PAR methods for civic engagement and local action organizing in migrant communities to improve their wellbeing


Bio: "Professor Tracey Reynolds is Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Centre for Applied Sociology Research at the University of Greenwich. Tracey’s teaching and research areas include an interest in Black and racialised migrant mothering, families and communities. Tracey’s most recent projects involve research collaboration with neighbourhood and local community organisations in London/SE and North-East England using creative, participatory and co-produced projects to explore migrant families community resilience and the impact of hostile environment policies during COVID-19 pandemic. These include projects with the webinar contributors: Migrant Mothers Caring for the Future: Creative interventions in making new citizens, Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2013 - 2015, (with Umut Erel, Open University, PI). http://www.open.ac.uk/socialsciences/migrant-mothers/. ‘Participatory Arts and Social Action Research’, ESRC (with Umut Erel, and Maggie O’Neill, York University), https://fass.open.ac.uk/research/projects/pasar, 2016-2018. Participatory Artsbased Methods for Civic Engagement in Migrant Support Organizations, Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2020 – 2022 (with Umut Erel, Erene Kaptani, Open University, Maggie O’Neill, UCC, Ireland). ‘Stronger Together: Our stories of the UK’s hostile environment’ (with Creating Ground and Citizens UK), 2021-22 https://www.theground.org.uk/strongertogether Tracey’s achievement was recently recognised in a national exhibition Phenomenal Women: Portraits of UK Black Female Professors at South Bank Centre, Oct-Nov 2020. This exhibition showcased 45 Black female Professors in the UK (put of a total of 21,000 Professors) https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/talks-debates/phenomenal-women-black-female-professors?eventId=858232. Associated links to collaborative partnership with community organisation Creating Ground (Link to performance https://www.theground.org.uk/noticeus Link to to join campaign https://forms.gle/Xwhq5tccc1VGcraK9 and our impact report https://d85c7b86-7c31-4ec0-9c01-f5530d8c9647.filesusr.com/ugd/41196f_76ae448a871b4280ba4b5f630e56be71.pdf"

Bio: Maggie has a long history of doing participatory research using biographical and arts based methods (visual and performative) in collaboration with artists and communities. Maggie has researched and published widely on critical theory, 'ethno-mimesis', PAR, sex work, migration, asylum and borders, walking as a biographical and arts based method. She is currently working with: Umut Erel, Tracey Reynolds & Erene Kaptani on 'Participatory Arts based Methods For Civic Engagement In Migrant Support Organizations', funded by AHRC, 2020-22, and with Dee Heddon, Harry Wilson, Morag Rose, and Clare Qualmann, on 'Walking Publics/Walking Arts', funded by UKRI, 2021 - 2023. Maggie is a member of the Executive Board of the European Sociological Association, a past Chair of RN03 and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Bio: Dr. Erel is Professor in Sociology at the Open University, UK. She has widely published on the intersections of migration, ethnicity, citizenship, racism, gender, class. Her methodological interests are in creative and participatory methods for research and engagement. For recent publications, see http://www.open.ac.uk/people/ue27

Frances Rifkin, Regional Refugee Forum NE and Independent Practitioner

Erene Kaptani, Open University

Bio: "Laura is the Director of Creating Ground CIC which she founded in May 2016. Creating Ground CIC is a not-for-profit organisation that works with women from migrant backgrounds to promote cross-cultural awareness, learning and sharing across different communities in South East London through collaborative arts and educational projects. She is also the co-chair of Greenwich Citizens. Laura worked for 9 years at the Migrants Resource Centre where she was responsible for the community education and employability service. She also worked for 2 years at Action for Refugees in Lewisham managing a supplementary school for children aged 4 to 11 and at Renaisi as Community Inclusion Service Delivery Manager supporting a team of bilingual parent advisors working in different schools in Islington and Hackney. She will be presenting together with the Stronger Together Leaders, a group of women from Creating Ground."

The webinar demonstrates the impact of PAR methods in co-creating knowledge; and tools for civic engagement and local organising in migrant communities. The 90-minute session share findings from two online projects with local organisations; supporting migrants with experiencing marginalisation and racism in London and North-East England during the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the significance of PAR methodologies in centring migrant voices and their embodied; lived local knowledge in developing community initiatives to improve migrants' wellbeing. First; (30 minutes) researchers and practitioners reflect on the benefits of forum theatre skills training with staff/volunteers in migrant support organisations to strengthen their capacity to support migrants' community engagement. Second; (30 minutes) migrant women from local organisation; 'Creating Ground'; discuss their use of arts-based and digital methods to co-create tools for community organising and to become community leaders implementing social changes in their neighbourhood. Finally; (30 minutes); we will invite questions from the audience.