Upcoming Events


*Check back soon for upcoming events!

Past Events

Workshop on Decolonizing the Classroom, March 2 2018:

In this panel, we draw from our experiences in designing and teaching a graduate-level course on ‘Decolonizing Methodologies’ at a research university in the southern United States. Recognizing the university as a colonized space, the course aspires both to question received methodologies in the social sciences and humanities and to make the classroom itself a site to model and engage with the unending work of decolonizing knowledge production. Waves of scholarship have called for the decolonization of the histories and knowledges that shored up colonization—for the empire to ‘write back.’ Yet when women and men of color, indigenous peoples, majority women, or people from the Global South enter the academy as graduate students or junior faculty, that implicit otherness is often reinscribed upon their bodies and used to discount their lived experience, words, and research. We offer an analysis of the classroom as an important site for decolonizing work, discuss the participative process used to plan and structure the decolonizing methodologies course we developed, and trace three commitments that are crucial for decolonizing the classroom: (a) practicing radical openness in which the teachers are guided by the students’ experiences in the academy; (b) interrogating research norms as critical sites of entrenched colonizing practices; (c) creating spaces that foster the co-production of knowledge. We invite the audience to dialogue with us about the possibilities, as well as the limitations, for decolonizing the classroom.


Patricia S. Parker is chair of the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), where she is also an associate professor of critical organizational communication studies, and cofounder and director of the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research. Her published research and everyday praxis focus on community-based leadership processes that can productively engage and disrupt gendered, raced, and classed systems in the pursuit of social justice. She is co-editor of the University of California book series on Communication and Social Justice Activism. Her book, Ella Baker’s Catalytic Organizing Approach: A Primer On Community Engagement for Social Justice Leadership, will be published in the series in February 2019.

Jean Dennison is a citizen of the Osage Nation and an Associate Professor of anthropology at the University of Washington. Her book Colonial Entanglement: Constituting a Twenty-First-Century Osage Nation (UNC Press 2012) speaks directly to national revitalization, one of the most pressing issues facing American Indians today. She has also published widely, including pieces in Visual Anthropology, PoLAR, American Indian Quarterly, the American Indian Culture and Research Journal and American Ethnologist. The primary goal of her academic endeavor is to explore how indigenous peoples negotiate and contest the ongoing settler colonial process in areas such as citizenship, governance, and sovereignty.

Sara Smith is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is a feminist political geographer interested in the relationship between territory, bodies, and the everyday. Her research seeks to understand how politics and geopolitics are constituted or disrupted through intimate acts of love, friendship, and birth. She has worked on these questions in the Ladakh region of India’s Jammu and Kashmir State in relation to marriage and family planning, and is now engaged in a project on the intimate politics of Himalayan youth in urban South Asia. She also pursues these issues as they emerge in the national (U.S.) and global context, through developing work on both race, biopolitics, and the future, and on the gender politics of right-wing nationalism.

Sarah E. Dempsey is Associate Professor of Organizational Communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching interests converge around critical and cultural approaches to organizations, the changing contours of work and professional life, and the politics of voice, representation, and accountability within social change efforts. She is currently conducting field research for a study of the living wage movement, employment, and the restaurant industry.

Florence Babb is a cultural anthropologist specializing in gender and sexuality as well as race and class in changing contexts in Latin America. Since 2014, she is the Harrington Distinguished Professor in Anthropology and teaches subjects including the anthropology of gender and sexuality; Latin American cultural politics; travel and tourism; feminist ethnography, and decolonizing methodologies. Her last book project, The Tourism Encounter: Fashioning Latin America Nations and Histories (Stanford U Press, 20011) focused on postrevolutionary and postconflict tourism in Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Cuba. Her forthcoming book, Women’s Place in the Andes: Engaging Decolonial Feminist Anthropology (U of California Press, 2018) examines feminist debates concerning Andean women from the 1970s forward—debates in which she herself engaged and now considers in the critical context of decolonial projects in world anthropologies.

Skills and Practices of Engaged Scholarship: Using Twitter to Promote Engaged Research

Date: Friday, Dec. 2, 2016

Location: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library


8:30 – 9 a.m., Sign in and refreshments

9 – 10:30 a.m., Presentation and discussion

Twitter can be an effective tool to widen research audiences and to engage with community partners, policymakers and other key audiences impacted by research. This seminar will explain how to use Twitter effectively, including best practices and experiences from other researchers at UNC. Participants will learn how to use Twitter in their own research and how to utilize social media in engaged research.

Molly De Marco, Ph.D., M.P.H., Research Scientist at UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Rebecca Tippett, Ph.D., Director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center

Natalie Vizuete, Director of Social Media at UNC-Chapel Hill

Coffee and bagels will be provided.

Register online at

Friday, October 28, 2016, 12:30-1:30 Working Lunch: “Working from the Margins”

RM 321 Carolina Hall

Please join us for a conversation with Dr. Kearns about positionality and participation in fields of environmental knowledge production and the opportunities and challenges of thinking and working at the margins of fields of study and practice. Topics that we might discuss include: Is working from the margins sufficient? What does it mean to ‘be effective’? When is the right time to share an idea? Dr. Kearns’ wonderfully thoughtful writing on these issues offers opening for our discussion. Please review the following blog posts as background for the discussion. In addition, Dr. Kearns will be happy to talk with students about her experiences in and with ‘altac’.

