Session: Rapidly Disseminating Research Findings to Non-Academic Audiences: Bringing Social Work Scholarship into the Streets (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

334 Rapidly Disseminating Research Findings to Non-Academic Audiences: Bringing Social Work Scholarship into the Streets

Sunday, January 19, 2020: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Independence BR F, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Crime and Criminal Justice (C&CJ)
Carrie Pettus-Davis, PhD, Florida State University, Stephanie Kennedy, PhD, Florida State University, Susan McCarter, PhD, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charles Lewis, PhD, Howard University and Melvin Wilson, LCSW, MBA, NASW-Social Justice and Human Rights
The purpose of this workshop is to catalyze the rapid translation of research findings into policy, practice, and public discourse, bridging the 17-year implementation gap between scientific discovery and actual changes to the laws, policies, and services which affect criminal and juvenile justice-involved individuals. Although the panelists' work focuses on justice systems reform, the content of this workshop is applicable to scholars across content areas and disciplines. Panelists are involved in the intentional translation of research findings, including findings from a multisite, multi-state randomized controlled trial (RCT) and a variety of community-engaged racial equity projects, to non-academic audiences. This represents a departure from most intervention research, where results are released only after the conclusion of the study and are frequently shared only with academic audiences. Panelists also engage in legislative advocacy, deliver congressional briefings, and disseminate findings to the media to change current criminal justice system narratives and advance reform agendas. Likewise, panelists consult with national professional organizations to shape policy, ensure that practitioners and policy makers understand research and are able to adopt findings in real time. Other rapid dissemination methods of panelists include: a) drafting implementation manuals to facilitate the implementation and evaluation of programs designed to decrease the incarcerated population and reduce or eliminate existing racial and economic disparities in those populations; b) engaging the media and holding press conferences; c) partnering with non-profits and community members to better understand local justice initiatives, and; d) helping to bring social work scholarship into dinner table conversations across the country. Workshop activities and learning objectives: Audience learns about the following topics: 1) Why rapidly disseminate? Panelists discuss the rationale behind rapidly disseminating justice-system reform content to non-academic audiences, even during an active RCT intervention; 2) How to situate rapid dissemination in the context of maintaining the methodological rigor of the study is explored; 3) Strategies for setting up projects to maximize rapid dissemination during the research design and early implementation phases as well as sustaining the energy for rapid dissemination throughout the project are discussed; 4) The types of dissemination materials for non-academic audiences will be identified in the context of pros and cons; 5) Panel members discuss integral collaborations needed to enhance research translation, including statistical, data visualization, media/communications, and press conference strategies; 6) Panelists discuss obstacles encountered and challenges faced in successfully translating complex research materials into a format digestible to the general public. During this workshop, panelists describe their experiences with rapid dissemination to non-academic audiences and situate rapid dissemination within the mission of the social work profession. Panelists also address the importance of a race analysis, social justice lens, and cultural humility in expanding the reach of social work scholarship beyond the ivory tower. Prepared remarks from panelists are paired with audience Q&A and a facilitated discussion.
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