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About Us

Aims

The Centre strives for excellence in both the quality of its research and the breadth and depth of its community-university engagement. We have two key aims:

  1. To support and conduct research on issues related to social justice, which challenges and seeks to alleviate inequalities in wealth, status, power and participation.
  2. Through this jointly-owned research, to co-produce knowledge through partnerships between researchers, community activists, grass-roots community organisations, and other voluntary and public sector organisations.

In support of our aims, our goals are to provide:

  • An international centre of excellence for theoretically informed participatory and community-based research. We do not see 'thinking' or 'theory' as separate from 'practice', or universities as the only places where thinking and theory happen.
  • A locus for good practice in this type of research and associated initiatives in teaching, training, engagement and staff development.
  • People

    The Centre has two Co-directors, Professors Sarah Banks and Andrew Russell, two deputy directors, Dr Sui-Ting Kong and Dr Andrew Orton, a steering group of academic and community advisors, an international advisory board, and a broader network of over 500 researchers and community organisations
    Benwell in felt
  • Research

    Members of the Centre are involved in research on issues with social justice at their heart, including community development and civil engagement, health and social well-being, children’s and young people’s participation and rights, criminal justice, household debt, migration and asylum, and more.
    Phoenix project, graffiti art, N. Shields

People

The Centre has two Co-directors, Professors Sarah Banks and Andrew Russell, two deputy directors, Dr Sui-Ting Kong and Dr Andrew Orton, a steering group of academic and community advisors, an international advisory board, and a broader network of over 500 researchers and community organisations
Benwell in felt

Research

Members of the Centre are involved in research on issues with social justice at their heart, including community development and civil engagement, health and social well-being, children’s and young people’s participation and rights, criminal justice, household debt, migration and asylum, and more.
Phoenix project, graffiti art, N. Shields

Collaborating in research for social justice

Values

The work of the Centre is based on a framework of values that emphasises:

  • The importance of participatory processes in community-university research partnerships, based on principles of cooperation, mutual respect, a valuing of expertise by experience and a striving towards equality of ownership and control.
  • The importance of seeking research outcomes that lead to tangible benefits for research participants, particularly improving quality of life, redressing social injustice and inequalities in access to resources and power, and transforming ways of seeing, thinking and acting through fostering learning and increasing and consolidating knowledge, skills, confidence and power.

Activities

The Centre's activities include:

  • Research projects in partnership with community organisations
  • Short training courses on participatory action research and related topics
  • Seminars and conferences
  • University-based teaching modules and programmes on participatory action research, community development and community action
  • Support of doctoral and other student projects and activities
  • Relevant publications, reports and other outputs

Our brochure and annual reports

Get in Touch

Enquiries about the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action should be sent via the email below.

Centre for Social Justice and Community Action

Department of Sociology
Durham University
29 Old Elvet
Durham City
DH1 3HN

Tel: +44 (0)191 334 1497