Lunch will be provided. Please contact Trey Murphy by Wednesday, October 26th, at noon ( to sign up.

Friday, October 28, 2016, 3:35-5, Colloquium! 

RM 220 Carolina Hall
Snacks, coffee and tea provided. 
The colloquium will feature Dr. Faith Kearns of the California Institute for Water Resource. She will share her work on communicating science and increasing the relational capacity of the science community, drawing on her work on water/drought in California and environmental change.

2016 Fall Reception / Celebration

Please join us in attending the Fall Reception/Celebration

September 7th, 5:30-7:00 PM

Fed EX: Global Education Center (Room 4003)

Good food provided!

Details: The reception/celebration will include a brief program with introductions, opening remarks, one or two short presentations by seed grant recipients, and introductions. Certificate completions will be celebrated. Food from Vimala’s will be available and there will be time for informal talking. After 5 pm, parking is possible underneath the building.



Sponsored by the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network

North Carolina’s 18th Annual Community-Based Environmental Justice Summit will be held October 21-22, 2016 at the Historic Franklinton Center at Bricks, Edgecombe County, NC.  Community members, government officials, environmentalists, students and researchers will participate. The Summit seeks to raise public awareness about environmental justice; connect communities in need with technical resources; support and encourage community-driven research; help communities and policy makers address problems of environmental injustice; and bring about positive changes in public health and the environment by promoting social and environmental justice.

This announcement is a call for research presentations on environmental justice. We invite submissions that address environmental justice topics from any disciplinary perspective, including environmental sciences, social sciences, humanities, law, journalism, public health and medicine. Furthermore, we encourage submissions related to popular mobilization, statutes and laws that can be used to advance environmental justice. Although most Summit participants are from NC, we welcome any submissions that have relevance to environmental injustice. Researchers who have conducted community-driven or community-based research are encouraged to present in collaboration with members of community groups. Research presentations (approximately 15 minutes in length) will be given at a plenary session on Friday afternoon, October 21.

Please submit a title, author(s) and abstract (250 words or less) of your research by Friday, September 2, 2016 to:

Danielle Spurlock, Department of City and Regional Planning, CB#3140 , University of North Carolina
, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3140 , 919-962-4757
Abstracts may be submitted by mail or e-mail using this form: Abstract Submission Form. E-mail submissions should have a subject line indicating “EJ Summit Abstract.” Abstracts will be reviewed by the Environmental Justice Summit Coordinating Committee. Notification of acceptance for presentation will be sent by Monday, September 12, 2016.
Authors will be expected to submit a final version of the abstract following the Summit for inclusion in conference proceedings.

As a coalition of community-based organizations, the NC EJ Network is not able to provide travel funds to academics, researchers, and government officials. Community scholarships will be available by application. Please forward this announcement as appropriate.


A play in development based on oral histories with residents of West Badin

Playwright: Pavithra Vasudevan, Director: Joseph MegelAluminumTown_PerformanceFlyer_4.19.16

Tuesday, April 19th

6 pm @ Shiloh Baptist Church

39289 Wright Road

New London, NC 28127

Dinner will be served *

A collaboration of the Concerned Citizens of West Badin Community (CCWBC) and the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network. With support from the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research Seed Grant, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Carolina Center for Public Service Community Engagement Fellowship.

The Color of Courage:

Performance at the Phoenix Academy High School on April 8th, 2016 with Sonny Kelly (GCPR student) and Mitchell G. Capel.

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Preserving the Future of Rogers Rd: A Panel Discussion

March 15th at 6pm: RENA Community Center

Please see the attached flyer for more details: Panel Discussion Flyer

Community Engagement Fellowships and Networking for Graduate Students

Are you interested in incorporating community engagement in your academic and professional work?  Join the Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS) from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22 at the Graduate Student Center (211A W. Cameron Ave. just beyond the Carolina Inn) for an afternoon of networking with graduate students committed to community engagement.  Learn ways to gain support and deepen your involvement, hear what others on campus are doing and share your own experiences with others to develop connections for future collaborative endeavors.  Students currently connected to CCPS programs as well as students who are interested in getting involved are welcome.

Drop in by 3:00 p.m. to hear graduate student representatives from various CCPS programs speak briefly about the initiatives they are connected to or swing by at any point for informal Q&As and socializing.  CCPS opportunities represented include Community Engagement Fellowships, Buckley Public Service Scholars (BPSS) program graduate assistant positions, Service-Learning Course Development Grants and the Skills and Practices of Engaged Scholarship seminar series. Representatives of the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research will attend and share information about the certificate and its seed grants, as well.

Snacks, coffee and tea will be provided. RSVP through the UNC events registration page if you plan to attend.

Public Folklore Panel Discussion

Thursday October 29th at 6:00 PM

Come out to hear experienced public folklorists speak about career options for aspiring folklorists, ethnographers, and documentarians outside of academia. Discussion will involve public folklore and community engaged scholarship. Dinner will follow for attendees.

