop will learn to approach participatory inquiry using examples that range from arts-based inquiry to participatory budgeting and policy making. We will use an interactive pedagogy in which participants gain hands-on experience in methods such as photo elicitation and foster lively discussion about the process of partnering, collecting and analyzing data in partnership with young people.
In summary, this workshop will provide overall frameworks and principles of participatory research as well as examples of specific methods that work well in participatory inquiry. The workshop facilitators, who utilize youth engaged participatory methods in their work, will discuss examples of ongoing projects and provide opportunity for engagement and discussion among attendees. Facilitators will share how their use of participatory research successfully engaged difficult to reach populations and share lessons learned from working with these populations. We will provide tools that will allow audience members to replicate methods used in our work and allow time to network and build a community of scholars interested in youth participation.