Participatory Action Research: The Fortune Society Project

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Partnership to Address Community Challenges in Harlem

The International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College, Columbia University is partnering with The Fortune Society, a Harlem based nonprofit organization that supports formerly incarcerated men and women in reentering society and rebuilding their lives.

Strengths of the Participatory Action Research Methodology

These two entities, with support from AC4, are conducting a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project.  In the PAR methodology, community members and researchers work together to address challenges faced by the community, and, in so doing, share knowledge and information.  Moreover, the researchers learn about the lived-experiences of the community and the community members learn research, self-reflective practices and problem-solving skills.

Project Objectives

  • At the broadest level, it aims to co-create a new model of violence prevention and conflict resolution for the Fortune community, while reflecting on and drawing implications for the broader process of collaborative model-building.
  • The project aims to observe examples of collaborative knowledge creation in the PAR process.
  • From a social justice perspective, the project aims to increase the visibility of both the Fortune Academy’s approach to transmitting culturally-competent constructive conflict resolution skills and the use of PAR technology.


Questions regarding The Fortune Society Project can be directed to Christianna Gozzi at


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