For more information, please see the attached flyer: Folklore Panel Flyer

“Memory is the strength of our resistance”: A performance geography of peace, memory, and territory in the San José Peace Community, Colombia

Department of Geography Doctoral Candidate Chris Courtheyn performs his research with the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

Monday, November 2: 6:00 – 7:30 pm

Gerrard Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



The Peace Community is group of small-scale farmers in the Urabá region of Colombia that have resisted forced displacement and co-optation by state, paramilitary, and guerrilla forces since 1997.

Through a series of critical and performative ethnographic pieces titled “If we remain on the land,” “Even the stones speak,” “We will stay if…”, and “Peace does not come from them,” this event will perform the ways this community creates and lives peace through food sovereignty, embodied and material memory practices, and transcommunal solidarity networks.

Sponsored by the Critical and Performance Ethnography Working Group, Carolina Performing Arts, Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research, Institute for the Study of the Americas, Curriculum in Global Studies, and the Department of Geography.

For more information see, the attached Flyer

2015 GCPR Fall Reception

Please join us on Wednesday, September 2nd from 5:30-7:00 PM on the 4th floor of the Global Education Center for our annual fall event.

Details: The reception/celebration will include a brief program with introductions, opening remarks, one or two short presentations by seed grant recipients, and introductions.  Food from Vimala’s will be available and there will be time for informal talking.  After 5 pm, parking is possible underneath the building.  More information in the flyer attached: Participatory Certificate Flyer

Skills and Practices in Engaged Scholarship Seminar: Engaged Scholarship in Translational Research: Research Collaborations Outside the Academy

Friday, May 8, 2015

8:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

The final spring Skills and Practices in Engaged Scholarship seminar is 8:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 8, in Wilson Library, Pleasants Family Room. This session is Engaged Scholarship in Translational Research: Research Collaborations Outside the Academy. Presenters will share principles of partnership and specific examples of engagement with nonacademic populations – community organizations, clinical practices and patients. The seminar is also offered via webinar. For more information and to register, visit Engaged Scholarship in Translational Research: Research Collaborations Outside the Academy.

Southern Discomfort:” Public Health in the American South

Wednesday, April 15, 4:30-5:30 pm with reception following event
Tate-Turner-Kuralt Auditorium, School of Social Work
Guest speaker Dr. Mindi Spencer, a professor at University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health and Institute for Southern Studies, will explore the historical causes behind the American South’s enduring health disadvantage and present a theoretical approach to developing culturally-tailored public health interventions. Join us to learn more about how public health practitioners can capitalize on the South’s distinctiveness to improve the region’s health.

Teaching in and out of academia

Friday February 20th, 3:30-5:00 PM, Hurston Hall (formerly Saunders), Room 220

Formal academic training can socialize teachers and students into producing a particular kind of classroom space. This panel features educators who are expanding, contesting, and creating different spaces for teaching and learning both in and out of academia. In thinking through the connection between the “how” and the “why” of teaching, we invite panelists and participants to discuss connections between politics and pedagogy, and how teaching in and out of academia are connected. What is the value of education? How can new spaces for learning be created? What are the politics of teaching within academia, and opening new spaces?

For more information, please see the following flyer: Teaching in and out of academia

UNC Graduate Research and Intervention in the South

Hosted by UNC Graduate Research and Intervention in the South (GRITS) and the Center for Aids Research (CFAR)

Thursday, Mar. 5, 6-8 p.m. in McGavran-Greenberg 1301

Join us for a film screening and discussion about HIV in the South and our North Carolina community, led by activist Quinton Harper from the NC AIDS Action Network in observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Free popcorn and movie snacks will be provided.

Questions? Contact us at

For more information, please see the following flyer: UNC GRITS deepsouth Poster (Resched)

Detroit Urban Research Center CBPR Partnership Academy

Applications Due March 16th, 2015

The Detroit Urban Research Center (Detroit URC) is a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) partnership that has been conducting research and interventions to promote health equity in the city of Detroit for the past two decades. Now, in conjunction with its 20-Year Anniversary in 2015—and as part of an overall effort to bring community and academic partners together from across the United States to take advantage of this innovative and equitable approach to research—the Detroit URC has launched a new, nationwide initiative called the CBPR Partnership Academy.

With a focus on up-and-coming or early-stage community-academic partnerships, this collaborative, year-long program is designed for those who are interested in exploring and engaging in a CBPR approach to eliminate health inequities in their communities. Those selected for the Partnership Academy work in pairs: with one community partner and one academic partner. There will be 12 teams selected to participate over a one-year program period. The overarching goal is for these teams to come away with enhanced capabilities, knowledge, and skills for creating, implementing, and maintaining a successful CBPR partnership using innovative methods in the behavioral and social sciences in order to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of their local populations. The program also aims to increase participation of researchers from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in CBPR.

The Partnership Academy includes three core components: 1) a one-week intensive course, 2) a full year of structured mentoring and learning opportunities, and 3) access to a Community-Academic Scholars Network for ongoing networking and support. Please read on to learn more.

For more information, please visit the following site: CBPR Partnership Academy