Research and Publication at Common Ground

We conduct action research with communities using participant driven processes. Graphic Recorder Susan Kelly stands next to an image she created from participant comments during a campus wide University Cafe on "The Future of UCSC" at the Kresge Town Hall in January 2008. The event was collaboratively hosted by an inter-generational team of students, faculty, and staff.

Students, Faculty and Staff of the Center participate in ongoing research projects around critical issues. Our approach to research is theoretically based in Participatory Action Research (PAR), Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education. The Center’s research projects are venues through which we build cross-boundary partnerships, collaboratively author timely and relevant publications with primarily new writers, and provoke large systems change.

Additionally, we engage in long-term Participatory Action Research (PAR) projects in the following areas:

Restorative Justice – How do we move from a retributive justice system to a restorative one, bringing together all parties involved in an act that broke connection, safety, and trust?

Empathy - How do we build strong and resilient communities based on compassionate communication, promoting altruism and community care?

Inter-Generational Partnership and the Cultural Creatives phenomenon - What is possible now that has never been before due to the shared values amongst Cultural Creatives from across all stages of life? What are best practices for forming inter-generational partnerships? How do we create cultures that work for all life?

Deep Nature Connection - Why does connecting with nature make humans healthier and happier? How does it enhance human individual and collective development? What are the best ways to integrate deep nature connection into higher education?